Light Reading
Latest report from India's regulator shows the country's intense competition is eroding the mobile operators' ARPU levels

India's Mobile ARPU on the Slide

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
4/9/2010
50%
50%

It's already well known and documented, but the latest quarterly Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) , which covers the final three months of 2009, shows how intensifying competition is hitting the ARPU (average revenue per user) levels at India's mobile operators.

According to the report's statistics, the monthly ARPU levels for GSM service users in India decreased by 12.4 percent to 144 Indian Rupees (US$3.26), compared with the aggregate ARPU level of INR164 ($3.71) in the three months to the end of September. During the first three months of 2009, the GSM ARPU level was INR205 ($4.64).

The CDMA service ARPU level also dipped during the fourth quarter, by more than 7 percent to INR82 ($1.86).

ARPU levels have been in steady decline for some time as more and more operators entered the market and subscriber numbers grew (there were more than 525 million mobile lines activated at the end of 2009), but this sharp drop can be attributed to the tariff war started by Tata Teleservices Ltd. in June 2009.

And ARPU levels aren't set to stabilize any time soon, according to a recent report from Pyramid Research . It estimates that ARPU levels will continue to decrease during the next four years, though the rate of decline will tail off as each year passes.

The news comes just as the country's operators wait to see which of them will emerge from the 3G spectrum auction with new airwaves, and attempt to find the right data services strategies to help boost their ARPU levels. (See India 3G: And They're Off! and MTS India Puts Its Faith in Data.)

But it's not only ARPU levels that are dropping: There has also been a decline in the monthly average minutes of usage (MOU) levels too. For GSM it declined by 2.8 percent to 411 minutes per month in the fourth quarter of 2009 from 423 in the previous quarter.

The GSM operators had been expecting the average MOU to rise as tariffs fell, but as this isn't happening it's likely that there has been in increase in the use of multiple pre-paid SIM cards, which means a growth in the number of people using more than one SIM to make and receive calls. The practice is common in India, with some industry sources estimating that while there are more than 525 million activated lines, there are possibly only 350 million to 400 million unique mobile service users.

Among CDMA users, MOU levels grew during the final quarter of 2009, by 3.2 percent to 318 from 308 in the previous three-month period.

Another metric set to rise is the mobile penetration level. With 525 million lines, mobile teledensity stood at 45 percent at the end of 2009, and this has already increased to 47.9 percent at the end of February 2010. The team at Pyramid Research expects the mobile penetration rate to reach nearly 80 percent by the end of 2014.

— Gagandeep Kaur, India Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
digits
50%
50%
digits,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:39:46 PM
re: India's Mobile ARPU on the Slide


Will the availability of 3G and BWA spectrum help the operators develop more profitable VAS?

Gagandeep Kaur
50%
50%
Gagandeep Kaur,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:39:40 PM
re: India's Mobile ARPU on the Slide
The VAS companies are certainly looking forward to 3G as a revenue generator. But more than VAS, the operators are looking at data services to boost the ARPUs...
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Graham Finnie from Heavy Reading about some of the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control.
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
LRTV Interviews
Bob Wilson, Arsenal Legend: The Light Reading Interview

1|16|15   |   35:36   |   (3) comments


Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson was Light Reading's guest interviewee at the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in December. See what the former soccer star and sports broadcaster had to say when he took to the stage in Iceland.
LRTV Custom TV
What MEF Third Network Initiative Means for SDN & NFV

1|14|15   |   6:13   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss discusses the importance of the MEF Third Network initiative and why it's good news for SDN/NFV industry initiatives.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Frank Miller: Distributed Solutions are the Best Build for the Future - Part II

1|9|15   |   2:46   |   (0) comments


At SCTE, Frank Miller, Global CTO of MSO at Huawei, speaks about Cable 2.0 and its innovative future.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cuomo Unveils Broadband Aid Program
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/19/2015
FiOS Picks Up Pace Again
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/22/2015
BlackBerry Wants Net Neutrality Protection -- That's Just Sad
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/22/2015
Indiana Carrier Takes Fiber to the Farm
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/22/2015
Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive