Monday, October 10, 2005

Hutch, BSNL, Tata and Airtel - at our home

As we switch from Tata Indicom dial up access to Airtel, not-so-broad-band (we took the 128 kbps option, upto 128, as they like to put it, which is anywhere from 0 to 128 kbps), we have all (barring Reliance) the service providers in our home.

We have a BSNL mobile phone and a Hutch mobile phone (for me and ms.ecophilo) and we have a Tata Indicom phone too. So, why did we go to Airtel? A classic marketing case study.

BSNL does not have land lines in this area of Bangalore (yaya, I know it is the Silicon valley but BSNL does not have landlines in some areas.) It was not considered in the five year plan (those dinosaurs still roam some parts of the planet), as those in the know put it, since before Bangalore got built up into apartments there were only coconut groves here and coconut groves obviously did not need phones. Now, since the world is going toward mobile phones, investments in landlines have been reduced, so we cannot opt for BSNL broadband.

Hutch does not have too much of a presence in this segment, so they are ruled out.

Tata Indicom should have converted a low value customer into a high value customer, but when I spoke to them, they told me that their CDMA landline department is different from the broadband department, so I would have to stop this connection and get a new broadband installed and after all this their plans werent so customer friendly.

Reliance, well, their plans did not seem very customer friendly.

Airtel on the contrary, having taken over Touchtel was the first mover into our building. They offered to put up services even when the others balked and said they would do it if we paid a fat installation charge. A phone call and a rep came in, finished the formalities on a Saturday. On Monday, the instrument is up (only hitch, I need a slightly longer connector cable, which they dont have, so I have to buy a long cable). All in all, we hope to be connected via this 128 kbps line somewhere over the next few days.

Thats the case study of the service providers of India, from my own home.

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