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May - 2013 - issue > View Point

Growth Opportunities in Services for India: Food for Thought

Arup Gupta
Director-Wireless Platform Innovations, Mobile Communication Group, Intel Corp
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Arup Gupta
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) is a U.S. based semiconductor chip maker company headquartered in Santa Clara. Founded in 1968, the company has a market cap of $108.47 billion.

Mobile Phone sales in India in 2011 were about 183 million units and in 2013 the number will cross 251 million units. Although 90 percent of the purchases have happened in the low end "basic" feature phones, the shift to 3G based Smartphones is happening faster and this market is happening at a rate of upwards of 80 percent. It is predicted that by 2016, 326 million phones will be sold. With the acceleration of the Smartphone market, Entry level Smartphones will be within the reach of many people for their "upgrade". Hence 3G data will become ubiquitous with reliable 2G Data in remote areas.

Even though the PC/Notebook market in India has a healthy growth of above 16 percent, the tablet market is in its infancy and is expected to cross 1.6 million units in 2012/13. Most of these will be smaller seven inch Android tablets initially from Asian manufacturers. Unlike mature countries tablet sales could become the only PC like experience in some families.

Most of these tablets are Wi-Fi only and unlike Smartphones, require internet connectivity to access the internet. In a large city like Delhi, there appeared to be only about ten public Wi-Fi access areas. Since Mobile data will continue to be expensive for the people in the bottom of the pyramid, providing Wi-Fi Access in public spaces, restaurants and Malls should be a priority for local cities. Otherwise the uses of these tablets are going to be limited at home or at work where Wi-Fi connectivity exists.

With Data services on mid to upper end Smartphones becoming enabled, people need to have applications through which services can be rendered to improve the lives of people. A lot of people are already familiar with e-Commerce when they use their credit or debit cards to buy things on the internet especially at sites like Flipkart. But can this experience be extended to people who may not have even a Bank account?

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