India's Internet costs could rise 30 percent, time to go mobile

India's Internet costs could rise 30 percent, time to go mobile

Summary: With the cost of broadband Internet in the country expected to rise up to 30 percent with more expensive telecom licenses, perhaps now is the time for Indian consumers to re-consider mobile solutions.


India's Department of Telecom has recently issued new telecom licenses, and under these new agreements, telecom operators (including Internet service providers), are required to pay 8 percent annually on their adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

India's Internet costs set to rise 30 percent, no better time to go mobile.

As a result, companies are now saying this could result in hikes up to 30 percent for Indian consumers. Furthermore, this could potentially have a cascading effect on rolling out broadband services in rural India, reports

If you ask me, now is probably the best time for those who don't have broadband services in either urban and especially rural settings in India, to purchase a smartphone and tablet, and sign up to a decent data package plan from anyone of the Indian mobile operators. Sure, both Airtel and Tata have a slight advantage over others as they offer both mobile and broadband services, and if you bundle your package, you can save money.

The only question is do Indian consumers really need both mobile Internet and a broadband connection?

I honestly feel that eventually Indian consumers will choose one or over the other, not both, and will favor mobile internet instead. For example, it's not uncommon for commuters in metros such as Delhi and Mumbai to spend up to two or three hours commuting each day. The time commuting can be used online instead, thus leading to a more productive workday in the office and a more balanced family life after work hours too.

Furthermore, considering the increase in sales of phablets and tablets across India, along with the decline of traditional PC sales, again, the shift is going towards mobile internet. I personally feel that traditional ISPs will soon face a challenge retaining customer in urban settings, and in rural areas, since rolling out and introducing broadband connections will be too expensive, the emphasis should be towards mobile internet and services instead. 

What makes this situation unique for Indian consumers right now is that you can get a basic tablet starting at around US$100, and price increases based on features, specifications, and obviously brand. It's still more affordable to start off with tablet and have a mobile data plan, either prepaid or postpaid.

Furthermore, those who are mobile customers with Airtel also have the availability of 4G services, in select regions across India. Once other carriers in India begin to rollout 4G services, Indian consumers will have yet another option for mobile internet solutions at more affordable prices, compared to signing up for a broadband service. That's not to say broadband internet will completely fade away; it simply won’t be as appealing as mobile Internet for the majority of phablet and tablet users.

Topics: Broadband, Mobility, Telcos, India

Nitin Puri

About Nitin Puri

Originally from Canada, Nitin has been residing and working in India since 2009. He has worked in different ICT industries in countries such as India, Canada, and Tanzania. He is an avid follower and application developer within the growing mobile phone sector in India.

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  • Seriously did the Phone companies pay you to write this article?

    One word "UNLIMITED" that is just one big joke on Mobile broadband.
    How much do you think download 40GIGS of data will cost on the cheapest mobile plan?
    Ever kept skype video chat running for the entire day? Do the math how much will that cost on a mobile plan.
    Well on Broadband whatever said and done the costliest plan right now is 12k for 2mbs unlimited PER YEAR. Add 30% to that and mobile internet plants can't even come close
    You are getting a 2mbs unlimited connection for 1300 rupees per month.
    Its even cheaper in cities like bangalore. 1999 rupees for 10mbs connection with 40GIGs of bandwidth after that you still get 1mbs speed unlimited.
    While mobile plans are 1800 bucks for 10gigs and then 64kbps.....Thats a frigging joke.
    Even if they double the broadband prices its still a better choice than mobile.
    Do you this is the reason why Android has an option "update ONLY on wifi"
    Because WIFI is nothing but being connected to a Broadband which is cheaper anywhere in the world.
  • Introduction of 4G services could change price plans for all.

    Introduction of 4G services could change price plans for all.
    Nitin Puri