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Telcos Look to Content Experts to Drive Return to Profitability

Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and the soon-to-be-formed Idea Vodafone are set to recruit over 2,000 content specialists to help them monetise India’s growing mobile date consumption.

A report in the Economic Times of India suggests that India’s big three operators will recruit content developers from domestic and international markets to drive data consumption among India’s 1.3 billion population.

With India’s telecoms sector haemorrhaging money at the moment, telcos are looking to devise proactive strategies to return their businesses to profitability.

Both Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio have plans to raise over $2.5 billion each by cashing in reserve bonds to help them invest during savagely competitive market conditions.

Indian telcos saw their revenues decrease by 40 per cent in Q1 2018, compared to the same period in 2017. The country’s telecoms sector has been engaged in a masochist race to the bottom, as telcos continue to offer cheaper and cheaper data tariffs on their networks. This year, Reliance Jio introduced a monthly voice and data tariff for just 149 rupees (£1.64) per month. This has been widely reported as being the lowest priced tariff in the industry. In doing so, Jio and its competitors have sabotaged their own business model and are being forced to operate on wafer thin margins.

The move to recruit content specialists is in line with a wider, operators blurring the lines between telco and media company. With India’s enormous population and sizable middle class, it seems an astute move from India’s big three telcos. – Total Telecom

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