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Airtel Looking To Shift To Content-Based Data Plans

Our telecom operator earnings coverage is brought to you by OnMobile Global, India’s leading Mobile Value Added Services [VAS] company In an attempt to increase data usage in India, India's largest telco Airtel is looking to shift its focus from a data-oriented approach to a more content-based approach, the company's India CEO and Joint managing director Gopal Vittal disclosed during its earnings conference call for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 (Q3-FY14). Vittal says they are trying to change the vocabulary away from megabytes and gigabytes into songs and videos with initiatives like the Re 1 Entertainment store launched in August last year. He claims a significant percentage of its new users are coming in through this store, although there are no specific numbers on this. Remember that the telco has been witnessing a significant increase in its mobile data subscriptions for the past few quarters. Last August, it had mentioned that data is hitting the J curve in India. Later in the year, it had also claimed to have registered substantive growth in mobile TV and other data services. Airtel has also inked a partnership with Google to offer Airtel subscribers with free access to Google services such as Google Search, feature phone friendly version of Gmail & Google+, in a bid to drive data usage. In addition to this, Airtel has also apparently made several network investments and rolled 3G services where it feels is relevant. - 3G penetration: Only 16% - 18% of the devices on Airtel's network are 3G compatible and a large percentage of about 100 million…

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