The Next Generation of Mobile VAS – Part 2

Given the mobile base of 100 million, the natural question to ask is: what are these users doing? From anecdotal evidence speaking to people, the answer comes down to search, consuming media (songs, videos), and social network use (primarily Facebook). The top sites in India are similar to those elsewhere in the world, if one looks at the data from Opera.

The challenge in this emerging world is that of monetisation.  The only option for content creators is that of advertising. The other option – subscriber pays – has been a non-starter in India for two reasons: the operator revenue shares and closed platforms make it hard for content creators to make money by billing through the operator, and the mobile payments options through the banking network are so regulated and cumbersome to make them almost unusable for small payments.

What is clear, though, is that users are moving from one world of value-added services to another. Ringtones, wallpapers, CRBT and the ilk are being pushed to the background as a new set of services and needs comes to the fore. A next-generation of mobile value-added services awaits us.

Continued tomorrow.