The opportunity for the data services revenue is large. India’s top 200 million subscribers have the ability to pay on average Rs 250 ($5) for various services. This can create new revenue of $1 billion a month, or $12 billion a year. These kinds of revenues can transform operator’s balance sheets and create India’s really useful and big digital companies.
Consider the way the landscape for data is changing. Social, Video, Gaming and Languages can drive big adoption in mobile data across the country. But to make this happen, the right incentives need to be created across the value chain. Internet companies have limited opportunities to make money from advertising because of the small spends (less than $300 million) and with the bulk of the money being sucked away by the international majors like Google, Yahoo and Facebook.
Getting consumers to pay small amounts of money for various services and virtual goods can be the real game-changing opportunity. Mobile operators are the only ones who can enable this new world, and in doing so, change their financial fortunes.