Not Yet A Wireless Internet Revolution

A report here, at Businessweek – titled A Wireless Revolution in India, about the fact that the number of Indian users accessing the Internet via the mobile has doubled to 38 million, quoting the TRAI as a source. How much of that access is really open access to the Internet, and not to operator walled gardens like “Airtel Live” and “Reliance Mobile World”? From what I gather – a majority. All-access GPRS users in the country are pegged at between 7-9 million, and even that fell a couple of months ago after an operator repaired a hack that allowed users to access the Internet via GPRS for free. Having GPRS compatible handsets doesn’t mean that it will be used – so all those expecting a gold-rush in mobile Internet in India…hold your horses. SMS is still big. The story appears to be a follow up on another fisk-worthy story earlier at Businessweek about why number of Internet (dialup) subscribers are falling – something we’d reported as well. Same “mobile Internet” logic there. However, I remain more bullish on wireless Internet than wireline because of serious service quality issues.


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