Prices of 3G services in India are not going to be cheaper any time sooner, The Mobile Indian has been told by major telecom operators.
The statement came in response to Nokia’s statement in which the handset major said that telecommunication companies should cut down their 3G prices for better penetration of third generation telephony services at the lower end of the market.
“Pricing has to be corrected (for better penetration of 3G services). At the lower-end prices have to be right,â€ Nokia India’s head (services marketing) Jasmeet Gandhi told reporters.
“A lot of consumers in India want to future proof themselves in terms of technology at the right price point. So when the pricing of 3G will be affordable, they will definitely go for it. And we have seen this happen in many categories,â€ Gandhi added.
While we could not agree more, the feeling inside the operator community is that of wait and watch. The Mobile Indian contacted all the 3G operators and each one of them said without being quoted there is not plan to change prices in the short term (6-8 weeks).
Incidentally, Nokia has not really done well in the smartphone segment and till now the company depends on its feature phones for bread and butter.
While the premium handsets users can afford the costly 3G connections, it’s usually the lower end 3G device users who will benefit from cheaper 3G rates. Affordable fast net connections, Nokia believes, will fuel sales for its lower end 3G devices.
The 3G technology platform was believed to revolutionise mobile experience through high-speed internet, video-calls, interactive gaming and mobile TV. But even after a year of roll out of 3G services, the percentage of actual users is lower than what was expected.
While what Nokia says is true, the operators are still waiting for clarity to emerge on the policy front to take any decisions. One of the spokespersons of a telco said “Don’t expect any major announcements from any operator for the next 6 to 8 weeks or till major policy decision like the new telecom policy is out in the final formâ€.
The industry is waiting for the government to announce its policies about the merger and acquisition, spectrum sharing, and new spectrum auctions.