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December 27, 2011

It's a New Year for India in IT Sector

India, like the rest of the world, is soon starting a new year, with 2011 having been quite eventful in the field of technology.

The IT sector in India saw “a good year” during 2011, with more than $100 billion in revenue for the first time, according to news reports.  Of that amount, some two-thirds were from services exports.

It was this past year when India had its first “social-network-driven revolution” and an attempt by the government “to kill ‘objectionable’ content on Facebook (News - Alert) and other social media,” says a report from the Economic Times of India.

When it comes to IT and India, a lot of achievements took place in the telecom sector during 2011, such as with 3G, The Economic Times reports.

There were predictions for growth in the sector, and there were more 3G offerings. But 3G also led to reports of “poor user experience” and insufficient “content,” which limited the number of new users, says The Economic Times.

In addition, India saw portability of mobile numbers this past year. During 2011, some 25 million users asked to change to another mobile operator but still keep their original phone number.  That translated to an estimated 2.5 million requests coming in each month. “The churn is taking its toll: Operators are responding with tariff cuts and deals,” The Economic Times reported.

Also, some 175 million mobile phone users signed up in just 10 months, the newspaper says. But India still has low revenue from each user. For example, some 93 percent of the mobile users in India “are prepaid, low-spenders,” according to the newspaper report.

“Together with terribly-high energy costs for the diesel backup for a half-million towers, it's a struggle for margins,” The Economic Times adds.

In addition, the newspaper reported that in India Apple’s iOS is “irrelevant” because the “overpriced iPhone is non-existent.” Google’s Android (News - Alert) OS has seen lots of new users in India, just like other parts of the world. Research In Motion's BlackBerry, is “strong” in India, particularly with business users and young consumers, according to the Economic Times. “Nokia still rules India, but in the smartphone space, it's getting edged out by Android vendors like Samsung (News - Alert), and BlackBerry,” The Economic Times commented. “Overall, smartphones doubled in sales in India this year.”

In addition, a tablet for $35 was launched in India during October at $60. It is aimed for use in schools.

Looking toward the future, the number of Internet users in India is projected to reach over 230 million by 2015, according to a report on TMCnet. In other recent technology trends in India, Vodafone (News - Alert) India users who aren’t using their cellphones at least every 60 days will find that the phones may soon be disconnected, according to TMCnet. The users can either make voice calls or send text messages. As many as 10 million subscribers could be impacted by the new regulation, The Economic Times says.

Ed Silverstein is a TMCnet contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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