Improved Mobile Broadband Access Will Stimulate Indian Economy

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Increasing Mobile Broadband penetration in India can have significant benefits for the national economy according to a report commissioned by the GSM Association. The research found that increasing broadband penetration by just 1% will contribute INR 162 billion to India's GDP by 2015. Delivering widespread Mobile Broadband access across rural and urban areas of India will be crucial if the government is to reach its national broadband plan target of 100 million connections by 2014.

The report, undertaken by global analyst firm Analysys Mason, highlights the impact of increased Mobile Broadband penetration on a wide variety of different industry sectors. These include driving new revenue streams across consumer and retail, financial services, social services such as education and healthcare, and other corporate vertical sectors. The revenue impact of Mobile Broadband on each sector by 2015 is as follows:

  • Consumer / Retail (m-Advertising, m-Entertainment, m-Commerce)
    • 82% increase in Mobile Broadband enabled revenue to INR 187 billion
  • Financial Services (m-Banking)
    • 67% increase in Mobile Broadband enabled revenue to INR 205 billion
  • Social Services (m-Learning, m-Health, m-Government)
    • 101% increase in Mobile Broadband enabled revenue to INR 63 billion
  • Corporate / Verticals (m-Farming, m-Enterprise, m-Utilities)
    • 60% increase in Mobile Broadband enabled revenue to INR 60 billion

"India remains one of the most vibrant and exciting growth markets for Mobile Broadband," said Jaikishan Rajaraman, Senior Director, Asia Pacific, GSMA. "GSM-based Mobile Broadband technologies have built a global ecosystem and vast economies of scale that will deliver affordable internet access, spanning rural and urban areas of India."

However, if Mobile Broadband technology is to succeed, further spectrum must be allocated to sustain its existing growth momentum. Indian mobile operators are currently allocating existing spectrum to ease congestion for voice services. Additional spectrum is needed to support the increasing demand for Mobile Broadband data service delivery.

Analysys Mason estimates that allocating an extra 5MHz of 3G spectrum per licensee could increase Mobile Broadband penetration by more than 35%, resulting in almost 160 million 3G users by 2015. This would also increase national broadband penetration by 3.3%, resulting in an additional INR 538 billion to India's GDP by 2015. By this time, Mobile Broadband could contribute a total of INR 2,190 billion to the Indian economy.

"Mobile Broadband adoption will stimulate the availability of new services across a wide range of different markets including retail, healthcare, education and financial services," continued Rajaraman. "The current lack of sufficient spectrum remains a formidable obstacle to India benefitting from these services and meeting its broadband connectivity targets."

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