As the telecommunications sector is growing rapidly, broadband communication is also surging across India. The country’s burgeoning economy and the Indian government’s broadband initiatives have supported the continuous expansion of the broadband sector, according to ABI Research. The total number of broadband subscribers – including DSL, cable, fibre optic, and broadband wireless platforms – will reach 15.4 million at the end of 2012.
“Government initiatives are essential to speed up broadband deployment in India, since the current broadband penetration of 5% is considerably low,” notes research analyst Khin Sandi Lynn. “The lack of infrastructure for fixed broadband access is one of the main reasons hampering the widespread use of broadband.”
Besides the network infrastructure, India does not have enough applications and services to drive broadband uptake. Although the government of India has initiated e-governance, e-learning, and e-healthcare services, these services are presently at a nascent stage. Unless there are innovative services that need high bandwidth access, consumers are not likely to spend on fixed broadband access. Services - including online video, online music downloads, and online gaming - are currently the most popular applications used by Indian online users. Broadband operators of India will need to develop and provide such types of value-added services to the broadband users to boost the subscriber base.
Broadband network expansion, as well as network upgrades, are currently underway in India as they try to catch up to other comparable Asia-Pacific broadband markets. Not to be left behind, others in the latest broadband technology, the state-run operator, BSNL, has started to launch fibre-to-the home (FTTH) services in some cities, providing up to 100 Mbps speeds. Overall, the Indian fixed broadband market will continue to grow, reaching 24 million subscribers in 2016.