The Indian mobile user on $2 per day is really the future for mobility

December 3, 2009

in Mobility

Great article and thoughts on the future of mobile in India with particular reference to “internet access”, advertising, and addressing the cost. This quote is why the article is a must read and why I believe the future of mobile may be defined here.

Despite the fact that in many ways the technologies at their disposal are less sophisticated than in Western markets, they seem further ahead in terms of mobile utility, mobile commerce & micro-payments, and in many cases more adventurous as far as advertiser-funded mobile platforms are concerned.

Follow the link to read the full article.
Mobile in India – Jumping Ahead to the Future « One Size Fits One

What the Indian telcos should do is adopt a model that was instrumental in driving mobile usage in India. Drop the price points so that even the average person (living on Rs. 100 per day), would find Internet usage compelling, useful, and not frustrating. If they were to adopt a mass usage policy and not price their broadband products based on margins, I believe that in 5 years, India could have at least 100 million broadband users (via DSL, cable modem, Mobile 3G, wiMax, etc.).”

The mobile industry in India is witnessing rapid changes, with voice and messaging charges dropping drastically. Tata Docomo started the concept of “pay per second” not too long ago, which was replicated within a fortnight by all other major players like Vodafone, Reliance and Airtel. Less than a week ago, Reliance (the largest CDMA player) introduced the option of choosing between 1 paise per sms (a measly 0.02 cents) or 1 rupee for unlimited SMS per day (2 cents per day).

The interesting paradox is that while basic call and text charges have dropped to unbelievably low prices, GPRS costs have yet to come down. Therefore, the trend suggests that the evolved value-added services (VAS) will definitely grow at a much lower pace, as those costs aren’t coming down as steeply: accessing services on the phone still costs a lot in India, even though phone tariffs are amongst the lowest in the world.

I am quickly coming to believe in my title. That those on the sharp end of the pyramid use their mobiles with a much higher degree of efficacy and understanding than their western counterparts. Perhaps I’ll write more on that another day.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Anjali Ramachandran December 4, 2009 at 1:38 am

Hi Stuart – thanks for linking to the post, and glad you found it interesting.

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