Around two years ago, 3G spectrum auction in India fetched almost US$15billion for the government. But after that, 2G spectrum allocation scam has almost spoiled telecom boom in India and finally Indian Supreme Court cancelled all licenses and 2G spectrum were auctioned off again. This fetched less than US$2billion!
So what went wrong with Indian Mobile Telecom boom ?
In my opinion, mobile companies had unrealistic hope after the subscriber base of mobile phone grew from 135million to 800million in just around six years from 2004 to 2010. So, they invested heavily 3G and hopes it would generate revenue for them. But in 2012, statistics shows, hardly 20% revenues come from data services which includes SMS too! So, it is predominantly still a voice generated revenue for mobile operators. But sadly, the voice call rates in India is among the lowest in the world! So, ARPU ( Average revenue per user) in India is also among the lowest in the world!
But this is an opportunity for voice applications aka IVR ( Interactive Voice Response) companies!
While it seems, voice based VAS is also stagnant and now a days it means just CRBT ( Caller Ring Back Tone). CRBT also seems to have lost its appeal among people. So, I expect all telecom operators will try to increase voice revenue only.
People of India discovers smart ways to reduce cost, but exchange messages. Use of Missed Call is such a telecom trick which has generated many application such as, missed call voting system, missed call based polls, lead capturing etc. If you watch any Indian TV Channel, one would find at least one TVC which would urge viewers to make a missed call!
Voice Mail System, which is nothing but but an IVR application, is not very popular in India. But most probably, time is ripe now for telecom operators to introduce voice mail system with host of features like web access.
There are many enterprise voice applications like alert notifications, personalized IVR, Virtual Receptionist etc. which could be value added services provided by telecom operators to increase their voice revenues. This is one opportunity which all IVR Companies should try seize upon and explore more.
So, I think, it is right time for IVR companies to push voice applications in Indian telecom market aggressively.