3G in India: operator launch strategies

Date: November 23, 2010
Pages: 26
US$ 1,495.00
Publisher: Ovum
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)

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3G in India: operator launch strategies
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With the completion of the 3G auction in India, operators are now planning their network rollout and service strategies. In a market where voice services still yield the bulk of operator revenues, designing and marketing 3G services will be the key to faster returns on network investments. However, with the uncertainty over the future availability of spectrum, we expect the market leaders to focus on the deployment of voice networks before they begin to introduce data-intensive services. Challengers and niche players with less congested networks will be proactive in launching data-centric services and bundling them with devices. Broadband access will be a mass-market service in India, while data services targeted at specific market segments will also be moderately successful.
Executive summary
In a nutshell
Ovum view
Key messages
There will be 142 million 3G connections in 2015
A challenging policy and competitive environment
Choices made now will determine a SMART or LEAN future
Initial deployments will be voice-centric
Realtime provisioning and charging will gain significance
Operators will focus on the business and prosumer segments
Broadband access will be a mass-market service, with segment specific services having moderate success
The brave new world of 3G and beyond
India’s outlook for 3G
3G will launch in an intensely competitive market
A challenging policy environment
Only 5MHz of spectrum is currently available
Restrictive M&A guidelines are preventing consolidation
The delay of MNP will stop 3G providers from targeting high-value customers
2G players face an uncertain future
3G will provide fresh momentum for infrastructure sharing
SMART and LEAN in the Indian market
The impact of 3G on SMART and LEAN operator choices
3G launch strategies in India
Four key strategies
Cost-effective voice
Migration of existing 2G user base
Data boost from broadband services
Deriving value from under-penetrated segments
Which launch strategies should operators employ?
Current position is the key to available options
Strategies for leaders
Strategies for challengers and niche players
Deployment scenarios for 3G winners
Network deployment strategies
Initial deployments will be largely voice-centric
Realtime provisioning and charging will gain significance
Marketing and service strategies
Business and prosumer segments will be the key focus
Broadband access will be the strongest 3G service
Segment-specific content, apps, and VASs will be successful
Mobile devices in a 3G landscape
3G mobile broadband devices will become a mass-market phenomenon
Device OEMs will push competing app stores and focus on user experience
Player strategies for success
Develop an outside-in mindset for 3G services
The choice between SMART and LEAN is imminent
Operators must prepare for the coming explosion of data traffic
Incumbent operators must look at app stores as strategic investments
Consider device subsidies in special cases
Integration between services, handsets, and applications is the key to mass-market take-up of 3G services
For device vendors
Device OEMs must deliver a compelling user experience for 3G
Device OEMs should consider multi-SIM handsets
For VAS, content, and application providers
Focus on social networking apps and content
Developers should remain agnostic to app stores
Focus on content to drive mass-market 3G adoption
Further reading


Table 1: 3G launch strategies in India


Figure 1: Indian 3G mobile subscriber base: 2010–15
Figure 2: Total Indian mobile connections: 2009–15
Figure 3: ARPU decline among major Indian operators: 2Q07–2Q10
Figure 4: Telco assets and the smart enabler role
Figure 5: Rollout priorities for operators
Figure 6: Deployment strategies for operators across circles
Figure 7: Target markets for 3G operators
Figure 8: Large- and small-screen broadband connections in India
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