Manila, Philippines (PressExposure) September 30, 2009 -- With its mobile penetration rate at around 30%, the Indian mobile industry has still a great potential thanks to its vast geographic extension and its huge population. Mobile operators are thus focusing first on network expansion to reach subscribers in remote areas: Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications are presently concentrating on network infrastructure expansion in semi-urban and rural areas. Tata Communications has completed its GSM services roll out in Andhra Pradesh rural region. And IDEA Telecom expanded GSM services in Chennai and followed it with a launch in Tamil Nadu in May 2009.
Prepaid subscriptions will remain the plan of choice for most Indian subscribers, especially in most rural and semi-urban areas. To attract new subscribers, mobile operators try to differentiate with a range of add-ons, for instance, a large amount of free SMS for every new connection; or lowering the cost of recharging of the prepaid credits through top-up cards, which can be as low as 7 cents. Apart from these promotional schemes, most of India's mobile operators offer flat nightly call rates. Subscribers may opt to have SMS-only service, voice-only service, GPRS access-only service and other services alone or a combination of these services.
Indian mobile market trends reported by InfoCom also include: -- Mobile operators are also offering mobile plans to suit different income brackets and types of consumers (e.g. students, young professionals, business travellers, tourists etc.). For the low-income segment, most mobile operators are offering pre-owned handsets at a discounted price. -- The market is also readying itself for upcoming technologies and services. Mobile operators are looking at service innovations like mobile TV, mobile payment and mobile shopping among others. Operators are collaborating with major applications and content providers to develop value-added-services in order to increase their revenues especially between their medium and high-income users. - Mobile subscriptions are expected to grow at over 12% a year (CAAGR) between 2008 and 2014, when they will reach 662m.
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