Recently, China has surpassed 1 billion mobile subscribers and India is yet to achieve the milestone destination. India had 894 million mobile subscribers by December 2011. A research analysis firm “Gartner” has reportedly projected that the total mobile services revenue in India could reach to USD 30 million by 2016. The firm has also said that the average revenue per users (ARPU) seems stable in India since 2011—However, in between 2008-2010 the ARPU declined by two-digit.
Gartner’s principal analyst of Consumer Technology and Markets—Shalini Verma—said, “The staggering growth of mobile connections has been driven by the expansion of mobile services in semi-urban and rural markets and the availability of cheap mobile devices. However, the other performance indicators of the Indian mobile market seem modest in comparison to those of markets such as China.”
According to the firm, India is far behind of China in the aspect of mobile service penetration, and also, the ARPU of India is one-third of China. However, India has lowest ARPU compare to the other part of the world. The firm has also predicted that the mobile service growth is currently at 51% in India and it’s expected to grow to 72% by 2016. In November 2011, the mobile penetration was 73% in India, while 71% in China (expected to grow to 119% by 2016).
There is a huge opportunity for investors to generate mobile data revenue in India because there’s still a low penetration of broadband services and mobile users are often using their mobile device for online services. In a previous report we have demonstrated how mobile web traffic is increasing year-over-year and how it has effected to PC web traffic?
According to the Garner’s recent report the broadband household penetration in India is lower than the other emerging markets worldwide. India has just 6% of broadband household penetration compare to average 16% of the total emerging markets worldwide.
In India, still 90% of mobile subscribers are using pre-paid services, and presently, Indian mobile operators are seeking for an ‘out of box’ ideas in order to improve margins and control operational cost, which is possible only when the penetration of post-paid users will increase.
Mobile broadband is expected to be the necessity for folks in upcoming years. However, mobile operators are also moving to invest the amount in order to grow mobile data revenue across the country. There are lots of challenges for investors such as pragmatic nature of middle class, however, the increasing number of IT professional and services oriented companies across the country has created a greater opportunity for investors.