January 26, 2021

Spotlight on India

As part of our virtual globetrotting, we’ve been catching up with the RFS team across the world to hear their thoughts on the biggest industry trends in each region. This week we sit down with Manoj Gurnani, Head of India at RFS to hear his thoughts on the India market and what the future holds.

Manoj Gurnani, Head of India

Tell us a bit about what makes the India telecoms market so unique. 

India is the second largest telecoms market in the world with a huge subscriber base of 1.16bn. It’s also the largest consumer of mobile data with the data usage per customer sitting at a 11GB per month, highlighting that India’s customer base is not only huge, but incredibly demanding. However, it is not its size that makes the region so unique, but it’s subscriber model. Unlike other APAC countries which see $30-40 average revenue per user (ARPU), India’s ARPU sits just over $1. It still makes for a lucrative opportunity, but it is a tough and fiercely competitive market for operators. 

What are the market challenges?

The big challenge is delivering the services that customers are demanding, while generating lower ARPU than neighboring regions. Despite the $1 per user per month revenue, operators in India deliver world class communications services and have no intention of falling behind. Analysts anticipate an additional 500 million internet subscribers over the next five years and Indian 5G subscriptions are set to pass 360 million by 2026. Operators’ biggest challenge will therefore be to put in place the infrastructure to serve the ever-growing demand for capacity, while at the same time evolving to support next generation technology. 

What is RFS doing in India?

RFS has a long history of working with operators in India. Here we have traditionally been in the Microwave Antenna Solutions space, working with all 3 of India’s tier 1 operators. Recently, we have been working more and more on Base Station Solutions which are critical in allowing operators to deliver the capacity that its customer base needs. Because the India market is so unique, we have spent time with our customers to truly understand their challenges and needs, and tailor our solutions accordingly. It is not unique to RFS in India, simply how we approach things as a company, but by being customer centric at every stage of the process, we can guarantee that equipment that has the lead time and price point of off-the-shelf products, feel like bespoke solutions. This approach means the last 12 months, we have worked with two of Indßia’s operators on delivering Base Station Solutions, deploying tens of thousands of antennas across the country. 

What does the future hold for RFS in India?

Looking at the solutions RFS is working on, we see huge potential for adding value to operators in the India market. For example, Multibeam Antennas are an ideal solution to support not only the rapidly growing demand for data, but as all our equipment is 5G ready, can help to support the next step in mobile technology. Not only this, but RFS’s Hybrid Antennas and solutions to support beamforming all have the potential to solve particular challenges that the India Market is facing. We are looking forward to working closely with our operator partners and assisting as they navigate the changing telecoms landscape. 

If you’d be interested to hear more about how RFS is supporting operators in one of the world’s most competitive markets get in touch,