According to Gartner, India's mobile services market will reach Rs.1.2 trillion, in 2013, which is a 8 % hike from the Rs. 1.1 trillion in revenues of 2012. Also, the leading information technology research and advisory company, predicts that mobile connections will grow to 770 million in 2013, an 11 percent increase from 712 million connections in 2012.
"The mobile market in India will continue to face challenges if average revenue per unit (ARPU) does not grow significantly," said Shalini Verma, principal research analyst at Gartner. "If the prevailing conditions do not change in the Indian telecom market, India will account for 12 percent worldwide mobile connections, but just 2 percent of worldwide mobile services revenue (in constant USD) in 2013."
Growing profit margins in the face of intense competition and and successfully competing with over the top service providers, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, are the two major challenges faced by Indian telecom operators.
"As mobile voice services continue to get commoditized in the country with the increased use of voice over IP (VoIP) and the probable termination of national roaming charges, mobile broadband is the area of opportunity for operators," said Ms. Verma.
"India has a phenomenal pent up demand for mobile broadband and local mobile apps that solve everyday problems for consumers. Smaller mobile broadband plans using a sachet-style usage pattern appeal to Indian consumers." She added.
Its a long way to go, before India can catch up with the rest of the world, in terms of mobile broadband adoption. Telecom operators will have to think about providing innovative services, if they want to grow. Innovation in utility apps that can help bring efficiencies in a consumer's life, is the key for generating sustained revenues in the Indian market. Also, rural market still remains, largely untapped. Although expansion of mobile services in this regions, will come at a cost, it might be worth the investment.