With mobile penetration expected to go up to nearly 100% by 2015 and Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS) to generate Rs 48,000 cr worth of revenue, MVAS is clearly slated to drive the vehicle for inclusive growth in India. This is the outcome of the ASSOCHAM Deloitte Study on Mobile Value Added Services released by the Chamber today.

The study which was initiated almost 4 months ago, has attempted to identify key elements and parameters that could facilitate an optimum ecosystem to support digital entrepreneurship. The research identifies key forces of a “facilitating ecosystem” – essential for fuelling innovative growth in this sector.

The Study states that whereas the focus of MVAS has so far been infotainment, there is great growth potential in building various utility services which can digitally empower the citizens by providing efficient access to essential information and services and foster inclusive growth.

Unveiling the report Dr J S Sarma, Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said, “I would like to congratulate both ASSOCHAM and Delloite for taking this initiative of releasing this report which is both timely and topical and will help build a platform for the growth of Mobile Value Added Services in India. TRAI will upload this report on its website to help reach a wider audience. We will study the report and will further engage with ASSOCHAM and propose a consultation paper to the Government on the way forward in developing the future roadmap for MVAS“.

Poised for rapid economic growth, India still lags behind on key development indicators such as basic health and education facilities. In order to promote and expedite inclusive growth, India can use mobile technology, Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS) in particular, to deliver these services.

This paper demonstrates the acute need and the rationale for doing so through an analysis of the country’s needs, market dynamics for MVAS in India, and a study of global best practices and case studies. Lastly, it also talks about some of the challenges the MVAS industry faces, and steps that need to be taken by the regulatory authorities and the industry players to fulfill the potential of MVAS to reach the Indian citizenry with basic services in an effective and efficient manner.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Dilip Modi, President, ASSOCHAM called for a policy framework to be created to ensure that the benefits of utility MVAS could be accrued to every citizen in full measure. He said, “It is imperative that the government / regulatory bodies lay down a vision and set guideline to provide the industry with direction as MVAS can be a serious vehicle to hasten the process of inclusive growth and can aid in identifying priority areas for fund allocation specifically in the areas of governance, health and education.

“Realizing the fact that mobiles today have begun to replace roads in our country it becomes all the more necessary to strengthen and leverage the digital infrastructure in our country. There is immense scope to develop Utility MVAS services in the country that will bring M-education, M-health, M-banking, M-governance, M-agriculture and other mobile services through digital highway to all sections of our population thus helping the economy to grow as whole,” he added.

Addressing the forum, Mr T V Ramachandran, Chairman ASSOCHAM Communications Convergence Committee said, “This report will help in getting the “industry status” for this critical sector of MVAS. It is our submission that digital services should become a part of larger macroeconomic stimulus programme. While we are taking initiatives to expand broadband coverage, it is critical to reach all corners of the country with real-time information and applications that improve socio-economic opportunities”.

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