Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reliance, TATA, Airtel Retarding Broadband Internet growth in India?

Are the three BIGGEST Telecom giants in India who are blinded by their short term company revenues are the real perpetrators of retarding the Growth of Broadband Internet in India?

Premise: Reliance Communication, Bharti Airtel and Tata Indicom all three are offering their wireless datacards for laptops and PCs. These datacards offer various connectivity speeds. However, it's very apparent that the bad wireless infrastructures, poor dataspeeds and over all un-satisfactory customer service is retarding and shooing away the customers from Internet. People get a very poor user experience and the overall confidence in the online media as the main stream media gets distorted completely. Day-by-day poor online experiences just adds to the frustation of new and existing users and end up making people anti-online. What could become as one of the biggest strength of India in uniting and bringing education and more jobs to the country may just go down the drain if appropriate steps are not taken.

A country like India where people plan months ago to buy their next gadget and save money meticulously and buy their dream gadget get fooled by buying such stupid datacards for better Internet connectivity.

The Proof: The Internet by its own nature of bringing the Voice of each customer to one common platform shows the PROOF of pathetic service, speed and connectivity issues which came along with these Wireless Data Cards from Reliance, Airtel and Tata Indicom. an Online user generated content company which provides a platform to Indian users to post their personal experiences in terms of product reviews is just filled with BAD reviews about all these three service providers.

Reviews on Reliance Wireless Data Cards
Reviews on TATA Indicom Wireless Data Cards and USB Modems
Reviews on Bharti Airtel Wireless Data Cards and USB Modems

If this isin't proof enough, do a simple google search and over 50,000 review related search results will show up...mostly people crying out loud at the bad service or drivers or connectivity and bad user experiences.

Strategic Flaw or The Time is not right?
Well a lot of top honchos sitting in those top management plush seats would want to argue that this is not a strategic fault and they do offer Broadband Internet services but people are not ready to take those services up. Well obviously if you produce those stupid Datacards in BULK and push them through a marketing plan, people are bound to get driven. However, it's a SHORT term retarding growth strategy for overall Internet Adoption Strategy for the country. In a way the Datacards and USB modems etc are detrimental to the growth of the Internet adoption and widespread in India. And the best part is both Broadband and datacards are coming from the same Telecom company (Irony Simplified)!

When over 4 Millions users have adopted broadband internet (refer to TRAI report, July-08) there are very few reasons why others wouldn't want to adopt it. The reason (primarily) is high bandwidth cost and lesser education and awareness. Well if you have to shell out Rs 999 per month to get a decent broadband connectivity per month, obviously you are discouraging people from adopting Internet. When Mobile recharges come in small pre-paid values, why don't we allow the users to have low cost flexibility for a LONG Term Internet penetration and growth in country.

Conclusion: The short term revenues of organizations which are blinding them for providing poor infrastructure and bad connectivity should be overcome quickly. The Broadband Internet services should be provided at cheaper rates fueling the Internet demand in India. Improvement of Wireless Broadband, Cost reduction and better infastructure can really contribute to the fast paced growth. Public Private Partnership based Awareness and Education sessions to masses about the benefits of internet should be conducted to help promote the Internet growth in India.

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