What is BSNL Doing With Its Wired & Wireless Broadband Assets

By September 29th, 2011 AT 12:09 PM

What is BSNL Doing With Its Wired & Wireless Broadband AssetsBroadband is getting into daily requirements for us. But we still define broadband as 512 kbps (thanks to TRAI, for updating the definition from 256kbps), while many countries offers more than 10 Mbps on wired connection on a basic plan.

India’s wired broadband market is dominated by state owned BSNL. With wide coverage area including rural areas BSNL turns to be the only choice of broadband in most areas.

In spite of BSNL’s huge broadband subscriber base, customers are not happy with BSNL. We are discussing the thing here.

ADSL Broadband

Wired broadband sector has almost zero competition from private players, except some metros. It has been more than 4 years No Speed Upgrade on plans we have seen. Last time BSNL upgraded its bandwidth to 2Mbps from 256kbps almost 4 years back.

That time BSNL really kicked out private players like Sify from the broadband market, but after 4 years private players upgrade their plans and they are now at the same league of BSNL. Even MTNL brings such exciting plans while BSNL is completely silent regarding broadband.Prepaid broadband tariffs are almost double of postpaid ones, and not even a single customer will take it.

What people want from BSNL Broadband:

Upgradation of bandwidth 4Mbps from 2Mbps.

Night speed upgrade unlimited plans like MTNL

Introduce 768Mbps, 1Mbps unlimited plans at affordable rate

Reasonable pricing on prepaid broadband

Separate Landline from broadband.

Fiber Broadband (FTTx)

BSNL has fibre based broadband (FTTx) in few selected areas. Also tariffs are high for general customers. Private players like Beam Telecom already unleashed fiber broadband in Hyderabad and got immense response due to affordable tariffs.

Expected Upgrade on Fiber Broadband

  • Coverage expansion
  • Affordable tariff

BSNL also offers broadband on wireless using EVDO, HSPA & WiMAX technology.


Once BSNL was the only choice of 3G-HSPA services in the terms of affordability & network coverage, compared to private operators which set the tariff the rocket high.But BSNL soon followed the trend of private operators’ 3G data tariffs, withdraw unlimited plans and recently revised the tariff – hikes the tariff 2 times of previous tariff.

Now if you watch BSNL’s Delhi-Mumbai sister MTNL, they are providing unlimited 3G data plans and keeps the base rate of 1p/10kB.BSNL has to think for attractive tariff packages, as at the same price point customer will shift to other operators as private operators’ 3G network is under-utilized and they can provide better experience.


  • Introduce unlimited 3G data plans – with strict FUP of 75GB. It will satisfy everyone.
  • Upgrade all BTS with 7.2Mbps or more speedy HSPA equipment.
  • Introduce capped unlimited 3G data plans – 512kbps, 1Mbps, 2Mbps at an affordable rate.


BSNL holds CDMA spectrum on 800 Mhz but never utilize this aggressively. CDMA services (including 1X and EVDO) are limited to mostly data only and high speed EVDO coverage is very poor compared to private operators and there is almost nil blanket coverage. BSNL can do better on this segment.


BSNL has WiMax BTS over many places (http://www.wimaxmaps.bsnl.co.in/) but they did not launch WiMAX based wireless broadband commercially in most places. BSNL must roll out WiMAX commercially in more circles.BSNL has a plan to roll out LTE in coming days. But with investments on WiMAX & no commercial use of WiMAX hints that BSNL 4G on LTE is a long way to go.

Tell us what you expect from BSNL in coming days. Share your thoughts of BSNL broadband, EVDO, 3G & WiMAX.

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