A lot of water has flowed under the bridge from the time that mobiles were unheard of in India to the present where they have become almost ubiquitous. Beginning from those days, Indian subscribers paid around Rs. 16.40 for a mobile to mobile call and around Rs 32.80 for a mobile to a landline call. Today, as per recent statistics, customers pay far lesser for calls and occasional text messages that add up to around Rs 300 a month and upwards.
Now that mobiles have moved into the affordable bracket, there is a great demand for additional mobile services such as mobiles, email, stock market quotes, and astrology services, just to name a few.
A recent survey pointed to the fact that for most customers, mobile phones have become an extension of their personality. Many go a step ahead to say that mobile phones define their individuality as well.
In such a scenario, it is worthwhile to compare the growth of the mobile phone industry vis-a-vis the computer industry in India. According to recent statistics, there are nearly 300 million mobile phone subscribers as compared to just around 30 million PCs in the country. Additionally, around 8 million subscribers are signing up every month for mobile services alone.
For most individuals, mobile phones are becoming a single point of contact for the world surrounding them covering a wide range of utilities like emailing, entertainment, and banking.
More and more people are looking out for more than just talk time on their mobiles. All this is generating a lot of enthusiasm for mobile companies. A number of serious players in this industry are looking at a range of such value added services, which have the capability to boost their bottom line.
Not only are Indians enthralled, but they started spending a considerable amount on these services too. This figure amounted to around $250 million last year. This figure is expected to reach $1.7 billion by the year 2010. This is a boon in disguise for Indian cellular operators who are seriously looking forward to enhance their revenues. Currently, nearly 80% of the revenues come from services like ring tones and SMS. This makes India the second largest mobile market on earth.
The young mobile savvy generation currently feels less privileged in nearly every sector. And thats precisely what is fuelling the growth in mobile services across the country. As the market expands but fulfilling the needs of mobile users by providing them attractive services, mobile phones are becoming a new vehicle for reaching out to the mobile generation.
Mobile content providers also visualise a big jump in their services. These include many global companies such as Google, Yahoo and MSN, which have signed up with many Indian operators like Airtel, Bharti, Vodafone, Tata, and Reliance Communications. Together, they offer a host of services based on the local and regional markets in their area of operation.
The Indian mobile scenario seems to be all set for the next stage expansion and consolidation, but there are a few complications as well. Not all users can afford costlier services beyond messaging and talk time. What is expected is increase in the already growing user base so such services can become affordable to one and all in the long run.