High-speed broadband still a mirage for Indians

Broadband speed globally in Q1 2016

Poor broadband speed for 1.2 billion Indians is not new information for telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The poor broadband network from telecom network operators means India is not in the top 10 countries in Asia Pacific.

Telecom network operators in South Korea are offering broadband speed of 29 Mbps, while Hong Kong offers 19.9 Mbps broadband speed, Japan gives 18.2 Mbps, Singapore 16.2 Mbps, Taiwan 14.8 Mbps, Thailand 10.8 Mbps, New Zealand 10.5 Mbps, Australia 8.8 Mbps, Malaysia 6.4 Mbps and Sri Lanka offers broadband speed of 5.4 Mbps.

Broadband speed in Asia Pacific in Q1 2016India has fixed telecom network operators such as BSNL, Bharti Airtel, among others.

Akamai Technologies, in its First Quarter, 2016 State of the Internet Report based on data gathered from the Akamai Intelligent Platform, said global broadband connection speed touched 6.3 Mbps (+ 12 percent from Q4 2015 and +23 percent year over year).

Global average peak connection speed reached 34.7 Mbps (+6.8 percent q-o-q and +14 percent y-o-y).

Global broadband speed of 10 Mbps rose 10 percent, 15 Mbps grew 14 percent, and 25 Mbps up 19 percent year over year.

Average mobile connection speeds ranged from a high of 27.9 Mbps in the United Kingdom to a low of 2.2 Mbps in Algeria.

Investment in fixed broadband network is not growing in India. Focus of telecom network operators is on wireless networks and mobile Internet.

ABI Research says broadband service providers need to invest more in home Wi-Fi solutions, like Wi-Fi mesh network systems, or run the risk of customer churn. There will be more than 831 million households will have residential Wi-Fi networks in 2021.

Wi-Fi mesh network systems are one solution and a newer concept for homes, though enterprises commonly utilize them.

Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst at ABI Research, said: “This technology is beneficial in larger households that suffer from pockets of inadequate coverage, as their broadband routers are strong enough to provide premium coverage to the entire home and all of its connected devices.”

The cost of these Wi-Fi mesh network systems could price some residential broadband users out of this market. A Wi-Fi mesh system with three access points could cost between $300 and $500. U.S. cable operator Midco provides AirTies’ mesh network system to residential broadband customers with up to four access points starting at $7.95 per month. Additional access points can be purchased for an extra two dollars each per month.

Though pure Wi-Fi mesh systems provide easier installation and management for consumers, a mixed wired backbone with multiple access points can provide more stable network. Pure Wi-Fi mesh systems and hybrid (wired backbone with multiple access points) networks are likely to coexist in the markets where in-home wired backbone is widely available.

India telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad needs to ensure that Indians are getting adequate Internet on their fixed networks. Indians should not wait in queue to get broadband connection to watch their video. Internet on smartphones – available in big towns — is not the best solution to catch an action from Euro 2016.

Baburajan K

[email protected]