With data services becoming a driving force for future prospects, telcos are gearing up for a strategic change in their operational model, where data becomes their primary focus and voice secondary, unlike now.
Mobile operators are now exploring and working on offering more lucrative bundled offers and services, primarily based on data, where data rentals would complement free voice calls. Currently, voice and data services are charged separately under different tariffs.
A top executive with a leading operator told FE they have no problem in offering even free voice calls so long data tariffs and usage compensates for the loss in the voice business. Recently, Idea Cellular, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone increased their 2G and 3G data tariffs by over 35%. However, any such transition would take a long time to come as currently voice contributes to around 85% of the revenue of operators.