India fastest growing mobile market in South Asia

India fastest growing mobile market in South Asia

According to Lavanya Palani Batcha, Industry Analyst for ICT Practice at Frost & Sullivan, South Asia and Middle East, the mobile value-added services (VAS) market is set to grow at a strong CAGR of 16.6 per cent from 2008 to 2015.

With tumbling voice tariffs contributing to declining Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) rates, mobile operators are actively pushing for growth of the non-voice value-added services market, the analyst noted.

"Despite the economic uncertainties, the mobile services market in South Asian and Middle East countries continues to sustain a growth path, especially in countries such as India," Batcha said.

The trend in regional areas across countries is equally interesting, he added.
"Mobile markets across regions are intensely competitive and some of them have reached saturation in terms of penetration of addressable markets," he said.
Presently, mobile voice revenues constitute the largest chunk of operator's revenues, relegating mobile data revenues to a miniscule percentage.

In the case of messaging, the popularity of Peer to Application (P2A) SMS, where mobile subscribers respond to an application such as voting through SMS for a TV program, is on the rise.

In terms of Premium Content - Mobile Entertainment segment, it remains the most significant form of mobile VAS across the South Asia and Middle East geographies.
Batcha said with many markets almost reaching saturation point or having surpassed saturation in terms of mobile subscriptions penetration, telecom service providers are in need to bolster the ARPUs and mobile VAS has the potential to alleviate this issue of declining ARPUs.

According to Batcha, Saudi Arabian mobile market has a high mobile penetration. However, the country still witnesses steady year-on-year growth in this sector.
VAS market is expected to exhibit CAGR of 10.6 per cent between 2008 and 2015.
Sri Lanka has a relatively moderate mobile user penetration of 42.4 per cent; hence there is good potential for growth and 3G services such as Video SMS, Dial and Watch TV have been introduced.

UAE has one of the highest mobile subscription penetrations in the South Asia and Middle East region.

Both mobile operators, Etisalat and Du, increasing their focus on revenue streams from VAS and mobile TV and mobile internet, have strong potential. Mobile VAS market is estimated at CAGR of 11. 9 per cent between 2008 and 2015.

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