Today Indian Mobile phone subscriber has access to internet via GPRS or similar service from operator. Government has set platform for 3G services. Within one year 3G services will be started in India. (BSNL plans to lunch it by December 2008). Meaning of 3G services for not technical user is simply high speed internet & video services on mobile.
3G Services Hurdle
I think 3G services in India will be available to all but only high-end user will use it like blackberry user. It will not be popular to in common man at least in first 2 years. There are few reasons that I think is following.
- Less popular GPRS or internet on mobile.
- Less localized application & content.
- Higher cost of services.
I think this is the time for government & companies to promote internet on mobile otherwise it will be late & may affect popularity & acceptance of 3G services.
Government Role to promote
Before few months I heard about issue in financial sector. RBI (Reserve Bank of India, Banking Ragulator) has asked all banks to promote electronic fund transfer. Similar TRAI (Telephone Regulatory Authority of India) can take some steps to promote internet on mobile.
Alternative low cost options:
Today companies are selling internet services as separate packages. They can start thinking about plan which also covers internet service. Currently many post paid packages has free minutes & free SMS. They can start thinking about adding few free MBPS internet data transfer.
India is very cost sensitive market. Usually people has some monthly budget for mobile around Rs. 300 to Rs. 500. In any case they they don’t want to add Rs. 100 or Rs. 200 just for fancy internet mobile services. If mobile operator can introduce somewhere between Rs. 30 to Rs. 50 for month plan or package then people will think about it.
Promoting Email in place of SMS
This seems not much meaningful solution, but this is already implemented solution with good response in many parts of world. This can be the first link between internet user & mobile phone user. If mobile phone user can communicate with internet user including all telephone user then users communication capability is extended. It is not new idea in this world. I have seen it in Japan. They are using email insted of SMS. From user viewpoint it is same as sending & receiving SMS.
Missing first experience
Majority of people has not used internet on mobile ever (Despite of having high-end mobile phone). Companies can show some demo or sample of service to make aware about services on subscriber’s mobile, by allowing access to mobile internet.
Companies should give FIRST EXPERIENCE of internet on mobile to their subscriber as earliest.
Now some positive fact
- There is enough infrastructure to access internet on mobile phone in India.
- All major operator provides internet access on mobile.
- Majority of phone which has price tag more than Rs. 3500 has internet access capability.
I belive 3G is the future. But only acceptence & popularity can make it true reliaty. It should not remain highend technology. It should be easy & cost effective way to access information for common man.