The rapidly growing mobile industry in India is set to get a further boost with the auction of 3G mobile licenses in December this year. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the country’s wireless subscriber base stood at 456.74 million by August-end 2009. The mobile industry in India today is worth Rs 3,000 crore.
exchange4media speaks to a cross-section of players associated with the mobile industry to know how the 3G rollout will help grow the mobile industry in India, as well as their expectations.
What industry players have to say
Rahul Pandey, Business Head, Mobile18:
“3G will most certainly be a big platform for video content, particularly for media companies, since we are well-known for video content. We look forward to 3G India launch with good bandwidth in mobile Internet, as a result of which video popularity should grow faster than what it is today. As a media company, we are very positive and looking forward to having 3G on board with a dedicated channel on data. The biggest thing will be mobile TV and hence, we look forward to a stronger mobile bandwidth that would help support our mobile TV initiative. In terms of advertising and revenue generation, too, 3G will be a big boost to the industry.”
Rajiv Hiranandani, Co-Founder, Mobile2win:
“3G will provide the opportunity for faster download speed and the multimedia opportunities on the phone with television and video available freely. One of the biggest opportunities is for mobile advertising on mobile television, which is huge because you can insert 10-second or 30-second commercials in mobile television and sell it as you sell radio commercial time. Thus, the opportunity for mobile television advertising and selling it as prime time and non-prime time is huge. Gaming in India will also take off in a big way with 3G. Pricing will be another challenge. We need to see what its pricing would be like – will it be too expensive for the common man to download the data content on the phone, how will operators spur on the adoption of 3G data and application – these are the challenges that need to be addressed.”
Rajat Mukarji, Chief Corporate Affair Officer, Idea Cellular:
“This particular spectrum band is generally in association with services in 3G India, it is likely to be used for augmenting the network’s capability to handle voice calls. 3G services are commonly understood as being more bandwidth intensive services, which is likely to happen in the second phase in the 3G network rollout. In the first phase, however, I see the additional spectrum released in the 21 MHZ and playing predominantly released voice services. Currently, all the networks around the country are facing congestion because of the shortage in spectrum in the existing frequency bands, hence the 2100 MHZ of 3G will primarily release the congestion in those networks.”
Salil Bhargava, CEO, Jumpgames:
“We see improvement in terms of quality of networks, speed in terms of download, ease of use and so on when they are searching for content. Right now, there is poor connectivity that the users have to face, especially when searching for games. Following the 3G rollout, connectivity will be good and the user experience will improve significantly, and that will lead to better consumption of content, hence from the gaming point of view, it will definitely be a big boost for the industry. With social gaming, too, becoming big, there will be the opportunity to interact using mobile on social networking sites and social games as well perhaps a couple of years from now. 3G will have a very good impact in terms of revenue generation. In-game advertising right now is said to be purely static because of the quality of network, this is set to improve with 3G. We hope 3G launch reaches to the consumers in the right manner and that the price is at an affordable rate and that enough spectrum is allocated to data.”