Reliance Jio, Airtel, other ISPs geared to deal with additional broadband load as employees work from home amid COVID-19 scare
Positive coronavirus cases recently touched 147 in India. The ongoing scenario has forced employees to work from home, which in turn has increased the demand for home broadband connections. This has also increased the load on the networks of the companies such as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Excitel Broadband etc that supply broadband connectivity to offices and homes in India.
India as per an Economic Times report has about 19 million fixed broadband users, which includes the enterprise connections and office connections. Additionally, there are about 17 million home broadband connections in the country at the moment.
As more and more companies shift to work from home model in light of the recent circumstances, the majority of the load on the broadband networks will shift from fixed broadband networks to home broadband networks. This shift is likely to have a significant impact on how the internet service providers handle their daily network traffic. It is also likely to increase the demand for fixed broadband connections and high-speed broadband connections at home. Responding to the present circumstance, Internet Service Providers Association of India President Rajesh Chharia has said that ISPs are upgrading their plans in order to provide faster internet connections to people working from home.
"Around 15-2% traffic comes from fixed locations. When the traffic moves from office to different parts, there will be some impact," COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews told ET Telecom. However, he remains optimistic that telecom operators and internet service providers in India will be able to deal with the additional data traffic. "...Telcos will be able to do traffic management. Operators monitor traffic in real time and they will intervene to do traffic management in case of pattern change," he added.
Just like Mathews, Bharti Airtel too remains optimistic about dealing with the shift in data traffic. "Airtel has built a future ready and highly secure network with adequate capacity to serve the evolving needs of our customers. Given our massive investments in pan India 4G presence, a robust national optic fiber and global submarine cable footprint along with Data Centers, there is sufficient capacity to provide bandwidth on demand to our retail and enterprise customers," an Airtel spokesperson told HT Tech.
Similar, Excitel Broadband also says that while there has been a rise in demand in past couple of days, it is geared to deal with the rising demand. "Excitel network is over-engineered to deliver massive amounts of data. We are currently delivering 600 Gigabits of data over a massive fiber network of 20,000 km including our partner's networks, making us the largest non telco player in terms of network expanse," Excitel spokesperson said in a statement to HT Tech.
"We are clearly seeing a 2-3X increase in installations during the last few days. While this is driven by the need of the hour to work from home, there is a much larger wave which is driven by the exponential use of video at home. Our network can accommodate twice the load as it is. So we are ready for the increased demand," he added.
We have also reached out to Reliance Jio. We will update this story as soon as we hear from them.