In Delhi an interesting situation has arrived in market of wired broadband. Like two fixed line providers we have(Mtnl vs Airtel) not found anywhere is world. We now have two cable broadband provider in most areas of Delhi.
Hathway Broadband and Excitel broadband are two competitors giving tough fight to each other. Hathway is offering 50mbps plans in Delhi using docsis 3.0 tech on co-axial cables while excitel is using old ethernet based cable as last mile (operated by LCO) to provide broadband service.
Excitel is available in all the areas of Delhi where Hathway is available. This happened due to interesting situation. Hathway could have never thought that infrastructure upgrade would backstab them with an additional competitor. In most areas, Hathway was previously using same ethernet based last mile infrastructure that currently excitel is using.
However a year back Hathway started upgrading it’s infrastructure to Docsis 3.0 using newly laid co-axial cables. Local cable operators were asked to dismantle their ethernet based networks. Everything after upgrade is managed by Hathway itself. Docsis equipment is very costly, with all investment made by Hathway itself it can’t leave it to LCO for maintenance. Also handling Docsis equipment requires proper training. So the role of LCO was cut, from now on they’d just get commission for no of users in their respective areas.
This is where excitel came in and offered to use same old ethernet infrastructure to offer broadband service with better commission and attractive plans. Excitel also didn’t have any problem with Hathway operating in same area.
Now LCO didn’t mind as whatever connection subscriber opt for, they would get commission.
So thanks to this upgrade we are getting better competition and plans in Delhi market finally.
Hathway is using Docsis which is Cisco technology proven for it’s stability. Infact an upgrade to Docsis 3.1 from current 3.0 can provide upto 1Gbps speed capability to end user. However this platform is costly in comparison to old ethernet based layer 2 network used by excitel. Which means plans are to remain costly as overhead cost is more. Still with more stability of Docsis and better complaint handling as everything is handled in own house, Hathway can command a premium. This is for those need broadband for serious stuff and can’t afford downtime.
Excitel biggest advantage is low overhead cost as last mile is managed by LCO. Their true unlimited plans with speed of 50mbps in mere Rs.1799+tax per month are too good to resist. However stability and complaint mechanism do pose a problem. LCO being the unprofessional part needs lot of training and things are improving. Still its good for users needing broadband for mostly leisure purposes or can manage downtime every now then.
Note: Same thing happened with Den boomband docsis areas of Delhi, where Excitel is also available in same area as Den broadband.