Internet literacy, video calling to rise over the long-term: Report

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 14, 2020 Published on April 14, 2020

A representative image

A paradigm shift in customer-behavioural change is in the process for the telecom sector, with the top long-term trends, including the rise in internet literacy and increase in video calling among others.

A rise in use of telco-owned Apps, an increase in data adoption and usage, growth in fixed broadband penetration and expansion of digital recharges are the other long-term trends, according to a report by ICICI Securities.

The rise in internet literacy is led by the need to remain connected with friends and family, which have increased usage of WhatsApp, Facebook and other similar applications. Also, online game adoption has led to a rise in smartphone subscribers.

Internet literacy is critical to appreciate data services and its ecosystem. It helps drive the usage of multiple apps and improve subscriber stickiness. Negligible fresh content on television would have helped drive usage of video-on-demand (VOD) services, it said.

Video calling has posted a significant rise during the ongoing lockdown and helped subscribers remain connected to compared to voice calls. While subscribers have video call services for the first time, use of video calling will likely reset at significantly higher levels compared to pre-lockdown period.

All the three private telcos – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio Infocomm – have launched multiple apps including music streaming and VOD with app-in-app tie-ups with broadcasters, which should have seen a rise in usage, the report said.

“In the long run, telcos will play a greater role in developing the ecosystem for apps,” the report said, adding the above trends will increase data adoption and usage.

Short-term trends

An increase in validity period for incoming calls and rise in top-up recharges are the short-term trends for the telecom sector, while the quality of services delivered was commendable during the lockdown period.

The increase in validity period for incoming calls is a one-time adjustment to facilitate subscribers to remain connected, which would help in increasing subscriber loyalty. The top-up recharges were negligible during the pre-lockdown period due to huge data allowances and unlimited voice minutes.

“However, we expect some uptick in data top-up recharges in the course of the ongoing lockdown as subscribers would have exhausted their daily data allowance. We don't see top-up recharges sustaining post-lockdown,” it added.


Published on April 14, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!


Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.