Internet usage took off in Pune in real sense in 2005 when Bsnl the state owned telecom company under the brand name Dataone launched its broadband services in February 2005 and since then Pune has never looked back although the city has had its fair share of hurdles in increasing the internet penetration just like all other cities in India.
In the early days when broadband was not available the internet subscribers were charged by the minute for dial up internet services and a heavy user who would use the internet 3-4 hours a day used to end up paying more then Rs10000 per month. Things have changed now and most people in Pune prefer broadband with major broadband providers in Pune being Bsnl, Airtel, Reliance and Tata indicom.
Bsnl has the lead in Pune with a huge margin with other players left far behind doe to Bsnl’s good last mile connectivity with exchanges all over the city and suburban areas as well. Airtel broadband is by far considered to be the best broadband provider as far as reliability and quality goes be it uninterrupted connectivity or technical support.
Pune until recently did not have 100% of its area covered with broadband services and a majority of places in and around Pune had just one provider that is Bsnl but things have changed a lot recently with coming of wireless technologies.
Pune is now 100% covered with more then one broadband provider at any given location. We now have Reliance and Tata indicom providing mobile broadband services with a speed of 3.1mbps at a fairly reasonable price although if we compare internet connectivity prices with the western European countries and North America and even some Asian countries like South Korea and Japan we still end up paying a huge amount of money as compared to what one would paid in these countries besides speeds being pretty low in India as compared to the developed world.
Pune also has an option of mobile broadband option from Bsnl using the EVDO technology and is one of the cheapest mobile broadband providers. Bsnl has also launched its 3g service for mobile subscribers which can be used to access the internet at broadband speeds but at present the tariffs are sky high… Private players entry after the 3g spectrum auction should bring the 3g service prices down a bit in the near future.
Pune also has three ISPs that provide broadband services using WiMax technology.. Reliance, Tata and most recently Bsnl has also launched their WiMax service in the city but the initial costs with Bsnl are too high as compared to the other two private players.
There is a huge potential for internet services in Pune in the coming years as the new generation is getting more and more aware of the power of the internet.
Inside news : Tikona digital networks under the brand name of Tikona WiBro is going to launch their wireless broadband services in Pune pretty soon using the unlicensed frequencies 2.4Ghz for the last mile and 5.8Ghz for point to point access. Tikona WiBro is already providing services in Mumbai and New Delhi and Pune is one of the 110 cities where Tikona is going to be launched very soon.