150 Indian Cities to have WiMAX within 3 months
About 150 cities in India will soon have wireless broadband through WiMAX technology within three months once the 20 MHz spectrum is allotted at the base reserve price of US$250 million (Rs1010 crore) to four operators in each circle. Each operator could serve 15 to 20 million subscribers with good quality service. However, a lot would depend upon early implementation of the proposed auction of the spectrum for the service.
This viewpoint was shared by many senior participants at the recently organsied WiMAX India 2009 conference. “India is ready for broadband experience”, said CS Rao, chairman of WiMAX Forum India. “Wireless is the key to broadband” he said recalling the projection in the President’s address to Parliament setting 100 million subscriber target for broadband by 2014 and 20 million by 2012. The fact of India having a social demographics of over 600 million young people underlined the need for rapid roll out of broadband in the country", he pointed out.
Despite this national vision for broadband penetration, why the ground level progress so slow was, asked several telecom experts participating in the day long discussion. Telecom experts contrasted the huge push in cellular phone subscription to 14 million per month in June with the total users of a mere 6 million in broadband. “Against over 40% penetration of cellphone at 450 million, Internet penetration is just 0.6%” remarked Naresh Ajwani, secretary, Internet Service Providers Association of India. “Roll out the bidding for spectrum. The delay is stopping India from developing” he said.