Most of mobile operators in India have reduced the prices of their 3G data tariffs in past few months, but in a bid to stimulate the market 3G services are struggling to gain traction in the world’s second-largest mobile market just due to no blanket coverage or non-availability of 3G signals at street level in all circles across India.
According to the data provided by Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora, India has total 7,36,654 base transceiver stations (BTS -2G GSM and CDMA & 3G Mobile Towers) while out of that only 96,212 BTSs have been installed to provide 3G mobile and data services in the country till the 30 November 2012.
Presently for 3G mobile and data services, Tamil Nadu circle has maximum of 9,350 BTSs, followed by Delhi and NCR with 8,405 BTSs, Maharashtra and Goa (exluding Mumbai) with 8,377 BTSs. Mumbai had 6,622 BTSs for 3G services as on November 30, 2012. Out of 640 districts of India, 610 districts are being covered by 3G services as on November 2012.
As per present 3G service rolls out norms, mobile operators that have won 3G spectrum in 2010, are required to provide street level coverage in at least 90% of service area in Metros within 5 years of the date (till 2015) they were allocated 3G spectrum.
For other than Metro circles, operators are required to cover 50 per cent of district headquarters (DHQs) which should be 90% of the area bounded by municipal or local body (Panchayat – Jila Parishad) limits till the year of 2015.
It seems that uptake of 3G services is also hampered by the fact that no 3G operator covering the entire country or not providing street leval indoor and outdoor 3G coverage in all circles across India.
Number of Mobile Towers (BTSes) for GSM and CDMA Mobile Services (2G and 3G) as on 30 November 2012.