Indian mobile service revenues are forecasted to double from US$19.6bn in 2018 to US$39.8bn by 2024 due to consolidation, competitive pricing, increasing smartphone penetration and favorable regulatory landscape, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The Indian mobile telecommunication market stands second worldwide after China with over 1.2 billion mobile subscribers in 2018.
An analysis of GlobalData’s Mobile Broadband Forecast Pack reveals that India will account for 1.4 billion mobile subscribers by 2024, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.0% between 2019 and 2024.
Antariksh Raut, Senior Analyst of Telecoms Market Data and Intelligence at GlobalData, says: “Increasing smartphone penetration, low voice and data tariffs, high data consumption and wide 4G connectivity are the key factors driving the mobile subscriber growth in India.”
The entry of Reliance Jio has turned voice centric Indian consumer into data centric consumer. As a result, the average mobile monthly data usage witnessed jump from 733MB per month in 2017 to 4.1GB per month in 2018, which is one of the highest recorded year-on-year growth of 461% in the mobile telecommunication industry worldwide.
GlobalData estimates the mobile data revenues in India to grow at a CAGR of 13% from US$7bn in 2019 to US$13bn by 2024.
Raut adds: “Indian mobile telecom industry has transformed considerably in the last three years. Due to initial free offerings and disruptive pricing strategy by Reliance Jio, other operators had faced steep decline in revenues. Now the future looks quite positive.”
Indian telecom operators are also working on building 5G infrastructure in collaboration with infrastructure and equipment vendors such as Nokia and Ericsson.
With 5G spectrum auctions to be held by the end of this year or early next year and India all set to make commercial 5G launch in 2020, GlobalData estimates India to account for around 138 million 5G subscribers by 2024.
Raut continues: “Strong policy formulation from the Indian telecom ministry has been crucial to the sector’s growth.”
The Government had increased foreign direct investment (FDI) cap in the telecom sector from 74% to 100%. FDI inflows into the telecom sector during April 2000 to March 2019 totalled US$32.82bn.
To set the sector on a growth path, the Indian government has launched the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 to attract US$100bn investment by 2022.
Raut concludes: “With the three large private players, Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, holding 81% of market share there will be tough competition in the market. It will be very interesting to see how these operators will lure subscribers with their product offerings and services to increase market share in the future.”