Portio Mobile Factbook 2013
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It is forecast that the number of subscribers could reach as high as 868.47 million reaching at 69.35% penetration by 2013. Our estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of mobile subscribers from 2008 to 2013 is 20.54%.
The revenues of the telecom industry continued to show robust growth with wireless market growing at 9.91%. The revenue stood at USD 7.36 billion for the second quarter ending in September 2008. In April 2008, India overtook US as the second largest wireless market.
India embraces both GSM and CDMA technologies. The government has recently opened its doors for deploying 3G technology as well. The next generation network (NGN) backbone has begun developing in India. Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is on government agenda and is likely to be implemented by the end of September 2009. The next few years are likely to witness a rapid expansion of the Indian mobile market not only in terms of subscribers but also in technology and services.
Mobile operators are continuing to upgrade their technology and have started providing an increasing array of sophisticated services. The content service segment is growing at a rapid pace. It is believed to speed up further in the future and become the most lucrative part of the market.
The Indian handset market is segmented. As the country has a wide gap between the rich and the poor, the handset market varies accordingly. While the low end handsets are sold in high volumes nationwide, the high-end handsets are mainly sold in the major cities. Along with the rapid growth in the mobile service market, the Indian handset market is coming into prominence.
In the context of overall economic situation, even during the global economic downturn, the Indian economy is slated to grow at around 7% in 2009-10. It implies tremendous opportunities for international as well as domestic investments. Agriculture, manufacturing and services have been the traditional fundamental pillars of the Indian economy. The service sector has been the forerunner of rapid growth contributing approximately 54% of the GDP in 2008. IT & telecommunication fall under the booming service sector umbrella.
India's robust telecom infrastructure is a result of a controlled and phased growth coupled with strong policies. The phase began by allowing FDI and privatization. To ensure fair play and benefit to the consumer, the government appointed an independent regulator called Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in 1997. A judicial body called TDSAT also exists to adjudicate disputes related to service providers. The role of TRAI is to regulate the telecom business in India. With over 300 million mobile subscribers, India has the necessary maturity of business landscape and infrastructure in place to support further growth.
India has one of the largest numbers of mobile operators among the emerging markets. Most of the domestic players have significant foreign investments. For example, Telekom Malaysia owns around 40% stake in Spice Telecom, one of the oldest mobile operators in India with approximately 4 million subscribers. Similarly, Singaporean Sing Tel owns about 30% stake in Bharti Airtel, India's leading mobile operator.
The subscriber base in the rural areas is quite low in India, about 13% as of May 2009.The service providers are eyeing rural India as the next area of growth. The government has put regulatory mechanisms in place to encourage rural telephony. Rural mobile teledensity is expected to reach about 36.25% by 2013.