Mobile services

Digital Illiteracy Hinders India Internet Adoption

The Dawn of 4G
Training and educational initiatives would probably have made little difference in the early days of 3G, when network coverage was patchy, even in metropolitan areas. High tariffs also remained a barrier to adoption at the time.

But India is now gearing up for the rollout of 4G technology, with new entrant Reliance Jio recently announcing it will launch 4G services in 900 towns later this year. While Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL) has already launched 4G services in a few circles (service areas), the response among consumers has been lukewarm due to the problems of digital illiteracy and lack of awareness.

Want to know more about 4G LTE? Check out our dedicated 4G LTE content channel here on Light Reading.

Even so, 4G may ultimately be the beneficiary of efforts to educate consumers about the advantages of mobile broadband technology. As interest in 3G services picks up, consumers are likely to be drawn to a higher-speed offering that will ultimately prove far more pervasive.

With Reliance Jio waiting in the wings, India's mainstream operators may have to move quickly to hold on to their subscribers.

— Gagandeep Kaur, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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DHagar 5/8/2015 | 4:40:55 PM
Re: Difference between 2G and 3G Gagandeep, interesting problem.

I agree with you that the problem is lack of knowledge and they will not value the speed and added features if they don't even know the value yet of being "connected".  I think the one carrier's approach to planting the seed by having initial users in rural communities will be effective.  Another idea might be to have a consumer service (ie government services, school, food, healthcare, entertainment) work with the carriers and offer a service of value to the consumers.  I think the opportunity to be "connected" might drive the interest in the use of the internet and open their world; then the faster connections and added value will have meaning.
Gagandeep Kaur 5/8/2015 | 5:46:04 AM
Re: Difference between 2G and 3G 3G coverage is now much better than what it was even a year back. But even so the subscribers (with 3G devices) are unwilling to move to 3G because they dont see value. Telcos in India have focused on the point that 3G speed is better than 2G but speed is hardly of any significance when the consumer doesnt know what and how to use internet?? 
GeeKv2 5/8/2015 | 4:45:57 AM
Difference between 2G and 3G Users think 2G and 3G are the same because they dont experience any difference. Network planning is so bad that it doesnt payoff to have 3G when the service you get is equivalent to 2G.

The carriers are to blame for the user's misconconceptions, not illiteracy.
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