3G To Penetrate Rural India By 2012

The recent 3rd generation (3G) spectrum auction totaled a whooping Rs 67710 crore, much against the government expected Rs. 35000 crore. With its services starting post September 2010, a new era awaits the mobile users with faster and robust internet and better access to data services including E-Commerce, Telemedicine and Social Networking.

With World Bank extremely positive with the growth effect of Broadband in developing countries, it can be extremely beneficial in spreading services to distant villages where it can prove to be more efficient means.

The Department of Telecom is promising exactly that. As per recent reports over 2.5 lakh villages would be connected to wireless broadband and third generation (3G) mobile services by 2012 enabling them to access the whole range of value-added services.

Apparently Government is making lots of promises about the spread of broadband and 3G in rural India. In April, MP Sachin Pilot, minister of state for communications and information technology, government of India announced that the government will connect every village in the country with high-speed broadband access in the next three years. Also Gujurat chief minister Narendra Modi has promised that all villages in Gujurat would soon get broadband. On ‘Gujarat Day’, Narendra Modi even dedicated the state government’s ambitious ‘e-gram’ project for all gram panchayats.
In the 8th International Conference on ‘Value Added Services’, the announcement of villages getting 3G was made along with others like the entire panchayats would be connected through optical fibre and computers providing them broadband services.

During the conference, Mr Arvind Rao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, OnMobile, said that VAS would be a transformational force and even by 2015, when its turnover would rise from Rs 15,000 crore now to Rs 50,000 crore, it would be a larger industry than advertising or media.

It appears that VAS has a lot of untapped potential which the governments as well as the industries are trying to unfold. Finally, the words of Mr. Rao act as a ray of hope for everyone,  “India has a real chance to be the world’s largest VAS innovator due to its 1.2 billion population and its diversity but the Government has to promote this by providing support such as tax benefit”.

Guest Post by Apoorva

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