Mobile Phones Emerge as a Viable Medium for Providing Utility Services in South Asia, Finds Frost & Sullivan

Frost And SullivanRapid proliferation of mobile communication services has positioned itself as the ideal platform to provide people from all walks of life the access to utility services such as banking, healthcare and education. According to Frost & Sullivan, mobile utility service is still a fledgling market in the region but has impressive potential. Mobile data services explosion, innovative business models, as well as increasing smartphone and tablet PC penetration will give a leg up to the adoption of utility mobile applications across South Asia.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Mobile VAS: Utility Mobile Applications and Data Usage in South Asia, finds that the market earned revenues of $0.28 billion in 2011. This is estimated to reach $4.88 billion in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.3 percent. Mobile commerce is expected to experience the highest adoption rates and grow at a CAGR of 55.9 percent, followed by the mobile healthcare and education services.

Operators have developed many utility services for the segments of education, commerce, banking and finance, and healthcare,said the Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst. However the adoption has been very low. Operators are struggling to package these services in a format which will make them accessible to all. Telecom companies are also concerned about return on investments for services tailored for the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) consumers. High cost of the services and lack of vernacular support is hampering the end user adoption.

Going forward, operators in South Asia must focus on both the feature phone and the smartphone owners. This will enable them to offer utility services on advanced as well as traditional channels such as SMS for maximum reach.

It is vital to provide interactive voice response (IVR) based services for users that are disinclined to use SMS-based services or data services,noted the analyst. These efforts will go a long way in bolstering market prospects. By 2018, the utility mobile applications are expected to account for almost 7.6 percent of the overall operator revenues in South Asia.

Source: Business Wire India

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