Growing Mobile VAS in India: The Big Opportunity

India has 400 million mobile users with an ARPU of about Rs 200. Of this, the non-voice ARPU is about 10% (Rs 20), comprising P2P SMS (Rs 10), CRBT (Rs 4) and other VAS (Rs 6). The other VAS (which are non-network services) amount to about Rs 3,000 crore [400 million x Rs 6 per month x 12 months].This market for data services will probably grow to 2-3x in the next 3 years. The market itself is growing 25% per annum, and also the spend on data is increasing.

So, in about 3-4 years, this will be a $2 billion market (Rs 10,000 crore). The bulk of this spend will come from the top 10-20% of subscribers (about 100 million), each of whom can on average spend Rs 75-100 a month on various data services. By then, voice will have become a commodity being offered at about Rs 200 for unlimited talk time, so that even as the overall phone bill will stay the same or even fall, the contribution of data services will rise.

There is an opportunity to create companies which operate like a Data MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) or a Mobile Computing Operator in the country – focusing on high ARPU consumers and enterprises. The goal for this company would be to target the top 100 million consumers with operator-agnostic data services.

Continued tomorrow.