UPDATE : Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, too has shown interest in participating the auction to bid for the India BWA spectrum. Intel denied being a WiMAX service provider, the Santa Clara semiconductor maker could partner with other companies for a spectrum partnership. In the present market only 1% of the total 6.5 million broadband subscribers are through wireless technology, with this auction we can see the numbers accelerating at a faster pace.
After China, India is considered to be the fastest growing telecom market in the world, and Google wants in.
To be precise, Google wants first bids on India’s broadband wireless access (BWA) or WiMAX opportunities in India and there are two ways for Google to gain access to the market. First, be a partner to any of the present telecom company or second, step up for the 3G auction which is set to take place on January 14, 2010.
It makes complete sense for Google to bid for this auction. Google search dominates the Indian search market, but the advertisement revenue is still low pertaining to the poor Internet penetration all over the country but according to a report by ASSOCHAM, by 2014 WiMAX subscribers would outnumber 3G subscribers. It is expected to touch 60 million users compared to 20 million for 3G. So Google has to enter the market to save its business in India.
The Government has said it aims on selling four 3G licences and three broadband wireless access licences in 20 of the 22 telecom zones. It does not have available spectrum to auction in the other two zones. This auction has two blocks in BWA spectrum and reserve one for state-owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) in Mumbai and Delhi and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) elsewhere. Indian telecom sector bidding for better mobile internet prospects is one question and Google diving in, is another big question. In both the cases its good news for Indian customers, who can expect better broadband facilities, particularly in rural areas who have to be introduced to the world of online.