India to become 2nd largest mobile broadband market in the world by 2016: GSMA

Telecom Lead India: India will become the second largest
Mobile Broadband market globally within the next four years with 367
million Mobile Broadband connections by 2016, GSMA said.

China will top the market with 639 million Mobile Broadband
connections by then, according to GSMA.

India will overtake the U.S., which will account for 337
million Mobile Broadband connections by 2016.

Thanks to 3G, mobile broadband in India has picked up
momentum. Currently there are more than 10 million HSPA connections alone across
the country, and this is expected to grow exponentially, by 900 percent, to
more than 100 million connections in 2014.

This will make India the largest HSPA market worldwide
within the next two years, surpassing China, Japan and the US in the process.

  The mobile industry in India is set for immense
growth as Mobile Broadband technologies such as HSPA and LTE start to
proliferate, but there is scope for far greater development,” said Anne
Bouverot, director general of the GSMA.

To take full advantage of this, the Indian government
should facilitate the timely release of additional spectrum in a fair and
transparent way for all stakeholders. The benefits are clear to see a 10
percent increase in Mobile Broadband penetration could contribute as much as
US$80 billion (INR 3,506 billion) of revenue across the country’s transport,
healthcare and education sectors by 20152.”

Mobile growth in India is being largely driven by more
affluent communities in cities. Net additions in urban areas reached 85 million
last year compared to 57 million in rural areas, with mobile penetration
increasing by 20 percentage points in urban areas to 161 percent, against a 6.5
percentage point rise in rural areas to 36.6 percent.

 However, the cost of smartphones remains a concern as
the cost of an LTE smartphone is offered at an average retail price of US$500,
which is four times the average monthly GDP per capita in India, and at an
average of US$200, the retail price of an LTE USB dongle is twice an Indian’s
monthly income on average. Experts believe as LTE networks proliferate
worldwide and more devices become available, costs will come down.

  India is taking
great strides towards the uptake of data and already has the third largest
Internet subscriber base in the world with more than 100 million users, and the
second largest Facebook subscriber base in the world with 43 million users,” said
Sanjay Kapoor, CEO – India & South Asia, Bharti Airtel.

Various studies have shown that a 10 percent increase in
mobile penetration could lead to 1 percent increase in GDP, and a 10 percent
increase in Mobile Broadband penetration could deliver a 1.4 percent increase
in GDP,” Kapoor added. Along with 2G and 3G, when 4G is deployed, India will
be at the forefront of cutting-edge Mobile Broadband provision globally. We are
delighted to work with GSMA to help expedite this phenomenal growth and deliver
Mobile Broadband to every corner of India.”

Top 25 mobile broadband markets based on subscribers in 2011

Korea Republic is on the top of the 25 mobile broadband
markets based on subscribers in 2011. India does not figure in top 25 list as
the country is late to roll out 3G and 4G services.

The mobile broadband penetration in Korea Rep is 91 (Active
mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants). Japan 87.8, Sweden (84)
and Australia (82.7) ranked second, third and fourth, respectively, according
to ITU.

According to GSMA, India has been ranked 14 in mobile
broadband readiness index among 17 Asia Pacific nations.

India ranks 14 in mobile broadband readiness index among 17
Asia Pacific nations

Japan is ranked number one in the index. Singapore (2), Hong
Kong (3), Australia (4) and South Korea (5) are the in top 5.

Below India (14), countries such as Thailand (15), Pakistan
(16) and Bangladesh (17) are finding place.

While the mobile broadband readiness index 2011 scrore for
Japan is 78.7, India’s score is 20.2. Sri Lanka, Philippines, Indonesia,
Taiwan, Malaysia, New Zealand are above India.

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