Indian Mobile Data May Cost Rs 50/GB By 2020: Report
India might get mobile data at a price as minimal as Rs. 50 per GB by 2020 as opposed to 2016 where users were paying approximately Rs. 228 per GB, Analyses Mason said during a webinar by ET.
It said that LTE per user’s LTE usage would reach 6-7 GB per month if 1 GB data is available at Rs. 50 in India and assuming 17 percent Wi-Fi offload as per current trend.
It further said that 3 G data consumption would go up to around 2 GB data per user per month as 3 G tariffs may drop in-line with 4G tariffs.
The paradigm shift is also due to the new entrant Reliance Jio that by 2020, 80 percent Indian population will be in a position to afford a 4G phone, which would otherwise have been 68 percent.
The launch of 4G VoLTE feature phone which is likely to hit the market in August this year is expected to intensify competition and will result in mass migration of 2G to 4G services, which may lead to a decline in low-end voice subscribers of incumbent telecom operators including Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea Cellular.
“In India, the contribution of voice is still higher at 60-70% but we expect India to move in a direction where voice contributes only 30-40%, as per the international benchmarks,” said Siddharth Thakkar, consultant at Analysys Mason.
The operators will require a huge amount of spectrum including sub-GHz spectrum to provide widespread coverage and to support the vast traffic, the research firm said. Over that, to enable Rs 50 per GB, telcos have to target 5 GB per month per subscriber.
Also, the telecom operators will have to work around an annual capex of Rs 6,500-7,500 crore and opex of Rs 20,000-25,000 crore to get the total figure to Rs 30,000 crore for business feasibility.
Though the price fall in tariff plans is in favor of subscribers, it will certainly have a huge impact on the revenue earnings of telcos in a big way in the years ahead. In fact, major telcos are already facing a decline in margins and revenue amid increased expenditure on network infrastructure.
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