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Excitel raises $11.5 million from European investors

Internet services provider Excitel has raised $11.5 million from existing and new investors based out of Europe. The funds will be used for gaining subscriber market share over the next few years, said chief executive officer Vivek Raina.+

The internet services provider, which competes with market leaders such as Reliance Jio, Airtel Xtream and Act Fibrenet, among others, wants to be among the top five players in the market in the near term and take the lead in the long term, as it aims to grow its customer base from present 0.7 million to over 8 million by 2026.

According to the telecom regulatory authority of India (Trai), as of February 2022, Reliance Jio had the largest share of wired broadband subscribers with 5.04 million, followed by Airtel with 4.43 million, BSNL with 3.81 million, Atria Convergence Technologies or ACT Fibrenet with 2.06 million and Hathway Cable & Datacom at No 5 with 1.10 million customers.

Raina said that a substantial portion of the new funds will be invested in expanding the geographic footprint of the company starting with entering Mumbai and the Western region followed by a series of expansions across the country taking our operational city to count up from 29 to 100 by December 2022.

“In addition to the expansion, we will also be deploying these funds towards technology aimed at enhancing customer experience as well as getting the right talent on board to enable the next phase of growth,” Raina said.

He added that Excitel will continue to develop its core FTTH offering and keep its plans at competitive levels. At present, the company offers 100 mbps connection for ₹699 a month along with a router and wi-fi, which when taken for the full year comes to ₹399 a month. Higher speed connections at 200 mbps or 300 mbps start at ₹799 and ₹899 a month, respectively, but when taken for the full year come to ₹449 and ₹499 a month.

Raina said that FTTH at home will continue to complement high speed on-the-go internet using 5G, but will have a separate market that will not be cannibalised by the growth of high-speed wireless broadband.

“In fact, the more high-speed wireless technology, the more it will struggle to cross walls and provide coverage at home because of the physical limitations of any wireless service,” he said, noting that all wireless services will not be able to match the indoor coverage of FTTH. Live Mint

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