Thursday, January 05, 2017

Is cost an insurmountable barrier for western telecom companies in India ? the future ?

Sam Pitroda, he gave the initial
push to telecom in the country ..
Sitting in India, I can vouch for the hope and promise the future twenty to thirty years holds out for Indian population, whoever leads us politically..  Years of promise under different political dispensations, accomplishments, hope, prosperity, development, progress, scientific achievements, industrial and scientific growth, agricultural productivity, healthcare leaps, societal growth, infrastructure development, whatever you can dream of, India is ready with it .. But we have still more to aim and achieve in equitable land ownership and primary healthcare ..

Two centuries of subjugation under an oppresive British colonial rule could not break the backbone of the oldest civilization of the world, and our never-give-up attitude is taking the country and its citizens forward !

Multi-tasking, agile and hard working ..

From Nehru's developmental push, after Indians set themselves free in 1947 from the cruel clutches of the British, in the area of industries, agriculture, modern institutions of technology and management, to milk production, growth in science and technology including sterling achievements in space technology and nuclear technology and more recently telecom and the economic surgical exercises in the country, politicians of all hues and colours have worked to make India a leading and great nation of the world, no wonder we are now, the third largest global economy.

The telecom revolution happening in India presently  is beyond any comparison with any country in the world. The calling rates for local and long distance calling across the country for all the operators is almost free. 

Whats the cost of vegetables in the market ?
All major telecom operators are giving their voice calling in the latest 4G technology free to all customers. The contemporary cost-cutting telecom revolution was brought about by Mukesh Ambani's co, Reliance Jio which initiated this harakiri (suicidal action) to capture the hearts of the youngsters in the world's youngest country, the other companies had no option but to follow suit.

Relaxation time for the rickshaw puller ..
Communication now in the country, is not just voice, it is also data, and that is where the Indian telecom companies hope to make good their investments. These telecom companies  metamorphise to data communications companies and data bandwidth providers , with an emphasis on voice to data and pure data communication. They are going on the charge and taking the lead over all great and failed telecom companies of the rest of the world. The low costs varying from Rs 150 to Rs 300 for 28 days offered is charged for the data, varying from 300 MB to 2 GB of 3G/4G which comes with the offer.

Being in touch with customers ..
It is a big challenge to the rest of the world on how these Indian companies manage to survive and stay afloat with such tight competition in these times of increasing costs of technology. How do they manage to pay for existing Technologies and still be ready to adapt to newer technologies coming up ? The secret is that the domestic scene is so competitive, it is preparing them to steamroll the rest of the global competition, which is not worthy of any mention at all.

The enormity of the market in India itself explains the dynamism in the Indian market. At 1058 million subscribers (wireless and land based) it is 3x US and almost double of Europe and 64% of China (1660 million) ..
My mamma has not come, where is she ?

As per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) document, as of 31 May 2016, India has 1058 million telephone subscribers.
  • Telephone subscribers (wireless and landline): 1058.01 million (May 2016)
  • Land lines: 24.81 million (May 2016)
  • Cell phones: 1033.20 million (May 2016)
  • Monthly cell phone addition: 1.1 million (May 2016)
  • Teledensity: 82.82% (May 2016)
Onions are piling up, no customers ..
Why is it that the even the largest economy and so-called cost capital of the world China, has totally failed to catch up with India, the third largest global economy in the area of telecommunication costs.

Couple of things the world learn from this massive and extra-ordinary cost innovative exercise slowly evolving out of India, unmatched anywhere in the world is 
1. open competition, 
2. cost innovation, 
3. customer satisfaction and 
4. a level playing field 
Thats the latest blockbuster movie !
5. low investments in R&D and technology development and
6. more emphasis on technology adaptation

The country cannot forget the contribution made by earlier PM Rajiv Gandhi and tech entrepreneur, social scientist Sam Pitroda in bringing telecommunications revolution, with the indigenous development of telephone exchanges through Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) within reach of the common man by late eighties and early nineties !!

Kochi airport, in brief ..
The earlier PM Vajpayee's moves to separate policy planning and service provision leading to the bifurcation of DOT and birth of BSNL was another great step which led to this massive telecom growth in the country. (though Prof Arvind Panagariya of Columbia University, with a weakness for political leanings to one ideology, has no qualms in openly and proudly making claims that telecom growth in India can be attributed only to Vajpayeee's move to separate policy planning from service provision in BSNL and has even debunked the contributions of Sam Pitroda backed solidly by Rajiv Gandhi.).

Aerial view of Kochi International airport, India
Whatever be it, correct policy planning by all previous governments of India have decidely contributed to the growth of the telecom sector in the country, not forgetting to mention the contribution of Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) in Bangalore in indigenous development of technology, making it not only world class, but globally unbeatable in costs and service.

Which is the next area India is going to give leadership to the world, renewable energy ? Let the world watch out ! Click here to read more about the world's first and only 100% energy-neutral (12 MW plant) International airport of the world, the Kochi airport insolation (running on solar energy) ..

With an energy hungry PM giving great leadership and getting ready to devour the world, there is no looking back !


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