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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Development of Rural India by 3G Deployment

Indian Development Phase by 3G Deployment...RURAL 3G Developments
Rural population in India is estimated at seven percent of its 1.1 billion population.

The actual rollout – which will be carried out over a period of three years – is expected to begin in December once the auctions to private operators are over.

3G services to date have been patchy and experimental in India. The state- owned telecommunications company Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd has launched a promotional drive in most of New Delhi, charging 1.80 rupees (3.8 U.S. cents) per minute for a vid
eo call within the company’s network. Calls to private internal networks, when available, will cost three rupees (6.4 U.S. cents) per minute.

A specialised group drawn from several departments of the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, the TeNeT has been tasked with research and product development for the Indian telecom and networking industry as well as driving information technology policy.

Current TeNeT missions include building 50 million broadband connections over the next five years, helping to double the rural GDP of India, making high-quality distance education possible and driving the next generation of wireless standards.

"At TeNeT we are naturally very excited about the rollout of 3G services because video and pictures can help overcome language barriers. For example, very few farmers speak or understand English, and this limits their access to urban markets using voice alone," Jalihal told IPS in a telephone interview from Chennai.

"The possibilities are endless — 3G will positively impact such areas as health services, education, agriculture and governance," said Jalihal. "There will naturally be an increase in public expectations in these areas, and this can dramatically stimulate social change."

Jalihal believes that the introduction of 3G-enabled mobile services will more than make up for the relatively poor penetration of the personal computer (PC) into India's rural areas.

Mobile 3G services can make Internet services more easily accessible compared to using a PC, which needs steady electricity supplies, maintenance, broadband services and other infrastructure which are missing in large swathes of rural India.

"While we are approaching a figure of 500 million mobile subscribers, PC penetration in India remains poor compared to countries like Russia, Brazil and China," Jalihal said.

Internet penetration in India is still seven percent of its population as against neighbouring China's 25.3 percent of its 1.3 billion people. Within Asia, South Korea has the highest Internet penetration covering 77.3 percent of the population, followed by Japan with 74 percent, Singapore with 66 percent, Malaysia and Taiwan, with 65 percent each, according to Internet World Stats, a data-providing website on world Internet usage.

On the other hand, India is currently adding 10 million new mobile subscribers per month on average. The World Bank estimates that every extra 10 mobile phones per 100 people in a typical developing country can boost GDP growth by 0.8 percentage points.

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), India added more than 30 million new mobile subscribers in the months of July and August. That contrasts with the pre-liberalised era of the 1980s when telephones were considered a luxury and the waiting list for new connections hovered around 20 million applicants.

Privatisation of telecom and mobile technology changed all that. Second- generation or 2G mobile services rapidly seeped down to the grassroots level. Today it is already common to see domestic workers, cab drivers, carpenters, plumbers, vegetable vendors and farmers using mobile phones.

With the advent of 3G, fishermen can negotiate prices for their catch before heading for shore by sending in pictures of the type of fish they have on board. Similarly, farmers and horticulturalists who have perishable produce can take advantage of 3G services to bargain for the best prices before harvesting, bypassing middlemen.

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