Communications Minister Manoj Sinha on Wednesday said the Indian telecom industry has seen a paradigm shift from a voice centric market to a data-centric market and it is expected to cross Rs 6.6 trillion revenue mark by 2020.
"While voice business still contributes a large chunk towards operator revenues, data revenues have shown an exponential growth trajectory over the last few years," Sinha said at a workshop on Telecom India.
The Minister said that advancements in innovative Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, like health monitors, smart transport, smart meters, among others, are projected to result in 21 percent increase in machine-to-machine (M2M) services.
"These advances will result in a significant growth of mobile data, and as the telecom sector moves to newer technologies, TSPs (telecom service providers) will need to identify innovative avenues to monetise this data opportunity," he said.
Sinha added that Indian telecom market is expected to cross the Rs 6.6 trillion revenue mark by the year 2020.
He said mobile data traffic also grew by 76 per cent in India in 2016 primarily attributed to increased smart phone penetration.
This growing usage of smart phones, especially in urban areas, has increased the usage of internet on hand-held devices -- in 2016, 559 megabytes of mobile data was generated per month by an average smart phone, up from 430 megabytes per month in 2015, the Minister said.
Consumption of video content is also forecast to be 75 percent of India's mobile data traffic by 2021, compared to 49 per cent in 2016, he added.
Secretary, Telecom, Aruna Sundararajan said that in tune with the vision of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is attempting to do nothing short of charting a new digital strategy for growth.
She said that new Telecom Policy will be a key building block for achieving the growth target of 10 percent from the current 7.6 percent as Telecom and IT are the two sectors contributing to 16.5 percent to the GDP, and there are immense possibilities for it to go up to 25 percent.