Mobile data consumers in India will be paying not more than `50 per GB by 2020 as against `228 they paid for a GB in 2016, Analysys Mason said in an ET Telecom webinar.

In a scenario where price per GB declines to `50, the 4G LTE data usage would go up to 6-7 GB per month and assuming 17 percent Wi-Fi offload as per current trends, 4G data usage on cellular networks would reach 5-6 GB per month, analysts from the research firm predicted. The 3G data usage is expected to reach 1.5-2 GB by 2020 because 3G tariffs are expected to drop in line with 4G tariffs.

Also, it is because of newcomer Reliance Jio that by 2020, 80 percent of India's population will be able to afford a 4G phone, which would otherwise have been 68 percent.This is on expectations of Jio introducing its 4G VoLTE feature phone shortly. “In India, the contribution of voice is still higher at 60-70 percent but we expect India to move in a direction where voice contributes only 30-40 percent, as per the international benchmarks,“ said Siddharth Thakkar, consultant at Analysys Mason.

But to sustain a viable business case in future where high data consumption can be catered to, Indian MNOs will be required to have more than 17-18 percent market share and will have to bring down the cost per GB for the end user to `30-40.

The operators will also need a large amount of spectrum, including sub GHz spectrum, to provide extensive coverage and to support the traffic at a great scale, the research firm said. Also, to support the tariff reduction to ` 50GB, telcos will need to target 5GBmonth data usage per subscriber.

Further, the telcos will have to keep an annual CapEx of `6,500-7,500 crore and OpEx of `20,000-25,000 crore to bring the total cost to around `30,000 crore for business viability. However, the analysts said that due to the launch of affordable VoLTE phones mainly triggered by Jio, the competition in the market could intensify . - TOI


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