Internet penetration expected to rise with 3G services roll-out

Mobile phone infobox

3G to transform internet adoption in India

India’s record of internet penetration is currently not very good. It stands at 7% i.e. only 7% of our population has access to internet.

But, our asset i.e. telecom is soon set to change that. India has the second largest telecom sector globally and more people are opting to surf the internet over mobile handsets.

Presently the data rates of internet on phone were not very high, but with the roll out of 3G, high speed browsing on mobile phones is going to be very much accessible on mobile phones. This will include video streaming and conferencing.

To push development in a country like India, e-governance is the key. HT Mint reports

Private firms are also pushing their services on the net, such as for bank transactions or booking movie, rail and air tickets, as they try to keep a hold on operational costs.

The statistics are in favour of mobile phones.

  • Cellphone Subscribers: 752.19 million as of December 2010
  • Internet Users: 80 million Internet users
  • Broadband Users: 11 million users
  • Mobile phone penetration: 63.22% in December, 2010

Presently India has missed its target for broadband penetration.

Mint Reports

In 2007, then president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said that by 2010 India would have 40 million Internet users and 20 million broadband subscribers. R. Chandrashekhar, secretary, department of telecommunications (DoT), said India missed the target because of difficulties in setting up nationwide connectivity, but that could be resolved with the roll-out of wireless technologies such as 3G services.

A huge barrier in India’s low penetration of internet and particularly broadband is the low penetration of personal computers (PCs).

Mint reports

“This is mainly due to the issue of affordability,” Citi Investment Research and Analysis said in a September report.

PC penetration in India was at 4% of its population in 2009, compared with 20% in China, 89% in the US and 98% in Japan.

A basic computer costs at least Rs. 10,000-15,000, whereas mobile phones, even 3G-enabled devices capable of fast Internet browsing, can be bought for about Rs. 5,000.

The country’s largest telecom operators, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone Essar Ltd and Reliance Communications Ltd, which spent thousands of crores of rupees for 3G licences, are expected to start rolling out the services soon.

Mint further reports

About 15% of Internet users in India access the Web through their mobile handsets—“a trend likely to pick up with the increased take-off in smartphones and the advent of 3G,” Citi said in its report referring to 2009 data.

It is being predicted that the number of 3G subscribers would cross 107 million mark by 2015, with a compunded annual growth rate of 190% between 2011 and 2015. This would make the 3G penetration close to 13% by 2015.

3G’s acceptance will certainly give a boost to the Indian Economy.

Internet penetration expected to rise with 3G services roll-out – Technology – livemint.com.

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and BP joint venture

Reliance Industries

Image via Wikipedia

Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has signed a joint venture (JV) with British Petroleum (BP).

According to the press statement, British Petroleum will get 30% stake in the 23 oil and gas blocks including the KG-D6 oil fields of Reliance Industries.

The total valuation of the deal is 9 billion dollars.

It has also been one of the biggest Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in India.

British Petroleum and Reliance Industries Ltd will also form a 50:50 joint venture for marketing and sourcing of gas in India.
The expertise of Reliance Industries Limited is in project management and operations. British Petroleum brings to the table its expertise in deep water exploration and development.

The 23 oil and gas blocks together cover approximately 270,000 square kilometres.

The deal is very significant and is being viewed as positive sign for for the company Reliance Industries Limited.

The strategic part of the deal is that it covers the entire value chain from sourcing to marketing.

Mukesh Ambani’s RIL signs $9 billion deal with BP – NDTV Profit.

A Raja sent to Tihar Jail in 2G scam

 

Download the complete report: A Raja sent to Jail

2G Scam India Telecom Update:

  • Former Telecom Minister A Raja has been sent to Delhi’s Tihar Jail till March 3.
  • A Raja will be in judicial custody till March 3 2011 (next 14 days)
  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested A Raja on February 2 in connection with 2G spectrum scam.
  • CBI told the court today that Raja was not cooperating with the investigators and so it needed more time to question him.
  • A Raja, the alleged mastermind of the 2G scam, has been accused of selling spectrum at throwaway prices to companies in 2008 when they applied for mobile network licences.
  • On 16th Feb 2011, CBI questioned Raja and Reliance Communication’s Anil Ambani together for an hour.
  • Ambani was reportedly questioned in connection with his company Reliance Communications being looked at as a beneficiary of 2G spectrum licence.
  • The investigating agency is questioning all telecom players that got licences.
  • The key issue the agency wanted to ask Anil Ambani was about Reliance Communications’ investment in Swan Telecom.
  • The CBI also wanted to check if Reliance met all the eligibility norms or if they were favoured by then Telecom Minister A Raja.
  • The promoter of Swan Telecom, Shahid Balwa, was arrested by the CBI last week and has also been questioned.
  • The CBI has accused the A. Raja also the DMK leader of criminal conspiracy.

The Charges by CBI

  • It says that in 2008, when the government was allocating 2G spectrum for mobile phone networks, Raja twisted the rules to benefit a few companies – especially Swan and Unitech.
  • The licences for 2G spectrum were not auctioned as many say they should have been.
  • Raja chose to follow a First-Come-First-Served policy which was set by his predecessors.
  • CBI’s case is based on his office advancing the deadline for payments and informing only some of the players.
  • Companies like Swan and Unitech seemed to have been tipped off to this, because despite the cut-off date being brought forward, they had their payments ready.
  • After winning their licences, Swan and Unitech sold equity to foreign companies much before they began the rollout of their services.
  • The giant profits they made seemed to underscore the point that spectrum had been sold far too cheaply by the government.
  • Swan paid Rs. 1,537 crore and sold 45% stake to Etisalat for a profit of Rs. 4, 730 crore.
  • Unitech paid Rs. 1,661 crore for its licence, and sold 60% stake to Telenor for Rs. 6,200 crore.
  • Together, these two players cost the government Rs. 7, 195 crore, according to the CBI.
  • But both Swan and Unitech have denied these allegations.

NDTV Report: 2G spectrum scam: Former Telecom Minister A Raja sent to Tihar Jail.

Microfinance institutions are a menace

Anna. That’s the description they use in this run down Nagpur locality for the recovery boy.

Everything else must wait, but the group of five says they can’t miss the weekly meetings with the MFIs’ recovery agent, who, they say, knows they need small sums in their pressing times. “Installment,” she says, “is a fact of life.” Micro finance, says a woman borrower, “brings happiness in the beginning, tension in the end.”

Microfinance institutions are a menace

iGate all set to take over Patni Comp

Is it time for consolidation in IT? I think so

A consortium of venture fund Apax Partners and iGate is close to buying 63 per cent of Patni Computer Systems in a deal valued at  around $1 billion.

iGate all set to take over Patni Comp.

Facebook co-founders pledge wealth to charity

2011 belongs to Philanthropy

With a generation of younger folks who have thrived on the success of their companies, there is a big opportunity for many of us to give back earlier in our lifetime and see the impact of our philanthropic efforts

~ Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook founder)

Facebook co-founders pledge wealth to charity

Yahoo! content in six Indian regional languages by next year

Yahoo’s move to get content in 6 regional languages is an indication of the popularity of Internet and penetration.

Businesses are warming up to the idea of customizing according to the rural consumer’s needs.

There are about 50 million Internet users in India, which is likely to go up to 240 million in the next 5-year.

Presently Yahoo! India has a partnership with publishing house Dainik Jagran for offering content in Hindi.

Yahoo! content in six Indian regional languages by next year