How Indians skipped wired wagon and gone wireless!


India is a strange nation with even stranger habits…

We are not adaptable to newness and generally prefer the older ways to the new horizons.

The biggest proof of this might be the technological advancement that our country has seen. It is slow paced at best and no where can it be seen better than our internet adoption. In fact, any new technology in our country has seen low adoption rates barring perhaps one. That of course is mobile. It was definitely facilitated by the world’s lowest tariffs and cheap mobile handsets but it is the love that it got from the people that is overwhelming.

The two primary reasons for this can be seen as-

  1. The private players and simplicity of prepaid.
  2. Ease of Use.

Prepaid brought in an era of getting a number child’s play and using it a matter of a day. Today over 97% of subscribers are pre-paid subscribers in India. Second is of course the lack of wires. These two factors lead to a boom in use of telephones that superseded the bicycles as the most owned instrument.

Now, I see this revolution taking over our internet. Wired internet and broadband connections gave us internet in the last generation. The new generation knows no such wires. In phone we have GPRS, EDGE and 3G.

If a person owns a laptop (not a PC anymore) then he can always use dongles. We have more internet users now on mobile than broadband, way more. And this figure is not going to go down any soon. As the speeds of wireless communication increase the possibility of broadband surviving becomes a thin chance. In fact, it will not be long before companies come out of the wired game altogether.

Take a look at this statcounter statistics – People accessing internet from mobile have already surpassed people accessing internet through their PCs and this graph does not include people who use wireless internet or dongles on their PCs. So it is quite safe to say that over 75 to 80% of Indian users are already on wireless internet.

mobile vs pc internet

The only thing holding wireline internet right now is Offices. The workplace needs consistent internet connection that the wireless still falters at it sometime. Although, as the speeds become more reliable and as 4G pans out this will pass. Also, as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) gains momentum a dongle shall become a more viable option for the companies as well.

In personal usage broadband has already lost the battle. Already in our population of 121 Million Internet users over 50% use internet only on mobile. India, in its love for mobile and mobility has skipped the wired train and hopped on the wireless waves.

[Author Bio– A graduate from IIT-Roorkee, Kunal Prakash’s love for technology was at first sight and everlasting. He is currently enjoying the first stint as a professional after leaving over 20 years of schooling. You can follow him on facebook or visit his blog for my other musings.]

  1. […] biggest positive sign in the growth of telecommunications is that mobile phone usage has been impressive in villages, with nearly one-third of the 930-million-odd India-wide subscribers hailing from […]

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