In this article we provide information on how to become an Internet service provider in India.
1. Plan your business and network
2. Research laws and apply for an ISP license / ISP Franchise
3. Start evaluating for hardware/software vendors
4. Get your ISP license / franchise approval.
5. Purchase hardware, software and bulk bandwidth
6. Set up network infrastructure
7. Start marketing with brochures, banners and free WiFi advertising
8. Build customers; give them quality service and support
9. Become an Internet Service Provider in India!
So, you want to become an Internet service provider in India? We’ll guide you with this tutorial. We have broken this guide into 3 sections:
Legal Factors – The licenses or agreements required and guidelines to comply to become an Internet service provider in India.
Business Factors – A section explaining infrastructure and start-up costs, marketing and sales strategy and support channels.
Technical Factors – The technologies you need become an Internet service provider – Syslog server, data servers, Broadband / WiFi Management Software and user authentication systems.
There first thing you’re going to need is an ISP license to become an Internet service provider in India. This is issued by the Department of Telecom. If you are starting off with minimum investment, we’d suggest you to get an ISP Franchise from our existing 30+ Class A/B licensed providers.
About ISP License – There are 3 types of service areas under one Unified ISP license issued by the Department of Telecom in India. These licenses are allocated on the basis of service areas:
Service Area – Category A: This ISP license enables you to conduct business across ANY state/city in India.
Service Area – Category B: This ISP license enables you to conduct business in any of the twenty Territorial Telecom Circles and the four Metro Telephone Systems of Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai of the DoT.
Service Area – Category C: This includes any Secondary Switching Area (SSA) with their geographical boundaries defined by Depart of Telecom. The SSAs of each of the four Metro Telephone Systems of Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai.
Where do you plan to provide the Internet service?
Have you considered a plan for monetization of the Internet service?
Have you considered the pricing plans you would like to offer to your end-users?
How many users do you expect to sign up for your Internet service in that area?
Do you have a business plan to become an Internet service provider?
How do you intend to provide support to your end-users?
These are some of the questions we plan to answer in this section of how to become an Internet service provider in India.
A. Plan your business
The first thing you’re going to need is a business plan. You need to understand the local competition’s prices, number of customers using a broadband connection and the cost and return to setup your own ISP.
B. Find your suppliers
The second thing you’re you going to need is find suppliers of wholesale bandwidth. Since its a highly unorganized market, be fully confident before entering into agreements with any individual or company. Use the help of experts to understand the right suppliers of hardware, software and bandwidth in your city/state.
C. Estimate your costs
The cost of bandwidth is your one major expense. Once you have negotiated with a Class A / B provider to purchase wholesale bandwidth, you need to start noting all your estimated costs:
Cost of Room / Area to keep data servers
Cost of Hardware / Software
Cost of Bulk Bandwidth
Cost of Service
Cost of Marketing and Sales
D. Create pricing plan and monetization strategy
Once you have a basic understanding of your estimated costs, you need to start creating a pricing plan for broadband / WISP service. This pricing plan needs to be carefully thought through based on your estimated users and their demand for data, your local competition and in line with the pricing plans of big telcos.
E. Marketing Strategy
How do you plan to reach out to your customers? Many local ISPs in India use sales agents, brochures, bus depot advertisements and digital marketing (or WiFi Advertising) to reach out to their potential customers. Plan a clear marketing strategy.
F. Support Strategy
Think of a multi-channel support strategy – Set up your call center, email ticket system and connect it with your billing management software etc. The key to starting a successful ISP business is having fantastic support. Although, if you are starting off with limited investment, you can avoid spending too much money on setting up call centers, etc. Just ensure there is a central number where your customers can easily get in touch with you or your team.
The last thing and the perhaps the most important thing to consider is the technology that will power your Internet service provision company.
A. Method of Delivery
Ethernet – The first thing to consider here is method of delivery. You can choose to have lay your fiber optic cables. This method can be slightly more expensive the latter method. Although, if you want to provide 50 Mbps+ plans in your area, you would need to deploy fiber optic.
Wireless – Alternatively, you can also choose to deliver your Internet service by creating a Wireless network. Please note this is different from creating a WiFi network. This method of delivery has lower capacity as compared to fiber optics but wireless is also carried out at less than half the cost of fiber optics.
Which method to choose?
If the general internet plans in your city are above 100mbps per customer, you would require fiber optics. If not, starting off with wireless would be the right way ahead for you.
B. Source of Delivery
Whether your method of delivery is Ethernet or WiFi; you will need to bring your purchased bulk bandwidth to a centralized location before you deliver it. Bulk Bandwidth can be availed by getting in touch with Class A ISPs who can provide bandwidth anywhere in India. For more information on bandwidth, click here.
This location will contain your syslog server, user-data server, and deliveries/management server, your customers ids, etc. All the management is happening through your main router/switch. Don’t stress! You only need a 10×10 sq.ft. room to keep all these equipment.
We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.
OneTouchWiFi Hotspot Software
Smarter advertising, better management and more security for your public WiFi zones with cloud-based OneTouchWiFi Hotspot Software
- WiFi Advertising = People love to stay connected! Customize capitive portal login page with your own branding
- User Authentication = Authenticate every user (SMS OTP, email or voucher). Blaclist unwanted users from accessing your WiFi.
- Session Control = Get more control over your WiFi network by setting Bandwidth or Time Limits Per User.
- Cloud Management = Reduce WiFi management costs – add unlimited routers and manage them remotely.
- Voucher Monetization = Create time based vouchers that be sold as printed copies or via the capitive portal page.
- Legal Complaince = OneTouchWiFi capitive portal automatatically records a log of all user sessions and activies.
Easy to use – Add unlimited routers, track user activity and manage your entire user database remotely by logging into our online WiFi Management software.
Monetize with WiFi Advertising – Customzie your capitive portal with smart WiDi advertising. Access all their login data with our online OneTouchWiFi Hotspot Software.
Sell Vouchers – Generate voucher codes, print them and sell them at a price you set! Users will login with their Mobile number, OTP and Voucher code.
How to start an ISP / WISP business in India with less than 800,000?
Introduction: Is it possible to start a WISP business in India with less than ₹ 800,000?
With our ISP consultants’ expertise and experience, we can say Yes!
- To become an ISP few years back in India meant heavy licensing, bandwidth and infrastructure costs. The only possible option to enter the ISP business was to depend on some large player and operate their ISP franchise.
- After you apply for an ISP license you will be registered as an ‘Internet Service Provider’ via DoT, you can do business under your own terms. This means you can buy cheaper bulk bandwidth from multiple vendors, create your own marketing materials and pricing plans, work with hardware/software of your choice and expand to nearby cities/villages in your district. Although, do note that some licensed ISPs also provide franchisees with better where you can do business on your own terms. You can contact us to check options.
- However, costs of starting a WISP business in India have significantly dropped over the last 3 years. Costs associated with applying for an ISP license and wireless hardware/software have significantly dropped over the last 3 years. This makes it an excellent time to invest and start a WISP business in India.
The Model: Start a WISP business in India with less than 800,000
The following model is built in a way to serve a small city, township towns or villages in India. We have low-cost WISP business models was built over time and in a way that, even with as low as 100 customers per year, the WISP business set up would self-sustainable and marginally profitable.
Lets start estimating your average revenue per year to start WISP business in India with minimal profitability:
|if you have||& if each customer pays||for||your estimated revenue is|
|customers||per month||months||per year|
Estimated Revenue for 3 years: ₹ 18,00,000
Cost of bandwidth (a 50-70 mbps line is enough for the first 100-150 customers) is about 25,000/month.
Lets proceed by estimating your fixed one-time investment costs to start a WISP business in India:
|DoT costs||₹90,000||for a C class license (Inclusive of 60,000/- of Bank Guarantees)||payable to DoT|
|Consultancy fees||₹60,000-70,000||for ISP application assistance||payable to consultant|
2. Infrastructure and set-up associated costs
|Base Station Server||₹100,000||manages your bulk bandwidth||payable to hardware supplier|
|Cabling, Towers & Access Points||₹150,000||for end-delivery for up to 125 customers.||payable to hardware & networking equipment supplier|
|Survey, Installation & Training||₹90,000-120,000||fees paid to engineers for site survey, installation & training.||payable to your ISP networking consultant|
Lets proceed further by estimating your recurring costs to start a WISP business in India.
|Buying Bulk Bandwidth||₹225,000 per year||Depends on volume and area.||payable to ISP operator
(We will help you buy bulk bandwidth from a local supplier)
|WiFi Management Software||₹20,000 per year||manages your users and lets your create Internet plans||payable to software vendor|
|Electricity||–||*assume costs for 2 computers that need to be always on|
|Server Room / Office Space||–||*space required for 2 computer desktops|
|Staff||–||*1 entry level candidate trained by our ISP consultant for sales/support|
|Marketing||–||*brochures, business cards, banners, free wifi advertising|
|Total||₹270,000 per year
|Phase A:||30-120 days||Applying for an ISP License or finding the right partner agreement for ISP franchise||₹150,000 (class C)|
|Phase B:||3 days||Site Survey & Network Planning||₹100,000|
|Phase C:||7 days||Hardware/Software Purchase & Installation||₹350,000|
|Phase D:||7-10 days||Bandwidth Purchase||₹25,000/month for 45 Mbps approx.|
|Start your WISP business in India within 3 months.|
Historic trends suggest that costs of hardware, software and bandwidth will reduce over time. In the next 4 years India will double its Internet population and quadruple its data demands.
We’ve planned this WISP business model in a way that – it would be easy for you to expand your customer capacity to 5000 without any server upgrades or major networking costs.
Prefix Networks is dedicated in providing 100% customer satisfaction ensuring maximum uptime with the best internet experience.
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