Indian regulator trumpets importance of VAS

The Indian regulator TRAI has unveiled a consultation document focused on the country’s VAS market, acknowledging that mobile phone services “have moved beyond their fundamental role of voice communications to a range of value added services"...

The Indian regulator TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has unveiled a consultation document focused on the country’s VAS market, acknowledging that mobile phone services “have moved beyond their fundamental role of voice communications to a range of value added services.”

As a result, the regulator states that “a harmonised ecosystem needs to be developed for ushering growth in all the segments of the value added service viz content development, technology platform, content aggregation, etc, thereby enabling benefits to consumers and also revenue generation.”

The regulator observed that “managing and buying PCs and laptops is still too expensive for our masses”, and that accordingly mobile services could be key to connecting the unconnected, especially in rural areas.

In particular, services apart from entertainment – such as health finance and education – could be delivered to much of the population “through innovative applications”, noted TRAI. VAS was also highlighted by the regulator as a potential revenue stream for operators in the face of fierce competition, saying that augmenting core communication services with VAS could provide “additional revenue, service differentiation, and customer retention.”

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