It is widely believed that the demand for wireless internet services will primarily fuel the uptake for 3G services in the country. But Indian mobile subscribers appear to be in no mood to wait till the arrival of 3G services and are increasingly subscribing to mobile internet services available over the existing 2G infrastructure.
India’s subscriber base for wireless internet services stands at 126.97 million at the end of June’09 as compared to 75.97 million at the end of June’08 resulting in a growth rate of 67%. With wireless subscriber base at around 430 million, the percentage of mobile subscribers with wireless data services comes out to nearly 30 %.
It is believed that CDMA operators currently are better positioned to provide high-speed data services over the wireless medium as their respective networks support 2.5 G speeds.
Meanwhile when it comes to broadband the share of wireless medium is almost negligible with the medium accounting for only 0.94 % of the total broadband connections. The broadband industry in India still relies on fixedline infrastructure to deliver services as DSL is seen notching up as much as 86.66 % share technology-wise for medium of broadband access.
A the end of June’09, India has 14.05 million internet subscribers as compared to 13.5 million in March’09 and 11.66 million in June’08. The quarterly growth rate of 3.8 % is slower than the 5.3 % growth rate reported in the preceding quarter. The share of broadband services in the total internet services is increasing with almost 94 % of new internet connections connected between June’08 to June’09 being broadband connections. The broadband subscriber base stands at 6.62 million.
In terms of market, Maharashtra is seen as the most lucrative market with the state having as many as 1.17 million broadband subscribers. Tamil Nadu follows Maharashtra with roughly 0.8 million broadband subscribers. Other high performing states include Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Company-wise, Reliance Communications has reported the highest growth rate in the quarter at a growth rate of 10.84 %. Tata Communications has reported the highest drop in decline at 11.91%.