India is to become the world’s second largest market for mobile broadband according to information released earlier this month by the GSMA. By 2016 the country is expected to overtake the US with around 367 million mobile broadband connections, although still fewer than China’s 639 million.

In addition the country’s HSPA connections, which now stand at 10 million, are expected to increase by 900 percent over the next two years to more than 100 million connections. This will leapfrog the country ahead of China, Japan and the US to make it the largest HSPA market in the world.

This sudden explosion of mobile growth has been led by the country’s affluent city communities, which added 85 million connections alone in 2011. According to the GSMA’s Wireless Intelligence Service mobile penetration in India’s urban areas now stands at 161 percent, having risen 20 percent last year. Today the country is also the third largest Internet subscriber base in the world with more than 100 million users and has the second largest Facebook subscriber base with 43 million profiles.

However despite this huge increase in mobile activity smartphones and dongles still remain out of reach of many ordinary Indians with average price tags of $500 and $200, four times and twice the country’s average monthly per capita GDP. As the number of LTE networks increase worldwide and more devices become available prices will come down boosting India’s mobile penetration yet further, especially in the heavily populated rural areas.

The potential for extra business in India over the short and long term for mobile operators and telecommunications companies is staggering and will only increase as the country’s development moves forward. For all the latest information on the state of the Sub-Continent’s mobile sector head down to the Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona. For all your accommodation needs in the city look to EAS, your friendly local travel agents. We have rooms in all the best Barcelona hotels and most centrally located apartments. We’ll organise your transportation, nightly entertainment and make sure your stay is as stress free as it is unforgettable. Click on this link to fill in our request form.