Consolidation in Indias fragmented telecom industry and estimated spurt in manufacturing have opened up new growth avenues.
With close to 1 billion mobile subscribers, India is the second-largest as well as one of fastest growing telecommunication markets in the world. The telecom sectors contribution to our countrys GDP is now hovering around 6 per cent and is expected to increase to about 8 per cent by 2020.
The year 2016 is going to be very important for the overall Indian Telecom industry. While there will be transformational changes across the industry, the major impact will be witnessed in the following five key aspects: market consolidation, telecom manufacturing, mobile broadband market, QoS, and cybersecurity.
In 2016, the industry will see the consolidation happening on ground. Recently, the government came up with certain guidelines on spectrum sharing and trading. It cleared a lot of ambiguity and speculations and has spurred consolidation in Indias fragmented telecom industry. We are expecting the next round of spectrum auction to take place by end of the first quarter. Post that auction, we will have much more clarity. Hence, by end of 2016, we will have only four to five operators actively competing in every circle.
Telecom Manufacturing to gain momentum
In 2015, we saw some announcements from Lenovo and Karbonn opening up their manufacturing units in India. We will see more of that happening in 2016. The electronic manufacturing ecosystem is currently very ripe in India and the government policies are very conducive for promoting local manufacturing. We are anticipating maximum impact of the ´Make in India campaign in the Telecom manufacturing sector.
Mobile Broadband market to heat up
The much-awaited launch of Reliance Jios 4G services will heat up the high speed mobile broadband market in India. The ecosystem to support the growth of mobile broadband has more or less evolved. The diverse consumer base is adopting mobile broadband and using a wide variety of services. On the other hand, with falling prices of cell phones, the adoption of smartphones by people in the lower socio-economic strata of the society is also rising, which in turn is further accelerating the growth of mobile broadband in India.
QoS to get more attention
With market getting more mature and competitive, the ´Quality of Services has gained more attention. Telecom service providers are trying to address it by upgrading their networks and also strategising to improve the overall customer experience. Thus, in 2016, we will see lot of initiatives by service providers to better understand the consumer behaviour and attitudes, provide Omni-channel support and services to its customers, and work toward delivering better consumer experience and, in turn, try to maintain a long-term relationship with key customer segments.
Cybersecurity and privacy
As mobile phones are getting more and more integral to our life, both for personal and business purposes, the need to protect these mobile mechanisms becomes particularly acute. The proliferation of consumer data, coupled with the expanding reach of Internet of Things (IoT), will amplify the need for security and privacy solutions. This will offer major new revenue opportunities to players that offer cybersecurity and privacy solutions. Cybersecurity as subject is gaining lot of attention not only at consumer or business level but also at government level. In 2016, we will see more debate on this subject and by the end of the year, we are hoping that the government will come out with a more comprehensive cyber law for our country.
With the mass adoption of connected digital technologies and applications by consumers, enterprises, and governments, every part of the mobile ecosystem shows powerful potential for continued growth. As the industries transform, they unfold equal opportunities as well as threats to enterprises across the value chain. Hence, every organisation needs to relook its own business models and strategies and keep innovating to tap into these new set of market opportunities.
This article has been authored by Benoy CS, Director & Head, Information & Communication Technologies Practice, Frost & Sullivan.