Arpita Pal Agarwal and her team at PricewaterhouseCoopers, India forecast 5 trends in India’s telecom industry for 2017:
Data Markets – With the entry of Reliance Jio a price war has begun in the telecom industry. The subsequent increase in data traffic will not compensate for the reduced data revenues, and this situation will result in reduced data realization by India’s telecom companies. Telecoms will steer their delivery model to a low-cost-per-MB one resulting in cost-efficient initiatives and optimization of their 2G/3G/4G networks.
Investment in fiber – With data prices reduced and consequent surge in demand, operators will focus on deploying fiber.
Less Expensive VoLTE Phones – Jio led the way in LTE and VoLTE compliant phones across models. Other operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone India, among others, will follow suit so as to address the 4G data demand.
GST – With implementation of the GST, telecom companies in India face two scenarios: one in which the increased output tax will be offset by input tax credits and supply chain efficiencies; and the second issue is that GST compliance costs in multiple state registrations will be “a significant burden on telecoms” says the forecast.
Mobile Advertising – With the growing number of mobile Internet users in India from the current 370 million user base, mobile advertising will be highly relevant, though “traditional advertising media of print and broadcast will continue to dominate”.