ACT Fibernet refreshes brand identity; unveils partnership & expansion plans
ACT Fibernet, India’s largest fiber broadband ISP (Internet Service Provider), has undergone a brand revamp and has unveiled its new logo and tagline – ‘Feel the Advantage’. The new brand identity represents ACT Fibernet’s differentiated approach towards offering innovative customer centric solutions that will enhance user experience and provide maximum value.
The new logo represents the brands ethos – Sharp, futuristic, innovative, exciting, creative and modern. The tagline, ‘Feel the Advantage’, is simple, but a powerful expression of the brand’s mission, values and commitment.
In 2019, ACT Fibernet will expand its products, service offerings and partnerships across various categories, namely – ACT Advantage Entertainment, ACT Advantage Gaming, ACT Advantage Speed, ACT Advantage Service, ACT Advantage Smart Cities, and ACT Advantage community.
As part of the activity, ACT Fibernet will partner with content partners like ZEE5 and SonyLIV, among others, to strengthen its content offerings. Increasing its focus on the gaming industry, the ISP is working with popular gaming cafes, gaming OEMs and gaming publishers to provide the highest quality gaming experience to users.
Within the next six months, ACT Fibernet plans to launch its broadband services in multiple cities across North and West India, thereby expanding its footprint in the country. The company will also be launching a 24x7 call center and a unified call center number to address customers’ queries in real time.
In support to the Government’s mission towards building a digital India and smart cities mission, ACT Fibernet aims to complete 5,000+ wi-fi hotspots across Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and others. Further, ACT Fibernet is jointly working with the Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka governments to enable free wi-fi connectivity in public libraries and schools.
Speaking on the occasion, Bala Malladi, CEO, Atria Convergence Technologies Ltd, the parent company of ACT Fibernet, said, “We have always believed in providing our customers the best solutions through our products and services. Today, consumer needs and usage behaviour is continuously evolving. Newer technologies are constantly being adopted and becoming mass-scale by the day, be it streaming or gaming or smart homes. It is, therefore, our responsibility to work in conjunction with the rapidly evolving customer’s expectations and find feasible ways to serve them. We strongly believe that our new brand identity reflects this value and commitment we have towards our customers.”
“Moving forward, we will be launching new products and services that our consumers desire. We are confident that with our pioneering fibernet connection, hyper fast speeds, new offerings and industry’s best customer service in place, we will successfully transform our customers’ experience enabling them to do and accomplish more. With ACT, you can feel the Advantage,” he added.
In conversation with Adgully, Bala Malladi spoke at length on the growth and expansion plans of ACT Fibernet, the broadband ecosystem in India, operating in the TRAI-mandated new tariff regime. While chalking out his plans, Malladi emphatically stated, “We are clear about one thing, we will do what we are good at. We are not content creators but distributers, and hence there are no plans to venture into the content production space.”
How do you see the broadband market progressing in India? There have been reports on degrowth in broadband subscriptions.
Every month TRAI releases the numbers and it’s true that broadband subscriptions have been virtually stagnant in the past two years. As per TRAI data, between BSNL and MTNL, the number of subscribers has declined by 4 lakh in the last one year. However, if you look at the total numbers, there has been a huge shift from the DSL segment, which is very low speed, to the high-speed fiber-based network, which is poised for accelerated growth.
What is your current broadband subscriber base across India, given that you are predominantly based in South India?
We commenced our operations in Delhi two years back. Our cable services reach out to around 1.2 million subscribers, who are predominantly based in South India – Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
We have kept our subscription rates very competitive. In our entire spectrum, the minimum amount varies from city to city, but it is as low as Rs 425 and going up to Rs 1,500. Subscribers can pay on a monthly basis or 6-monthly basis or annually. If one pays on a half-yearly basis, they get benefits like free routers in some cases, along with additional data limits, etc.
You have talked about smart home concept in select markets. Could you elaborate on this?
We are present in 16 cities. We might not have an enormous subscriber base, but they are very discerning and well-informed. Our price points vary from city to city, for example, while a plan in Nellore could start as low as Rs 499, it could go up to Rs 675 in Bangalore. However, we offer similar benefits to our customers across cities.
We are focusing on seamless transmission into homes. All our customers are connected through fiber and we are the largest player in the country, offering the highest download speeds.
Could you tell us about your tie-up with Amazon Firestick TV?
Customers are looking to enable streaming from their laptops to television. We thought Amazon Firestick TV is the best way to reach that market. We have tied up with them and you will soon hear from us in the near future. We will incentivise our customers to choose select plans, which will be longer terms plans (6-12 months), and they would get an Amazon Firestick TV as a benefit.
What is your marketing strategy?
We will launch an aggressive marketing campaign. We will be on digital media and print media. We normally don’t go on TV because our TG is more city-specific.
The good part is that our customers are very informed and tech savvy. For us, digital media is more effective than national television. Other than television, we will be on every media.
There is the inevitable comparison with JioGigafiber. How are you tackling the competition?
Our entire category is the most underpenetrated in the world. Only 7 per cent of Indians are connected with broadband. Our neighbours – Malaysia and Indonesia have 35 per cent and 45 per cent penetration, respectively. This is a new phenomenon. People haven’t experienced the power of real broadband over a period of time. When we had entered the market, the internet connection speed used to be in kbps, we changed it into mbps and now gigabytes. We believe that this category will explode.
Jio is a respected brand and they have deep pockets. I think we are expecting them to do the magic of really exploring it. If this is done properly, imagine the explosion that could take place!
With TRAI’s new tariff regime coming into force, as a cable operator how are you preparing for it?
If you look at the way cable TV digitisation happened, it panned out in 4 phases and it took a lot of time for people to change their habits. The market was expecting a similar kind of timeline for this, fortunately the regulator was steadfast on it and compared to the digitisation which happened over 2-3 years, the migration to the new tariff regime is a very swift change. For example, till a couple of days back, 98 per cent of our customers have migrated to the new structure.
BARC has said that it won’t be sending out any release on viewership data to the press till further notice, and will only send it to its subscribers. Comment.
Actually, subscribers are not savvy enough to change their mindset, even today we are still struggling. I think it will settle down eventually since the DPOs don’t have a choice; eventually customers will choose what they want. They have migrated to what we thought was the ‘Best Fit Plan’. We need to make sure there is no blackout, as instructed by TRAI.