3G services were launched in the country about four years back. Nevertheless, only 93 million mobile users have 3G connections in the country, according to the CLSA, citing latest data collated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).
The brokerage further said in a note to clients, "3G penetration varies significantly across circles in India, with the top-five circles having twice as much 3G penetration as the remaining 17 markets, and also having 40% higher ARPU versus the industry average".
A case in point is that 3G penetration in the country significantly varies across the circles, such as in Mumbai it is a strong 21% , while in UP (East), it is mere 4 per cent. Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are top four circles by 3G penetration, apart from Mumbai.
On the other hand, in the remaining 17 circles, 2G penetration is similar at 21 per cent whereas, 3G penetration is half of data-centric markets at 7.5 per cent.
Prashant Singhal, telecom leader at Ernst & Young, said, “I don’t think the penetration is low as 3G is in the process of evolving. It’s picking up, it’s growing. The spectrum auctions happened only in 2010, but networks being set up by companies in 2012-13, so we had 3G for just 2-2.5 years”.