Mobile Broadband Penetration in India Stands At 4.9%: Smartphones May Bring About A Change [REPORT]

Must Read

Net Worth Of Jeff Bezos Is More Than Combined Net Worth of India’s Top 10 Richest People!

Jeff Bezos and the phrase 'World's Richest Person' has become synonym to each other. But after the...

Search Engine Optimization In Digital Era: Look Beyond Traffic

Search engine optimization, aka SEO, plays a vital role in today's online world, especially if it's about...

After Banning Apps, India To Clamp Down On Startup Investments From China

The recent border conflict between India and China has led to the Indian Government to actively take...

With mobile subscriptions set to exceed 7 billion and overtake the total world population in 2014, it is expected that mobile broadband usage will soon reduce the dependence on fixed broadband for accessing the internet. Cell phones have lately become integrated with our daily lives as people are increasingly using their cell phones for everything from talking and sending text messages to shopping for goods and services, booking restaurant tables, etc. Internet via mobile opened up many new opportunities that may well serve as a bridge between the connected and the unconnected. Mobile broadband subscriptions overtook fixed broadband subscriptions in 2008 and rapidly increasing with a growth rate of 30% per year. It is expected, that by the end of 2013, there will be 2.1 billion mobile subscriptions, equivalent to one third of the total global stock of mobile cellular subscriptions.

New Divide

Mobile users will soon no longer be physically constrained by location, mobile phones have replaced the need to physically attend banks, post offices, and act as a gateway to money and communication services, as well as the online world of content bringing books, education and work to mobile phone users, whenever they want, wherever they want! However the World Economic Forum (2013) notes a lack of progress in bridging the “digital divide” that has emerged recently. Internet penetration isn’t very high in remote areas and in emerging markets. In low-income communities, a mobile phone subscription is shared between two or more people.

In emerging markets such as India, where a large population of people are first time users of technology, smartphone penetration stands at a mere 18%. According to the State of The Broadband 2013 report released by the United Nations Broadband commission, India is at the 106th position in the world in terms of mobile broadband penetration. Of the total population, only 4.9 percent users have access to mobile broadband services, leaving India behind countries such as Libya, Lithuania and Saudi Arabia. Although, the growth is significant when compared to last year’s 1.9%, India has failed to move up the rankings due to better performance by other countries. China ranks at 75th position with a penetration of 17.2%. In 2012, sales of smartphones out-paced the sales of feature phones for the first time, indicating the increasing adoption of smart devices in most markets.

Advertisements

We believe it is going to take a few years before LTE becomes viable in India in terms of availability of a wide range of affordable devices . LTE network CAPEX per Mbps and OPEX per MB also need to come down, and that will take some time: Manu Khera, VP, Mobile Broadband at Reliance Communications

There are numerous challenges that need to be overcome in order to provide internet access to all citizens across the length and breadth of the country. Some of the many challenges, as pointed out by Mr. Manu Khera were:

  • Affordability: India has a per capita monthly income of $100. The average Indian finds it difficult to invest in a broadband access device and pay monthly broadband access charges that are in line with the more developed countries, thereby limiting companies’ ability to invest in new technology.
  • Coverage in Rural Area: Coverage in rural areas is still very difficult due to lack of regular power supply, human population and broadband access devices. PC/Smartphone penetration is still very low to ensure viability of investment.

Mobile Broadband Can Be A Game-Changer

Smartphone subscriptions worldwide are estimated to exceed 4 billion by 2018, which currently stands at 1.5 billion. The smartphone industry is presently shipping 700 million smartphones a year, with around 40% of handsets shipped in 2012 being smartphones. By 2018, mobile broadband subscription is projected to reach 7 billion. 4G subscriptions are expected to grow ten-fold, from 88 million in 2012 to 864 million by 2017. In China, 75% of all internet users now access the internet via a mobile device, exceeding the proportion of users accessing the internet via a fixed connection (71%) for the first time in 2012.

Mobile Broadband Bridges the Gap: Fixed Broadband and Mobile Subscriptions, 2009-2018Figure: Mobile Broadband Bridges the Gap: Fixed Broadband and Mobile Subscriptions, 2009-2018

Source: Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2013.

India is one of the first countries to launch LTE (Long-Term Evolution), which will accelerate service delivery in sectors ranging from health to public infrastructure and will drive significant structural shift in consumer behavior over the next few years, given that nearly 200 operators in 75 countries may offer LTE services by the end of 2013.

Advertisements

Low-cost offerings by local smart devices vendors are rapidly bridging this gap with entry-level smart devices. These smart devices are soon gaining popularity among Indian consumers and are expected to increase smart devices penetration in the country, thereby paving the way for mobile broadband.

Source: Broadband Commission, Telecoms

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

How People Set Their Passwords: 123456 Is The Most Common One [STUDY]

Do you know why hackers quickly gain access to your system or online accounts? 

Will The Ban On TikTok Be Revoked?

The ban on TikTok is the talk of the town. All hell broke loose for Tiktok when the popular short-form video platform...

Global 5G Chipset Market: $22.41 Billion By 2026, Driven by 5G Smartphones

As the world has started shifting from 4G to 5G era, the global 5G chipset market has started attracting the eyeballs of...

Launch Of JioMeet Will Make Zoom To Be The 60th Chinese App To Get Banned In India?

Today as soon as the launch of JioMeet was formally announced by Mukesh Ambani, the frontman of Reliance Industries, people quickly found...

Intel Invest in Jio Platforms: A Chance For Redemption In The Smartphone Market?

If you thought Mukesh Ambani was finally going to stop the stake selling spree in Jio Platforms after RIL was recently announced...

With The Launch of JioMeet Reliance Sets Its Eyes On Video Conferencing Market!

The race to dominate the video conferencing market has just become more interesting. As we are going through the...

In-Depth: Dprime

Will The Online Food Delivery Market in India End Up Becoming A Two-Horse Race?

It's pretty much evident that the food delivery space in India is all set to get riled up soon enough as one...

Fantastic 4: Four Day Work Week A Flashpoint Of Innovation?

It has been an idea that has been mooted by many, perhaps also somewhat sceptically. From being a dark horse to becoming...

TikTok Is Facing The Wrath Of People Who Love It The Most

Ever since the popular social media app TikTok entered India, it has been growing very aggressively in terms of users. Within a...

More Articles Like This