The fixed broadband providers witnessed a traffic growth in the range of 20% to 100% across India, Ericsson said in its Mobility Report. The report based on a survey conducted on over 1000 people across India indicates that 30% of the citizens plan on investing in “improved broadband” facilities at their homes. According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) data for the month of February, wired broadband penetration in India has dipped to 19.07 million as compared to 19.08 million in January. In recent days, multiple reports have suggested that the government of India is likely to slash the license fee on wired broadband per circle to Re 1 per year. The move from the government will aid broadband players to expand aggressively and rope in many users. For consumers, the government’s decision to slash the license fee will result in reduced bills for fixed broadband connections. With that said, TelecomTalk looks at the existing entry level plans across the top five broadband providers in India.
BSNL Entry Level Plans
With a subscriber base of 8.11 million as of February 29, 2020, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is the leading service provider in India. BSNL offers ADSL broadband services and Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services with plans often varying with the circle.
The entry level ADSL plan of BSNL dubbed as 2GB BSNL CUL enables users to browse upto 8 Mbps speed till 2GB per day and at 1 Mbps beyond the 2GB limit. The 2GB BSNL CUL plan is available across several BSNL circles in India except the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The BSNL users can subscribe to the 2GB BSNL CUL plan for a monthly price of Rs 349. Additionally, the operator offers unlimited calls within BSNL network and Rs 600 worth of local and STD calls to other networks to users on the 2GB BSNL CUL plan.
Similar to the ADSL plans, BSNL Bharat Fiber FTTH plans vary with the circle. In specific circles including Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, BSNL offers a Rs 430 plan dubbed as 150GB Plan CS300 that enables users to browse upto 30 Mbps speed till 150GB. BSNL enables users subscribed to the 150GB Plan CS300 pack to browse at 2Mbps beyond 150GB. The operator also enables users to make unlimited calls across India.
Bharti Airtel Entry Level Plans
Airtel is the second largest provider in India with a subscriber base of 2.45 million as of February 29. While Airtel offers the broadband services under the Airtel Xstream Fiber brand across India, the FTTH services are largely restricted to major cities. The company also offers DSL services to several cities in India under the Airtel Xstream Fiber brand with Airtel connecting with local cable operators for such services.
The entry level plan dubbed as Basic enables users to browse upto 100 Mbps speed till 150GB for Rs 799 per month. Airtel also offers unlimited local and STD calls to users across India under the Basic pack along with complimentary access to Airtel Xstream services.
In specific areas where its FTTH services are not available, Airtel offers the DSL services with the speeds on the Basic pack reduced to 16 Mbps for Rs 599 per month. However, Airtel retains the unlimited calls and the complimentary access to Airtel Xstream on its Rs 599 Basic pack.
Atria Convergence Technologies Entry Level Plans
With a subscriber base of 1.56 million as of February 29, ACT Fibernet is the third largest service provider in India. Similar to most other players on the list, ACT Fibernet plans often vary with city. The ACT Basic, a low priced entry level plan restricted to specific cities of Andhra Pradesh enables users to browse at 10 Mbps speed till 100GB for Rs 424 per month. The company enables users of the ACT Basic plan to browse unlimited data beyond 100GB at a reduced speed of 512 Kbps.
Hathway Cable and Datacom Entry Level Plans
Hathway Cable and Datacom is the fourth largest service provider in India with a subscriber base of 0.94 million as of February 29. The company offers New Intex 3 pack, a low priced entry level plan in Indore that enables users to browse at 15 Mbps speed till 500GB per month. The New Intex 3 pack is available only on a three month subscription for Rs 1500 or at an effective price of Rs 500 per month. Hathway enables users on the New Intex 3 pack to browse unlimited data beyond 500GB but at a reduced speed of 3 Mbps. In most other cities, Hathway entry level plans are priced comparatively higher.
Reliance Jio Entry Level Plans
With a subscriber base of 0.84 million as of February 29, Reliance Jio is the fifth largest service provider in India. The entry level pack of Reliance Jio is dubbed as the Bronze pack that enables subscribers to browse at 100 Mbps speed. The company offers 100GB of data as the plan benefit to those users subscribed to the Bronze pack. However, the users on the Bronze pack can get an additional 100GB of data due to the COVID-19 lockdown along with 50GB of bonus data as part of its introductory offer. The Bronze pack users subscribing to the annual pack can further receive an 100GB of optional bonus data.
Reliance Jio offers unlimited voice calls to those users subscribing to the Bronze pack along with complimentary access to JioCinema and JioSaavn. The Bronze pack is priced at Rs 699 per month.