Report: India’s mobile service revenues set to double by 2024

India's mobile service revenues

India’s mobile service revenues will double to $39.8 billion by 2024 from $19.6 billion in 2018, a new report says.

Industry consolidation, lower costs for phones and data plans, increasing smartphone penetration among a growing middle class and a favorable regulatory landscape are helping to drive it.

The GlobalData notes the Indian mobile communication market is the second largest in the world with 1.2 billion mobile subscribers. Only the Chinese market is larger.

In Q2, 2019, smartphone shipments set a record with 36.9 million units, a 9.9% Y/Y and 14.8% Q/Q increase, said IDC.

GlobalData expects mobile subscriber numbers to grow, too, topping 1.4 billion users in 2024. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2 percent.

India’s mobile revenue is expected to double over the next six years, with video playing a major role in the rapid growth.

Mobile data revenues to see fastest growth

Mobile data revenues are expected to grow at an even faster rate. GlobalData forecasts revenues to reach $13 billion by 2024, up from $7 billion in 2018. That’s a CAGR of 13%.

Indian consumers’ massive data usage expansion — much of it video — is fueling that growth. Average consumption was 4.1 GB/mo. in 2018, up from just 733 MB per month in 2017 (+461% Y/Y).

Indian telecom Reliance Jio has catalyzed the market. It parlayed free data plans and disruptive pricing strategies into an evolution among consumers. Voice centric Indian consumers are now data centric consumers.

Also driving India’s mobile service revenues: Telecom operators building 5G infrastructure. 5G spectrum auctions are planned for Q4 or early next year with operators looking to make commercial 5G launches in 2020. India will account for some 138 million 5G subscribers by 2024.

The bottom line

All of this, of course, is mirrored in Brightcove’s Q2 2019 Global Video Index, which found mobile share of video viewing growing steadily across the world, with India among the fastest adopters.

As I mentioned earlier, rising smartphone penetration among an expanding middle class, low — and even free — data plans, high data consumption and increased video traction all have had a big impact on the mobile market.

India already has wide 4G connectivity, and is committed to rolling out 5G in a hurry. The government is helping to fuel investment expansion from foreign partners. It already has increased the foreign direct investment cap in the telecom sector to 100% from 74%. And, it’s using the National Digital Communications Policy-2018 in an effort to attract at least $100 billion in investment by 2022. 

Consumers, meanwhile, continue to flock to smartphones. Especially lower-priced ($20 and below) Android phones from Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi. Xiaomi has almost 30% of the Indian market, with Samsung just behind it at 25%. Overall, IDC points out that India is among the fastest-growing smartphone market in the world.

Combined, it’s a strong recipe for surging growth in what is a vital market to broadcasters, content creators and tech companies looking to catch fire.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and onLinkedIn