Mobile VAS to be USD 4 billion mkt in two years

The focus of operators is to provide MVAS services in the areas of Banking (for better banking facilities, penetration), Healthcare (for better infrastructure in rural areas), and Education (for better access to knowledge), according to a study prepared by global consultancy firm Deloitte.

The study was done during January and February 2011 and was undertaken via online research, which results in a high concentration of urban professionals. In all, 2,028 responses from India were included in the study.

The study says that MVAS offers the operators multiple revenue streams - from subscribers as well as advertisers and businesses. Going forward VAS is expected to grow at a very fast pace provided VAS providers come out with the products that are beneficial for 'Aam Aadmi', add value to their life and improve their earning potential.

The opportunities for telecom industries combined with other industries are many fold and would also result in improved quality of life for the common man, it says. The study also finds that, mobile internet and data cards are more popular among younger generation who constitute about 50 per cent of the Indian population today.

Most of the respondents want two or more service providers in order to have different services from different operators. Further, falling prices of handsets and increasing competition from local vendors are forcing the global mobile phone manufacturers to differentiate through services like application stores.

Increasing disposable incomes have boosted willingness to spend on services that bring value among the upwardly mobile citizens today, but network coverage and customer service are the uncompromising needs.

The study reveals that 87 per cent respondents having smartphone access internet through their smartphone, while 62 per cent respondents are ready to pay a premium for connecting devices. With 3G services, the Indian telecom industry is set for a second telecom revolution in wireless space. It will also benefit those sectors in which these services will be offered, by providing better infrastructure and services.

Deloitte's initial results of study show that traffic carried by operators might increase upto 300 times by 2025. More spectrum will be required to reduce congestion in the networks. Meanwhile, the study advices that since spectrum is a limited resource, its allocation should be done more efficiently. It also suggests spectrum harmonisation.

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