Pointing out that broadband connectivity could be a driver of socio-economic improvement, a global study has said a 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration in India would contribute to $80 billion of net revenues across the country's transport, healthcare and education sectors by 2015.

“A 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration will lead to net growth revenue increases of 42 per cent in the healthcare sector (equating to an additional $27.4 billion), 36.8 per cent in education (extra $31.2 billion) and 18.8 per cent in the transport sector (an additional $20 billion),” said the study on the economic impact of mobile broadband growth that was commissioned by the GSM Association (GSMA).

At present, broadband penetration in India is 1.7 per cent and by 2015 it is likely to rise to 12.5 per cent. However, to achieve this it is essential that additional spectrum is released quickly so that mobile operators can roll out next-generation mobile broadband networks and services and meet demand.

According to GSMA Senior Director Robindhra Mangtani, “Simply put, if the Indian government allocates sufficient spectrum in the near future, it will open up a staggering economic opportunity. However, the current lack of spectrum remains a formidable obstacle to India benefiting from mobile broadband services and the government meeting its stated broadband connectivity target of 16-crore Internet connections by 2014.”

He further said the government should act quickly if it is to enact the proposed National Spectrum Act, and allocate the urgently required spectrum to meet the high demand for mobile broadband services. “India is the second largest mobile market in the world…it has an opportunity to shape the mobile industry of the future,” Mr. Mangtani added.

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