Well, this is interesting: Government owned telecom operator MTNL will offer its 2G subscribers the opportunity to migrate to 3G services starting June, reports PTI. At the end of the 2009-10 fiscal year, MTNL had 380,000 3G connections, around 7.27% of its total subscriber base at the time. Remember that MTNL is expected to pay Rs. 6465 crores (pdf) for its 3G Spectrum in Delhi and Mumbai, and will also have to contend with Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Global and Reliance Communications as competitors in the 3G space in India, expectedly by September 2010, but probably in 2011.
I have little doubt that soon after launching 3G services, these telecom operators will also have to try to lower the entry barrier. Skimming the market just has not worked, and telecom operators will have to focus on increasing data usage. The sooner you get people used to the Mobile Internet and data access, the better. More on that here.
We’re assuming that MTNLs offer of migration will be free of charge, because MTNL has previously offered paid migration to its customers (example, pdf), apart from several promotional plans (this and this), but it still doesn’t answer the question – why would anyone want to subscribe to 3G services, except for higher speeds of access for Mobile Internet? In that context, Tata Teleservices has targeted the right market with its communication and plans, for its EVDO (3G) services – Tata Photon.