Till date voice is primary point to earn revenue for the mobile operators, but the movement towards data has already been started. The change in users' behavior results in reshaping of traditional voice market in India. People find other way of communications apart from simple voice calls.
Tariff Hike - and Associated Changes
Following the new players exit pushed by Supreme Court's verdict in February 2012, almost all mobile operators hiked their tariff -directly or indirectly. Those hiked the base tariff have to offer ratecutters to reduce the low call rate, but these ratecutters are no more cheap business. Sometimes benefits are reduced or validity is reduced.
Unlimited Voice Packs
I am not talking about minutes or second packs, rather on the unlimited voice and text plans offered by some operators. These schemes or recharages are similar of carriers offer in Europe or USA. Idea's buffet packs, unlimited packs from Tata Docomo and Reliance are serious attempt to lure heavy voice customers.
Alternative to Voice
India's young generation believes communication is not limited to voice calls. Voice is getting replaced by Skype, Viper, Nimbuzz, Blackberry Voice and so many VoIP. Even P2P messages are replaced by Fb Message or WhatsApp. Revenue of voice is shifting to data.
CDMA to GSM Shift
On CDMA ARPU is less than GSM ARPU. And following MNP introduced, there is clear migration from CDMA to GSM. It is good for CDMA operators, as they have freed up network which can be exclusively used for data.
At present voice ARPU stands below Rs 200, and in coming days there is no chance to increase the value. And data is eating up the revenue from voice as all diversions are merging to data. Well at the end it seems 4G with its huge capabilities has great future in India. In the next article we will discuss on data market - how it is changing!
PS: If you want to add more regarding India's voice market, please drop comments.