How big is the mobile marketing opportunity from WAP sites in India?

Last numbers from TRAI for September 2008,

  • 10 million mobile users added in Sept (7.69m GSM, 2.34m CDMA)
  • Total number of mobile users: 315 m (slurp!). In August the user base was 305.24 m.
  • India is the ‘fastest’ growing wireless/mobile market and the second largest market after China.

Majority of mobile users in India are pre-paid users. I think post-paid users are a lot more loyal to a particular telco. Many argue that mobile internet will take over the traditional internet user base in India, I don’t agree. The purpose of usage on the mobile and PC is very different. Both mediums are necessary. I believe mobile internet could fuel the growth of internet usuage on PCs because a user may get interested in what he sees on the WAP portal and may want to to use the normal portal to get a lot more out of it.

One of the leading mobile marketing agencies, Admob, raised $15.7m from leading funds. When it came to the mobile marketing market size in India, Admob has always reported very impressive numbers, my assumption is that these are from WAP sites. But does India have that many WAP/mobi portals? I think the traffic on SMS portals outbeat that of WAP/mobi portals. Some numbers from Admob are,

  • Served 166 million ads in September 2007 (ranked #2 after the US)
  • Served 391 million ads in September 2008 (ranked #3, after the US and Indonesia)

A comment on venturebeat on Admob’s numbers looks very scientific.

Oneindia.in released its WAP site, oneindia.mobi in July 2007. By the time we released all our channels on oneindia.mobi it was Nov 2007. Since the launch we have definitely grown but I still feel GPRS in India is painful. We have to wait for 3G to be a reality in India. It is only after that WAP sites will take off but it is better to have the platform ready before the user base size suddenly explodes. We switched over to admob few months ago and we do see a good increase in revenues, they surely are delivering for us.

I guess everyone likes numbers, they say Mobile marketing will be worth Rs 1,000 crore in two years.

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