Top 5 reasons why 3G has not taken off in India!


We are nearly 6 months since 3G first rolled out in India – Now-a-days you see every Mobile operator heavily advertising their 3G offerings. Airtel, Vodafone, Tata, Reliance, Idea, BSNL and others are offering 3G services in Metro’s and most of the tier 1 cities in India.

However, 3G has really not taken off as it was expected – Although, telecom operators like Idea Cellular, claim that they have bagged more than 1 Million 3G users, the ground reality seems to be quite different. 

Infact, many users who earlier opted for 3G services  have already ditched it and gone back to using 2G data services like Edge & GPRS. According to me, currently there must be less than 1% mobile users (let me know if someone knows the exact number of 3G users in India) who have 3G on their phones right now.

[suggested poll – Best 3G providers in India ]

3g services in India

5 reasons why 3G services have not taken off in India

Reason 1 – 3G Pricing far Expensive

This is probably the foremost reason as to why 3G has not been adopted in big numbers – Pricing – These are initial days for 3G, but telecom operators have kept 3G pricing relatively higher than it should have been. Indians are a price conscious lot, and higher pricing seems to have put them off. From Telecom Operator perspective, they don’t have much option but to keep the pricing higher, purely because they need to recover huge spends they have made in buying the 3G spectrum and setting up the infrastructure for the same.

Reason 2 – Pathetic 3G speeds

I have personally tested 3G speeds on Tata & Idea networks and internet speeds are not even close to what they are supposed to be on a 3G network! They are are supposed to offer flawless Video streaming, Video calls and much faster internet experience, but that is not the case. Infact, sometimes the 3g speed is even lower than normal Edge speeds on 2G network ! I have heard of many cases, where users have activated 3G and soon have de-activated back due to slow 3G speeds.

Reason 3 – 3G affects other mobile functions negatively

This is something that telecom operators should sort out immediately. In my personal experience, whenever 3G is activated on a mobile phone, host of other problems crop up. Intermittent or no signals, Voice call break-up, inconsistent 3G coverage  are just some of the problem which users face, when they activate 3G on their mobile phones.

Reason 4 – 3G eats up Battery power like crazy

This is a universal issue, but a major reason why 3G has not really taken off – If you keep 3G connection “on” continuously, the battery is eaten up twice as faster as compared to Edge / GPRS data services. For example, my Samsung Spica use to easily offered 2 days of phone usage without a battery recharge, but with 3G on, I hardly get an entire day. I have to charge everyday and sometime it has to be done twice a day!

Reason 5 – Lower Smartphone & 3G Device penetration

Yes, there is no doubt that Smartphone penetration is set to explode in India – but currently less than 10% of all users have smartphones or good 3G devices. There is no real use of 3G services, when you don’t have a hardware / software that will leverage 3G speeds.

These according to me are top 5 reasons why 3G has not really taken off in India.

So, tell us why have you not opted for 3G services as yet ?

  1. Digvijay says

    well… it is all due to our pathetic high coast and low speed, I bought idea 3g once, it coast about 247rs for 1gb data, and can you believe me the speed was just 50 kbps…! and that also at full network signal and by the way I live in panjim goa. 2g coast is about 247 rupees for 2.5gb data and it gives just 20 kbps! what a price of sht***! and they say that 3g speed is 2mbps where is get only 50 kbps, how corrupt liers!

  2. amitkumarblog says

    Hi I have put my thoughts on why 3G will not take off in India ever –
    Basically 3G usage in India after May 2010 auction of $12 billion for spectrums is “pathetic” to put it mildly . To put in data terms here is what TOI reports[52] – “India’s 3G adoption worst among top 30” There are less than 20 million Active subscribers of 3G in India

  3. Gopal says

    I bet many users are like me …. having bought nice android based 3G enabled phones … but still using 2G. My colleagues has 3G with a top of the line samsung phone and he gets only slightly better speeds than me … but pays like 5 times more.

  4. M?ñ?êb ?hm?ð Žîå says

    Im living in Pakistan
    my network is Ufone
    im very happy wid its internet
    webpages get loaded in maximum maximum 10 seconds
    3G in Pakistan is faster than WiFi!!!!!!
    Plus its not even expensive!!!
    Before package it is 15 PKR per MB
    but after a package they are giving 6 GB per month in only Rs 300 PKR
    In India I previously lived
    India has not a good 3G network but soon they will also get high speeds
    ufone speed is unbelievable 2 MBPS!!!
    plz send me some info about these networks on my email address
    [email protected]

    [email protected]

  5. Shan Cool says

    3G speed sucks Money is not matter.
    Lots of problem in Airtel and BSNL 3G I Did test Idea and Reliance.

    Vodafone voice call break up a lot.
    No Signal with Idea in Delhi, and Lucknow in Mumbai Idea video call was being delayed and was breaking.

    Reliance lol nothing is good there its same like Sarkari BSNL.

    Airtel 3G has speed but signals break down a lot. No value for customer.

    1. Shan Cool says

      We need diffrent proper solution, telecom companies didnt get chance to loot in 3G so this is the result..!!

  6. VP Singh says

    Tata docomo gives automatic 3g speed upto 30-35 kbps in dehradun if sim is put in smartphone ,i am using the 98 rs 2g plan for 4gb data but recieving 3g connection automatically,hands up for tata docomo

    1. Shan Cool says

      Now due to you docomo will fix the loop hole, such a stupid you are

  7. Arjun Gupta says

    3G is far more better than 2G but d the problem is lack of infrasructure to provide better service.

  8. Suddha Satta Ray says

    Using Airtel 3G .. speeds are pathetically slow in high tech city like Bangalore. When called up their technical support, they attributed it to my phone (iPhone 3G, supposedly!!)

    Planning to save few bucks and go back to 2G.

  9. Reaper Mekro says

    I'm using Aircel 3G and I get good speed but its very expensive…1GB is Rs.604 and 2.5GB cost 975…This is way too much.

    1. Atul Navadiya says

      Now the prices has gone down for Aircel its 1GB for 198/-

    2. Shan Cool says

      Atul Navadiya Aircel is the big loot didnt you see how they quit advertising till the time case was in court?
      Now their authorities are out of jail so now they are advertising again.
      Aircel service is so bad that in roaming they charge even if call is not connected.They have tip up for roaming service in UP with IDEA

    3. Atul Navadiya says

      Actually…I do face network related Problems sometimes but never deducted a single rupee without my permission!!!

  10. Prakash Mishra says

    Reliance 3G is rock only 98 recharges and give u 2GB 3g speed………………
    but idea is give low cost for monthly uses.
    any information contact me.

  11. INDIA says

    i am not going to use 3G until companies provides unlimited plan(upto 3.6MBPS) between 500-700/- per month.

    if companies implement on trail basis for 1-2 month they can see increase in no of user quickly.

  12. sahil says

    3G is not popular in India due to high prices, less coverage etc.

    but if these problems solved then still a big problem is that most people don’t have 3G phones and most of the people will not think about purchasing 3G phones as the 3G phones are too much expensive as compared to 2G

    IF the Price of hardware decreases then it will be popular in INDIA and don’t think abt 4G till 2015 because you can see the price difference between 2G and 3G
    you can Imagine How 4G will costly (eg, 1500rs/GB) and speed in 4G is 200-400 mbps so 1 GB data only for 5-6 seconds depending on your hardware and usage

  13. Patrick Lugun Delhi says

    Airtel 3G is high price but speed not better.

  14. Bimal Rekhadiya says

    I checked Vodafone 3G in Surat City, Gujarat and works very good. The main reason I am not using 3G is price. Price is too too high. Hope companies will decrease price in some months.

  15. Aseem Watts says

    yeah, same with me. I have 3G handset but even then I use 2G.

    1. Prakash Mishra says

      bro! teel me which head set is good for 3G browsing…

      1. good speed says

        It is hand set not head set. You need to set your head first.
        Just to answer your question, “Samsung Galaxy S3”

  16. Suneel says

    I am using 3G for the past one month and I stay in Bangalore. I use Tata Docomo and had been their customer for the past 19 months. I am extremely content with the 3G service offered by TD as I have never faced low speeds. The data transfer, both upload and download had been good.

    I would like to see more people using smartphones and masses utilising 3G features for their own good intent. The pricing is quite low when you compare the needs and take apt packages. As I am a postpaid customer, I took a 500 rupee plan which covers my voice and data plan. 1000 mins free and 200 MB data free. If only I can use 200 MB in a month.

    1. Ezilkannan says

      Rs.500 a month is costly I would say, although 1000mins free is reasonable, the data rate is simply not enough, 200 mb is too low, and I can’t say that speeds are as good, if you are saying that you are unable to use 200mb in a month, its probably because of the speed or maybe because you don’t use it that much. The fact is that none of the providers give the speeds they are supposed to be giving. Most smartphones have HSDPA or even better 3g services which can support upto 7.2 Mbps, but I rarely see any of the providers sending out plans at 1Mbps and giving the same speed. 3g sucks if you don’t even get 2 Mbps or better speed. And they don’t even offer unlimited usage. Internet without unlimited usage = very much expensive

  17. Narender Sharma says

    Telecom companies have invested huge in terms of license fee & infrastructure n now with such poor service n high cost, 3G is not going to click for them as some profit giving service. Remember Big Bro Ambani is coming with BWA (4G) in first quarter of 2012!

  18. Bharathi says

    I agree with you completely. I had faced the problems like very poor signal strength & low speeds.

  19. Rohit says

    Reason 2,3 & 4 for me

  20. Sandeep says

    I would say the main issue is Price followed by Speed. The Telecom Cos. are not able to handle both of these. Unless they do 3G will simply vanish from India.

  21. Ashish Saini says

    samsung phones always have sm battery issues, they tend to giv reduced backup after 6 months f use. ths is nt d case with nokia n other branded phones. my phone lasts 36 hours easily in 3G mode. i think its ur android which eats up battery, nt d 3G. Tata Docomo 3G consistently gives 2.5 – 3mbps downloading speed on 3.2 mbps e-stick, n it does well on cell phone also. and i have nt experienced any call drops n other interruptions. infact in 3G signal, theres more voice clarity. the only issue ican see is d high pricing. after an year, we will definitely get much cheaper data plans, just like current 2G plans. coz by thn, co. would have no other option than to cut down costs, so tht they can recover atleast their variable costs ;)

  22. Nitin says

    completely agree!
    I was eagerly waiting for 3G to arrive at hyderabad. now when it does have. I hardly am able to use it. my operator is AIRTEL and the 3G speeds are just not there yet.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

who's online