1. Subscriber Growth Continues: India is now growing at about 10 million new mobile users every month, and that pace of growth will continue. We will probably be close to 450 million subscribers by end of 2009. Four factors will drive growth of the mobile subscriber base: footprint expansion by existing operators especially in rural India, launch of operations by newer operators, issuing of 3G licences which will open up a new world of data services, and cheaper handsets which will even further lower entry barriers.
2. Incumbent Operators will face Multiple Challenges: The Indian market going ahead can be thought of us two markets: the Red Market which is the competition-filled, saturated urban battlegrounds (top 40-odd cities in India) and accounts for about 100-150 million subscribers, and the Blue Market covering the rest of India, with a potential size of upto a billion subscribers, of whom only 15-20% have actually got a mobile phone. The Red Market wants Data and Value-Added Services (VAS), while the Blue Market needs Access (Voice). A new landscape is emerging in India driven by four simultaneous disruptions — new operators entering the fray, mobile number portability rollout, 3G services, and the green signal for MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators).