Introducing, Broadband letter from India

You can get as much information about the Chinese telecom boom as you want, but world’s second hottest market is going unnoticed and as a result, I am introducing a new once-a-week column by Dr. Abhishek Puri, who will send us the buzz about broadband from India.

Cheap Phones: You can buy a used handset for between $22-and-$30 and color mobile for $40-60. Motorola along with Hutch has started selling a $23 mobile phone. Basic, cheap and effective marketing.

DSL ramps up: DSL is growing in india too but computer penetration is laughable. In February 2005 BSNL started its DSL service. Last week I talked to a divisonal engineer from BSNL. Tariffs likely to go down in July and the company will be soon offering TV-on-DSL starting with 20 channels from state owned TV networks, Doordarshan. A lot of the ISP’s (in Bangalore) are now haemorraging customers to BSNL. I switched from Airtel (Bharti) to BSNL last month.

More BSNL: It currently offers upto 1 MP/s for home users and 2 MB/s for business users now. From July, it will gradually go up to 8mbits (I’m guessing this will only be for business users). He said that BSNL is waiting and watching the market. Frankly, it was time broadband really came to india. After 2.5 years of heavy competition, mobile phone call charges in India are pretty much among the cheapest in the world. The same thing should happen for the broadband market.

Computer prices to decline: Tax cuts will help in bringing down computer prices. Government is slashing taxed on computers from 12% to 4%. It might encourage people to buy computers but the lack of infrastructure is a problem.