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News Heading  : The pervasiveness of the internet is pushing society towards a digital lifestyle:Sashi Shankar, CMO,

Post Date : 2011-12-17

News Source : The Economic Times

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News Details  :

With voice revenues on the decline it is the internet services that will drive revenues and profitability for cellular services providers. Voice revenues have been on a steady decline-from 20% plus three years back to low single digits-a trend that's not unique to the Indian market. Even in mature markets like Japan, Europe and the US, data services (or internet based services) bring between 35-50% of the revenues for operators. With internet user base increasing in India and more and more users logging online on their mobile phones, it's an opportunity waiting to be tapped. In an interview with Shelley Singh Idea Cellular chief marketing officer (CMO), Sashi Shankar discusses business opportunities that mobile internet brings to Idea Cellular and the strategies that the company has to tap them. Excerpts:

How do you view the internet user base in India now?

The pervasiveness of the internet is pushing society towards a digital lifestyle at a pace never seen before. While worldwide more than two billion users have actively adopted the new digital lifestyle, in India the process of internet being a part of Indian population's daily life has just begun, as there are only 120 million users.

On mobile voice business, India has surprised the world and emerged as the fastest growing mobile market with world's second largest base of mobile users at 850 million. This means the ubiquitous mobile has become a part of life of most sections of the society whether young or old, men or women, rural or urban - breaking barriers of languages, culture, class, geography, education, religion, gender, occupation, etc.

It is inevitable that these 850 million, primarily voice and text devices, will be replaced with a new mobile phone. The wireless device has 4 to 5 years of replacement cycle. The interesting study of pace of 2G mobile adoption suggests that India generally lags behind global trends by 4 to 6 years but finally converges and falls in line with the world order. We expect a similar pattern for internet adoption as well.

Globally, the exponential growth of internet usage is being driven by 3G smartphones and out of two billion internet users, 1.5 billion access the internet from their smart devices. India is expected to follow a similar trend where existing 2G phones will finally be replaced with affordable, yet many times more powerful, 3G smartphones.

The process initially of adoptions will be a trickle and will finally turn into a Tsunami, only when these devices become affordable for the mass market as well as the relevance of 'internet access' through these 'computing powerhouses' is understood by the masses. The onus of spreading the power of 'Online' to the offline consumers rests on the early adopters - existing digitally savvy consumers.

Does it bring new business opportunities? If so in which areas?

Mobile internet will change the way we work and play. Over time and across geographies, there has been a movement from the analogous to the digital lifestyle. Mobile internet will open multiple business opportunities like E-Commerce, B2B transactions, Mobile Advertising, E-Governance. Mobile internet presents the opportunity to manufacturers and marketers to display, book order and fulfillment of the offer in quickest possible way. This significantly reduces the time, cost and go to market time. Hence, mobile internet is expected to open new vistas in trading and in commerce.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/interviews/the-pervasiveness-of-the-internet-is-pushing-society-towards-a-digital-lifestylesashi-shankar-cmo-idea-cellular/articleshow/11134569.cms

 
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