by October 8, 2010 0 comments

Evaluate this: The contribution to the growth of national output in the form of labor productivity improvement of existing workforce due to ubiquitous broadband deployment in India is estimated at an approximate 50bn USD for the period 2010-2020 (Source: Deptt of IT and Deptt of Telecom Ministry of
Communication & Information Technology, Govt of India and CII). In other words, high speed access to information and web-based communication can make a huge difference in your enterprise workforce efficiency, which in turn impacts your business economics. But today, simply having broadband

connectivity is not enough. What good is ample bandwidth if there aren’t enough applications to leverage it effectively? Today, there is a surge in the number of applications that can be used over broadband. You need sufficient bandwidth to be able to use them. For that, you need the right broadband connectivity provider, who can support you in your future growth plans.
PCQuest did a survey of mid to large enterprises in the country to find out the most popular broadband connectivity providers in India, why they’re popular or not so popular, etc. We tried to determine

the average bandwidth being used by organizations in India, and for which applications. We also try and determine what they’re likely to use their connectivity for in the future and whether their existing bandwidth would be able to handle the additional workload or not.

Most Popular Broadband Service Providers

Bharti and BSNL emerged as the top two broadband connectivity providers, being used by a majority of the respondents. While 25% of the respondents said they were using Bharti’s broadband, 23% said they were on BSNL. The other broadband players being used include Reliance Infocomm, VSNL/Tata, MTNL, Satyam/Sify and Hathway. Besides these service providers, HCL Infinet, In2Cable, SpectraNet, and YouTelecom were also being used by some of the respondents, though their numbers were very low as compared to others.
Another interesting trend here is that organizations aren’t just using a single broadband service provider. Here again, there were no surprises, and the major players were being used.

Satisfaction gauge of Broadband Service Providers

For many of our survey respondents, their current broadband service provider wasn’t their first. Nearly 80% of them were using another service provider before they moved to the current one, which is a very high percentage. The percentage of people who were using a particular service provider earlier could serve as its popularity indicator. Of the total shift-out that has occurred from previous service providers to the current, 20% falls under BSNL while service providers like Bharti/Airtel/Touchtel and Reliance have a minimal 6% and 7% for the same. On the other hand, service providers like HCL, Infinet, In2cable, Spectra Net and You Telecom are not being used by any of our survey respondents. There are obviously reasons for having shifted broadband service providers.

After Sales Support: Biggest Issue with Indian Broadband Service Providers
Broadband SPs need to be concerned, because most of their customers appear to be complaining about one thing-poor after sales service and support. A good 26% of the respondents shifted from their previous service providers citing poor after sales/support and service as the primary reason. Now that is something to be considered seriously by the service providers. Another 16% of the respondents cited poor bandwidth quality as the reason, while another 9% complained of a high rate of downtime.

A good 20% of the respondents gave other reasons for shifting from their previous broadband service provider. A key reason was competitive pricing offered by competitors.

Even with their current broadband service provider, our respondents were more satisfied with the quality of bandwidth offered than after sales support. More than 60% of the respondents were either completely or highly satisfied with the quality of bandwidth offered. Whereas, only 51% of the respondents showed a similar affinity for after sales service and support.

The concern over after sales service and support is higher

amongst the mid-sized enterprises than the large ones. We found the satisfaction levels of mid-sized enterprises lower for after sales service and support as compared to bandwidth. The large enterprise respondents however, were equally satisfied with both aspects.

2 Mbps bandwidth is the norm
Nearly 40% of our survey respondents were using a 2 Mbps line. A majority of these were either DSL or leased lines, which formed around 40% of the total responses. Generalizing on a broader scale, 34% respondents are accessing their broadband connections at speeds lower than 2Mbps and 28% are using speeds above 2Mbps.

Application of Broadband
It is common knowledge that a broadband connection is used for Internet access. Most organizations use it for that, but how about going beyond that? What else can you use it for? Interestingly, 30% of the respondents were using it for video conferencing. Another 32% said that they were using it for hosted e-mail, and the rest were using it for VoIP, VPN, DR and BCP and unified communications.
The future outlook for various communication technologies looks very bright, with lots of organizations planning to spread their wings and deploy more.

Video conferencing is a hot choice amongst Indian enterprises, with 48% of our survey respondents likely to deploy it their organizations in the near future. Another 38% were likely to go for VPN deployments, while hosted email saw a rise from 32% current usage to 42% in the future. Similarly, VoIP is likely to see doubling of its adoption from 20% now to 37% in the near future.

Similarly, companies are getting even more serious about deploying DR and BCP. While only 6% were currently using it,25% of the respondents have plans to deploy it in the near future. Internet connectivity is of course the most basic use of broadband connectivity, and nearly 57% of the respondents said that they’re likely to use it in the near future.

3G’s Impact on Enterprise Business
3G doesn’t need any introduction, but there are mixed feelings amongst Indian enterprises about the benefits it is likely to bring them. While a good 39% of the respondents feel that the introduction of 3G would have an impact on their business, another 26% answered in the negative.

Interestingly however, the benefits that an organization can gain from 3G are still not understood very clearly. That is why, 32% of the respondents said that they were not sure whether 3G would have any impact on their business because they were not sure of its benefits.
Our take on this is that since India has a large base of mobile subscribers, starved for bandwidth on existing 2G networks, 3G would prove to be a boon, provided that mobile service providers keep the cost of bandwidth low, and quality of bandwidth high. Even on existing 2G networks, a lot of handset operators have been advertising about the use of social networking. Once 3G sets in, hopefully these social networking applications would work better. In the beginning, this would take off amongst consumers, and later be embraced by the corporate sector. It is likely to give enterprise mobility a boost, which is in a rather depressing state right now, as per the survey we conducted last month.

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