Country’s second-largest telecom service provider Vodafone India is expecting cellular data services to play a key role in overall growth and to become a revenue driver in next two to three years.
“Mobile data is a part of future growth and we anticipate a larger ratio to our overall revenues in next two to three years timeframe,” Vodafone India chief operating officer Naveen Chopra told ET.
Data services contribute 20.8% to the UK-based telco’s current service revenues in India and the company is witnessing a surge of 10 million data subscribers’ on an annual basis.
“Going forward, data is an integral part of our growth story. New technologies such as fourth-generation (4G) services will provide superior data experience, Vodafone top executive said.
The company is heavily banking and investing in high-speed 4G networks, as a part of data-centric business strategy to counter Bharti Airtel’s data plans and Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm 4G debut this year.
Driven by data explosion and rollout of data services led by 3G and 4G, along with operational prudence, the Indian telecom market is expected to be back on the growth track,” Hemant Joshi, partner at Deloitte said.
US-based advisory services firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, in its finding said that once the smartphone penetration reaches at a significant level or at a threshold of 30%, data explosion is poised to take a new dimension in India.
With smartphone user base crossing 220 million, surpassing the US market, India has become world’s second-largest market, followed by China, a recent Counterpoint Research study said, and is poised to fuel mobile data growth.
About 65% handset base is data-enabled on Vodafone networks today, according to Chawla who said that data traffic has a robust growth of 73% on Year-on-Year basis.
Driven by Italian Vittorio Colao, Vodafone is heavily banking on 4G services to augment data growth, and has recently launched high-speed data services in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru on the 1800 Mhz band which the company won in March 2015 spectrum auction.
India’s second-top telecom operator is optimistic about 4G-driven data services such as HD video conferencing, live streaming and cloud storage besides surging content led by entertainment and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.