Spectranet is India’s first 100% Optic Fiber Cable (OFC)-based Internet Service Provider serving both home and enterprise customers. With unlimited data at the speed of up to 100 Mbps to home users and up to 250 Mbps to business users, it has changed the way Indians used to consume data. Spectranet CEO and Managing Director Udit Mehrotra talks about Gurgaon-headquartered company’s future plans…

Spectranet CEO & Managing Director Udit Mehrotra

What do you have to say about India’s wireline broadband market and its users?

From 2-4 Mbps speeds a few years ago to over 100 Mbps now, India has seen a massive upsurge in download and upload speeds. Customers are becoming more demanding now. As more and customers use 100 Mbps and beyond, we need to continue to invest in upgrading our infrastructure within the city and in our core locations.

We have been continuously studying our customers’ likes and preferences. Accordingly, we are upgrading and improving our services. Time till 2018-end is very crucial for us where we try and execute our strategy to make our services more closer to the likes and wishes of our customers.

What are your future plans?

We plan to invest Rs.100 crore over the next 18 months to upgrade our infrastructure, build connectivity  and strengthen our presence in cities we operate in. The money will be invested in going into more areas, being able to connect more customers, both business and residential.  The investment would also be infused into network upgrades and laying down more fibre.

Our first point of difference is that we operate on an end-to-end OFC network. So, when we talk about 100 Mbps, we actually bring fibre inside users’ homes and deliver the speed to them. Fibre connectivity also means that now the user’s home has become capable of supporting speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps in future. Secondly, we are able to deliver 100 Mbps, unlimited, symmetric-use technology at a one-third to one-fourth cost, when compared to anybody in the market.

How is wireline broadband market evolving in India?

Despite spurt in wireless broadband, the market and potential for fixed broadband is immense due to its reliability and performance. Though broadband market in India is still small, recent developments have led to spurt in user numbers and also consumption of data. There is hardly anything on fibre when it comes to numbers. We are focused right now on growing and building our business.

We currently have presence in India’s top eight cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Noida, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad — which have immense potential for wireline broadband — both domestic and business.  Over the next two to three years, we will double our coverage within the existing cities of our operations, taking our services to a larger user base within these cities. We would like to take our services to as many households as possible in future. For instance, we have big plans for Bangalore, the IT hub of India. With tech-savvy residents who have a preference for quality services, we are ushering in the “Third Age of Connectivity” in India by supporting the convergence of voice and data.

What other offerings will you be providing to your customers?

We will launch some exciting offers for our customers that will enable them to avail services like Netflix, use smart TV features and connect more devices. Users will now be able to utilise products and services which they were unable to use because of non-availability of good quality broadband. Our next generation fibre network will bring our at par with the global broadband users.

I always says optic fibre has begun the much-needed wave of ‘The Third Age of Connectivity” for Indians. Understanding the importance of optic fibre network, leading telecom players are now laying it to enhance their services and meet the requirements with good quality of the growing Internet user base that India harbours.

What advantage does optic fibre has over copper network?

Developed countries understood the importance of optic fibre and laid it much earlier for its superior data speeds. India was left behind. But now India has realised it. The government is funding a major pan-India optic fibre network which will prove to be catalyst for change and boost Indian economy and growth.

Aptly termed the ‘Insulator’ for broadband or Internet, optic fibre is capable of providing speeds up to several Gbps (Gigabit per second) and can support multiple devices at one go even to homes – a quality that is still a farfetched idea for broadband run on older technologies like copper wire. Optic Fibre is designed for more bandwidth and higher speeds.

The optic fibre cable comprises tens of strands of glass fibre, each no thicker than a human hair and capable of transmitting the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica contents in less than a second. Conversely, copper wire is based on the original telephone network that was upgraded to carry Internet signals and has very limited speed carrying capacity.

In essence, optic fibre refers to the medium and the technology associated with the transmission of information as light pulses along a fibre made of glass. Since the speed of light is an astounding 300,000 Kms per second, optic fibre acts as an amazing medium of transmission. This feature finds wide usage in optic fibre communications, where it permits transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data rates) than copper wire cables.

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