One thing is for sure. BSNL is planning to come in as a major triple play player in the next coming few months. They are looking forward to leverage this advantage big time.
The upgraded 2 Mbps speeds is a wow factor in India which till recently was unheard of concept. Perhaps for the first time ever, we can watch streaming videos without bothering about the buffer times. BSNL is keen and intent on declaring this year as the year of broadband; something that reflects from the CMD’s message online.
I quote verbatim: (emphasis mine)
Year 2007 is going to witness a Broadband revolution as we have declared 2007 as “YEAR OF BROADBAND”. We intend to invest Rs.2000 Crore to strengthen our Broadband Infrastructure. Today our Broadband service is available in about 600 cities / towns. We plan to extend Broadband coverage to more than 1000 Cities / Towns and 20000 Villages over the next two years. During the year 2007, Broadband coverage will be provided to all Secondary / Higher Secondary Schools and all Public Health Centers. Gram Panchayats will be brought under Broadband map progressively by 2008.
Our existing Broadband capacity of 1 Million ports is planned to be augmented by 5 million ports, out of which 1.8 million ports will be deployed in rural areas. We are in the process of launching Broadband access through Wi-Max technology in about 1000 Block Headquarters. Wi-Max is capable of offering Wireless Broadband Service in a radius of 20-25 Kilometers. You can look forward to launch of Triple Play Services and On-Line Gaming Services over Broadband during this year.
We have also decided to provide latest features on our fixed line phones and would gradually replace the existing telephone instruments of the customers with instruments having facilities like CLIP etc. (This is true indeed and the company has provided a new handset at my premises. It was definitely a pleasant surprise).
I thank all BSNL Customers for the faith reposed in our services. (This is contestable claim. Mr. CMD doesn’t realise that all these years we have had NO option). We re-affirm our commitment to empower our customers with world class state-of-the-art services (Really? If that is true, Mr CMD, remember the frustrated mails sent across to your office complaining about the local line man not being able to set right the fault in the cabling landing in my flat, which played havoc with my broadband access) at affordable rates and look forward to their continued patronage. (Thanks to the lethargy of Airtel/ Reliance/ HFCL Connect and other players looking at pan India presence, we would have to tolerate BSNL for the next coming few years).
Still, this demonstrates BSNL’s intent to rectify the issues with looking at long term money spinners in terms of value added services. We would hardly get to see the uniform roll out of the promised services; it would be a staggered soft launch. This is in trend with the other roll out of BSNL’s services. Finally, this reminds me of the pain and agony we all had to face while upgrading to the “unlimited” plans. 2 Mbps unlimited seems to be a far cry. One thing is for sure. If BSNL has an affordable package for triple play, then I am willing to migrate to the thingy.
Airtel, watch out. BSNL would sting you hard on your privates and Mr Mittal and his fancy promos may all go out for a toss. We’d wait and watch.