Posts Tagged ‘LiveMint’

Mobile Phone Subscriber base in India – Increasing or Decreasing?

December 21, 2010

LiveMint – one of the leading business newspaper in India carried an editorial article on December 10, 2010 titled – “Dialling the Wrong Numbers” which concluded or implied that India’s Cell Phone subscriber base may be on decline. Their inference on this seem to have been drawn from the recent press release from Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Telecom Subscriber Data (PDF link). LiveMint writes and I quote the following paragraph from the article –

According to Visitor Location Register data published by TRAI, only 70% of mobile phone connections were active at the end of September; i.e. out of 688 million subscribers, only 482 million were live on 30 September (2010).

When I read this – I instinctively felt that something was not right with this reporting from LiveMint. A drop of 30% decline in active subscribers (and that too within a month) should have started fire alarm bells ringing in the Mobile Service Providers – especially considering that they are currently getting challenged from the perspective of extracting more $/subscriber. So I took upon myself to decipher the data from the TRAI press release. My suspicions of misleading reporting from LiveMint came to be true.

Per the TRAI press release the news in terms of count of subscriber base seems to be quite contrary. The wireless subscriber base in India  increased by the routine 2.39%. India at the end of November 2010 had 688M wireless subscribers. The number 482M which LiveMint quotes is about Visitor Location Register (VLR) – this number is about tracking the user in a particular coverage area. This however is not about whether the subscriber is permanently active or not. (I have sent an email to the Editors of LiveMint for the clarification. Hopefully they will respond to that)

While we are on this topic – I just feel that the way TRAI calculates the tele-density seems to be very misleading. At the end of September 2010, the wireless tele-density in India seemed to be at 61%. For me this means that for 100 individuals, 61 of them would have access to wireless device. This just seems to be incorrect. Indians have a very unique habit of carrying multiple cell phones and with the advent dual/multiple SIM handsets – the whole definition of tele-density from a wireless perspective does not make any sense to me. (The same LiveMint article linked above mentioned that a report from KPMG indicates that 40% of all new cell phones sold in India would be Dual-SIM card phones. Not too sure if this is a correct number. Did not see a validation of the same anywhere else)

Thoughts and/or comments are welcome.

India Healthcare – McKinsey Report on Indian Pharmaceutical Market

December 20, 2010

For those who are following Indian Healthcare Market with great interest – the recent McKinsey Report & Predictions on Indian Pharmaceutical Market would be of interest to you.  I tried looking at this report at the McKinsey India web site but did not find it there. However, here is an alternate location from where you can download the PDF Version of the same report titled “India Pharma 2020 – Propelling Access and Acceptance, Realizing True Potential”. LiveMint also did a great job in summarizing this report in their daily edition (the graphics from LiveMint are here –  PDF – 1, PDF – 2, and PDF – 3).

For me the following were the quick takeaways from this report –

  • Over the last 5 years, the Indian Government spending on Healthcare has increased by a healthy 20% ($6.7 Billion to $11.7 Billion)
  • Coronary Heart Diseases and Diabetics are the two prominent disease areas to see an increase of about 30-40% in the next decade.
  • The data shows a steep rise in the number of people covered by healthcare insurance in the last 5 years (and is targeted to cover 45% of the population by 2020) – however important thing to note is that this steep rise is due to government-sponsored insurance coverage for below poverty-line population.
  • Selling margins in India are lower compared with other emerging markets (~20-25%)

[Note – Send me an email if you have problems accessing the PDFs linked above. I have these PDFs locally stored with me.]