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One97 Communications On Voice Service Dependency, Content Arbitrage Model, Low VAS ARPU And “Dakia”

One opinion held about One97 Communications is that they have a significant dependancy on voice based services. The Mobile VAS company announced a fund raising from Intel Capital and Silicon Valley Bank. One97 Communications competes with the likes of OnMobile Global, Bharti Telesoft, Cellebrum, IMI Mobile and ValueFirst. In Part 2 of this two part interview (click here for Part 1), we spoke to Vijay Shekhar Sharma, MD of One97 Communications about how are they impacted if rates for voice based services go down from Rs. 6/min, their dependancy on new products and services, Rural services and whether the VAS business is limited by the amount pre-paid consumers can set aside for VAS. Dependancy On Voice Services  How dependent are you on voice based services? Voice based applications contribute around 37-38% of revenues, and that is the largest contributor. We have SMS subscriptions with around 20 million active customers paying Rs. 30 per month to operators. Our dependency on any single application is quite low. We've invested a significant amount in applications for 3G and video. We have an R&D setup. We are going to invest in people for network technologies like WiMax. These will bring a new kind of customer requirement - devices bought for bandwidth. Today we buy a phone and bandwidth is a value add. Tomorrow, we will buy bandwidth and voice will be a value add. We will deliver half a billion SMS in a month. If I have 20 million subscriptions - that 600 million…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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