In the present scenario, internet in India is in a dismal state. Especially, if we consider the condition of countries like Japan or even in Europe. Now, I do not see, in the near future conditions improving all of a sudden, but with the advent of 3G and 4G, good internet speeds are within our grasps at least. Broadband too has improved its speed along with the times.
The adoption of portable internet (if I may use the term) in India has been far greater than broadband though. CDMA dongles especially have found a lot of followers. In the era of GPRS, these gave high speed internet on the go and almost every company that provided internet was giving it, be it BSNL’s EVDO, Tata Photon Plus, Reliance Netconnect or MTS Mblaze. These are all CDMA internet services that have served India well over the past few years.
With 3G though, the fastest speed that can be provided on the go changed. While these dongles can give upto 3.1 Mbps speeds, 3G offers speeds of 3.6 Mbps and above. Also, Android added functionality called tethering (aka portable hotspot) which ensured that this 3G can be used by a person in the laptop while the phone is using 3G. I have myself used the 3G of my phone to use internet on my laptop on numerous occasions.
As the prices have fallen, 3G has become competitive enough with CDMA. For 4 GB of data for example, in airtel, I have to pay Rs.750. In Tata Photon Plus, for Rs. 850 one gets 5 GB.
I do not know about other areas but in my experience I have found that 3G services overall provide better speeds than CDMA in most of the areas I have tested. Thus, the charm of a CDMA connection fades. Even the companies have started providing 3G dongles. Also, one advantage of 3G over CDMA that I found was that because of tethering, more than one connection can be served by the 3G connection. This is in my knowledge not possible in CDMA connection. Even where possible (like making ad-hoc in Windows), it is shabby at best.
Additionally, today there are 3G routers available that can be used just by inserting the 3G sim-cards. I know of many small start-up companies who are utilizing this setup to get internet connection. It is probably the fastest way to get high-speed internet connection at your home or small office.
Recently, Airtel launched a shared data plan scheme which will ensure that families utilize the same plan which might push even the family members not using 3G jump the ships. The fear of expanding bills will after all be controlled by their more tech friendly family members.
Also, people who own tablets might use this as it will ensure that they do not have to pay twice for the two devices. These are just the uses that come to my mind. The point is that with such services coming along with better speeds, I see that soon, people will start forgetting the CDMA connections.
And now, we have 4G sniffing the air. It is nowhere near adoption but when it comes CDMA will only be a past.