Internet in India was officially launched by Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL) on 15 August 1995. But there were only few takers because of high cost and slow browsing speed. Getting connected to the local ISP server itself was a big task and there were many problems like frequent disconnection, very slow browsing speed etc. Dialup modems were able to deliver only 8 to 16 kbps. Later ISPs were able to deliver up to 56kbps via internal/external dialup modems. VSNL, Satyam Online, Matra Online, Dishnet and BSNL were the initial players in this field.
India Telecom Industry Revolution
Bharath Sanchar Nigam Limited launched its DataOne broadband services in 2005. Then entire scenario has changed when big private players like Reliance, Tata and Bharati entered the Indian telecom sectors. Then there has a been a dramatic change in India's telecom sector with huge increase in mobile phone population and added features with land phones like phone book, sms, ring tones, caller line identification (CLIP), speaker phone, call waiting, call forwarding etc. After the introduction of fibre optic technology it was easy to transfer huge amount of data with a nominal cost. This further reduced end user costs thus bringing down national (STD) and international (ISD) calling charges worldwide.
Land phone, WLL and Mobile GPRS Internet Connection
Revolution in the telecom sector boosted internet connection penetration too. Bandwidth costs reduced and operators were able to give higher bandwidth for a nominal monthly or hourly fee. With the help of latest wireless technology WLL operators started giving internet connection through WLL phones and Mobile operators used other wireless technologies like GPRS to provide internet connection through mobile devices. Mobile companies like Nokia, Samsung, LG, Sony Ericsson and Motorola came up with new GPRS enabled phones at very affordable rates and mobile operators like Hutch, Airtel, Aircel, and BSNL slashed their GPRS internet charges.
High Speed Internet and Added Features
Again the scenario changed in India after BSNL introduced Dataone ADSL broadband services in 2005. With MPLS based ip structure Dataone is able to provide reliable high speed internet connection up to 8mbps. Now apart from high speed internet connection telecom companies are also offering features like bandwidth on demand, video and audio conferencing, content based services like video on demand, interactive gaming, live and time shifted TV, video multicast services for applications in telemedicine and distance learning and dial VPN services. Main advantage with DSL/ADSL technology is that it can transfer large amount of data through normal copper wire. So telecom companies can make use their existing telephone lines for high speed broadband connection.
Attractive Schemes from Airtel, BSNL, Reliance Infocom and Tata Indicom
Telecom majors are coming up with new schemes to attract more customers. Apart from time limited and bandwidth limited schemes now they are coming up with many unlimited plans and extra features. BSNL Broadband has two new unlimited plans, Home Plan UL 900 Plus and Home Plan UL 900. Airtel Broadband has extra features like Games on demand which allows customer to download and play unlimited number of games for a nominal fee per month. Tata indicom broadband has both prepaid and postpaid options. Reliance broadband has features like online bandwidth select, per minute charges and bonus bandwidth.
Broadband Internet through Coaxial Cable
There are many other broadband players in India like Sify Broadband and MTNL Broadband. Also there are other type of broadband operators using coaxial cable for broadband connection like Hathway, Asianet Communications and ZeeNext. In India broadband penetration is going in a very fast rate and soon 128 and 256 kbps would become a history.
Broadband through Fibre Optic Cable
India mobile industry witnessed a major change when Relaince Jio entered the market on 5 September 2016. With new mobile technologies like 3G, 4G helped high speed data transfer from mobile devices and bandwidth costs dropped dramatically to Rs 10/Gb from Rs 250/Gb in 2014. Similarly broadband also moved to advanced technoligies like v-fibre and pure fibre optic connections - Fibre to Home (FTTH).
With 604.21 million internet subscribers, as of December 2018, India ranks as the world’s second largest market in terms of total internet users. Further, India is also the world’s second largest telecommunications market, with total subscriber base of 1,183.51 million at the end of March 2019.