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|October 19, 2012||News for the Telecom Industry|
MVAS- Getting more from Mobility
| Active Discussion || |
Read more / Join the discussion on LinkedIn
| At a Glance || |
NewsTrends & Insight
| News || |
| |Told PM 2G licences worth 36000 crore: Ex-Cabinet Secretary
Even as the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) looking into the 2G scam battled over calling P Chidambaram to depose and the BJP again stayed away in protest, the cabinet secretary at the time of scam, K M Chandrasekhar, made some critical revelations: he had written to the Prime Minister that the entry fee for players wanting 2G telecom licences could be increased to up to Rs 36,000 crore, from the existing Rs 1,651 crore, but that that this had to be a policy decision; the controversial note, suggesting that the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram could have prevented the 2G scam by insisting on an auction, was not sent past him; and despite his predecessor asking the telecom secretary and the economic affairs secretary to keep the cabinet secretary apprised about spectrum allocation, this was not done during his tenure.
| |Vodafone, Income Tax Department set for another spar in Supreme Court
Nine months after British telecom major Vodafone won a $2.2-billion legal battle against the Income Tax department, the two sides are set for another showdown in the Supreme Court. The Department has challenged, in the Supreme Court, a Gujarat High Court order which ratified the company's plan to transfer passive infrastructure assets worth Rs 15,000 crore from Vodafone Essar Gujarat Ltd., and six other associate companies to group firm Vodafone Essar Infrastructure Ltd. The IT Department claims the scheme was intended to avoid capital gains tax worth Rs 3,500 crore and stamp duty worth Rs 600 crore; Vodafone denies this, saying that the scheme, cleared by its board of directors, was aimed at separating its telecom business from other businesses, reducing costs and incentivising infrastructure sharing.
| Trends || |
| |In India, Apple shifts iPhone strategy
Wall Street Journal (blog)
Apple Inc. is changing the way it sells iPhones in India, where it has a small market share despite the fact the South Asian nation is among the fastest-growing wireless markets in the world. Apple has, till now, sold the iPhone through Indian telecom providers, who bundle the phones with data services. But distribution has been limited mainly to large towns. Apple is looking to change this. A person who has knowledge of the plans says Apple will begin selling the iPhone through specialized distribution companies in an attempt to reach a wider audience, especially Indians who live in thousands of smaller towns. Additionally, top telecom operators, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, and MTNL Mumbai will be offering nano SIM cards ahead of iPhone 5 launch.
| Insight || |
| |TRAI- A woeful downslide (Premium) - View Free Sample
The Indian telecom sector's current situation merits a more progressive line of thinking from the regulator to ensure that the sector continues to progress on the government's stated agenda of inclusion. But TRAI's recommendations for 2G auctions and spectrum reforming would actually end up achieving more of the opposite. In July 2012, India's mobile GSM subscriber base reached 679.05 million from just over 1 million in 1998 through just voice services for the most part. And by that time, CDMA subscriptions had reached around 230 million (AUSPI). This stupendous growth in subscriptions has been a revelation of sorts globally, along with the surprisingly low price points at which Indian telecom players are providing these services. From an ARPU of Rs.362/user/month for GSM players in December 2005, the figure has declined to Rs.100/user/month in March 2011 as per a PwC report. The report further highlights that India's ARPUs are around 3 and 10 times lower than developing and developed countries respectively on an average. However, the recent trends point to trouble in paradise. For a sector that is already struggling with low ARPUs, slowing penetration and high debt, the last straw would really be a lack of appreciation of its achievements and insensitivity towards its pressing issues.
| |Can Samsung keep its edge in smartphones (Premium) - View Free Sample
The South Korean player enjoys a clear lead over its Finnish rival in the smartphone sweepstakes currently but there are quite a few curveballs to come in the hyperactive mobile phone market before a clear winner can emerge. Until as recently as 2008, Nokia had an invincible lock on the mobile phone market in India. The Finnish giant was by far the strongest Richmond in the field, controlling a humongous 75% of the Indian mobile handset market by volume. But over the next couple of years, even as the handset market was going through a watershed technological change and churn, Nokia made the mistake of taking its eyes off the emerging market trends and has had to pay a heavy price for the lapse. By the time it realised its mistake, the South Korean major Samsung had already taken the market by storm, introducing a whole new dynamic to the Indian mobile phone market: smartphones, which have operating systems just like PCs (with Android being the most popular). The past two years have seen Samsung make hay and sunshine of the Indian handphone market while Nokia has been left to nurse a bloody nose in the smartphone sweepstakes.
| |VAS- The Growth Catalyst- An in-depth report (Premium) - View Free Sample
VAS is not just a value-add partner, it's a catalyst for overall growth. And it's time SPs wake up to that fact. The Indian value added services industry is a curious case in the entire Indian telecom space. A country that boasts of having more than 900 mn customers out of a 1.2 bn strong population on its telecom network, has so far failed to leverage on the huge demand of added applications for their consumers. It still seems that the entire ecosystem of the Indian telecom industry works in silos. Instead of considering the VAS players as a catalyst for growth of the entire industry, they have been treated as 'lesser partners' in the whole business. The Indian VAS industry that is estimated to reach $15 bn by 2015, currently contributes only around 15% to the operators' total revenue. It's because traditionally the Indian market has been voice centric and the operators' prime focus remains on acquiring more customers. Even after reaching a mature stage in mobile services with data centric services like 3G and 4G on a roll, the uptake of VAS is still poor.
| |Smart Devices and VAS (Premium) - View Free Sample
As users mature on the network, the movement towards bundled offerings of data, devices, and services is changing the dynamics and the consumption of VAS. Once the Indian mobile subscriber base touched the tipping point, thanks to better coverage and reducing prices, telcos started focusing on getting more out of their users. Everyday the biggest challenge was to ensure sustainability and profitability constrained by hyper competition and inconsistent regulatory environment. As users matured on the network, their expectations from their network providers moved from basic voice to quality and value of services. Users are now listening to music, clicking pictures, and becoming socially active on the online social media platform. The movement towards bundled offerings of data, devices, and services is changing the dynamics and the consumption of VAS. Though the average revenue per user (ARPU) has declined over the years, the VAS APRUs has consistently increased and gone up by 28% in the last one year. Currently, it stands at 27% of the ARPU according to IAMAI. However the VAS market in India is still evolving.
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