5G: The New Beginning of the High-Speed Era
2022 will be known as the year when 5G launched in India. It is a momentous year akin to the launch of Mobility in India in July 1995 but much bigger than 2012 when 4G was first launched in India. While we are not the first to launch 5G globally, we will soon be the fastest and the 2nd largest. The enormity of the task can be compared to China having over 792k Base Stations compared to about 10k/month towers being added in India for the last 3-4 months.
The enthusiasm of people for this new 5G Technology is palatable and they are waiting to lap it up. The reason is the need for Speed. I remember a conversation with a stalwart of the industry at that time, 4g was in its infancy, and he asked why the consumer needed a 4g when he could do with 3g. My thought was somebody who could download the movie in 10 mins why will he wait maybe 12 hours in 3g scenario. The same reason with exponential effect will drive 5g adoption.
But of course, 5G has to be built for India, we can’t just build hotspots it has to be much wider because the Indian wifi option is still weak, plus the cost has to have Indian context, and the operators are cognisant of this and have decided to keep prices at the similar level as 4g. But of course, 4G price in India will see an impact in the coming days when it should go up by about 10-15% in the case of all operators. But keep I Mind India remains an extremely price sentsitive market.
Opportunity for Prune
The last paragraph has set out the Opportunity for Prune, and I will expand on it below.
1. The adoption of 5G connections will push the demand for New Connections and sim upgradation to a high level, we hope to play a big role in this across the country.
2. Traditionally, the adoption has been driven by offline channels, the consumer is changing their preference and wants new connections and services online. For this reason, operators have started building a new division called the D2C division, which we have been building for a few years. We need to compete with them and be ready to service them.
3. Our position concerning the operators is that of a frenemy, we may compete with them for delivery, but we want to serve them for online sim delivery business. Which means helping them sim deliver the orders received by them directly. I would akin this to D2CASS ( Direct 2 Consumer as A Service).
4. Online Sim replacement 100 is another opportunity while operators have built Tech, which allows 4g sim to be used for 5g, but wherever a sim must be replaced, we will play a big role in enabling that.
6. Wifi is the new frontier, this technology is essentially a hotspot-based technology and each hotspot will be different from the other, we hope to play a stellar role in bridging this gap and making it more seamless with our PMWani effort. We want to be available not just in remote places but in malls, airports, planes, railway stations, trains and high street markets to provide users with alternate connectivity to Mobile telephony.
7. We must build a key distribution technology to connect our SIM drivers to SIM users.
8. While people use more devices, they will need awareness of which device to buy, and we will play a big role in this.
9. The demand for Mobile Recharge Online and cables is the next frontier, with people using more mobiles and, therefore, more chargers, the instant demand for chargers is going to be enormous, especially with Mobile Brands discontinuing charger sales along with new handsets. Consumers needing a new charger will not wait for traditional e-commerce to deliver it the next day or even the same day but rather get it in 30 mins. That is our ensuing battle with instant commerce like Blinkit, Zepto and the like. But you would rather buy a charger from a mobile store than a kirana store.
10. Build India’s first truly online eSim store where you can Buy eSIM Online, fully automated with no human intervention. Get SIM for international travel in 2 mins. Maggie, here we come.
12. We also want to take away the headache of travellers by making the first automated trip planner. Just feed in the dates and city, and we'll give you a planned trip with all the bookings and reminders in one place.
13. Lastly, make Payments Online available to more people through our drivers and integrate UPI as part of the service.
We power our way to a big year ahead of us, we will have to break some myths.
Myth 1. Customers will buy a new connection online from the operator only.
The fact Is that 40% of the search is unbranded, which means when searching for new connections, these people say “Mobile SIM” rather than airtel, jio, VI or BSNL mobile SIM.
The fact that 12k people have reposed trust in us is a testimony to our line of business.
Or 99.9% of all connections sold today are offline, and operators do not sell 99.8%.
Myth 2. We compete with the Operators
The operator had to get into the D2C model because there is no ecosystem today to help them reach their users and therefore had to double up their distributor teams to work as Drivers.
They are looking for reliable solutions to take care of this need.
Myth 3. There are already big Payment players
Despite burning so much money, penetration is 35% and would grow 3x in the next 3 years. More focus on profitability by big players will leave room for others to step on the gas.
There is a gap between mobile data penetration claimed vs actual and a yawning gap, meaning the bill payments are still lower.
What is our Strategy for punching beyond our wait?
1. Build a Carrier Grade Product for Delivery. If we claim our position as a premier delivery brand, we will need the tech that operators can rely on and customers and enjoy.
2. Improve our Product so that trust can be built. We need a product that compares with the best in the business, therefore going in with new processes and technology.
3. Build a delivery network to reach a customer within 30 mins of placing an order.
4. Get ready for the new activation technology, Self Activation.
5. Lastly, build the brand Prune.