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New developments in India for it's less developed states...

From: <Lauri.K.Hirvonen@nokia.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 13:55:58 +0200
To: <Lauri.K.Hirvonen@nokia.com>, <boyera@w3.org>, <nicolas.chevrollier@tno.nl>
CC: <public-mw4d@w3.org>
Message-ID: <227455977C217E4C8E1B1E066A3C370D3A7428E42B@NOK-EUMSG-01.mgdnok.nokia.com>

Hello W3C MW4D group

Today I found this story in Nokia Siemens Networks' web-site
(it is the Nokia's infrastructure developing - manufacturing - selling 
and service company).

ICT is the engine of Indian growth

Report: Indian states with higher mobile penetration can be expected to grow faster, with a growth rate 1.2% points higher for every 10% increase in the mobile penetration rate.

India has always been a land of contrasts. It has the third largest economy in the world, just behind the United States and China and ahead of Japan, accounting for nearly seven percent of global GDP. Yet, with an average per capita income of only $950, it also remains a low income economy, ranking 122nd in the world.

There are also great disparities within India, not only between the relatively wealthy urban dwellers and the rural poor, but among the 19 states making up the nation. The average per capita Gross State Domestic Product of Delhi is five times that of Bihar. Indian policy makers have identified improvements in infrastructure as one of the keys to leveling out these disparities and indeed being essential to achieving the nation's growth targets.

Better telecommunications has been identified as one of these key infrastructural areas, backed by research that shows that telecommunications infrastructure is one of the significant factors in economic growth. Since the liberalization of the market in the 1990s, the sector has been one of the most successful in attracting private investment, leading to extraordinary growth that has pushed teledensity to 32% and seen subscriber numbers currently growing at a rate of around 10 million a month.

More penetration brings more wealth

Although overall teledensity in the country is 32%, this again varies widely among the individual states, with many of the less developed states having average penetration rates well below 20%, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Assam. It is estimated that Indian states with a 10% higher mobile phone penetration will enjoy an annual average growth rate 1.2% higher than those with a lower teledensity - if Bihar had the same mobile penetration rate as Punjab, it would enjoy a growth rate about 4% higher than its current level.
It has also been shown that the real benefits of telecommunications only start when a region passes a threshold penetration rate of about 25%.

Leveling the playing field

With some 70% of India's population living in rural areas and some 52% engaged in agriculture, improving the lot of poor farmers is a major factor in improving the economic well being of individual states and thus fulfilling the government's goals of raising them to a more equitable level. The productivity of the agricultural sector is low at only 18% and access to mobile communications to get information on weather and market prices, combined with education in areas such as new techniques and tools is seen as vital in increasing this.

Hand in hand with the development of mobile telecommunications infrastructure, there also needs to be a development program for facilities such as roads and refrigerated transport if farmers are to get full benefit from access to information via mobile phones.

Keep costs low to reap rewards

Although the focus has so far been on the more lucrative urban markets, mainly due to the high cost of rolling out infrastructure in less dense rural areas and the affordability issues for rural populations, this is now starting to change. The rollout of infrastructure in rural areas is now eligible for subsidy, attracting the majority of providers to draw up plans for rural expansion.

Rural India presents a huge opportunity but also a huge investment for telecoms operators. The major factor is the much lower population density of rural areas - the cost of the network is driven largely by coverage of the large areas, while revenue depends on the low population. Success may ultimately depend on operators partnering with vendors who can keep the total cost of ownership for subscribers low, through low cost handsets and micro payment schemes that fit with subscribers' modest disposable income.

(end of the story, you find original in: http://unite.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/adwords/article/view/id/112 )

Also I did hear today, that Nokia has announced a program how to sell the Nokia
Mobile Phone to the "poor" areas with micro payment way. I have not yet found
the original source of the story. I heard, it allows a person to
buy the phone by doing 25 micro payments over certain time period.
This really lowers the barrier to get a mobile phone.

Br. Lauri
Received on Thursday, 20 August 2009 11:57:26 UTC

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