India is the second most populated country after China and followed by United States of America. The rankings for most number of mobile subscribers are not very different. China is the leading country with 896,200,000 mobile subscribers second is India 840,282,797 followed by United States of America with 402,947,098 mobile subscribers. Contrary to common belief rural areas are proving to be the market for service providers. Most of the Metro’s and big cities have nearly come to a saturation point, however, the current phase of growth in Indian Mobile Market is in Rural areas that is now accounting for majority of growth in mobile space.
Looking at the present call rate fight between service providers it won’t be surprising if tomorrow service providers make calling absolutely free. Call rates in India were about 1.2rs for local calls not more than 3 years ago but now the rates have fallen down to about ½ paisa per second. In a couple of years from now on calling may be free and service providers may recover the cost from other value added services like Video calling, live tv, downloads etc.
The second most used service by mobile users in India after calling is Short Messaging Services ( SMS ). On an average a mobile customer sends up to 29 messages per month. Now multiply these 29 messages per month with 840,282,797 and you get a very big number. These are the messages being circulated in India. About 5% of the mobile service providers revenue is earned by SMS. Sms is used for various reasons like staying in contact, subscribing to services, finding jobs, checking prepaid balance etc.
One more VAS that has been used extensively by the urban population is GPRS or General Packet Radio Service. GPRS allows internet connection on mobile phones. Now mobile subscribers can visit social networking sites and find information on their phone no need to sit on the pc. Unlimited GPRS plans are used very extensively instead of the limited plans as subscribers can download songs and videos with unlimited GPRS plans. One more advantage of GPRS is that subscribers can recharge mobile online. With GPRS internet they can log in to online recharge sites and recharge their mobile phone in seconds.
According to a recent survey, Nearly 98 million of all mobile users have used mobile phones to recharge prepaid card or pay their phone bill –The second most popular M-Commerce activity is buying movie tickets (39.67 million). Online recharge is one of the easiest means of prepaid recharge. Mobile connections can be recharge very easily and quickly through online recharge.
Some other interesting facts about the Indian telecom industry are as follows:
1) Almost 60% of Females have participated in 1 to3 SMS contests and though this is higher than their male counterparts, in frequency of participation males outshine females. And what is the source of these SMS Contest? Offcourse, it is dominated with TV. all reality TVs, song and dance shows choose their winners via some or the other SMS contest and India just loves it.
2) Yahoo! Messenger has narrowly edged Google’s Gtalk to become most popular messenger service with urban Indian mobile users, with a 18.3% market share followed closely by Google Talk (17.8%). Nice to see Yahoo beating Google, atleast somewhere
3) “Finding out who called” and “informing people when busy” are the two other most popular Value added services used by Urban India. Missed call alerts is used by almost 110 million urban Indians while Talk/Voice SMS is used by almost 80 million.
4) Jokes and Astrology are the top two Vas services used by mobile subscribers. While news updates, job search and spiritual quotes follow.
5) Nearly 18.5 million Indian Urban Mobile subscribers use their mobile phones for searches, with Google taking the numero-uno position with 5.76 million followed by yahoo with 4.58 million
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