With 3G seemingly round the corner, the telecom industry is all set to embrace this next generation of telecom era. 3G India was organised in order to help the industry gain more knowledge and share their experiences about the deployment of this technology.
The Small and midsized business is the one segment which always wanted to invest where it can see highest returns. 3G is one area where they could expect to get better services in lesser price prepositions.
From the point of view of an Indian mobile services user, there is lot of expectations from the 3G services. Most importantly, it s much anticipated that the overall mobility will get an added edge. With such expected expectations industry stakeholders have come together at the 5th International conference – 3G India 2009. Abhay Savargaonkar, Senior VP, 3G and Network Quality expressed his confidence in the 3G technology. He opined that operators will require innovation to maximize their returns from 3G technology.
“We firmly believe that when it comes to delivering 3G services, innovation holds the key. From what has happened here in the last years or so, it is certainly clear that data capable services are going to drive 3G in India. People are ready to pay for data usage and operators need to take a cue from this,” he explained. Speaking on the kind of services that are likely to take off in a 3G scenario, P Balaji, VP marketing Ericson said that there is a high level of interest in the end user community for mobile broadband.
“Mobile TV, Multiple mobile gaming, video telephony, mobile conferencing, video surveillance, mobile commerce and content downloads. We have all the indicators that all these services are going to be quite popular here in India,” he added.
Overcoming the backhaul challenge
While some of the participants questioned the industry‘s eagerness to embrace 3G and not the LTE technology, most of the panellists explained India’s benefits in terms of getting a much evolved 3G now. “India will soon have 500 million mobile subscribers and about 20 million broadband subscribers. Wireless seems to the technology of choice here. People want Internet and www is the ‘Killer Experience. Lots of service providers are expanding to new territories providing communication. All this will require efficient backhaul techniques that not many talk about. It should be on top of the minds for service providers who are looking to gain more,” explained, Savargamkar.
Talking further about the backhaul challenge, Anil Tandan, Chief Technology Officer, IDEA said that in a market like India where the ARPU’s (Average revenue per user) going down, service providers need to deploy better backhauling techniques in order to make better money. “We all know the kind of ARPU’s that are being generated here. Everybody talks about lowering of ARPU’s, 3G scenario, NGN but very few know that better backhauling can improve their network health increase profitability,” he added.
3G much talked upon
Today, 3G is perhaps the most talked about topic in the Indian telecom circles. From pricing to auction delays to services, 3G has been the great epic that involved every corner of the drama. The industry is still in a quandary about when the 3G technology will be embraced by the country and where will it lead us to.
Targeting Indian SMBs
The industry has been discussing the merits of embedded 3G and the resulting opportunity for more widespread adoption of mobile broadband for years, but major announcements of such initiatives have been few and far between. Industry PC players like Dell Computers are trying every possible efforts to capture the lucrative small and medium business market, which heretofore has been slow to embrace mobile broadband.
With regards to today’s nature of small businesses, experts do believe that they are on the go more than ever and, as a result; need to be connected via wireless more than ever. In US AT&T’s mobile broadband offerings, small businesses can get the most from their computing devices. The 3G service of AT&T allows small businesses to send and receive e-mail, including large attachments; access the Internet, including corporate intranets or VPNs; and perform business applications almost anywhere they can make a wireless phone call. This has become highly acceptable trend of the market. However, experts also believe that this trend is going to be pervasive among Indian SMBs once the services roll outs happens.
Ready for take off
• Sales of 3G data cards from ZTE soared over 350% in the last six months globally
• LG to launch the revolutionary LG GM730 3G-enabled smartphone
• MTNL to leverage Qualcomm's technical expertise on 3G networks
• MTNL launches India's First Operator Branded 3G HSPA Handset with Micromax
• TTSL and Olive Telecommunication Launch India's first 3G embedded Netbook
Whether it is a service provider an ISP or a VAS player, 3G has been taken seriously by all stakeholders of the industry. If it means raking in big moolah for service providers, then for the government it will be helpful in reducing the country's strained debt ridden economy. But the question that rules is: how long will it go in maximising the revenue potential? And what are the killer applications that are likely to drive 3G adoption here?
Reams have been filled with the 3G saga and, as the 3G finale draws to a close, predictions and apprehensions are coming from all corners across the industry within the Indian region. The reasons are not tough to guess. 3G holds the promise to take India to another telecom revolution that will change the user paradigm in the country.