The number of mobile connections in India has crossed 750 million therefore increasing teledensity beyond 62%. 3G is the next thing on the minds of mobile companies and consumers alike. From tablets to iPads to smartphones, there is a burgeoning information and communication technology revolution in the country.
But then 3G has come about without even 2% of the country having proper Internet connections. If you consider the broadband connections the figures are even dismal. And that’s why the next Internet revolution is said to take place on phones.
But the broadband connections seem to have taken a boost in the last one year. In 2010, India was only second to China and US in terms of broadband growth. And with this it has jumped to the 13th position in the world in broadband connections. This is an achievement in itself considering that we were not even in the top 50 just couple years back.
Broadband started in India way back in 1998 when it was really expensive and only a few companies and people could afford to pay for it. The infrastructure wasn’t there and the net speeds weren’t anything to boast about either. But with greater development, stronger infrastructure and stronger demand, the prices have continuously kept dropping so much so that companies are offering basic broadband services for as low as Rs 300/- (Conditions apply) a month.
There has been growth in the number of Internet advertisers. There has been a growth in the number of online businesses started in the country. There has also been a strong use of Internet in telemedicine, video conferencing and other uses for the corporate sector at large. In such cases and more, the Internet is proving to be a boon for the country. And the government is finally waking up to the reality.
With a penetration of just about 6.7% but a growth rate of more than 50% in the last year itself, India can be ignored only at everyone’s peril. There is still a long while to go before the Internet connections can reach a large percentage of the population and make a tangible difference in the lives of the people.
But we are already there on that road. BSNL’s strategy for that is one big example.
Do you think broadband has a strong potential for growth in India?