Fiber internet connections are no longer limited to just Airtel Xstream or Reliance JioFiber as a lot of new internet service providers have entered the space offering services at affordable prices. Another aspect of fiber internet is that there are cities and towns where big players like Airtel and Reliance are yet to venture. This is where new players have found an opportunity and are trying to expand their user base with local tie-ups, no FUPs, symmetric internet speeds, local customer support teams and affordable plans.
Excitel is one such player that recently made it to Ookla’s top five fastest broadband service providers’ list. The ISP claims to be present in 28 cities and is aiming to expand to 50 cities by the end of 2021.
Excitel CEO and co-founder Vivek Raina in an interaction with Debashis Sarkar of The Times of India–GadgetsNow talked about the company’s plans and how it is wooing customers in a cut-throat industry.
“We partner with local cable providers in a region and seek their expertise in laying fiber cable allowing us to reduce the infrastructural cost and time,” said Raina. Another key area of focus for the brand is getting rid of FUPs and claiming “high speeds can support 4K video viewing simultaneously on multiple devices within a household.”
Downplaying the need for FUP or fair usage policies which restrict users to get high-speed to a certain data limit, he said, “With trends suggesting that work from home and educational institutions are going back to the lockdown era, it is difficult for households to survive on a 500 GB cap when data and content is the modern fuel. In times like these, no FUP limit plays a major role in setting companies apart. To further break it down, it’s basically offering customers a data plan that extends optimum speed with an option to consume unlimited speed without a change in the upload and download speed.”
Another important aspect that Raina pointed out is symmetric internet speeds. For those unaware, this term simply means that the download and upload speeds are the same. For most internet connections, upload speeds are very low compared to download speeds.
“Telcos and ISPs have been providing asymmetric connections because they are straddled with legacy technologies like DOCSIS, DSL, Metro Ethernet, etc all involving some elements of copper wire and having technological limitations in providing high-speed symmetric connections. To get symmetric connections, the focus should be on FTTH(Fiber to the home) services.”
He also urged people to get past the “preconceived notion about fiber broadband being more expensive than the traditional forms of the internet when both of them are priced similarly.” Fiber plans offering 100Mbps start as low as Rs 399 per month.
Raina also made a bold prediction that “the future of TV and content consumption is through OTT platforms.” He states that this is the reason as to why most ISPs are offering an OTT content package along with the internet plan.
“The next 5 years will witness a gradual shift from Cable TV and DTH to wireline broadband coupled with content streaming platforms. Understanding the requirements and acknowledging the fact that OTT marks for maximum data consumption these days, partnership with these platforms become the next best strategy. It helps in providing consumers with a bundled service and easy access to both, unlimited data and unlimited content,” he added.