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Growing Mobile VAS in India: Data MVNO: The Disruptions

September 4th, 2009 · 25 Comments

There are four game-changing developments that will take place in India over the next year which have the potential to upset the distribution of profits in the Indian mobile industry: mobile number portability, MVNO licencing, 3G and mobile payments.What does it take to build a Data MVNO business?

  • Rs 80 crore for a national MVNO licence
  • Partnership with one of the operators to ride on their network
  • Focus on and differentiation via data services (Tata Docomo had a great opportunity to do this with its launch recently, but didn’t – it focused on voice pricing which if successful can be replicated by others quickly, and also only attracts bottom of pyramid customers)

My estimate is that this will require an investment of about Rs 200+ crore, and has the potential to deliver a topline of about Rs 2,000+ crore in 3 years for the market leader. More importantly, it will create a direct relationship with top of the pyramid, high-spending customers which can be monetised in multiple ways beyond data (invertising for businesses is one example).

The Data MVNO is an excellent example of an innovation that can be Made in India, and Made for the World.

Tags: Uncategorized

25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 r4 kaarten // Sep 4, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Hi all…
    I am playing games on pc and i like to know more about mobile…
    I like this article because it’s provide lot’s of fun and knowledge…

  • 2 Jassim // Sep 4, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    What stops the Telco’s from adopting the same data packages as the MVNO ?

  • 3 Siddharth Chawla // Sep 6, 2009 at 7:25 pm


    As I understand your MVNO concept is segmenting data users and trying to provide related products and services on such a platform.

    Although it may turn out that 200 cr is small number in larger scheme of things but it seems to be high risk till preliminary adoption rate has been established.

    I am not totally aware about MVNO licensing schemes but wouldn’t it make more sense to establish adoption rate for a smaller region (where there is large proportion of probable early adopters)?

    Are you thinking of MVNO as a platform open or closed to other developers? I also wonder whether the value will flow to MVNO providers or will it flow more to application providers in long run?


  • 4 Sunil M. // Sep 13, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Cut and paste from Tata Docomo’s FB Wall:
    Tata Docomo: A lot of users have given us feedback on GPRS … so watch out for the announcement of unlimited GPRS packages soon. Browse for as much as you like at rates that most other operators can still dream about!

  • 5 vga kabel // Sep 21, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Thanks for this update.As all know,the mobile market is rose tremendously in last 10 years and will stay for long time.The techniques are used for the new increasing demands are good for companies and customers.

  • 6 r4 kaart // Mar 9, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    wouldn’t you need a huge investment to make this working?

  • 7 buitenkeuken // May 19, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    How does one get a Rs 80 crore for a national MVNO licence? Is that a matter of requesting it with the government?

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    thank’s for the update, waiting for the next one 🙂

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