With High Speed Mobile Data Tariff Going Low, Do We Need a Wired Broadband Connection in Today’s Time?

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BSNL has launched the Rs. 444 aka Chaukka plan for prepaid subscribers. This pack offers 4GB data per day for 90 days. As already known, this plan doesn't come bundled with voice calling benefits.


The data bundled with BSNL Chaukka recharge is much higher than what other incumbents are offering. The cost per GB comes to around Rs. 1.23 per GB, against Jio's Rs. 11.04 per GB for the Rs. 309 pack, and Rs. 5.70 per GB for the Airtel's Rs. 499 pack. The huge difference in cost per GB ratio between BSNL and other two incumbent operators namely Airtel and Jio reflects on the free voice offered by them.

Broadband is defined as "an always-on Internet connection with download speed of 512 kbit/s or above." Broadband connections come with an installation cost ranging from few hundred rupees up to few thousands. The installation charge includes the cost of wire from distribution point to user's home and wifi router if required. A 3 Mbps unlimited plan of Tikona in Pune costs Rs. 750 per month.

To get a Broadband connection, we need to do paperwork, unlike the mobile SIM connection which has become completely paperless. Broadband plans fall under three categories namely Daily Usage Limit Plans, FUP Plans, Unlimited Plans. The user is free to select any type of plan depending upon his usage and amount of money he can shell out. It takes up to three working days to get a Broadband connection and sometimes even more. Aadhaar based SIM connections are activated the same day. After all the hassles of completing the paperwork, a user gets an user-ID and password to access the internet.

One of the most important points to look out for in Broadband Connection is the Contention Ratio. Contention Ratio (or over-subscription ratio) is the number of users sharing the same data capacity. The lower the contention ratio, the better the quality of service. A 20:1 contention ratio means that up to 20 broadband customers are sharing the same bandwidth at any one time. More the customer, lesser speed every individual customer will get.

Most broadband ISPs have a cap on the maximum speed they can provide. The speed at any time cannot go over the speed promised in the plan subscribed by the customer. On the other hand, mobile phone networks have a variable data speed. We have speed based plans for Broadband connections, but the same cannot be said for mobile phone connections.

Wired or wireless Broadband connections score over the data speed consistency they provide. But still, a lot depends on the contention ratio. Mobile phone networks score over the price factor. With mobile data plans becoming cheaper, Broadband connections will soon become obsolete for use in homes.


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