World’s Largest Mobile Market : India Vs. China

According to a recent study by Informa Telecoms & Media, India is all set to overtake China with respect to mobile phone subscriptions by 2013. While the growth has been terrific in volume terms, the ARPU are still expected to lower which will mean that network operators will still be able to gain better margins […]

According to a recent study by Informa Telecoms & Media, India is all set to overtake China with respect to mobile phone subscriptions by 2013. While the growth has been terrific in volume terms, the ARPU are still expected to lower which will mean that network operators will still be able to gain better margins out of their operations in China than in India. Here are some numbers from the study

Number of active mobile subscriptions
India
2000 : 3.2 million
2009 : 508 million
2013 : 1.159 billion (128% since 2009)

China
2009 : 773 million
2013 : 1.106 billion (43% since 2009)

Mobile Subscription Penetration Rate
India : 75% (2011)
China : 69% (2011)
India is expected to cross the 100% penetration rate by 2014

Mobile Market Revenues : 2013
China : $107.5 billion
India : $35.5 billion

ARPU : 2010
China : $10
India : $3

While the numbers are interesting, projections with respect to revenues/ARPU for 2013 is anybody’s guess at the moment. India has just auctioned its 3G spectrum and nobody can tell for sure if this is going to be a boom or bust. The revenues and ARPU are going to be greatly skewed due to this aspect.