Wi-Fi gaining traction in India

Sridhar Pai
10 May 2011
00:00
 
Down south, Zylog’s Wi5 is making waves with a 100% pre-paid model which has a combined subscriber base of over 30,000. Tonse believes that Zylog probably has cracked the Wi-Fi base station pricing model better than anyone else and is able to setup a POP at the lowest cost per subscriber, using a combination of own software plus third party hardware.
 
Zylog has even penetrated tier 2 towns and if offering fail-safe Wi-Fi in over 150 locations. Plans are afoot to grow to 179 locations and 100,00 subscribers by year end. Zylog Wi-Fi generated a top line of about $5.15 million.
 
Indian cellular operators have suddenly more respect for the relatively smaller Wi-Fi counterparts. While initially these free-to-air spectrum operators were considered yet another enterprise customer who would buy bulk bandwidth, the relationship is now more symbiotic.
 
Wi-Fi ISPs are now more likely to carry access traffic from larger captive Wi-Fi base than pricey data plans from cellular operators. Besides, retail outlets are willing to make room for Wi-Fi gear as the added attraction of offering Wi-Fi soon becomes a ‘must have’.
 
But perhaps an even bigger opportunity lies shrouded under clouds: wholesale Wi-Fi offload. Instead of creating multiple small regional Wi-Fi PoPs and creating several bilateral relationships with individual mobile operators, a large scale, carrier-class wholesale Wi-Fi model should emerge in India.
 
With only a fraction of 3G sites just lit up, none of the TD-LTE / BWA offerings live and mobile data traffic beginning to grow in volume, it is but a matter of months before a large scale data explosion becomes a reality.
 
If a large nationwide Wi-Fi network is built out and a ‘LightSquared-like’ wholesale model is launched, it should have plenty of takers.
 
After a BWA spectrum auction that generated billions in revenues to the government a business model around unlicensed spectrum that is non-retail suddenly seems lot more appealing for this bandwidth hungry nation.
 
Sridhar Pai runs wireless research & consulting businessTonse Telecom from Bengaluru, India

Pages

Comments
No Comments Yet! Be the first to share what you think!

This website uses cookies

This provides customers with a personalized experience and increases the efficiency of visiting the site, allowing us to provide the most efficient service. By using the website and accepting the terms of the policy, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with the terms of this policy.