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Part 7: Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review

This is Part 7 of a 7 part series on Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review. It was authored by AnantLaw and published by Law Business Research Limited in December 2022.

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Part 7: Conclusions and outlook

It would not be wrong to say that the telecom sector in India has witnessed instability as many telecom companies went bankrupt as Reliance Jio entered the market. The AGR dues and changing competition dynamics were also factors in this. However, the situation has now ameliorated, even when there are three market players in the sector. The government is working hard to prepare a better relief package for the industry as the companies are still under immense pressure to keep their stronghold in the sector.

The government has allowed 100 per cent FDI under automatic route, infrastructure sharing and built-in right of way for easy access and faster clearance of applications, while also planning to bring a uniform charge for entry fees under the Unified License. Another example is the production-linked incentive (PLI) with an aim to push local players to produce more within the country. These efforts are likely to boom the revenue of the operators, and ultimately for the sector.

With the 5G auction, there is also a scope for wireless connectivity going upstream for both enterprise and retail. 5G will also have a positive impact on the revenue of the sector with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) expected to be at 10 per cent between 2023 and 2025 and the smartphone industry will lead the growth at a CAGR of 15.9 per cent. While the government is routing for the Digital India campaign, the government is also putting continuous efforts into helping the companies get up to pace again. One such example is the government’s offer to purchase major shares of Vodafone Idea, and the company’s agreement to it.

The Indian gaming industry is another important area in the TMT industry which must also be considered in the context of the development of the sector. The pandemic has led to a rise in the number of online gaming players. The online gaming industry across India was valued at around 79 billion rupees in the year 2021, marking a leap from about 65 billion rupees in the previous year.

According to a survey by Statista, the market value of the gaming industry in India is nearly US$1 billion and could go up to US$3.4 billion in 2024. Even according to the statistics provided in the Online Gaming (Regulation) Bill, the online gaming industry in India could grow to US$5 billion by 2025. With Dream 11, the fantasy sport platform, sponsoring the Indian Premier League 2020, interest in fantasy sport has significantly grown in India. The Online Fantasy Sport Platform (OFSP) includes not just Dream 11, but many other players such as My 11 Circle, My Team 11, Howzat Fantasy, that have gained prominence in recent years.

With a view to regulate the sector, The Online Gaming (Regulation) Bill, 2022, has been introduced in Lok Sabha on 1 April 2022. The Bill aims to ‘establish an effective regime to regulate online gaming industry to prevent fraud and misuse and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto’.

Apart from this, the Web 3.0 and Metaverse are also new domains which are recently in discussion. The tech companies are exploring the Metaverse and investors are looking at favourable opportunities to invest in the same as it is believed that the new age of gaming will empower the users as finance and gaming are the two biggest applications in Web 3.0. Its benefit is that the assets in the form of cryptos and NFTs earned in one game can be easily used in other games.

To conclude, the year witnessed massive technology advancements, innovations, and an increase in focus on technologies like artificial intelligence and IOT-enabled products: India witnessed adoptions of numerous digital solutions. With the growth in 5G, AI, online gaming, Web 3.0, metaverse and other technologies, the country is on the trail of development.


Full publication with all sections and citations can be downloaded from the link below.

The Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review
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