With LTE services debuting in the country after Bharti Airtel launching in Kolkata and Bengaluru, the country has nearly all the required technologies in the Internet access bouquet and the consumer is theoretically presented with a multitude of options.
Are these options real, which can be exercised by consumers in all the telecom license circles and in all parts of a given circle? Further, does a choice of telecom operator always exist, especially when opting for a fixed-line broadband service?
Not really. Telecom offerings by even leading telcos are so fragmented that a private telco would be offering fixed-line broadband services in barely one-third of the districts in Karnataka. And even in the districts covered, the service would be limited to select pockets.
Effectively, not all intending consumers across a telecom circle of, say, Karnataka would be able to opt for fixed-line broadband services, excepting maybe the one offered by state-run operator BSNL. In the absence of any competition, the market forces wouldn’t come into effect and the related benefits would not come to consumers.
Why care for fixed-line broadband when high-speed wireless options like 3G and LTE are going to be there? Well, while wireless broadband is great for subscribers while they are mobile and are using smaller screens like smart phones and tablets, their user experience would drop significantly when they move indoors and start using larger PC screens. This is particularly true for video-based applications. 
Given the general hypothesis that users spend more time indoors than outdoors, the long-term relevance of fixed-line networks becomes even more significant. But, there has been a prolonged skew in favor of wireless networks. Sure, the emphasis on wireless has served an unprecedented purpose of boosting tele-density, when it comes to broadband, fixed-line networks hold the potential to give usage, and not just subscriptions, a fillip.
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