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3G to bring fresh wars around data

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CIOL Bureau
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Mobile app store business is not easy for cellular operators, says Alok Goel, product manager, Google India

What is happening in the Indian mobile applications space?

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Voice is no more a clichéd statement. Earlier, we had not seen much hunger for data in the Indian market. In mid-2009, we saw all our hypothesis going wrong and we saw data packages going for grabs in huge numbers. Till early 2009, there were around 5-10 million mobile Internet users, today there are about 25 million of them. Not to forget, there have been some innovative offers by the service providers and this has given mobile Internet a boost in the country.

The data usage in India is going up in sync with the global trends. Already India has one of the cheapest data plans in the world which is very smartly designed at $1 a month. With 3G coming in, we are likely to see fresh wars around data. With already such thin margins for voice, India might see voice calls being offered free and operators redrawing their data strategies resulting in about 15-16% increase in ARPU. Once MNP comes in, data may become a critical differentiator while selecting a service provider.

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