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Ringing In the Next Billion Mobile Consumers

A Road Map for Accelerating Telecom Growth in India
December 20, 2007 by James Abraham, David Dean, and Arvind Subramanian
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The Boston Consulting Group is committed to understanding the needs and aspirations of consumers in rapidly developing economies and the ways in which companies can serve them profitably. This report examines specifically how telecom providers can serve these consumers, whom we call the next billion, in India.

We examined numerous ways to serve the next billion—including cross-industry collaboration and improvements to products, distribution, marketing, regulation, and infrastructure. We developed an understanding of this emerging group of consumers in India by conducting 11 focus-group discussions and nearly 40 interviews with individuals in their homes; surveying approximately 9,000 individuals; visiting numerous rural and urban communities; and holding discussions with telecom operators. We reviewed secondary research materials and interviewed experts worldwide. We also worked closely with our colleagues in Latin America and China to understand how players in other emerging markets are trying to generate growth by penetrating this market.

A quick note about financial figures: Because this report focuses on India, the figures included here are denominated in Indian currency. To help provide context, we offer a currency conversion table below and include U.S. dollar equivalents for some figures in the text.

Indian Currency
U.S. equivalent,
October 16
1 rupee2.5 cents
1 lakhRs 100,000$2,541
1 croreRs 100 lakh$254,970