What are the Obstacles to OTT in India ?

There is lot of bugaboo about the proliferation of digital media in India. India too is estimated to follow the same consumption pattern as in US with surge in internet penetration . However, currently, broadband infrastructure in the country is too inadequate due to which internet penetration is limited to ~27.5%. Further, available wired broadband speeds to paying consumers in India are far below what the service providers promise. A data service package that promises 8mbps typically max out at 5mbps. This is due to high contention ratio (that measures the number of internet users sharing a fixed amount of bandwidth) given limited availability of bandwidth.

Nonetheless, mindset of consumers is rapidly

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How OTT Players Threaten YouTube’s Dominance in India ?

OTT Apps India Threat YouTubeOTT Mobile Apps have been gaining ground for some niche offering. Unlike YouTube having most of its content unlicensed and pirated, OTT Apps have 100% Licensed and Authentic Content to offer for the Indian consumer. Hotstar, Sony LIV etc are the leading OTT Convergence Apps in India.

OTT platforms are able to differentiate themselves by providing one or all of the below services, including,

Live TV and catch up TV, which give users flexibility to view TV content on their mobile handsets. Star was able to aggressively push Hotstar as it has digital rights for the IPL. As per our channel checks, nearly half of Hotstar’s views are cricketing events, implying that the same has strong pull and is able to attract users to the platform.

On-demand movies, fiction and

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Slowing growth of Data – Voice Cannibalization in India

Mobile Data growth has slowed down meaningfully for operators with data ARPU’s flattening out over the past 3 quarters despite the massive rollout of services from operators. While this could have been palatable if the base were high enough, such a slowdown on low data volumes overall is a worrying trend. We believe while realization decline is necessary for increasing usage, education of users and need creation for internet use would be the key to pushing growth of data usage going forward.

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How 95% Pre-Paid Users with Unbundled Packages Will Deter Airtel / Vodafone/ Idea ?

Unbundled Pre-Paid Users a Liablity on TelcosThe A-Vo-Id [Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular] Telecom Operator Lobby Control over 2/3rd of the Indian Telecom Market. They have ~95% of their subscribers on the pre-paid platform and never did they make any effort to convert them to post-paid. Never did you see them offering Bundled Packages [SmartPhones,Unlimited Voice, SMS and 3G Data] even in post-paid segment. Reliance Communications was the only exception in this regard which offered iPhone and Unlimited Calling Pack.

To date, A-Vo-Id operators focus has been on cannibalisation of SMS revenues by messaging apps (WhatsApp, Viber, WeChat, etc). Clearly, the advent of OTT voice adds an additional potential threat. At first glance, the amount of revenue exposed to

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Killer App: OTT Voice Can Cannibalize Telco Revenues in Long Term

OTT Apps and Voice Cannibalization ThreatIn the Global telecom industry, only the Indian market was able to generate double-digit YoY revenue growth, driven by both a recovery in voice Revenue per Minute (RPM) as the competitive environment among the players improved, and an additional kicker from data growth—in other words, both growth engines were still working.

From a revenue perspective, at least for the time being, the advent of smartphones has created an additional growth driver for the sector, in the form of data revenues generated. Thus, to date in the region, the amount of SMS and voice revenue cannibalised by OTT mobile messenger applications, such as WhatsApp, WeChat and LINE, has been more than offset by the data revenue generated.

OTT voice a further cannibalisation threat
Three things have changed over the last 6-12 months that in our view

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What is an OTT Service – WatsApp, Line, Viber etc ? How it Works ?

OTT ServicesWe’ve received e-mails asking to explain OTT Apps in the context of Telecommunication Services. In a series of post we attempt to explain OTT Apps & Services.

Over the Top Service (OTT) is the general term for an application / service or content delivered over an independent Internet based medium. OTT operators are typically independent by nature from the telco and because of the various platforms offered by smartphone operating systems, they are able to replicate and replace traditional telco services such as voice and messaging and deliver the services over the traditional telco pipes (pay TV for example) without any affiliation to a specific telco operator.

OTT communications services allow users

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OTT Apps Lead to Massive Decline in SMS Usage

number of smsOver-the-Top (OTT) services are web-based (potentially cheaper) ways of communicating that bypass traditional voice & SMS services. TRAI data shows that SMS has already started to feel the impact from online messaging apps such as WhatsApp, and SMS’ contribution to industry rev has already declined (3%; Jun13). The expected further reduction, however, should be more than offset by data pickup (~10% of rev for Bharti/Idea), while voice revenue should remain relatively immune.

TRAI data highlights that SMS as % of rev (GSM)

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Are Data / OTT Apps Threatening Telcos Revenue Model ?

3G IndiaOne common feature among all the new approaches, though, is the growing awareness that data bandwidth on a mobile network is an intrinsically scarce resource that must be allocated carefully. Indian 3G pricing acknowledges this and all Indian operators are charging on a tiered basis only. Going forward, we believe re balancing of data / access pricing versus voice and SMS pricing packaging will become increasingly important.

Let us examine what could happen to overall pricing for operators if their users were to switch to using over-the-top (OTT) applications, consuming just data. The key, in our view, is to price data in a way that takes into account voice pricing

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