"The story of the value-added service on the mobile phone is just the beginning. All products on the mobile phone are for the masses. There is a requirement of creative innovation, which should be cost-effective and for masses," said A K Bhargava, Executive Director (Wireless Service) Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) at VAS Asia 2012, the 12th international conference and exhibition.
According to Rajan S Mathews, Director General of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the emergence of the mobile phone as the single device for a host of services has also changed the paradigm in the sector, with several discreet devices being displaced in favour of a single device.
Yelti, a mobile marketing firm, says that mobile internet users are expected to surpass the desktop internet users by 2014.
According to Sukesh Jain, Head (VAS and Content), Bharti Airtel, the total internet access capability by 2015 is expected to rise from 100 million to 450 million, of which 41 percent will be using mobile only and another 38 percent both cellphone and PC.
The leaders also said that the slow growth of smartphones so far has been holding back the prospect of huge revenues from mobile VAS.
In the first quarter of this year, out of 50 million new devices sold, smartphones constituted only 2.7 million. The total smartphone base in the country is around 27 million, while the total subscribers base has crossed 929 million.
According to Chandan Ghosh, Head (Global Wholesale and Carrier Business), Aircel, operators are looking at various means to use MVAS as a growth driver for them falling voice revenues, increasing competition and heavy investments in 3G have made them turn to VAS to secure their business.
The broad categories for successful monetization of MVAS are in M-education, M-commerce, M-Health and M-Infotainment.