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March 27, 2012

India mobile services market to be $30bn by 2016: Study

ARPU in India is at $40, one of the lowest in the world, according to Gartner

By CBR Staff Writer

It is expected that the Indian mobile subscriber base is forecast to reach 696 million connections in 2012, an increase of 9% from 638 million in 2011, while total mobile services revenue in India is projected to reach $30bn by 2016, according to Gartner.

The average revenue per user (ARPU) began to stabilise in 2011, unlike between 2008 and2010 when they registered a double-digit fall.

Gartner Consumer Technology and Markets principal analyst Shalini Verma said the staggering growth of mobile connections has been driven by the expansion of mobile services in semi-urban and rural markets and the availability of cheap mobile devices.

"However, the other performance indicators of the Indian mobile market seem modest in comparison to those of markets such as China," said Verma.

At $40, the ARPU in India is among the lowest in the world and about one-third of that of China, says the research firm.

India also lags behind China in mobile service penetration, with 51% against latter’s 71%.

Indian mobile service penetration is expected to grow to 72% by 2016, while China’s is expected to grow to 119% in 2016.

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