Telecoms to make $11 bn revenue from data in India

wireless data user
Data revenues for Indian telecom network operators are set to double to $11 billion by 2017-18, said brokerage firm CLSA.

Reliance Jio Infocomm, which has delayed the 4G service launch to 2016, is likely to drive the mobile Internet market in India. Bharti Airtel, which has presence in both 3G and 4G markets, is expected to gain from the upcoming boom.

Even as existing telecom network operators have begun to focus on content, the main differentiator will be network delivery, or the quality and download speed — areas that have intensified ahead of Reliance Jio’s entry.

“Given that each operator’s content is not exclusive and the service differentiation will be led by network experience, operators are rolling out 3G / 4G at an accelerated pace. Given that content with each operator is not exclusive and can be replicated, we believe content is not going to be the key differentiator among operators,” said CLSA on Monday.

Meanwhile, Juniper Research today said the value of digital content transactions paid for by carrier billing is expected to reach $47 billion by 2020, more than 4 times 2015’s figure of just under $11.3 billion.

Apple’s decision to test carrier billing in Germany and Russia is likely to herald a substantial number of further deployments in the medium term. Carrier billing solutions could be a key means of monetising content purchased within an array of environments, including connected cars and for in-flight infotainment.

“Over fiscal years 2015-16 to 2017-18, CLSA expects data revenues to double and Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are best-placed to gain, given their lead in spectrum as well as higher fiber and sites on network.

The telecom analysis report indicates investment in spectrum and network will make the difference in the Indian telecom market place. Earlier, some media reports suggested that both Vodafone and Idea Cellular will be forced to make investment in spectrum and telecom infrastructure to take on Airtel and Reliance Jio.

CLSA says data revenues will more than double to $11 billion and drive a 9 per cent compounded annual growth rate in the industry revenues to $34 billion, despite the low penetration of data on mobile.

The 3G / 4G adoption has picked up with subscribers tripling over the past two years to 133 million, penetration is still low at mere 13 percent.

India has 312 million mobile data subscribers and mobile data penetration in the country is just 31 percent.

Global mobile data revenue

The global mobile data revenue will increase from $386 billion in 2015 to $630 billion in 2020, said A Parks Associates.

Most of the revenue growth in mobile data business will be in the Asia Pacific region and the rest of the world. North America and Western Europe will see minimal growth, and in the U.S. especially, alternatives such as Wi-Fi have drawn consumer interest to reduce their mobile data bills. Cable operators are promoting Wi-Fi hotspots, and 70 percent of U.S. mobile consumers are interested in Wi-Fi-only data plans.

There will be 17.2 million 5G consumer market subscriptions worldwide by the end of 2020. 5G will be concentrated in the U.S., Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, and major industrial nations in Western Europe.