India To See Strong Mobile Broadband Growth
Mobile broadband market in India will continue to have strong growth as compared to other mobile services market, will remain almost at the same level as 2013 at $19.2 billion in 2014, says research firm Gartner. The research firm said that mobile connections in India will grow to 815 million in 2014, an 8 percent increase from 755 million connections in 2013.
“The mobile market in India is going through a rough patch, where voice average revenue per user (ARPU) is falling very fast, and the increase in data ARPU is not able to fully compensate for the decline,“ said Neha Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner. Mobile broadband provides a substantial revenue opportunity in India on the back of low fixed line broadband penetration. Packing and selling mobile broadband in small and affordable chunks is critical to uptake, she said.
IDC too said in a recent report that for India, mobile broadband market in 2014 will continue to have strong growth compared to other mobile services market. This service is expected to reach $7 billion by 2017 with a CAGR of 32 percent. This is mainly due to more 3G services coverage across the country, especially in the big cities, said IDC Asia/Pacific Telecommunication Group senior research manager Ashadi Cahyadi. The analyst firm too sees only mobile broadband services show strong growth, owing to smartphones penetration with affordable prices and rollout of 3G and LTE licenses. Meanwhile SMS and MMS are on a decline trend. Voice services tend to have a flat growth rate.
Both the research firms note with this trend, operators should focus more on their mobile broadband strategy, as Gartner points out that one of the biggest challenges faced by Indian mobile operators is the growing appetite for over-the-top (OTT) voice services. Explosion in personal connected devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is driving consumer appetite for OTT communication. “If the prevailing market conditions do not change in the Indian mobile market, India will account for 12 percent worldwide mobile connections, but just 2 percent of worldwide mobile services revenue,” says Gupta.
However, the research firm sees much opportunity in innovative mobile apps that help increase loyalty of the consumer. These could go beyond the popular category of social and video apps to include utility apps such as. shopping apps. Apps that can provide high user-experience on low tech phones are likely to have higher traction than others. Operators that engage with popular content and service brands and bundle their apps and services with their data plans will drive consumer interest in mobile broadband.
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