The telecom sector, especially the wireless segment, has grown at a breakneck pace over the last decade. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for the earnings growth recorded by the telecom companies on account of stiff competition in the industry cluttered with too many operators.
Moreover, the bigger players, which have already shelled out huge sums of money to win 3G airwaves from the auction, are now having a keen eye on this new technology to bail them out from the current rot situation in the sector.
To most of us using the mobile internet, the coming of 3G technology has been long awaited with the promise of faster mobile connectivity. Now, that the precious 3G airwaves already been distributed, we’re already seeing operators scramble to get a leg up on each other.
Roll-out of 3G technology
It is said that good things comes at a price. Similarly, the roll-out of 3G services, which is expected to usher an era of high-speed internet for mobile communication, will also come as a premium offering.
Only one out of five urban mobile subscribers in India is expected to opt for 3G services initially, despite its high popularity among people, a new study by The Nielsen Company has found.
|Intention to Adopt 3G among urban Indian mobile subscribers|
|Will definitely adopt 3G||19%||36%||20%||10%||7%|
|Will probably adopt 3G||43%||34%||65%||29%||41%|
|May or may not adopt 3G||25%||15%||12%||31%||45%|
|Will probably not adopt 3G||7%||7%||1%||17%||5%|
|Will definitely not adopt 3G||5%||7%||1%||13%||2%|
|Source: The Nielsen Company|
|Intention to Upgrade to 3G Handset||Disposed towards 3G||Not disposed towards 3G|
|Will definitely adopt 3G handset||63%||12%|
|Will probably adopt 3G handset||24%||24%|
|May or may not adopt 3G handset||10%||36%|
|Will probably not adopt 3G handset||3%||20%|
|Will definitely not adopt 3G handset||0%||8%|
|Source: The Nielsen Company|
At a time when internet penetration in India is one of the lowest in the world – more so of the wired broadband, the revolutionary 3G technology can act as a trigger for bridging the communication gap powered by high-speed mobile internet.
However, despite high awareness of 3G and its capabilities to deliver broadband content, it may be as long as 5-6 years before the majority of mobile users embrace the high-speed 3G technology as a value-enhancer.
Further, in supporting the new and flexible 3G technology, the operators also need to create a compelling user experience through services and handset upgrades along with creating strong brand association with 3G and demonstrating the relevance of services that 3G can deliver
Cheap 3G Handsets
As the 3G revolution takes shape in India; needless to say over here that a bigger opportunity lies in the 3G-enabled handset market. The phones usually come with two cameras which facilitate video calls too; it can be hooked up to email system at work so you can receive email anywhere and everywhere.
Understanding the immense potential of 3G market, world’s leading mobile phone maker, Nokia, has recently unveiled its new entry level handset models C2-01 and the X2-01 as a budget device with a full QWERTY keypad. The C2-01 handset comes with a 3.2-megapixel camera and a 2-inch screen and is Nokia’s cheapest 3G mobile.
A low-cost handset manufacturer, Lemon Mobiles, has also announced that it will bring inexpensive handsets for Indian masses starting next month at a price as low as Rs.3500. The W100 3G will include many interesting features that will utilize 3G connectivity well, including live TV and video calling. Companies like Micromax, Zen and others have also lined up cheap 3G handsets in India
Recently, India’s largest PC seller Dell had forayed into the country’s Rs.30000-crore mobile handset market. The US-based firm launched two Android-based 3G smart phones priced around Rs.11000 to Rs.17000.
One thing for sure – 3 factors will rule 3G adoption in India. Fair pricing, User Experience and relevance of services!