There is lots of optimism in the latest report released by Telegeography, a telecom market research firm, about number of users actually using 3G services across globe. Apart from growth story of Asia-Pacific region, it highlights the fact that Asia-Pacific region will dominate the telecom market in coming years.
Let’s make a short-list of few points in the report:
- Japan is having highest number of 3G users in the world. After launch of first commercial 3G network in late 2001 by NTT DoCoMo, Japan has 92million UMTS users at the end of Mar-2009.
- Japan has 50% more 3G subscribers than US and three times as many as South Korea.
- US will overtake Japan for 3G subscriber base by 2011. In Japan 3G users accounts for nearly 85% of total wireless subscriber base and market is nearing saturation.
- At the point of 2011 when US market will be growing strongly in terms of 3G subscriber additions, they could maintain lead for next three years only, when China will overtake US to occupy top spot.
- Around the same time, India will surpass Japan and will occupy third spot.
But then, in India where 3G spectrum auction is still in pipeline, do you see India surpassing 92million (current Japan 3G subscriber number) 3G subscriber mark by 2013-14? It simply means that every year Indian MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) have to add 20million 3G subscribers on an average. With lack of 3G guidelines and number of available 3G slots in each circle (this number varies), it’s really hard to add 20 million in first 2-3 years, or at least I don’t see any good reason to believe such reports as of now. Rest is known from BSNL/MTNL’s 3G launch story!