India’s Mobile Market

The Economist writes:

India’s mobile-phone market is growing by around 55% a year and the country now has 140m mobile subscribers. An average of 6.5m subscribers have been added in each of the past three months, three times the rate of a year ago. Contrary to expectations, the average revenue per user (ARPU)an important industry measurehas stayed relatively constant even as the number of users has risen. All of this makes India one of the world’s most attractive places to invest in telecoms. So there is no shortage of potential buyers for Mr Li’s stake in Hutchison Essar. With a 17% market share, the operator offers a foothold in what is now the world’s fastest-growing mobile market.

Mobile Advertising Risks

Chetan Sharma quotes from a Forrester Research report: “The near ubiquity of mobile phones and accelerating consumer acceptance of applications other than voice make mobile a powerful new channel for marketers. When done right, mobile campaigns yield high response rates and increase consumer engagement. Still, 79% of consumers are annoyed by the idea of mobile marketing. To avoid consumer backlash against ads on their phones, marketers must adopt a mindset where value replaces interruption and campaigns are designed for an abbreviated and immediate mobile experience.”

He adds: “…consumer needs to be at the center of the mobile services esp. advertising .. with the small real estate, it is hard to ignore the advertising messages and if not done right, will start to annoy users and will hamper the growth. It is also important to distinguish between consumers who like advertising on the phone and the ones who dont and prepare the marketing programs accordingly to move them from latter to the former.”

2007 Predictions

Los Angeles Times has predictions from Steve Ballmer, Rafat Ali, Kevin Werbach, Chris Anderson and John Brockman, among others.

Ballmer: “2007 will be the year that unified communications technology helped us regain control of our information and our lives. Ironically, the proliferation of new technologies up until now has made communications harder, not easier. In 2007, I believe that phone numbers and e-mail addresses will begin to give way to a single identity, and the desktop phone will merge with the PC and mobile phone. Messages will be routed to you on a device that will be smart enough to know whether you can be interrupted based on what you are doing and who the message is from. Instead of being ruled by e-mail and cellphones, we’ll have control over when and how we can be reached, and by whom.”