Kerala Vision Broadband, the ISP arm of Kerala Cable TV Operators’ Association, has announced what is arguably the cheapest fiber broadband offer for new customers in Kerala.
The highlight of the new plan is that it comes without installation and modem charges, and is therefore ideal for a new customer.
The current tariff for a new connection in Kerala is around Rs 3,000 for the modem and Rs 1,000 as installation charge, taking the total to Rs 4,000, including taxes.
However, under the new plans announced in September 2023, new users can get free modem and zero installation charge.
The cheapest of the new plans will cost Rs 399 plus 18% tax (total Rs 472). Under this, the user gets 4,000 GB of data at speeds of ‘up to’ 125 Mbps.
This is considerably cheaper than the regular plan of Rs 499 for the same amount of data at a lower speed of 60 Mbps.
The offers are competitive with those offered by others, except for the Jio Backup plan. However, Jio Backup plan comes with more upfront cost, as one has to pay five months’ subscription charges upfront when activating the connection (Rs 1,000+taxes), along with a one-time non-refundable deposit of Rs 500, taking the total to around Rs 1,700.
Moreover, the speed of the connection is a meager 10 Mbps, and is not suitable for a household where more than one person is engaged in high-data consumption activities such as watching streaming video and downloading. To convert the backup plan to regular plan, one has to pay deposits and so on.
Another offer is from Alliance which gives an unlimited 40 Mbps connection for Rs 425 plus taxes per month. The plan offers double the speed for an extra 150 rupees.
However, in this case, however, the customer has to buy his own fiber terminal, which usually costs around Rs 3,000-5,000 — depending on features such as dual-band Wifi — and also pay installation charges to the local cable operator. Cable operators in Kerala typically charge Rs 1,000 as installation charges, plus Rs 10 per meter of cable in case they need to draw more than 50 meters to reach the modem.
BSNL and RailWire too offer competitive fiber broadband plans in the range of Rs 500 per month, but in most cases, the user has to purchase his or her own modem, and also pay Rs 1,000 to the local cable operator as installation charges.
However, if the user is in an area or building where BSNL has laid its own fiber, he or she can get the connection at zero upfront cost. BSNL will still usually collect around Rs 1,500 as a returnable security deposit against the modem in the first bill.
Meanwhile, the availability of Kerala Vision’s new plan is dependent on the supply of modems with the local operator.
It is not clear whether Kerala Vision ISP, the company which holds the ISP license, will supply modems to LCOs for distribution under the scheme, or whether the LCOs are expected to purchase their own. LCOs typically do not like to tie up their working capital in the form of customer premise equipment, and generally prefer to sell these devices outright.
KERALA VISION’S REGULAR PLANS
In addition to the offer plan, KV also has regular plans.
For light users who don’t need huge amounts of data, the FUP30M3000G plan provides 30Mbps speed and 3000GB data for Rs. 399 per month. This plan allows browsing, emails, social media, online shopping and occasional video streaming. For users who need a bit more data, the FUP40M2000G plan offers 40Mbps speed and 2000GB data for Rs. 419 per month.
For medium to heavy users, Kerala Vision has plans like FUP50M4000G which provides 50Mbps speed and 4000GB data for Rs. 449 per month. This plan is great for households with multiple users who stream HD videos and also do other bandwidth-intensive tasks like online gaming. For even higher speeds and data, plans like FUP60M4000G (60Mbps speed, 4000GB data for Rs. 499 per month) and FUP80M4000G (80Mbps, 4000GB for Rs. 555 per month) are available.
Kerala Vision also has unlimited plans targeted at very heavy users who need consistently high speeds and unlimited data every month. The UL40M plan provides 40Mbps unlimited data for Rs. 649 per month. Even higher unlimited plans like UL50M (50Mbps unlimited) for Rs. 849 per month and UL80M (80Mbps unlimited) for Rs. 1049 per month are available. These unlimited plans are ideal for users who stream 4K and 8K videos, play graphics-heavy online games or regularly transfer large files over the internet.
There are also long-term six month and one year plans which offer extra validity and effectively cost less per month. For example, the FUP50M4000GPM200D plan provides 50Mbps speed and 4000GB per month data for six months at Rs. 2694. This works out to Rs. 449 per month, which is lower than the monthly rate. One year plans like FUP50M4000GPM1Y are even more economical at an effective monthly rate of Rs. 399 per month with 50Mbps speed and 4000GB data.
Additional data boosters are available for users who occasionally need extra bandwidth in a month over and above their base plan. Options like 100GB for Rs. 99, 250GB for Rs. 199 and 400GB for Rs. 299 allow users to top up their data quota.
Kerala Vision is the cable brand of Kerala Cable TV Operators’ Association, the biggest organization of local cable operators in the state.
Cable TV Operators’ Association of Kerala works through various city-level units, all of which offer their services under the mother brand of Kerala Vision with local prefixes, such as Thrissur Cable Vision.
The parent organization is in charge of deciding the state-wide tariffs as well as statewide marketing and advertising campaigns. However, actual operations and other business decisions are handled by the local unit.
The association claims that its members have around 3.1 million cable connections. Given that Kerala is estimated to have around 10 million television sets, that would give Kerala Vision a market share of around 30%.