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India mobile Internet service has scope to grow

Posted: 11 Apr 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile  Internet service  revenue 

In India, mobile Internet will represent 19 per cent of this year's service revenue. While in China, mobile Internet will account for 25 per cent of mobile revenues in 2012, up from less than 23 per cent in 2011. While the figures demonstrate the robust demand for mobile data across the Asia-Pacific, there is still scope for growth when compared to the region's more advanced markets like Japan (40 per cent) and Hong Kong (44 per cent), says ABI Research.

Senior analyst Aapo Markkanen explains, "It's in carriers' interests to become part of the Internet value chain from early on. Strategic choices, such as those seen in Indonesia, can give operators a more integral role in defining the customer experience in a time when the local digital landscape is still being shaped up. Moreover, such moves also allow them to gain valuable mindshare among local content providers and app developers."

For instance, in Indonesia, Telkom offers its customers a music streaming service, in a joint venture with Korea's SK Telecom, which has successfully utilised a similar service to drive data uptake in its home market. Meanwhile, XL Axiata has partnered with Blaast, a cloud technology vendor, to set up a cloud-based platform that enables feature-phone users to take advantage of more advanced, smartphone-like mobile apps.

However, the shift towards the next-generation carrier model does not come without risks. In the low-margin environments of the emerging APAC, operators should encourage users to migrate to data subscriptions and thus minimise the growing pains related to the 3G and 4G expansion. According to Jake Saunders, vice president of forecasting, "Early-adopting smartphone owners typically generate far higher data traffic volumes than users that follow them. If an operator relies solely on the natural early adopters as the first source of data revenue, it will have to recover the capital expenditure longer than a rival that proactively develops itself a long tail of lower-income data subscribers."

For more statistics and forecasts, click here.

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