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  • Fragmented VAS Markets in SAME to Compete on Content instead of Price, Finds Frost & Sullivan

    Published on November 19, 2010

    Mumbai : With the worst of economic downturn behind it, the telecommunication markets in the South Asia and Middle East (SAME) region are limping back to normalcy, with value-added services (VAS) accounting for almost 10 percent of the total mobile service revenues. The premium content segment of VAS has contributed more significantly than the messaging segment, and this trend is likely to persist.

    The mobile VAS market has grown in varying degrees in different SAME countries, with the compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) ranging from 8.2 percent in Saudi Arabia to 21.7 percent in India. Content-based VAS and predominantly entertainment-oriented content are helping to improve adoption rates in Saudi Arabia, where news and Islamic content is dominant.

    New analysis from Frost & Sullivan http://www.wireless.frost.com, Mobile Value Added Services (VAS) Market in SAME Region, finds that among the countries considered, the Indian VAS revenue market size was the highest as of 2009 at $1259.5 million. The CAGR of VAS market revenue in the countries studied indicates that it is a high-growth market in the telecom industry.

    If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides a brief synopsis of the research and a table of contents, then send an e-mail to Caroline Lewis/ Nimisha Iyer, Corporate Communications, at [email protected] / [email protected], with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state and country.. Upon receipt of the above information, a brochure will be sent to you by e-mail.

    The VAS markets in many countries are fragmented with a large number of participants such as operators, content providers, content aggregators, and system integrators. There are still arbitration and reconciliation issues in the VAS value chain, as market participants are gradually on the look out for more mature business models.

    High-priced 3G/feature handsets have not found mass acceptance in countries such as Pakistan and Egypt, while intense competition among operators have resulted in price wars and lack of differentiation in high-potential markets in countries such as India and Saudi Arabia.

    The market fragmentation has spawned differences regarding revenue sharing among the stakeholders. Despite the intense competition and price wars, there is still room for a better end user experience and customization of applications.

    “The way forward in the telecom markets is to differentiate the VAS offerings by content-based and usage-related innovations (pay per use instead of subscriptions) rather than price,” says Frost & Sullivan Program Manager Parminder Saini. “Market offerings such as managed VAS currently present in the markets of Sri Lanka and India enable end-to-end management of its entire portfolio, which is a huge advantage in a fragmented VAS market.” 

    Market participants should be aiming to drive active usage of VAS among mobile customers. They can achieve this by focusing on enriching the user experience in a way that allows customers to derive maximum value. Innovative VAS offerings, introduction of 3G technology, operator consolidation, and sachet VAS are some key factors that can hike the adoption rates of VAS in the SAME region.

    “The future of VAS products is linked to superior customer experience and delivering more value with applications to facilitate transactions related to banking, education, travel, entertainment, and commerce,” notes Parminder. “The progression of markets such as India and Pakistan toward 3G will also drive the uptake of data-rich VAS, as advanced networks enable high-speed data downloads.”

    Mobile Value Added Services (VAS) Market in SAME Region is part of the Mobile & Wireless Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Distribution is King in Mobile service: India, Mobile and Wireless country Report: 2010, Indian OSS and BSS Market Overview. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants