Archive for December, 2007

Analyzing my 2007 predictions

Written by: Vivek Garg

On Dec 31st, 2007

Its time to take a look at my 10 predictions for 2007 before I can welcome 2008. Here is what I think how things shaped against my predictions. I will put (*) in front of the prediction number where a single (*) means not worth talking about in 2007 to (*****) meaning the prediction is now ubiquitous.

*****1. Broadband growth in India will continue to disappoint by not showing an exponential growth. As against the target of 3 million broadband connections till 2005 end, only 0.18 million were achieved. At end-October, the total number of broadband connections stood at 1.92 million. The target till 2007-end is 9 million and 143 million by end of 2010.

I think I could not have been more correct on this.  Read the TRAI 2007 telecom report for full scope of how disappointing 143 million figure now looks like. This figure has been revised to 20 million by 2010 but even that is doubtful given that we will have 3.2 million broadband connections in India by end of 2007, with a penetration rate of 1.6%. In a study, eMarketer projects that India will have only 10.5 million broadband connections by 2011. Broadband here is defined as >=200kbps. Content Sutra says that We added only 750,000 broadband connections between October 2006 and September 2007.

Even Subho Ray, President of the IAMAI sounds worried, saying that 40 percent year-on-year growth (of ever Internet users) is not satisfactory: “If the broadband targets are not met in the Year of the Broadband there is a possibility of missing out on creating a virtuous cycle of better connectivity, better content and more users.”

***2. WiMax will not be able to solve the last mile challenge; instead we will see a realistic alternative in cellular. Surge in Wi-Fi enabled devices will increase the number of ways people get online.

I think I did average on this one. At the end of 2007 and I don’t see WiMax as a clear winner but I agree that lot of progress has been made on fixed WiMax this year. I think that eventually everyone would need connectivity in some form (am sure no one doubts that). Question is what will be the most common medium. Along with WiMax, cellular alternatives such as WCDMA, EV-DO are gaining momentum. This slide shows why 3G is better suited for India(slide #10 here). Internet users almost doubled this year in India and majority of this increase came from mobile. I am still looking for a study that shows how many of these are using IP based networks vs cellular network.

from this post in BS

Wimax is poised to be the next big thing in the world of wireless communication. 3G proponents would, however, differ with this statement. Nevertheless, with heavy investments in the advanced forms of communication, companies such as VSNL, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd (MTNL), Bharti Airtel and even smaller firms like Microsense, jumped on the wireless bandwagon and have started offering fixed WiMAX networks as pilots.

Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators like Reliance Communications, too, are offering CDMA Evolution-Data Optimised (EV-DO) or its nextGen 2.5-2.75G wireless networks for hi-speed data and voice access. Even equipment manufacturers like Nortel, Alcatel, Nokia and Motorola are mulling the launch of these services.

India Broadband Wireless and WiMAX Market Analysis and Forecasts’ by UK-based business information provider, Report Buyer, estimates there will be up to 21 million WiMAX subscribers in India by 2014.

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