Blog Past: Five Disruptions in India’s Mobile VAS Industry

I wrote a series last November on the five disruptions: MNP, MVNO, 3G, Voice Competition, VAS Competition. From the MVNO post:

By now, we should have seen a few real Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) in India, and not just the single pseudo MVNO in the form of Virgin Mobile. MVNOs don’t set up their own network – they piggyback on an existing operator’s network. They do, however, create their own brand and go-to-market strategy, and also own the customer relationship.

India’s cheap voice tariffs don’t leave much room for arbitrage. So, the play may be more on the distribution side – for example, Future Group may use its retail network to sell voice minutes just like it sells tens of thousands of other products. They will make a small margin and get an entry into a vertical without having to invest in spectrum.

The real action will come when Data MVNOs start coming to the fore — on the lines of what Amazon has done with the Kindle in the US.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.

3 thoughts on “Blog Past: Five Disruptions in India’s Mobile VAS Industry”

  1. Vendors should leverage the cell-phone network and provide services in those spheres of economic activity that suffer from inefficiencies due to lack of competition and/or poor supply chain infrastructure.
    For example in the Indian context, with food inflation playing havoc with the pocket book of the common man, a service that provides real time information regarding the best price for food essentials should find a favorable response. The same service could also be of use to the farmer who is looking to sell his produce to the highest bidder.
    A similar service in the field of finance with regards to deposits, lending interest rates etc. comes to mind.

  2. Wonder how this is impacted with the 2G scandal. Mobile players got in at a lower prices (even after taking into account the below the table payments). Would the lower cost of entry have been passed on to the end customer?

  3. Data MVNOs is a good concept, one which holds potential, but with the current fragmented nature, thanks largely due to the 3G spectrum availability and it’s auctio, it seems a distant dream. It may however come to a point of realization once Mukesh Ambani backed Infotel rolls out services on that spectrum on LTE technology.

    But until then I do not see this growing and becoming a huge space with current tariffs dropping to almost similar levels as voice plans.

    As a country we have witnessed a revolution in the telecom space, but that is an industry scenario, but within the industry the various segments have still to witness that sort of explosion. India is yet to see an explosion in terms of bandwidth and until that happens MVNOs will not make a lot of sense…

    But these are merely my two cents!

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