Broadband speed improves income, says Ericsson: Is TRAI listening?

It is time for Indian telecom regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) to act. Indian mobile broadband users are always at the receiving end when we talk about broadband speed.

Telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications, MTNL, BSNL, MTS India, Tata Teleservices, etc. do not have adequate mechanism to ensure broadband quality and speed of their Internet connection.

Even if the connection is slow, there is no mechanism to refund the user if he / she is a pre-paid 3G user.

For instance, MTNL broadband connection in a part of East Delhi is cut for the past two plus days. MTNL call center does not even share answers properly. We can follow some of the overseas hosting companies. Last year, GoDaddy’s hosting services were down for a couple of hours. They did not take money for that particular time, but added couple of days of service as added service benefits to the existing contract.


Reliance Communications says 3G at 2G prices. But Reliance Communications’ 3G is not available in East Delhi, which is 10 km from Connaught Place.

First, Indian operators need to ensure broadband connection with 1MB speed is available to all mobile customers. I think India will take more time to achieve this.

My family live in a place which houses three cinema theatres, 3-4 hospitals, 1 railway station, etc. But BSNL broadband connection does not reach several places here. Private operators, who always threaten to increase tariffs if there’s a revision in government policy, are not there. For instance, my MTS or Reliance Communications data card does not work in that Panchayat.

The Ericsson study says the average increase in household income for a broadband speed upgrade from 4 to 8 Mbps is $120 per month in OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, according to a study by Ericsson in conjunction with Arthur D. Little and Chalmers University of Technology.

BIC (Brazil, India and China) countries households benefit most by upgrading from 0.5 to 4 Mbps, at $46 per month, the joint study on the economic effects of broadband access speed on households said.

Indian regulators are yet to take firm action on telecom operators to improve broadband speed at cost effective prices.

“We know that speed matters and that upgrading broadband speed has a positive impact. Now we have shown this quantitatively using large data samples in both OECD and BIC economies, even at the household level,” said Sebastian Tolstoy, VP Radio Business development and Strategy, Ericsson.

According to Martin Glaumann, partner at Arthur D. Little, telecom regulators need to rethink and recognize high-speed broadband as a national imperative for BIC countries. Broadband gives households the means to improve skills and productivity through e-learning and business services, but also to gain access to new venues for consumption.

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