Friday, January 13, 2006

Mobile Trends in India

Some very interesting facts that I read today:

Ramnath Subbu reports on Mobile statistics in India in Hindu:
The subscriber base continues to grow aggressively and in end-2005 touched 75 million (48 million in end-2004), according to the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).

There is now likely to be a significant thrust by players in offering value-added services as the dominance of voice traffic makes way for growing data traffic. "Voice revenues account for around 85 per cent of traffic while data and value-added services constitute the rest. Henceforth, the proportion will keep increasing in favour of data and value-added services," T. V. Ramachandran, Director General, COAI told The Hindu.

Currently, pre-paid users account for 77-78 per cent of users. "By end-2009, this share is likely to go up to around 88 per cent. What may change during this period is the value of recharge coupons.

"Micro pre-paids will increasingly bring down the entry barriers for customers, especially in the rural areas," said Ms. Desai. "By 2009, there will be some stability in the market and metro customers will increasingly go in for pre-paid vouchers of higher denominations."

"The next quantum jump in the industry will be the conversion of Access Deficit Charge (ADC), which is on a call-by-call basis, to a revenue share model," said Mr. Ramachandran. The continuation of the ADC creates anomalies that can skew the market and disadvantage mobile operators.

The COAI expects the subscriber base to go up to 125 million in 2006 and touch 200 million by December 2007.

Manoj Nair And Sobha Menon report in Economic times:
India is on the verge of the newest chapter of urban renewal: a giga-departure from lugging your laptop to the nearest Barista and logging on to Gamespot. Now you got game on the go.

... the ’04 In-Stat/ MDR projections predicted that the Indian mobile gaming market will generate Rs 1,500 crore in annual revenue by ’09. Then, came the Pyramid Research Group survey which ranked India as the top mobile game market.

And third, the latest SSKI report expects the wireless VAS market to witness rapid growth from estimated Rs 350 crore to Rs 3,800 crore in ’10. The revenue share of games is 5-6% at present but is expected to go up to 8% by ’10. About 30-35% of the new handsets have GPRS capability.

Paid downloads figures for mobile games are around 600,000 a month, but it could be anything between 50% and 60% more.

Says Rajesh Rao, CEO, Dhruva: “Mobile games are the fillers between waiting time. But they are creating an appetite for more serious gaming.” A number of cricket games will be released and for this Dhruva will leverage its recent tie-up with Wisden group’s Cricinfo India, which is a provider of cricket content, including java games, he said.

Also in place is an exclusive development alliance with gaming company Mauj. Why shouldn’t they be gung-ho “in this beautiful world?” An average of 1,20,000 mobile games are downloaded every month by Hutch users. This is a phenomenal 50-fold rise from an average of 2,200 mobile game downloads in February last year.

And it is not just Indians whose eyes are popping out. Clint Wheelock, director of In-Stat/ MDR, says: “With half a dozen major developers, along with a variety of start-ups, we expect India’s influence to grow in the evolving mobile gaming sector. It is a multi-million dollar market, both in terms of software development and end-user consumption.”

So the back office of this urban atmosphere of connectivity will be busy for sometime. Indiagames, a global leader in mobile entertainment content, is developing its latest next-generation mobile 3D games for Qualcomm’s BREW solution.

The 3D BREW games will be optimised for Qualcomm’s Mobile Station ModemT Enhanced Multimedia Platform chipsets, including the MSM6550T and MSM6275T. Says Vishal Gondal, CEO, Indiagames: “Indians were never exposed to good games.

But now that they have access to hi-def handsets the scene is changing dramatically. Once 3G is here you can’t imagine what it will be like.”

Watch this space!


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