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Reasons For The Declining Growth of Cyber cafes In India

There are only 600 cybercafes in Mumbai, as per this report in BusinessWeek, down from 2000 in 2006. As per a CII-IMRB report, the growth of cybercafes has declined as well - down to 20 percent growth, from 60 percent growth in 2004-05, but that was obviously on a smaller base. They've estimated that there are 180,000 cybercafes in the country. And I wouldn't be surprised if even this figure is bloated: -- Classification as a Cybercafe: I wonder how they've classified cybercafes - how many computers, on an average, make a cybercafe? How many of these are single PC outlets? -- Efficacy of data: Secondly, how is this data collected? Sify might claim 3000 cybercafes, but eight months ago, one of the iWays listed near my home wasn't even set up (I just checked, and it is operational now). Note how shoddy Sify's iWay list is, with fake contact numbers (0, 1231321, 111111) , and cybercafes not even operational yet.* -- Adding Cybercafes, or mostly conversations: while Sify is focusing on smaller iWays - e-Ports - many of their cybercafes are actually conversions of unbranded cybercafes, and not new additions (source). I've written previously about how the decline in wireline subscribers isn't a healthy trend for India. WiMax appears to be everyone's bet for broadband growth, people forget that WiMax will have a gestation period, isn't going to come cheap, and is more likely to convert people from wired broadband first. Spectrum hasn't yet been sold, and mass infrastructure…

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