480 mn Indians to go online by 2017: Google

India will have 480 million online users in 2017 from 230 million in 2013 says Google-AT Kearney joint study conducted to pinpoint opportunities for Indian telcos.

Today, 230 million Indians are online, with 155 million of them using mobile devices. In the next three years, the country will see another mobile explosion as the online community more than doubles to 480 million.

By 2017, 385 million people will have smartphones, six times more than today, and the number of online transactors will explode to 160 million, eight times as many as today. Data consumption will triple, and consumers will be buying five times as much content. And this transformation will happen at an unprecedented pace.

The report says that Indian telcos can generate additional cumulative revenues of $8 billion and EBITDA of $2.9 billion over the next three years by going digital.

By FY17, the industry is expected to reach $35 billion in revenues. Voice share is expected to decline as a result of subscriber saturation in urban areas and ongoing pricing pressures. Non-voice, on the other hand, is expected to grow at 29 percent CAGR; within non-voice, data revenue will grow at around 70 percent per year and new digital VAS streams are expected to emerge and grow exponentially, whereas SMS and traditional VAS revenues will remain flat or decline.

While this is a substantial shift, it is not unique. Global markets have seen similar shifts as they matured from voice to messaging and from data to digital. The shift from data to digital is occurring as more digital content and services are introduced and adopted. Markets such as Japan and Korea have taken up to 10 years to move from data to digital, but we believe it will happen much faster in India.

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