Mobile phone services in emerging markets don’t seem to be affected too much from the global economic downturn. There is a Wall Street Journal article that states India as the fasted growing mobile phone market in the world. This is especially true when you look at the local demographics and notice that rural consumers demanding the most growth. Various industries in India such as textile and software exporters are struggling amid these dreary times, but there is a continued expansion in the cell phone market. It is said that figures scheduled to be released later this month will show that subscriptions in January reached a record 11 million. The biggest point why the rural community is not directly affected by the down economy is because they typically earn less than $1,000 a year and do not borrow money or own land. Additionally, consumers located in the vast rural areas of the country don’t benefit over the huge infrastructure of a landline service. So when a wireless carrier comes into town and builds a tower, people scramble to be the first ones to get their phones. Consumers in these areas use their phones strictly for voice calls while very few actually text message. Rural Indians use on the average 8.5 hours a month which is up 10% over the past year. Another major reason why this emerging market will see huge growths is that 60% of India’s population of 1.2 billion is located in rural areas. We’ve been fortunate to see many manufacturers keep in mind the need for basic handsets without all the powerhouse specs.
Source: Wall Street Journal