Welcome to ZenUnwired; a blog dedicated to tracking developments in technology and strategy, and to deciphering the impact of these developments on wired and wireless ISP's, device manufacturers, OS and application developers, and most importantly - you.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The State of the Indian Mobile Industry - Subscriber Growth

Contrary to popular belief, recent research reports point to the trend that subscriber growth in the hyper-competitive Indian wireless market might in fact be slowing down. As of September 2009, the only carrier that seems to be bucking this puzzling trend seems to be Tata DoComo. There could be a multitude of reasons for this trend. Some include: 

  • The general economic malaise 
  • Launch of aggressive pricing plans by new players (E.g.: Tata DoComo's 'Paise Per Second' plans)
  • Mathematical calculations - steady net adds (numerator) over a burgeoning subscriber base (denominator) 
But no matter what the reasons, this trend is definitely worth watching. 

The wireless market in the US was in a similar growth phase until a couple of years ago. Market saturation has come quickly and wireless operators have had to change their market strategies from acquisition-based  to retention-based fairly quickly. Given these trends, it seems like the Indian market is headed in this direction more quickly than anyone has anticipated.