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Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Phenomenon Called Indian Mobile Market Growth

The Indian mobile market is on a high growth trajectory. I was in two different Indian cities last week – part of my 5 day - 5 different city tour across Asia. While in India, I was told by my colleagues that the mobile telephone network connectivity has become so bad that connections are dropping often. I was in KL for a day, while discussing with friends, a malaysian expert told me that the prospects of two major Malaysian telecom operators look good owing to their investments in India. I was in a lunch meeting with a senior executive of a major South east airline the week before in Singapore - the most talked about topic over lunch was the advent of indian aviation players creating ripples in the market. I was floored by the experience flying Jet airways in the chennai - KL flight. My colleagues ask me to hold judgement till I get to fly Kingfisher. Am not someone to be impressed so easily - my frequent flier statement shows several hundred thousand miles with none other than Singapore airlines. It is very likely aviation shall do an impressive repeat of the success of the mobile industry.
Lets look at the Indian telecom scene : South east asian telecom operators have made significant investments in Indian mobile service players. These players took stakes in established growing business. Maxis, Malaysia’s largest telecom player has invested in Aircel and Singtel has invested in Bharti, the largest mobile player in India. As these players slug it out, Maxis reports that Aircel added 588,000 new subscribers during the second quarter alone, which is more than double Maxis' achievement in Malaysia. The other Malaysian player Telekom Malaysia is investing in the third Indian Indian player – Spice communications. All the three are aggressively expanding their Indian operations.
Monthy subscriptions inching towards six million additions per month- 5.9 million of them are new mobile subscriptions making India’s net addition the highest in the world overtaking that of China – thought the penetration levels may be lower. Courtesy of Manish saw this – China added 5.1 million subscribers, so the Indian run rate is 15% ahead of that of China. Look at the growth – around 125 million subscribers have signed for mobile services in less than 15 years since the services were launched in the country. India beleives that six /seven million monthy new subscriber additions are possible. Clearly liberalization, foreign investments all are helping the country in a big way – after all the Indian mobile subscription rates are amongst the lowest in the world and handset makers like Nokia are helping the cause by coming with low cost models and in the process helping India create high tech manufacturing clusters in places like Sriperumpudur - India’s likely answer to Shenzhen. Three types of operators are alreasy investing here – The OEMs like Nokia, Motorola, The EMS’s like Flextronics & Foxconn & the component manufacturers who work with the OEM & EMS players. Dell is the recent addition planning to set up a manufacturing shop there. Its the most talked about thing in the tech sector today - some of the largest telecom related opportunties for system integrators/service players are available in India. Clearly opening up of the economy and the progress of the technology world is helping India advance faster and better - the only eyesore is the indian infrastructure - I do not want to write about my experience in the Bangalore airport clearing baggage or the time that it took for me in clearing immigration on my return via chennai.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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