Despite slow start 3G subscriber base in India to reach 371 million by 2017, according to Cellular Market Analysis and Forecasts, 2012-2017” from Maravedis-Rethink.
“ We expect the active 3G subscriber base in India to reach 74 million by the end of 2013 and 371 million by the end of 2017. The market share growth will depend on how fast operators can deploy 3G networks in their respective licensed circles, and how rapidly they can address the demand in rural areas”, the study said.
With overall stagnant 2011 broadband penetration at 13.35 million primarily DSL subscribers, the Indian market represents a significant growth opportunity for the broadband wireless sector.
3G is starting to make inroads in India and the active 3G subscriber base will reach 41 million by the end of 2012, “In India, the growth of 3G has been slower than many expected, mainly because of the high price of services,” said Basharat Ashai, author of the report. “However, we believe that the availability of lower cost smartphones in the US$50 range will drive 3G growth in India in the coming years.”
“As long as TD-LTE is the de facto technology for mobile broadband in India, the challenge operators face lie in bringing an inexpensive multimode (2G/3G/TD-LTE) device to consumers. Multimode devices give operators an opportunity to expand 4G with the option of fallback to 3G networks in rural and suburban areas. Operators are pressuring chipset/device manufacturers to accelerate their efforts to get the cost of multimode devices down substantially,” added Caroline Gabriel, research director for Maravedis-Rethink.