The Department of Telecom officials invited several leading industry Analysts for a discussion and here the DoT’s take on Broadband in India.
DOT noted that the fixed-line broadband was leading to a slower-than-expected uptake in broadband penetration, as almost 30%-40% of the total fixed line connections of 36 mn (Source: TRAI) in India were not capable of supporting broadband services. DOT is hopeful that the wireless broadband services will help to increase the broadband penetration materially, the way cellular services helped increase the mobile penetration.
We believe the launch of wireless broadband services by new operators (who secured 3G and Broadband Wireless Access license) will further bring down tariffs/equipment cost and increase affordability to consumers. However, we expect contribution from wireless broadband to be less than 5% of total revenues for Bharti/Idea/RCOM for the next 2-3 years and therefore do not consider it to be a growth driver for these companies.
However, adding to the woes of the Wireless Industry, the DoT is concerned on increasing complaints on radiation from towers; may consider restricting towers in each area. While TRAI/other central agencies have proposed that the radiation
exposure be limited to 9.2 Watts per square meter, it still needs to be analyzed before being implemented. This may further trigger consolidation in the tower market and may also encourage intra-circle roaming among operators.
However, Fiber To Home is the Ultimate broadband Experience but neither the Regulator nor the Government is interested in this project.