New Delhi: India’s biggest phone firm by revenues, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, or BSNL, aims to have at least Rs4,000 crore in revenue by 2010 from new wireless offerings, such as music and video downloads, and through advertisements on mobile phone screens.
BSNL, which had annual revenues of Rs39,715 crore in fiscal 2007, is trying to improve its profitability and declining per subscriber billings, a key measure in the industry.
BSNL aims to have “at least Rs1,500 crore in revenues from value-added services (VAS) by March 2008,” said a senior BSNL official involved in the company’s VAS business team who did not want to be named. “We hope to have VAS contribute around 20% of our total revenues by 2010, up from around 10-15% this year.”
Wireless offerings: BSNL office building in New Delhi. The firm expects half of Rs4,000 crore to come from advertising on mobile phones.
Half of the Rs4,000 crore target is expected to come through advertising on mobile phones.
BSNL generated around Rs400 crore through VAS products in fiscal 2007. VAS offerings are more profitable than voice services, which account for bulk of phone firm revenues.
Research firm Frost and Sullivan predicted earlier this month that the Indian VAS industry would be worth Rs77,823 crore by 2012, accounting for almost 25% of the mobile telephony market, up more than 25 times from less than Rs3,000 crore last year.
In order to create “a robust advertisement delivery platform, BSNL is readying to invite proposals from companies such as LM Ericsson AB and content providers, including Mauj Mobile,” the official added. “By March, we will have single, unified platform for booking and delivering advertisements on mobile.”
BSNL, is hoping to improve its average revenue per user, or ARPU, by offering more lucrative non-voice services. “Even when ARPU is falling, the industry is increasing its share of revenues from VAS, in order to remain profitable,” the BSNL official added.
According to Frost and Sullivan, services built around music and video downloads apart from other non-voice services would make more than Rs28,000 crore VAS industry by 2010. Services such as text messages, text-based enquiries for weather forecasts and stock prices constitute bulk of VAS revenues.
BSNL also aims to earn around Rs400 crore in revenues in the year ending March from its “ring back tone” services, which was launched early in December. The service allows subscribers to choose and set different tunes for their callers.
Another area where BSNL aims to earn more revenues is mobile office applications. “As part of our VAS offerings, we would soon be launching new applications for the mobile work force,” said the BSNL official, declining more details because of competitive reasons.
BSNL has also VAS plans for its fixed-line customers subscribed to its broadband Internet offerings. It plans to sell to its 1.1 million broadband customers for new services such as Internet protocol-based television and gaming.