Providing Broadband Connectivity in India

Access to high quality fixed broadband services remains restricted in India, with only a limited scope for digital subscriber line service provided over obsolete copper lines. 

The cable industry is highly fragmented due to substantial financing required to build new fiber or coaxial connections. Besides, mobile internet services which deploy mostly 3G technologies do not supply adequate bandwidth for reliable broadband service, and the reach of mobile networks has been constrained by high costs and flat revenues.

In October 2014, IFC committed a $25 million loan to Tikona Digital Networks, an innovative provider of low cost fixed-wireless broadband connectivity to enterprises and customers in India.

Tikona provides fixed-wireless broadband services for home and enterprise customers through high-speed, low-cost internet access for households, and a comprehensive suite of enterprise connectivity services for businesses.

The company has built its network on license-exempt (“open”) spectrum allowing for abundant capacity. Tikona’s innovative wireless broadband technology—that optimizes the use of available open spectrum along with small cell infrastructure—gives the company considerable competitive advantage over large telecom companies which use expensive and scarce licensed spectrum and transmission towers. As a result, Tikona enjoys the lowest capital expenditure per subscriber and the lowest operating expenditure per capacity unit compared to traditional broadband technologies.

Tikona’s innovative, low-cost wireless broadband solutions are also rapidly scalable and can deliver quality affordable broadband services to the most underserved customers—newly developed urban neighborhoods and small businesses that currently have limited or no broadband access.