3G – THE CUSTOMER, OPERATOR AND BOTTOMLINE FOR TELECOM OPERATORS IN INDIA


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Home Page > Business > Strategic Planning > 3G – THE CUSTOMER, OPERATOR AND BOTTOMLINE FOR TELECOM OPERATORS IN INDIA

3G – THE CUSTOMER, OPERATOR AND BOTTOMLINE FOR TELECOM OPERATORS IN INDIA

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3G – THE CUSTOMER, OPERATOR AND BOTTOMLINE FOR TELECOM OPERATORS IN INDIA

By: Akshay Rao

About the Author

Author is an M.B.A from Manipal University,India and currently working with an MNC as corporate strategist.

Author can be contacted at www.AkshayRao.co.nr / akshaye.rao@gmail.com

(ArticlesBase SC #3603130)

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/3G – THE CUSTOMER, OPERATOR AND BOTTOMLINE FOR TELECOM OPERATORS IN INDIA





Third generation of mobile technology has been a reality in the Indian telecom space since a year or so when it was first launched by state owned Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) in February 2009.The telecom space is now looking forward for more competitive pricing and services with the arrival of private players starting with Tata DOCOMO (JV between Tata Teleservices and NTT DOCOMO,Japan) this november. The festival season has become more exciting for the techies who can now expect some kind of competitive and innovative services in the 3G space which has been in a kind of monopoly in the hands of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) since February 2009. Both the operators had their ups and downs while providing these services, wherein even after having a huge customer base MTNL has been able to bag only 0.4million customers in Mumbai and Delhi and its sister concern BSNL with over 1million, it has not been a runaway success as expected among the Indian consumers till date.

India is one of the fastest growing mobile market with the second largest customer base exceeding 600 million, But the reality is a bit disappointing for 3G operators at this point mainly because the market comprises of 60% consumers using B-segment phones which are ill equipped to provide services like high speed data, voice, and video connectivity and even more disappointing is the recent data of blackberry wherein blackberry has sold over 1.2 million handsets in India and approximately 0.4 million users use the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) which attracts an additional minimum charge of Rs.299 per month. Even after being at an affordable price point this service is being used by roughly 35% users across India.

Bottom line is one of the biggest concerns for the telecom operators in India and they have to cope with near 14 operators per circle, Mobile Number portability on the cards from 25th November 2010, extremely high debt in their balance sheet due to payment of 3G spectrum charges and non availability of pan Indian 3G networks is yet another point of concern.

Every single strategy in the 3G platform can be a game changer wherein one mistake can cost the company dearly and any competition in the 3G space is just going to hit the bottom line really hard and can cost the business eventually due to the high debt already hanging on the operator’s balance sheet. The problems are not only restricted towards Mobile number portability, and the ultimate bottom line the problem also lies with the bandwidth provided to these operators which doesn’t allow any of the operator to provide unlimited 3G data plans, even in cases where operator provides, it would not be cost effective which directly throws out the Reliance model of business off the window of providing services to the mass market at cheaper price. There needs to be a perfect balance between the pain relieving of the end customer, balance sheet in black and high Average Revenue per User (ARPU) and efficient usage of spectrum to sustain.

The fate of 3G operators in long term will be decided in a couple of months on their strategies adopted in the implementation of its services. The operators strategy at the implementation stage of 3G services should be “SHARE AND WIN”** rather than “COMPETE AND WIN” and share their 3G infrastructure as none of the private operators have pan India presence except state run operators BSNL and MTNL. Sharing will eventually give more revenue for the operator, who will also be able to efficiently use the network and on the other hand it will also reduce the capital expenditure for partner operators by just enjoying the network and paying a minimal fees as service charges.

The second strategy should be to provide bundled network locked B-segment 3G handsets with yearly/half yearly plans which would help the operator to generate more revenue from customers and will restrict consumers from moving from operator to operator for lower plan benefits.

Providing 3G Value Added Services (VAS) would be yet another arena for mobile operators by tying up with VAS providers or having and in-house VAS R&D facility. VAS is expected to be a 20,000 Crore market by the year 2015; it will be one of the biggest game changer in the 3G arena. Tata Teleservices has a clear upper hand, by not only being a first entrant in the private sector but also because of its GSM partner NTT DOCOMO who was been a pioneer in 3G and now a pioneer in 4G technology in Japan. The expertise and technical knowhow will surely provide an advantage with a bouquet of readily available 3G VAS applications in house with the expertise of NTT DOCOMO which it would eventually get into the Indian market to lure the never ending needs of the Indian customer.

The final strategy for success would be to engage the Bottom of Pyramid (BOP) and rural customers to experiment with the 3G networks data, video, voice and VAS facility. It will be yet another arena which will have to be explored, as most of the needs of connectivity to the rural India can be met with the 3G network which would help them connect to the global village. The more innovatively and glocally the companies operate in the Bottom of the Pyramid and rural segment will determine the scalability and feasibility of the 3G business model and its success in the Indian scenario. Providing VAS services like i-mode by NTT DOCOMO in Japan with Indian innovations and usability will eventually lead to ultimate success for the operator.

At this juncture few things are very clear in the 3G arena, any operator looking to compete will eventually cease to exist in the long run, engage the rural and bottom of pyramid customers and last but not the least, lead innovatively and provide services which will relieve the end customers pain and create value in the customers mind which would lead to success in the Indian 3G telecom space.

Retrieved from “http://www.articlesbase.com/strategic-planning-articles/3g-the-customer-operator-and-bottomline-for-telecom-operators-in-india-3603130.html

(ArticlesBase SC #3603130)

Akshay Rao
About the Author:

Author is an M.B.A from Manipal University,India and currently working with an MNC as corporate strategist.

Author can be contacted at www.AkshayRao.co.nr / akshaye.rao@gmail.com

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Article Tags:
3g in india, india, tata docomo, 3g technology, 3g telephony, future of 3g, akshay rao

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Author is an M.B.A from Manipal University,India and currently working with an MNC as corporate strategist.

Author can be contacted at www.AkshayRao.co.nr / akshaye.rao@gmail.com

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