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

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

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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.


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Published on April 14, 2020
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