Extensive broadband usage to make OECD richer by USD 126 bn
At a time when major economies worldwide are facing a slowdown, a new international study has suggest that enhancing the speed of broadband networks has the potential to bring in economic benefits worth USD 126 billion for the OECD grouping of mostly developed countries.
The study, conducted jointly by Ericsson, Arthur D Little and Chalmers University of Technology in 33 OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries, quantifies the isolated impact of broadband speed, showing that doubling the broadband speed for an economy increases GDP by 0.3 per cent.
A 0.3 per cent increase in GDP growth in the OECD region is equivalent to USD 126 billion. The OECD region accounts for over 60 per cent of global economic output.
"Broadband has the power to spur economic growth by creating efficiency for society, businesses and consumers," Johan Wibergh, the Head of Business Unit Networks at Ericsson, said at the Broadband World Forum 2011 here.
BWA spectrum enables high-speed Internet access as well as Internet telephony and TV services. It can also be used for voice and high-speed data services. It is expected to be rolled out in India next year.
The number of people accessing broadband will increase by five-fold to 5 billion by 2016.
"We expect a huge increase from the current estimate of around 1 billion people, with broadband access to about 5 billion in 2016, most of whom will have mobile broadband," Wibergh said.
If the results of the study are to be believed, improving broadband penetration and doubling its speed could provide a much-needed fillip to OECD countries' economies.
A recent study commissioned by the GSM Association (GSMA) said that a 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration in India will contribute an additional USD 80 billion (Rs 3,506 billion) in combined net revenues from the country's transport, healthcare and education sectors by 2015.
According to telecom regulator's TRAI report, penetration of internet and broadband has remained low in the country, mainly due to the limited spread of wireline telephones and non-availability, so far, of broadband technologies.
The number of broadband subscribers at the end of March, 2005, was 0.18 million and it increased to 12.12 million by the end of May, 2011.
Last year, the auction of spectrum for Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) and 3G spectrum in India added Rs 1.06 lakh crore to the government's kitty, over three times the original estimate, demonstrating the amount of interest telecom players in the country have in wireless broadband.