Indians love to talk. And, these days, they can talk to their hearts' content by paying very little: calls are getting ever cheaper, entry-level mobile handsets sell for under Rs 800, and bundled offers (talk-time and handset) mean you can be connected for next to nothing.
Not surprisingly, subscribers are only too happy with this turn of events. But even mobile operators are finding that generosity is its own reward: in a high-volume business like this, where every subscriber counts, they are selling millions of new connections every month.
Now for the bad news.
Regulatory roadblocks loom ahead, the quality of service is steadily dropping, margins are getting squeezed and competition is becoming increasingly aggressive.
How are telecom operators dealing with the rapidly evolving market? the strategist takes a look.
Balloon vendor R Sammugam speaks on his mobile phone while peddling his wares, hoping to cash in on Valentine's Day
Text: Leslie D'Monte
Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images