Technology

Consumer trust deficit a challenge in growing mobile Vas revenues

MUMBAI: While the mobile Value Added Service (mVas) market is expected to grow to Rs. 671 billion by 2015 which would account for 30 per cent of mobile revenue, there are challenges. One challenge is the lack of consumer trust in data services. The focus of operators should rest on building relevance of services to the consumer.


This point was made at the Mobile Innovation Conference organised by IAMAI. Idea Cellular MD Himanshu Kapania spoke on ‘Services Beyond Voice and SMS‘. He noted that handset users have to be made aware of the benefits of accessing the net. For Vas revenues to grow, technology, big ideas and platforms are needed to help the process but consumers also have to believe in the value. "For mobile data to grow in terms of revenue you need a great network. At the same time you cannot leapfrog technology."


He disagreed with the view held in some circles that 4G would bypass 3G. "2G users will upgrade to affordable 3G handsets which costs $70. This price will go down to $35-$50. This is where the takeoff will happen. What is happening today in China will happen in India in the coming four years."


"The mobile data business has to move from push to pull. Operators cannot force feed applications on to consumers. Consumers have to demand services, which is why AT&T is doing so well in the US. Consumers have to be at the centre of what is being done. Mobile operators need to spend time on understanding consumers and why they aren‘t happy."


He also stressed the fact that mobile operators and Mvas companies need to work in a partnership and there should be a long term plan. Also the government should be seen as a friend and not as an adversary. "People should have choice, ease of access and the ability to discover services in the manner that they want to."

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