India calling. Hallo, koi udhar hai?

For those who don’t know hindi, ‘Koi Udha hai?’ means “is anybody out there?”(Pink Floyd). Well, the message is clear – The Wall is gone, the curtains have been raised and India is calling!
I am getting to know India again. Kind of re-learning! especially in the mobile and telecom sector. I came across these key facts, some very surprising, thought will share it ye all!

Source: Indian Mobile Telecom Map, FirstPartner, my immediate thoughts in ()

  • Literacy level 64% (good, its improved by 4% in 5 yrs, if I am correct)
  • Middle class population: 250 million (hmmm)
  • 45% of Indian population is below age of 19! (what the heck)
  • 43% of India’s population is working
  • 100 million (1.e 10%) 17-24 yr olds are wage earners (I am one of them!)
  • 5-34 old will exceed 400 million by 2010
  • Mobile penetration is less than 7% {70 million} (I had read its 9% somewhere else I think)
  • 100 million SMS per day!
  • 1 million ‘paid’ ringtones downloaded per day (thats impressive!)
  • Handset Market value$2.25bn – 60% estimated growth in 3 years!
  • VAS (value added service i.e Data services mostly) Revenue $125 mn: expected to grow to $1bn by FY 2010 (why is everyone talking about 2010? talk 2007!)
  • Mobile services Revenue ~ $7bn
  • Average Mobile Infrastruce Investment per anum ~ $2.5bn

As the report in the link says, I kind of agree, the mobile market is going to explode! The main drivers being:

  1. A cell phone, its being viewed as a commodity. A mild observation when I am standing at the bus stop in Mumbai. 7 in 10 persons reached out into their pocket for a mobile (atleast to see time!). 4 were talking, two SMSing and one listening to FM. I wonder if the other 3 had cellphones in the pocket, but this scenario itself is very very promising!
  2. Telecom policy is opening up: the STD rates are dropping with the government planning to make one price for all long distance calls through out india! we are talking in the order of Rs 1 per minute through out India
  3. The operators are bullish and increasing subscribers at both rural and urban areas. The report says that the telecom density is just 2% in Rural areas (huge scope for improvement!) and 32% in Urban areas. With prices for voice crashing (lowest prepaid recharge is Rs 10!) and with ‘Lifetime’ incoming free offers (provided one recharges every six months – who said caveats are not here). Its becoming very affordable to have a constant connection!
  4. Investments plans by handset manufacturers for cheap handsets (under $20) by Motorola, LG, Samsung and Nokia is going to enable further adoption and growth. I think even Cisco is planning to invest. Foreign Cell phone companies like Vodafone and Maxis are interested and are making investments!
  5. India is young, dynamic, working, hungry and buzy! A mobile which is a personal device and a lsoextension of self will soon be playing a very important role in India’s economy. There will be a ‘Halo’ effect. The mobile and agile economy, as I am going to term it, is live and calling

Keep coming back for mobile related thoughts here! :D if you feel India is definitely calling … will leave you with this picture
cellphone and bride

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11 thoughts on “India calling. Hallo, koi udhar hai?

  1. this is very crisp and interesting. I dread to attend meetings , music programmes ,dramas ,temples ,public places like airports railways busstands etc, Mobile is slowly taking the ugly shape of a kutti monstor growing exponentially.The use of mobiles especially those ringing when some impt point is discuused is highly disturbing. many halls now find a way to break the waves. Like smoking mobile use should be with a caution. of course we will learn by experience how to make use postively. the future mobiles should be simple with minimum reqd features with long battery life and less of noise and nuisance.

  2. i totally agree with kss mobiles are disturbing esp in my clinic while iam seeing patients. so also in conferances in side the hall.even in silent mode, people are moving in and out &disturbing the meeting.we are getting addicted to cell phones.it is also spying ones privacy!so cell phones should be strictly used for incoming &outgoing only!all other facilitys should be banned!
    DR,NAGARAJAN

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  4. mobiles are kuty pisasu which has taken vishwaroopam at present. ofcourse they are useful all t times.. indeed everyone is addicted to mobiles, that its very difficult for anybody to live eve single minute without that. t costs are decreased and made it even more comfortable
    i think its important that everyony must have a mobile and many more networks should come forward with more reasonable talktime in order to avoid network jam in peak hours.

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