The Upcoming 3G Technology: India Perspective

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Indian telecommunication sector has been growing ever since the telegraphic system. It has witnessed gigantic growth and diversified from the fixed lines to mobile phones and further on to GSM and CDMA, moving/advancing from 1G to 2G.And now, it’s time to take a step further ahead. It’s time to capture the much awaited 3G technology. 3G, the third generation technology is the current hot stuff of the Indian communication sector. It was first implemented in Japan on October 1, 2001 and is now, serving over 40 countries in Asia, Europe and USA.

Undoubtedly, the name speaks its capabilities. It possesses the potential of keeping people connected in all times and places in a more advanced manner, much closer to reality. It offers enhanced multimedia applications, something that has become a priority feature for every person when buying a new phone. This 3G technology makes a cellular phone, a smartphone with its superior multimedia features.

In this fast moving world, to test our patience much less, it offers the fastest broadcasting facility with a minimum speed of 2 Mbps and maximum speed of 14.4 Mbps. This means that to download a 3 minute MP3 song, it will take merely 15 seconds. When compared to a 2G cell phone’s broadcasting speed, which would take about 8 minutes, 3G will make you save around 7 and half minutes. Pretty fast, isn’t it? With this fast speed, we can call/consider a 3G enabled phone to be no less than a mini laptop with an awesome internet connection as it will enable one to easily browse whatever desired and can also undertake all the e-commerce activities like share trading, stock transactions and every other broadband application, even when one is travelling.

Not just the media and entertainment, but the business sector as well has a lot to look forward to from 3G. Video conferencing remains its key feature. This is the strongest attraction for buyers as something like this remains uncovered/untouched by all the other technologies that have come up in India. Verbal conferencing was a convenient tool to interact and save time especially in business matters. But telephonic conversations don’t turn fruitful all the time, especially when dealing with business matters. 3G technology’s video conferencing can overcome all these problems. It will help subordinates meet bosses virtually without wasting time and other resources. When activated/enabled at all the functional levels, it will enable/empower organizations and qualified candidates to have a telephonic interview in a more modern way. This is because it helps to interact in the same manner as people would have done by meeting up.

With so much ease it is surely a desirable possession. But ever since it was launched, every country faced similar problems in introducing it as India does today – its installation being the main one. It requires humungous amounts to set up infrastructure for 3G technology. Not many telecom companies have the ability to incur such huge expenditures to lay up its networks across the nation. India faces this problem currently/today. Even if they decide to set up networks, it may not be far reaching and located everywhere. Then, how will it serve to be better than laptop enabled broadband? How will it help one stay connected when travelling? And how will it offer continued facility at all times and places? Apart from this, licensing a 3G technology remains an impediment. So, it’s not just the expenditure on infrastructure but also on license, which sums up/amounts to be undesirably mammoth.

Talking for the benefit of users, even if one or two of the telecom companies successfully launch 3G technology, its growth and usage will still remain minimal. That is because, its strongest feature, video conferencing can be undertaken only when the others too are using smart phones. If even one of the persons participating in the interaction does not possess it, it will not be possible to interact with him. This will be the weakest point as not everybody would want to take up connections of the companies that are offering 3G technology. To make things tougher, a 3G enabled handset is different from the other handsets available in the market and it’s more expensive than a normal 2G enabled one. So, to enjoy the benefits of 3G technology, one will first have to condemn the older handset and then incur huge amounts of losses to buy a smartphone. Not just this, its mobile services are also very highly priced. Internet access is pretty expensive too.

Understanding, these pros and cons, India still remains incompetent to grow in terms of 3G technology. Progress is on and companies have started to introduce 3G in India. However, it’s only when every communication company decides to take this up then its success can be identified. For the time being, this service does not seem suitable for all the income groups and remains confined only to high-earning persons due to its expensive handsets and services. Nonetheless, prices will be lowered once competition is increased by more and more companies introducing it. We are waiting for the same to happen.
Jayati Khurana

[Image courtesy: http://www.watblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/3g.jpg]

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