Radius Infratel, India: A broadband revolution
How Radius Infratel is enabling a connected society with a neutral access network
Since 2005, demand for broadband services in India has grown dramatically. Radius Infratel, India’s leading fixed broadband infrastructure provider, is currently aiming to connect 600,000 homes with Fiber to the Home (FTTH) over the next three years. This will enable users to access a whole host of high bandwidth applications from different telecom companies.
After customer and market research, Radius Infratel came up with a solution to the ongoing broadband challenge in India. The Neutral Access Network Operation (NANO) concept was enabled by Ericsson’s Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) EDA product solution and passive fiber portfolio.
The NANO concept is operator and service-agnostic, allowing various operators to deliver bandwidth-rich applications like IPTV and multimedia content. Users will be able to enjoy increased internet speeds and more broadband-intensive entertainment from multiple operators through a single fiber connection.
The NANO concept required Ericsson’s GPON technology. Sandeep Gupta, Head of Account, Ericsson explains how the project got off the ground: “Increasing broadband penetration in India required a new and innovative approach.
"When Radius approached Ericsson we immediately saw that the idea had potential and that with our support it could be scaled and implemented successfully. We believed that it would be possible to help all the people in the value chain: from the government, to the operators, to the users."
Radius Infratel and Ericsson demonstrated the potential of the FTTH project at the 2010 Commonwealth Games Village. The pilot supported the communication needs of 8,000 dignitaries, athletes and team officials staying in the village, which was spread over an area of 64 hectares.
The FTTH platform benefitted the village residents by providing them with services like high definition IPTV, video-on-demand and other entertainment services. Wi-Fi and high speed internet with data download speeds of 100 Mbps were possible. The open access format enabled delivery of different services from alternative operators rather than receiving a bundle of services from one single operator.
Deploying FTTH in developing nations has traditionally been financially challenging. Sandeep Gupta explains that this unique approach will reduce the capex for multiple service operators by a minimum of 40 percent: “Despite operating in this price sensitive market, Radius is leading the broadband revolution in India.
"It has shown how open access networks can share the infrastructure costs among multiple telecom companies, relieving some of the cost pressure. It’s an excellent model that demonstrates how to successfully deploy best-in-class FTTH connectivity in a cost effective manner."
Radius Infratel is initially looking at installing 600,000 FTTH lines, but predicts the end number will be much larger. Ashok Bansal says: "We pioneered the NANO concept. Its achievement at the Commonwealth Games Village has ensured that the project has become a business success. Our mission going forward has just one objective: promote this concept nationally so we can continue connecting consumers to the best possible broadband service."
The Big Issue
The first broadband services were launched in India in 2005. Since then the country has seen steady penetration growth and a strong demand for new services. In October 2009, the broadband subscriber base stood at 7.4 million, 12 months later and the figures stood at 10.5 million subscribers. Estimates predict that by the end of 2014, almost 40 percent of Indian households will have broadband connections.
Ashok Bansal, Director, Radius Infratel, explains the demand for an evolution in India’s broadband: "There are four main stakeholders in the broadband eco system – the consumer, the network provider, the service operators and the government. In a country that’s growing so quickly, we require high speed broadband for new initiatives such as e-health."
Founded in 1998, the Radius Group is driven by client focus and domain knowledge. Radius Infratel is focused on delivering solutions that utilize technology to fulfill the infrastructural needs of its customers, whether they are telecommunication companies, real estate developers or progressive communities.