Nokia’s latest report on the state of Mobile Broadband in India suggests that the Indian data market continues to be in a sweet spot backed by – high-end 2G data users are migrating to 3G, 3G/4G device penetration is accelerating on the back of decreasing handset prices, video, audio and social networking are driving traffic and average usage on 3G in India is reaching global benchmarks.
Indian Consumers get Taste of 3G High Speed Networks
3G data traffic growth in Metros stood Continue reading Mobile Broadband in Sweet Spot – Ecosystem Favors Growth
Data continues to be a key driver for tower demand and management suggested 3G and 4G network deployments have almost doubled on a year to year basis. The company suggested that most of the 3G/4G deployments were via the loading route and for the next 6-12 months telcos are expected to continue with the loading route. That said, management is of the view that the next round of deployments will target coverage gaps and in turn will improve tenancy. In our view, loading phenomenon may run for another 18-24 months, limiting Continue reading 3G /4G Mobile Data Infrastructure Doubles YoY in India – Bharti Infratel
Bharti Airtel India’s leading Integrated Telecommunications service provider has made steady progress on 4G/LTE and initiated 4G rollout in 23 cities. Airtel’s first mover advantage has the following implications – (a)Dilute value proposition for Reliance Jio 4G by being the first to launch 4G and let Airtel have a lead versus other incumbent telcos (b) De-congest 3G selectively – LTE rollout allows Airtel to de-congest 3G selectively, particularly in markets where it is constrained by 5 MHz of 3G spectrum. Reference can be made to Delhi where Airtel has a 5 MHz block of 3G spectrum and 4G service in addition will allow Bharti to divert traffic from 3G in the medium to long term by segmenting the data market with the two offerings. Continue reading Airtel Mobile Data Strategy – 4G LTE Band to De-congest 3G Or Sabotage Reliance Jio Hype ?
Armed with acceptable quantum of liberal Spectrum in 900Mhz band and 2100Mhz band, Airtel, Vodafone & Idea Cellular – the Incumbents Lobby have gotten far more aggressive than they reveal it on the Analyst Call. I had an opportunity to speak to Infratel & Indus Tower Executive from which I gather A-Vo-Id group is cautiously watching the Reliance Jio telecom saga unfold. Continue reading How Airtel, Vodafone & Idea are Scaling Data Networks to Thwart Reliance Jio 4G Threat?
3G mobile Data revenues in India for incumbents are incremental to Voice revenues initially because initial 3G adopters are relatively high-income subscribers whose telecom bill is a very small proportion of their total disposable income. These subscribers maintain their voice consumption despite incremental data usage (largely for entertainment and continuous Internet connectivity). These subscribers do not reduce their voice usage intentionally (however, there might be some unintentional reduction in favor of alternative data-based channels of communication). Hence, data growth drives increases in blended ARPU (without impacting voice ARPUs meaningfully). However, as 3G data proliferation accelerates (say, beyond 20% of total wireless revenues), incremental data revenues come from relatively lower income subscribers, who manage their telecom bills actively. Continue reading The Changing Trend of 3G Mobile Data Consumer in India
Idea Cellular management hosted a conference call today to discuss the recently concluded spectrum auction. The company successfully renewed its crucial 900-spectrum in key circles. Airtel and Vodafone both extended their 3G spectrum footprint to 21 and 16 circles respectively, and have surpassed Idea on revenue coverage under own 3G. Airtel has stolen a march over both Vodafone and Idea, by picking up the maximum amount of 900-spectrum.
Idea management said that data volumes (Terabytes or TB) may grow at >100% CAGR over next 2-3 years . This would lead to a materially higher revenue growth trajectory for Idea and the whole industry, provided data realization or ARMB does not fall much below forecasts. Idea reiterates the view that India is not yet ready for Prime-Time 4G LTE Mobile Data mass market.
Idea indicated that 4G rollout (FD-LTE on 1800 band) would start from FY17 in select circles (Karnataka appears to be a leading 4G candidate). Capex will increase yoy in FY16, due to 3G launch in Delhi/Mah/Kolkata, as also due to
2G network reconfiguration due to replacement of 900-equipment with 1800. Mgmt. clarified there would not be any write-off of 900-equipment, as the existing electronics will be reused. Idea expects 2G capex to end by FY17, and expects new 4G capex to offset reduced 2G capex.
The Big 3 Operators profile customers’ handsets on network capability and has lot of back-end analytics to crunch the potential that lies ahead unless Reliance Jio disrupts the market heavily, which is unlikely going by its track record in telecom business.