Airtel and ACT Fibernet have already started delivering high-speed fiber optic broadband in select cities, while Reliance Jio is extensively testing its JioFiber FTTH broadband in various parts of the country. But the competition is not limited to these players anymore.
In a surprising move, the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) launched 100G Optical Transport Network (NG-OTN) to deliver high-speed broadband connections with download speeds touching a peak of 1 Gpbs. Currently, BSNL's top tier broadband has a maximum of 100 megabit per second speed on its FTTH home network.
The upgraded network has already been implemented in 44 cities across India, but it is also expected to touch a total of 100 major cities in the current financial year, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said at the launch on Friday, PTI reported.
"This project aimed to enhance existing 10G capacity to 100G capacity of Optical Fibre infrastructure of BSNL. This means now in back-end we will have 10 times more capacity and will be launching new plans with 10 times more speed. This enhanced capacity will help retail customer base of BSNL in landline, FTTH and mobile services," BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava, said in a statement.
Sinha said the government targets on bringing broadband connectivity to 250,000 village panchayats by December 2018, which is a step up from the current 1 lakh villages covered with Optical Fiber Broadband.
While the launch of the upgradation did cover the aspects such as connectivity, we know little about the tariffs, which play an essential role in adoption. Consumers demand affordability, something Reliance Jio has been good at.
The consumption of 4G LTE in India has shot through the roof in recent months, thanks to Jio's disruptive entry. Airtel, ACT and Reliance Jio are aiming to offer FTTH at affordable prices, and it remains to be seen how BSNL reacts to the competition.