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.
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