Telecom giants eyeing rural market

Posted on March 28, 2007  /  0 Comments

Supriya Shrinate |, India

Friday, March 23, 2007 (New Delhi): Sunil Mittal, Anil Ambani and now Arun Sarin may be the fiercest of rivals in the telecom battlefield but there’s one thing that all telecom bosses agree on that.

It is the farmers in rural India and fishermen in distant shores, who will drive the next phase of growth for telecom.

Little wonder then, networks are being rolled out to tap this bottom of the pyramid (BOP) as it is fashionably called.

In fact according to a survey by LIRNEasia, the BOP segment makes about 35 calls on an average every month, which includes both incoming and outgoing calls.

Almost 94 per cent of the respondents interviewed in the socio economic D & E segment have used a phone in the last three months, which belongs to a spouse, neighbour or even a friend.

Untapped potential

In fact unlike other South Asian countries, more than 80 per cent of the respondents in India can access a phone in less than 15 minutes and interestingly almost the same number use missed call as a means of communication to cut costs.

However, what’s exciting for tele-companies is the fact that most in the lowest socio-eco classification are ready to own a phone connection.

It’s the untapped potential in the bottom of the pyramid that companies are eyeing rather keenly and while most calls here are made to keep in touch, the good news is that they are beginning to get connected on their own.

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