WiFi Scenario in India

Internet seems to have become one of the most basic necessities of the man. Doesn’t matter which walk of life you belong to, you have an use for the Internet. Whether you need a bandwidth of 64kbps, or whether a fat 4 Mbps is what gets the work done, you do have subscribed to an ISP to take care of your Internet needs. The demand for Internet has grown manifolds, in the last couple of years. According to SiliconIndia, the number of Internet users grew from 42 million in September 2008 to 52 million in September 2009. This surge in number has been primarily due to the increased numbers of the users in the remote urban pockets (small metros and towns) and among lower socio-economic classes. This development has been more striking this year as the combined usage of these geographies and classes have overtaken top cities and higher socio-economic classes in numbers. This finding clearly indicates that the Internet has reached to remote masses in urban India.

The overall Indian Wi-Fi market (including WLAN hardware, systems integration and software services) is predicted to grow from the current $41.57 million to exceed $744 million by 2012 (CAGR of 61.4%). The necessary market drivers are in place to propel the growth, development and deployment of Wi-Fi into a mainstream technology across the country.

With the Indian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology declaring 2007 as the Year of Broadband, the priorities are clearly set. The ensuing battle for market share currently on in the mobile space will likely spill over into broadband as a nation starved for connectivity will begin network roll outs. Over the next few years this will create a new digital India with ubiquitous broadband connectivity, both wireless and wired, teeming with an always-connected young generation that is mobile and empowered. At the forefront of this transformation will be a familiar wireless broadband technology: Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi is not new to India and has been deployed in enterprises, campuses and SOHO sectors for several years. However, now more than ever before it is clear that all the enablers for creating a sustained Wi-Fi network will emerge. The availability of a robust national data network backbone remained somewhat unutilized all these years due to the following reasons: high costs of data circuits and generally high bandwidth costs. This has changed significantly in the last year with a general drop of over 70% in data link prices.

Undergraduate students and young professionals are picking up the laptop as their first computer purchase. This is a marked difference from the earlier days where desktop PCs was the trend. The PC segment continues to grow at about 22-24% per year but the laptop seems likely to continue to grow at 100% rates over the next two to three years. With an estimated 80% laptops shipped being Wi-Fi enabled, there will be a number of mobile Wi-Fi commuters in the cities.

Although the near-term opportunity for Wi-Fi is primarily oriented toward traditional data applications (web surfing, email) via a PC, India’s mobile revolution has already generated a cellular subscriber population of 525 million (as of December 2009). It was just a couple of days back that the bidding on nationwide 3G spectrum has ended. This shall enable a whole community of data-capable, multi-band smart phones mobile devices to enter the market. The country will see a proliferation of Wi-Fi end points over the next three years driving demand for ubiquitous wireless points of presence.

The emerging Indian broadband market is on the cusp of a huge growth curve. And Wi-Fi is perfectly positioned to provide instant broadband access today from devices that are already available, over unlicensed spectrum in a safe, secure and reliable manner.

This is exactly where Airlink Wireless fits in. We are a leading neutral host wireless service provider operating with nation wide network, providing services to innumerable locations across the country. Our solution is the most comprehensive and proven product that is backed by a world-class centralized management with network & security management platform and a local customer support infrastructure. We also provide a complete end-to-end project management and service delivery with a Managed Services option that minimizes ongoing operational costs. Our experience in managing over 10,000 hotspots across the globe has helped us form a strong opinion that Wireless Broadband is key to a prompt Internet connectivity. We enable WiFi networks at your business center. In return, you manage to leverage on WiFi as a market differentiator, and delight customers with unique services. Some of advantages of our services are – plug ‘n’ play WiFi network solutions, next generation IP service delivery platform, and also 24/7 managed support. What more, with WiFi services at your disposal, you can increase stickiness for your existing customers, get additional revenue through VAS and WiFi access packages, and also improve your brand visibility.