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Telcos enter gaming business for revenue growth

Gaming space is a huge market that remains an unknown territory to many. The total number of online gamers increased by 20% in just six months during the lockdown. The telcos’ are aiming for underlying growth in this space.

Telecom companies’ revenue is stagnating. They are spending millions behind erecting proper infrastructure, but the swift change within the industry is causing them huge losses. For instance, revenue from SMS has disappeared. Soon enough, the revenue from direct calls will disappear, too, since internet voice calls are trending now. Amidst garnering low revenues, telcos’ have figured out a way to receive a little extra money through gaming apps.

We are the fastest growing gaming market in Asia. The demand caught fire during the lockdown when millions turned into online game butterheads. KPMG, in its report, said that the Indian online gaming market has already scaled revenues by Rs 5,250 crore. Analysts further predict that this will expand to $5 billion (Rs 40,000 crore) by 2024-25, about 800% growth in the next 3-4 years. More than 90% of online gamers play prefer smartphones.

The telecom industry could wait to grab a seat by looking at these numbers. Vi announced that it is setting up Vi Games in partnership with Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Nazara Technologies. This will give people access to free games. Premium games are where Vi will earn a little something. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel is conducting India’s first cloud-gaming session in a 5G environment. Reliance Jio is partnering with OnePlus to bring a curated library of JioGames to OnePlus TVs.

Telecom companies, especially Vi India, can generate revenue from their gaming space. Considering the growing size of the gaming market in the country, it can generate a sizable chunk of revenue for the telcos. The upcoming 5G network will make the gaming experience seamless. There seems to be hope at the end of the tunnel.

The new 5G access will be the crucial determinant in cloud gaming. By 2022, India’s smartphone users may reach over 100 crores. This only indicates an opportunity for the telecom operators. Free Press Journal

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