India - Telecommunication Services: Highly competitive market with huge potential for growth (Strategy, Performance and Risk Analysis)
India is a large market with existing mobile user penetration (as % of population) increasing from 40% in 2012 to 49% in 2016. It is expected to grow to 69% by 2021. Mobile subscription increased at 5.3% CAGR during 2012-2016, from 864 million to 1,601 million, and is expected to increase at a CAGR of 6.1% over 2016-2021 to 1,427 million in 2021.
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Strong growth projected for Indian mobile subscriptions
India is expected to have 1,427.3 million mobile subscriptions by 2021. Mobile subscriptions are expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.1% over 2016-21 with subscription penetration (as % of population) increasing from 80% in 2016 to an expected 102% by 2021. Simultaneously, mobile user density (users as a % of population), which is currently at 49% in 2016, is expected to increase to 69% of the total population by 2021.
Government initiatives set to accelerate India’s telecommunication industry
Funding for infrastructure is expected to grow with the establishment of the Telecom Finance Corporation by March 2017. The government’s smart city and National Fiber Optic Network (NOFN) projects will also support the industry to attract investments. A digital payments ecosystem is fast developing in India. FinTech is emerging as the key sector for growth of digital transactions. Furthermore, Digital India, a program initiated by the Indian Government, is expected to expedite transforming India into a digital economy. Internet of Things (IoT) applications would also add to the momentum.
Massive potential for India’s telecommunication market
The Indian telecom market has a huge potential to drive volumes and growth, especially across mobile and fixed services. Mobile subscriptions increased at 5.3% CAGR from 864.7 million in 2012 to 1,061.0 million in 2016 and are expected to grow at 6.1% CAGR to 1,427.3 million by 2021. In a price sensitive market, intense competition has resulted in low-tariff offerings and data bundles with free voice minutes, which fuels subscription growth. In addition, mobile subscription density was around 86.3% in September 2016, out of which the urban area had a density of 156.2% compared with the rural area at 51.2%. This indicates the potential size of the telecom market in India, especially the rural area which constitutes nearly 69% of the total population.