Mobile connections in India will grow to 880 million in 2015, an increase of 5 percent from 837 million connections in 2014, according to Gartner, Inc. Spending (in constant USD) on mobile services will grow 4 percent to reach USD 21.4 billion in 2015, according to a Gartner report.
The IT research and advisory firm said in its report that spending on mobile services will be driven by data services, which is expected to grow 15 percent to reach USD 6.5 million in 2015. A large chunk of this growth will be driven by the increasing use of cellular services on data-centric devices, such as tablets and notebooks, through either embedded cellular modems or USB sticks.
"In India, the rise in spending on data-only connections will be driven by two user scenarios - first, to complement their fixed broadband connectivity, so they can use their larger-screen data-centric devices on the go. In other use cases, data-only connections will be the way for consumers to access broadband connectivity because of a lack of fixed networks," said Neha Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner.
Newer and faster networks, a rise in the number of users of these networks, and more affordable smartphones will help to increase spending on data services. Spending on data services will also be heavily driven by mobile apps, particularly mobile video apps. Apps and content are driving traffic volume as people increasingly chat to friends and family, watch videos on the move, and listen to streamed music.
"Mobile data provides a substantial revenue opportunity in India. Communication service providers (CSPs) will need to focus on creating new pricing, with a focus on data access, such as shared plans. They will also need to refine the services they already provide, with a focus on creating richer, more immersive and more personalized experiences, to increase their customer numbers," said Gupta.
As the mobile app market matures, app developers will have to sharpen their focus on the marketing and transparency of their apps, in order to retain customers. Gartner's research indicates that although affluent people and traditional early adopters are the leading users of new technologies and devices, younger, less wealthy people make greater use of mobile apps.