Digitimes Research: India faces 3 problems in boosting mobile Internet

Benson Wu, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei 0

Although mobile broadband Internet-access (3G/4G) subscribers in the India market rapidly increased to 93.15 million in mid-2015, the country faces three main problems in boosting services: huge gaps in deployment of mobile Internet-access networks between rural and urban areas, unhealthy price competition arising from too many mobile telecom carriers, and a lack of long-tern government planning in allocating frequency band units, according to Digitimes Research.

There were 299 million mobile Internet-access subscribers in India at the end of June 2015 and 67.6% of them were 2G users, Digitimes Research indicated.

The unhealthy price competition is because India's low regulatory barriers have attracted many foreign mobile telecom carriers and consequently 12 first-tier operators (including local ones) compete in 22 telecom markets across India. Low-price competition has resulted in the globally lowest ARPU (average revenue per user) and in turn led to slow construction of infrastructure. The largest local mobile telecom carrier Bharti Airtel, for example, kicked off 3G commercial operations in 2011 and 4G commercial operations in April 2012 but 3G and 4G networks cover only 40% and 11% of India's population.

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