Why is Verizon Wireless gearing up for broadband in India?

Verizon Wireless is gearing up for FTTH (Fiber to the home) deployment in India as broadband penetration is abysmally low and there is a big opportunity for broadband players in the country.

According to TRAI latest report, the number of broadband subscribers has reached 60.87 million at the end of March 2014 with quarterly growth of 10.28 percent. Even with this growth, the broadband penetration is at 6 which is extremely low. Even the number of narrowband subscribers in India is at 190.72 million at the end of March 2014 and these subscribers plan to move to broadband opening up tremendous opportunities for broadband players in the country.

The company is gearing up for FTTH in limited number of cities in India to begin with according to top officials in Verizon. To begin, with the company is looking at New Delhi for FTTH operations.

Verizon operates the most advanced broadband networks in the US, delivering 100 percent FTTH with 300 Mbps capacity for homes and small businesses called as Verizon FiOS. The company plans to bring the same technology to India as it provides fast and reliable broadband, high-quality HD video and rich interactive services. It also provides multiple connections with Verizon Wi-Fi and Verizon security services offers protection and back-up.

Experts say that Verizon is looking at broadband wireles access (BWA) license in India and to begin with the company is planning to deploy FTTH through ISP license. For broadband operators to be successful in India, the operator should have a mix of FTTH and BWA spectrum. For BWA license, the company can either buy spectrum whenever it is available for sale through auction or the other option is to acquire spectrum from existing operators like Aircel, Tikona and others.

Verizon Wireless with revenues of $81 billion operates America’s largest 4G LTE network and most reliable 3G network. The company provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network and it is natural for the company to spread its wings in India right at the beginning to leverage on its US experience and provide a pan India broadband presence in the country both through BWA and FTTH route.

Verizon already has an India presence through Verizon Data Services India (VDS India). VDS India in collaboration with Verizon does lot of IT and non-IT work helping Verizon to maintain its leadership in offering superior voice, data and video services to residential customers, businesses and the US federal government over intelligent wireless, broadband and global IP networks. The company focuses on IT applications for network engineering & design to high-reliability self-service customer solutions and remote IP infrastructure management to design and development of game-changing communication products.

VDS with its 6000 strong, globally integrated talent pool is Verizon’s single largest presence outside of the US and operates out of the south Indian cities of Chennai and Hyderabad with Chennai as its headquarters.

The enterprise division has a JV with Videocon and is named as Verizon Communications India Private limited and provides global IT, security and communication solutions for enterprise and government customers. The division has a global IP network reaches customers in more than 2,700 cities in more than 150 countries around the world.

With such widespread presence in the country it is quiet natural for Verizon Wireless to spread its wings in India both on BWA and FTTH and compete with local players like Reliance Jio on their home turf.

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