Saturday, 12 December 2009

Will the Great Indian Mobile Revolution Wind down?

Great stats and insights in this note from prof.Sadagopan... with the second largest mobile subscriber base in the planet, and the indian surefootedness in finding a million ways to provide services to customers thro this platform, we are on a fast tracked next dimension growth at the national level... i personally believe that the next "Google" in the mobile world will be from India.

However, a few flies in the ointment... consider

- all the operators now (the last few weeks) are on a bruising price war, which drives down ARPU and directly hits the bottomline- and all are doing it to build subscriber base- can the operators be healthy?

- Voice and SMS account for most of revenue (almost 95%), with VAS being a very small part of the game- how will we encourage GPRS and LBS, services to the 500 mm that will be a huge boost to the economy, with the millions of new business models that will bring

-are the operators mature enough to create a viable ecosystem? any provider of VAS services has to contend with the fact that for every rupee the consumer pays to the operator, a meagre 30 paise winds up with the provider who has to pay off content folks (typically 3rd party- eg bollywood), the aggregators and others, leaving them with a measly 5-10 paise on their TOPLINE.. not very appetising, is it?

i guess hope lies in competition- for instance Vodafone already does a great job of encouraging VAS, and with the entry of DOCOMO, which knows Japan, the most sophisticated market for VAS in the planet, i think there are a few new ways this market will head... eagerly watching this space...

in reference to:

"500 million phone subscribers in India today"
- 500 million phone subscribers in India today « Professor Sadagopan’s Weblog (view on Google Sidewiki)

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