While 3G auction in India takes it’s own sweet time, WiMAX is setting a strong foothold (a report suggests that WiMAX subscribers in India will outnumber 3G subscribers).
As per Infonetics report, India is the most ripe market for WiMAX with VoIP playing a key role in adoption. Few interesting insights from the report:
- India is the largest single-country WiMAX opportunity in the world, with most of the major operators actively pursuing WiMAX (BSNL, Tata, Bharti Airtel, etc); deployments are well-underway with acceleration in adoption experienced in many telecoms circles
- Russia is the ‘perfect storm’ for WiMAX: challenging geography, dispersed population, pent up demand for broadband and voice services, and a population able to pay for services; there are currently more than 10 WiMAX networks in operation or deployment in Russia
- Brazil is potentially one of the world’s most dynamic WiMAX markets, with a very mobile-oriented populace; The number of WiMAX subscribers is forecast to skyrocket from 184,000 in 2008 to almost 8 million in 2013
- Most countries in Central and Eastern Europe have WiMAX deployments underway and more than 20 operators offer VoIP over WiMAX service, a major driver of adoption
- There are over 80 networks now active in over 35 African countries, with demand for broadband and voice services driving deployment, despite challenges in terms of funding and low-ARPU business models
- Though the current market is very modest, if China’s 3G technology TD-SCDMA fails to ignite the market, a softening of the regulatory attitude to WiMAX could follow, leading to much more extensive WiMAX market growth
- In Japan, mobile WiMAX adoption is growing, with a battle brewing between operator UQ’s mobile WiMAX network (in partnership with KDDi) and NTT DoCoMo’s LTE rollout [link]
The major hurdle for WiMAX/BWA penetration in India is lack of PC penetration, but even then it has a higher probability of success, as opposed to 3G, which has turned out to be an utopian dream.
What’s your take on India’s WiMAX story?