India's telecom market is now larger than both Germany and the UK.
However the industry here faces the widest set of challenges, ranging from how to service the most basic communication needs to how to deliver complex services—all in a highly competitive market driven by regulatory challenges and issues.
Telecom businesses have traditionally been consumer and voice heavy. As a percentage of revenues, data services still remain at about 10%. There is therefore the need to develop a wider set of corporate offerings and strengthen distribution channels.
Improving customer experience has gained importance as a distinctive means of securing and enhancing lifetime value. The bottom-line is that operators cannot afford to give them low or equal service levels, holding IT and implementation issues responsible.
Major growth will be driven by the rural Indian subscriber base, where current penetration is 30% and ARPU is just INR 160. Service providers will face the dual challenge of serving them cost-effectively and giving relevant services that will be adopted and used.
Service providers today also face an uncertain regulatory environment. The recent National Telecom Policy 2011 hinted towards ways and means of addressing some pertinent regulatory shortcomings. Spectrum sharing, convergence, a unified licence are some of the sought-after issues where a clearer way ahead is required from the Policy.
In the future, the Indian telecom industry will consolidate for players to migrate to an industry structure expected from the economics of such a market. Operators must ready themselves, strategy-wise and capability-wise, to participate and take advantage of market’s life cycles by then pursuing potential opportunities.
PwC is positioned to service its clients’ needs in all major issues facing the industry today. As the industry evolves we continually refine and develop our points of view on the landscape, harnessing our teams together as required to respond to our clients most topical challenges.
Our telecom industry practice in India focuses on bringing together our Indian and global network resources around our clients’ needs, creating teams to help you respond to challenges around almost every dimension of your business.