Why 3G mobile Data is Lagging SmartPhone Adoption in India ?

3G in India vs SmartPhone AdoptionMobile phones have increasingly become more than a communication device – 40% of the respondents in a survey across urban/ semi-urban and rural areas claim that it is currently their primary means of entertainment. While people are upgrading their phones to smartphones and increasingly using their phones to watch videos, listen to music or take photos, having a smartphone does not equate to having a mobile data plan yet. People quite frequently buy pirated content (videos/ music) from local retailers; which is then shared among friends. Moreover, the rise in the number of people that have smartphones, but no data subscription is leading to the growth (more…)

How Data Vs Voice Pricing is a Risk to Airtel, Vodafone, Idea ?

Mobile Broadband Vs VoiceMany Mobile apps now offer either voice messaging (Wechat) or straight VoIP functionality (Skype, Viber, Line). While it is difficult to prove a direct linkage between usage of these apps and usage/revenue trends within the traditional telcos, there is at least anecdotal evidence that, on average, rising 3G / 4G penetration rates are usually associated with falling voice minutes of use.

We do not attempt to prove that messaging apps are cannibalizing voice. Instead, we attempt to quantify the cost savings to users (and therefore the voice revenue risk to operators) were subscribers to move their current voice usage over to a VoIP data based pricing model.

Compression ratios for the various CODECs used by VoIP providers vary, but we understand the most frequently used is the G.729 CODEC. Adjusting a minute (more…)

Google Other Vendors Ignoring India for SmartPhone Launch a Blunder – Big Leap

SmartPhone Market India Big LeapThe Indian Mobile Handset Market is set for a Big Leap in 2014. The handset market currently is almost entirely replacement market. Encouragingly, there appears to be a constant upgrade cycle toward smartphones and the company believes that over next three-four years, the feature phone segment is likely to diminish significantly.

e-commrerce Mobile Retailer Vs Store Retailing in India
Ecommerce companies, especially the ones with “marketplace” models, are currently the most aggressive on the ground. Organized retailers comprising national players like Mobile Store, Spice, Univercell, Reliance digital, Next, Hotspot, etc. and brand outlets (example Nokia Priority) are finding it hard to compete with the e-commerce retailers – e-bay, Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, etc (more…)

Why Low Priced SmartPhones Key for 3G Data Uptake in India ?

Low Priced SmartPhones in IndiaOne of the key drivers for the Indian data growth story will be the availability of low-cost smartphones. We understand that c18m smartphones were sold last year in India and c25-30m smartphones are expected to be sold this year.

There has been significant progress already made, we believe the critical milestone will be when major brands such as Samsung, Micromax, HTC and Nokia are able to launch fully functional smartphones in the USD50 range. At present average price range in the branded smartphone segment is between USD175-500. We do believe that over the next 2- 3 years, India will be a market for refurbished whitebox smartphones as well.

One of the interesting moving (more…)

2G/3G Data Revenue to Grow 40% YoY

3G business in India currently has negative returns, but should turn positive by F2016. Airtel and Idea reported sequential nonvoice revenue growth of 5% and 13%, respectively, in F3Q13.

Operators have been inching up their 2G data tariffs, while 3G data tariffs have come down by ~7x since the beginning of 2012. Data volumes in MB have grown by over 20% in the last two quarters, after a slow start, and the decline in data ARMB has been arrested. 2G/3G data revenues will be the largest contributor to data revenue growth, with annual growth of ~40%.

Smartphones / Data-enabled handsets priced within Rs5,000 help increase data traffic.

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