Multi System Operator Ortel Communications is expanding its fiber-based Internet service with upgraded packs. On the high-end, it is offering a 100 Mbps connection with a Fair Usage Policy (FUP) of 1 TB for Rs 4,999 per month. The operator is also withdrawing all existing plans below 1 Mbps, to keep the minimum speed at a threshold of 1 Mbps.
Apart from this, Ortel is also providing new plans starting at Rs 299 onwards, with speeds ranging from 2 Mbps up till 100 Mbps for home users. FUP ranges between 10 GB to 200 GB depend on the pack a user is opting for. For enterprise users, the operator is providing leased lines with speeds over 100 Mbps, upon request. There are no daily limits on any of these plans, the company said.
Currently, the company offers broadband in 16 cities, mostly in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities like Puri, Visakhapatnam, Raipur, Cuttack, etc. It has operations in 5 states including Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. It used to provide connections starting from 512 kbps, up till 10 Mbps in these areas. Ortel also offers Cable TV, VoIP and leased line services. The company also offers public WiFi services.
Competition in Fiber-based Internet segment
Ortel’s expansion into the fiber Internet category comes at a time several ISPs and telcos have been investing heavily into fiber. Last week, ACT Fibernet launched a 1Gbps connection with 1TB FUP for Rs 5999 per month. Ortel will also compete with telecom companies such as Vodafone, which recently received FIPB approval for acquiring YOU Broadband, and Airtel which has been expanding its newly launched fiber-based connection across new cities. While the new entrant, Jio is also expected to come out with its own set of fiber-to-home service. Apart from this, the Indian government had set aside Rs 10,000 crore from the 2017-18 budget for deploying high-speed fiber connectivity at villages under BharatNet.
Ortel’s financials and user metrics
For the quarter ended December 2017 (Q3 FY17), Ortel reported:
-Total broadband subscribers base of 72,503, down 8.5% from 79,182 subscribers in the previous quarter.
– Broadband ARPU, which declined to Rs 394 during the quarter, down from Rs 406 in the previous quarter.
– A net loss of Rs 2.8 crore, compared to a profit of Rs 3.9 crore in the same quarter last year.
– Total revenues, which increased by 3% to Rs 51.8 crore during Q3FY17.