Indian mobile content market to hit $2.3bn by 2013. Are the carriers ready?

lots-of-mobiles  The latest study from “mobileSQUARED” predicts that the Indian mobile content which stands at $835.78 million in 2009, but will virtually triple by 2013!  The predictions are based on the obvious growth on the Indian telecom industry which consists of more than 400 million mobile subscribers, which is also growing at 15 million new connections per month and will hit 700 million subscriptions by the end of 2010.

In India, where ARPUs for carriers are declining, VAS has to be the next big focus. The Indian VAS market unlike the western and other Asian counterparts doesn’t have a great boost from mobile internet (though the numbers are growing). The primary sources of revenue from Indian market are from ringback tones, ringtones, graphics, wallpapers and mobile games. The RBT market constituting the largest single area of content.

We need to consider the fact that despite the delays in 3G roll out, the predictions are huge based only on the ever increasing mobile users. Even if 15% of Indian mobile users subscribe for 3G, the number will be huge where it could even surpass the total mobile users in many smaller countries!

The carriers on the other side are well prepared for the challenge too. The advertising route taken by almost all carriers in the last 6 months talks mainly about the VAS offered and how the life will be better with mobile internet! Carriers need to realize that Indian mobile user is a fast learner and early adopter of the trends. Users see what’s happening with iPhone/Androids in theUS and expects the Indian version of the content and not just the RBTs, wallpapers etc.

If acquiring the customers in this decade was a challenging one for carriers, the next challenge for them is to provide better content. The technology brings all the carriers on to the same line. No one is far superior. What matters the most is the CONTENT.

But personally, without opening up their doors for the mobile marketing, the carriers cant fullfil the need for providing different mobile experience for Indian subscribers.