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.

5 thoughts on “The Next Generation of Mobile VAS – Part 2

  1. Value added service or VAS is one of the most important factor for mobile operators to earn money. I have been briefly associated with a leading telecom company of India and found they they raised millions through their Value Added Service. Moreover, People have started to see their mobile phones as their entertainment gadget. Thus from watching videos to internet, to ringtone – everything that can be provided by VAS is gaining popularity day by day.

    Divya Bhaskar

  2. This whole talk of Mobile VAS to me sounds outdated, given the app economy we have going already.

  3. I meant to say this way of looking at things as VAS from a telecom provider’s view – is from the feature phone era – is outdated now. As the world has moved/is moving already to the smart phone era, where the telecom companies that can possibly monetise these data services as value added – and so can no longer in control of the data use (or the range of services…) and now left to the app and app ecosystem builders/providers.

    If i look at Blackberry and Amazon, the way Amazon went and embraced App economy (by releasing Kindle for Android/iOS/ PC/ MAC..) – Blackberry never did and so is failing.