What will drive 4G service in India
With government's recent policy initiatives and telcos' data thrust, the India chapter of the global GSM lobby GSMA feels that mobile networks would increasingly be able to deliver rich internet access, and mobile data traffic would continue on its growth trajectory.
"Spectrum availability and sustainable pricing are key to enabling the next wave of investments in 4G and data. Mobile is a vibrant and evolving industry at the heart of everyday life for a growing number of the India's citizens," said GSMA India director Sandeep Karanwal.
The industry body believes that the further growth would be driven by the increased penetration of affordable smartphones. "With improved spectrum pricing and management, growth in mobile broadband service is expected to continue, with 3G and 4G adoption projected to increase by 31 per cent between 2013 and 2017.
In India, mobile data traffic will grow 60-fold from 2012 to 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 127%, while according to Cisco; mobile data traffic is expected to reach 900,043 terabytes (0.90 exabytes) per month in 2017.
Karanwal feels that the extent of the socio-economic benefits of mobile broadband would depend on the availability of sufficient and appropriate harmonized spectrum. Operators can only invest more in mobile data if they have the spectrum to support those investments.
"Operators in India would need larger blocks of contiguous spectrum to cope with demand and avoid congestion, particularly in urban areas. Policy makers would also need to ensure that spectrum is made available at reasonable prices and in a timely, fair and transparent manner," he said.