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Everything posted by ravi_patent

  1. Rock On 2000

    along with virgin ,tata has been quite aggresive and yet suiting consumers...However i am always intrigued why their customer additions are lowest among all
  2. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2009/0...13151940100.htm Mobile handset makers have sought Rs 5,000 crore from the Universal Services Obligation fund to give free cellular phone and a connection to families under the below poverty line. In a representation to the telecom regulator, the Indian Cellular Association (ICA) said that the subsidy should be given to 50 million BPL families which will help in removing the digital divide. ICA is the industry association representing handset makers including Nokia and Sony Ericsson. At present, support from the USO fund is being given only to telecom operators. ICA suggested that support should be given directly to consumers to make it more effective in achieving the objective of reaching communication services to the rural areas. “Invest in the 50 million BPL families by providing free of cost mobile handsets and connections with 100 free calls per month. The mobile handset provided can be a basic phone with an AM radio, which can be useful for listening to relevant local language content. These radio stations should be made interactive and calls to these radio stations should be made free of cost. This investment of approximately Rs 4,000–5,000 crore has the potential of transforming the life of many families and individuals in this category,” said Mr Pankaj Mohindroo, President, ICA. ICA suggested that along with a free calling package bundled with handset, skills mapping of these families should be done at the time of providing the connection. “These families have unutilised skills and competencies which can be used, provided these are mapped out and then aggregated in a particular geographical area, say 20 sq. kms. These skills can be made available based on requests received through voice calls and SMS. The IT backbone along with local language call centres need to be created,” said Mr Mohindroo. The industry body has estimated that free calls will enable these families to save around Rs 15-20 a month, which they would have spent on transportation as access to information in local languages on their mobile phone will cut down on their need to travel. “As saving starts accruing to these families, after the initial period of two years they would be willing to start paying for the mobile services at the rate of at least Rs 25 per month,” ICA said. Mr Mohindroo said that content providers should also be provided funds out of USO to develop relevant applications in collaboration with rural institutions. To deal with handset repairs and educating the BPL population about mobile usage, ICA suggested that theUSO fund should be utilised to set up service stations in rural areas. “Repairs i.e. after sales service is a key factor in the success of mobile handsets penetration and acceptance: Service centres are virtually absent in the rural areas. The USO fund should be utilised in setting up anchor service stations after a proper study,” ICA said in its letter to TRAI. In addition to the USO subsidy, handset manufacturers have sought abolition of value added tax of 4 per cent which would enable them to bring down the cost of handset to under Rs 1,500.
  3. Sistema Launch On Schedule

    http://www.businessline.in/cgi-bin/print.p...amp;prd=bl& Sistema Shyam Teleservices, the latest entrant in Indian mobile space, is open to more acquisitions in a bid to get quicker access to the world’s fastest growing market. The company, which was among the operators to get new licences early 2008, is aiming to offer CDMA-based mobile services across the country before the middle of 2010. Speaking to Business Line, Mr Vsevolod Rozanov, President and CEO, Sistema Shyam Teleservices, said, “We are open to any opportunities for acquiring a mobile services company in India to speed up our roll out plans. However, there are not too many CDMA operators in the country who are looking to sell their business.” When asked as to whether Sistema would be interested if any of the existing CDMA players, including Reliance Communications, was willing to sell their business, Mr Rozanov said, “Yes we can look at Reliance’s business if they are willing to sell. However, I do not think that is the case.” RCom was earlier considering a merger deal with South Africa-based telecom player MTN which fell through due to a dispute between the two Ambani brothers. Sistema has already launched services in Rajasthan and is planning to begin in Tamil Nadu and Kerala by March. The company hopes to roll out services in at least 10 circles by this year-end by launching services in one or two circles each month. Sistema has got agreements with infrastructure companies to share towers. About 70-80 per cent of the towers on Sistema’s network are shared as of now but the company wants to see a higher share of owned infrastructure. SSTL is also on the lookout to give outsourcing deals for managing its IT and call centre functions going forward. “Once we roll out our network to cover a major part of the country, we would like to have 2 or 3 companies which have a pan-Indian presence to manage our call centre requirements. It is important to have call centres with knowledge of the local language in a circle,” Mr Rozanov said. ‘Relax norms’ Sistema had earlier announced an investment of $5 billion over a five-year period in setting up the network. Mr Rozanov said the Indian Government should consider relaxing the foreign investment norms which will allow international players to bring in funds in the form of loan. “As of now the situation is under control because the financial meltdown has not impacted Indian banks in a major way. However, if the situation worsens then we could be in a spot as we are not allowed to bring in foreign funds in the form of debt. We are allowed to bring money in the form of equity but our promoters would like to have the flexibility to decide on what form they would like to pump in money into the company,” Mr Rozanov said. The company is also working to remove the perception in the Indian market about CDMA-based mobile phones. “There is a perception that CDMA is only for the poor man because of the way it was positioned when the technology was brought into the market. We want to make sure that this perception changes so that consumers at the end of the day should not choose their operator based on technology but the quality of service and the tariff plan offered,” he said. Mr Rozanov said that talks were on with handset vendors to make sure that the latest CDMA devices are launched in the Indian market in a bid to attract high end mobile users.
  4. Rock On 2000

    if the last big ticket player to enter the game is coming out with such a good and beneficial plans..we can expect more from the serious wannabes like telenor ,sistema
  5. http://www.businessline.in/cgi-bin/print.p...amp;prd=bl& Delhi, Jan. 28 The telecom regulator has told the Government that it should explore allotting 3G spectrum to more than one CDMA-based mobile operator. There are four CDMA-based mobile players in the country for whom the Department of Telecom is yet to specify the roadmap for adoption third generation mobile technology. As of now, the DoT is planning to auction spectrum to only one CDMA player as it does not have spectrum to accommodate more players. However, the telecom regulator has suggested that optimum utilisation of existing users in the 800 Mhz band could free up enough spectrum for one more player. Ensuring Competition “The authority understands that it is perhaps possible to identify more than one carrier in the 800-MHz band. It is all the more imperative as there are more than two access service providers in this category of technology for competition. Therefore, the authority recommends DoT may explore more than one block in the 800-MHz band for CDMA 3G services,” TRAI said. The recently announced information memorandum for 3G auction had not specified the policy for CDMA players. The Association of Unified Telecom Service Provider had written to the Government that limiting 3G auction to GSM operators would destroy the level playing field. Policy call Sistema Shyam, one of the new operators, had also written to the DoT to spell out the policy for CDMA operators. The company said that harmonisation of 800 Mhz band should be done after the auction is over. Subsequently, the DoT decided to auction one slot in the 800 Mhz band for CDMA players and sought TRAI’s views on pricing and allocation method. In its recommendation, TRAI on Wednesday said that only existing CDMA players may be allowed to participate in the auction. It also said that the price of this spectrum should be 25 per cent of the amount paid by the GSM players during their auction to be held in February.
  6. http://www.business-standard.com/india/new...g/06/30/347194/ Unitech Wireless is in talks with Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices for sharing towers, a move important in securing funding from Norwegian firm Telenor, which seeks to buy a 60 per cent stake in the Delhi-based realtor-promoted company. “Unitech Wireless is expected to close the telecom deal with Telenor by early February ...The negotiations for tower-sharing, which is one of the preconditions for closing the deal, are at an advanced stage and the company is expected to sign the tower-sharing agreement sometime next week,” Unitech CEO Sanjay Chandra said. According to company sources, Unitech is in talks with Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications. Telenor last week said that the transaction was expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2009. Telenor, in which the Norway government holds a majority stake, is seeking options other than the rights issue proposed to the government to fund the Rs 6,120 crore deal. It has appointed Deustche Bank to suggest ways of raising funds.
  7. Money Control Friday, Jan 23, 2009 at 18:41 Reliance Communication has declared its third quarter numbers of FY09. Its Q3 net profit was down by 7.9% at Rs 1410 crore versus Rs 1,531 crore, QoQ. The company's revenues went up 3.63% at Rs 5,850 crore versus Rs 5,645 crore, QoQ. Key Takeaways from Reliance Communication concall: Indian Telecom sector has not shown any signs of slowdown Mobile users unhappy with services of incumbent operators Will continue to launch affordable plans GSM launch Will Give Co Substantial Market Share RCOM has raised the bar in providing affordable connectivity to common man Coverage in each circle, operating highest quality Next few months’ company is going to launch new GSM handset Q3 performance 65000 million customers 61 million wireless subscribers GSM rollout to be huge opportunity for company Revenue expanded 20% PAT grew by 3% Margin sustainable at current levels Crossed 10 million subscribers in GSM Net Debt equity ratio 0.64:1 Guidance Revised capex for FY09 to be Rs 20000 crore versus Rs 30000 crore given out earlier Capex for FY10 expected at Rs 15000 crore Capex next year to come down substantially Launch nation wise GSM services Company GSM biz cover 14000 town; 3000 town is target in less than 30 days.
  8. dear srk signal levels are measured on logarithamic scale...hence the -ve sign...
  9. bcoz we r the only country in the world wt weird spectrum allocation norms, all companies adopt diff strategies ...few days before i have seen Aircell offering lifetime sims free of cost here in chennai...
  10. Good Plans From Tata Indicom

    while these plans are good, some maths based on IUC,that TATA has to pay other operators assuming that all calls are offnet to prove that the IUC charges are more than the expenses incurred by the service provider on whose network the calls terminate for BT1000 @30 paise/min for 1000 mins local offnet 300rs @60 paise/min 500 min std offnet 300 rs TATA's benefit 400 rs for BT2000 @30 paise/min for 3000 mins local offnet 900rs @60 paise/min 1500 min std offnet 900rs TATA's benefit 200rs i havent valued sms because it doesnt cost the operators a penny ,as per the latest TRAI report.
  11. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/ew/200...11950030100.htm On February 26, 2008, the Communication and IT Minister, Andimuthu Raja, gave his permission to issue licences to new telecom operators amidst a lot of opposition from existing players. Though the minister was criticised for giving away spectrum to the new players without conducting an auction, Raja pushed through with the decision and hoped that the new operators would launch their services to bring cheaper mobile services to consumers. The companies that received fresh licences were Swan Telecom, Unitech, STel, Datacom, Shyam-Sistema, Bycell, Spice Telecom and Loop Telecom. Soon after receiving the government nod, these companies declared war on the incumbents, to grab a larger share of the booming cellular market in the country. (See The call of competition in eWorld dated February 18, 2008). They sounded the bugle with a combined investment of over $10 billion and some innovative tariff schemes in the offing that promised to give the incumbents a run for their money. Some of them announced that they would get 10 million subscribers by the end of 2009. However, even after a year since the licences were awarded, none of these companies is anywhere near fulfilling promises. Reeling under the combined effects of the liquidity crunch in a slowing economy, a highly competitive market dominated by the likes of Airtel and Vodafone and problems among various equity holders, the dreams of the new players seem to be going sour. Take, for example, the case of Datacom. A feud between the two owners of the company — Mahendra Nahata of Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd and Videocon promoters Dhoot family — is threatening to cripple Datacom’s future. Datacom was initially owned by Nahata-promoted Jumbo Techno Services. But when Videocon failed to get a licence from the Government, it picked up 64 per cent stake in Datacom. The dispute began after Nahata alleged that the Dhoots were not fulfilling their commitments made during the initial agreement. Sources in Nahata’s camp said that Dhoot had promised to pump in money into the company as equity but later offered a loan to finance the mobile services project. This dispute between the two promoters has not only delayed the launch of Datacom’s cellular services by at least six months but also driven away prospective international investors from picking up a stake in the company. Etisalat, which recently picked up 45 per cent stake in another new telecom company — Swan — had earlier shown interest in Datacom. Similarly, Telenor, which struck a deal with Unitech to acquire a stake in its new telecom venture, was also close to partnering Datacom. However, the spat between the Indian promoters is keeping away the international investors. The company has also lost its Chief Executive Officer, Ravi Sharma, who quit the company on the grounds that the dispute was delaying Datacom’s business decisions. While Nahata and Dhoots have put the discussions on a fast track, the delay is hurting the interest of Datacom. The company had earlier said that it was planning to launch services by the end of 2008. It has not even placed orders for buying network equipment until now. Another company whose entry into the telecom segment had attracted a lot of excitement was real-estate major Unitech. The company, which has no experience in the telecom sector, made all the right moves initially after it got the licences. First, it appointed Rohit Chandra, the then Northern region head for Aircel, as the CEO for the new venture. In October, Unitech also struck a strategic deal with Norway-based mobile company Telenor wherein the European company agreed to take 60 per cent stake for Rs 6,120 crore. The deal was a great one for Unitech as the company had not set up a single tower or owned a subscriber and still managed to get that valuation. Trouble started after Telenor’s shares crashed to a five-year low on the news of its investment in Unitech’s telecom project. Also, Telenor said its Q3 profits fell 33 per cent to 3 billion kroner. The Nordic company had plans to finance the acquisition by selling approximately Norwegian kroner $12 billion or $1.8 billion worth of its shares in a rights issues in the first quarter of 2009. But investors signalled they would rather see a cut in dividend than a dilutive share issue or asset sales. It then decided to evaluate alternative ways of funding the investment, including the previously announced rights issue. Due to a melting market Unitech itself has seen over 90 per cent erosion in market capitalisation from its peak in January. Even though the company said that the deal with Telenor will be completed this month analysts pointed out that the absence of a viable funding plan makes the future uncertain for Unitech’s telecom project. Other new players are also nowhere near launching their services. Loop Telecom, partly promoted by the Ruias, is still looking for a partner. When contacted by eWorld over its future plans, Loop’s spokesperson sent a one-line response indicating that the company did not have much to say on its rollout as of now. One of the new players has run into trouble with government authorities. Swan Telecom had got a foreign partner through a deal with Dubai-based Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat) which agreed to buy 45 per cent stake for $900 million. But the money has not flowed into the Indian company as it is yet to be cleared by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. Swan has also been dragged into another controversy with the Prime Minister’s Office asking the Department of Telecom to look into allegations of undue favour shown to Swan Telecom. The company had got into a roaming agreement with BSNL, which will allow it to use the state-owned firm’s national network to offer mobile services. While Swan has agreed to pay a fee to BSNL for using the network, concerns have been raised since BSNL has so far refused to open up its network to any private telecom companies for roaming agreements. The PMO’s order followed complaints by at least two Members of Parliament that Swan may have been given undue favours. Swan was owned by Reliance Communications when it applied for licence. However, RCom has since maintained that it has sold off majority of its equity shares in the company to Dynamix Balwas Group, which is a real-estate firm based in Mumbai. Analysts say that the new players, even if they were to launch services, face a bumpy ride ahead, given the falling average revenue per user and aggressive incumbent operators. Some help from govt In a bid to bring the new operators’ plans back on track, the Ministry of Communication is taking steps to make the business case stronger for them. It has proposed to dilute the rollout obligation for the start-ups by doing away with the target to be achieved at the end of one year after getting the licence. Under the current rules, the new players are required to cover at least 10 per cent of each district headquarter in a circle by February 2009. Failure to do so would attract a penalty which would make all the new entrants liable. But Department of Telecom has now proposed to dilute the norms and give the operators three years to complete the roll out. In another move, the Ministry has asked the telecom regulator to review the current interconnection norms to reduce the termination rates. Termination charges are paid by the operator on whose network the call originates to the operator on whose network the call ends. At present operators pay each other 30 paise a minute as termination charges. The regulator has indicated that this fee could be as low as 13 paise a minute. A lower termination charge will give the new players more head room to compete with existing players by bringing down tariffs. It will also help in keeping their operating expense under control because they will end up paying out a lower charge to incumbent players. DoT is also planning on allowing mobile number portability, which will enable subscribers to retain their phone numbers even after changing their operator. New players are banking on MNP to take away subscribers from existing players by offering them cheaper rates and better quality of service. Another policy decision that could make the new operators business-viable is the introduction of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO). Virtual operators do not own spectrum or infrastructure. They lease out capacity from mobile companies and then sell tariff packages under their own branding and focused at a specific consumer segment. MVNOs are expected give new telecom companies an opportunity to roll out quicker and utilise their freshly laid out network more efficiently. However, the new players will first have to launch their services if they have to take advantage of these initiatives. The delay is, of course, benefiting the incumbent players. The existing operators are adding close to 8 million new subscribers a month. They have already added close to 80 million new subscribers since the licences were awarded to the new players. The more the new operators delay launching their services, the smaller will be the market size left for them. The only company that seems to be on track with its plans is Shyam-Sistema. It has already launched services in Rajasthan and is planning to begin mobile operations in Tamil Nadu by March under the MTS brand, which is owned by the Russian conglomerate Sistema. Others including STel and ByCell have not announced any plans yet. Communications Minister Raja would be hoping that his decision to bring in new players will offer the consumers more choice before going into the general elections later this year. Status check Datacom: Caught in a feud between promoters. Launch plans delayed by at least six months. Unitech: Uncertainty over funding. Both promoters are reeling under the impact of market meltdown and liquidity crunch. Swan: Has been caught in controversy over alleged favours shown by BSNL. PMO has sought an investigation. FIPB yet to clear deal with Etisalat. Loop: Still looking for a strategic partner. Launch plans are unknown. Spice Telecom: Has been acquired by Idea Cellular. Shyam Telelink: Rollout plans seem to be on track. Has launched services in Rajasthan and is planning to enter Tamil Nadu by March.
  12. dear himanshu i beg to differ wt u abt Hindu anybody who has been following either this forum or indian telecom developments regularly will be in the knowledge of datacom's problems or unitech's sell off or the undue favoritism bestowed upon Swan...this report i believe has joined together all the known facts... and fails to give worthy reasons for denying the customers more choice and the govt revenue. every tom, **** and harry has been allotted spectrum by the responsible ,irresponsibly...
  13. some usefull info on number portability http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/ew/200...11250160300.htm Indian mobile users will soon get the benefit of Mobile Number Portability (MNP), which will allow them to change their operator without having to give up their phone number. Navin Suri, Vice-President, Telcordia, one of the companies that has shown interest in implementing the system in India, explains the relevance of number portability. Excerpts from a chat: India already has a lot of competition in the mobile space. Do we need number portability? What are the benefits to a consumer other than having the choice to retain number? Number portability benefits consumers. It empowers the consumer to be a lifelong owner of his phone number and fosters additional choice and convenience in communication services and providers with whom they do business. With number portability, operators will look to differentiate themselves on service quality and by accelerating the creation and deployment of new services, all of which will benefit consumers. Should number portability be introduced across fixed line telephones and cellular phones simultaneously? Is there any risk in introducing mobile number portability alone? Fixed line and Mobile number portability can be implemented independently. The decision on the best way to roll out number portability varies by country and is subject to how swiftly the operators and the regulator want to implement the service. For instance, across most of the 27 European Union countries and Mexico, both fixed and MNP was implemented together. With that said, there is no risk in implementing MNP by itself. Several countries have done so, e.g. Malaysia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan, to name a few. With the successful deployment and adoption of mobile number portability these countries are now looking to bring the value and convenience of number portability to fixed lines as well. Does number portability increase the rate of subscribers leaving one network for another? Subscribers do not churn because of Number Portability and portability does not increase churn rates. The reality is that consumers change service providers for better services, price or quality. Number portability simply lets them switch carriers and keep their phone number, which is an added convenience and value to the subscriber. Interestingly, empirical studies have shown that only a small percent of ‘churn’ customers actually port their number — futher underscoring that number portability does not drive customer loyalty in the way that services, quality and prices do. In the US, the annual churn rate 14.7 per cent only turned into 5.4 per cent of ported numbers. In Germany, the churn rate was 20 per cent, of which only 0.4 per cent ported their numbers. Some insights into how it has worked in other countries… Number portability varies dramatically by country. There are several factors that contribute to the success of portability. Some of them are: Customer Satisfaction: Service choice, price and quality are the driving factors as to which service providers customers use. When they feel that they are getting high-quality services at the right price, they are less likely to churn. Simplicity and Speed: The process to port a number should be simple and quick. Zero to low porting cost: Regulators in some countries do not permit fee to be charged to subscribers — Denmark, Finland. In other countries, although a subscriber fee is allowed, market forces are driving the porting fee to be free — Hong Kong, Switzerland, Ireland. Operators in some countries cover the porting fee as subscription fee to all users — US.
  14. launched in hyd yday as per the vernacular press ...free tt only 5 /day ...
  15. New Schemes From Vodafone !

    oldwine in newbottle for higher price.. this scheme was avlbl in chennai atleast from nov 08 with no monthly rental and 10 paise tariff..
  16. Where Do You Do Your Shopping From?

    sometimes homeshop18 gives better price than the most competitive seller in chennai. indiaplaza.in is also worth a try in addition to ebay....
  17. 4 gsm operators and 2 cdma operators are in the 2g service now. are the prices/tariffs of cdma providers are not comparable wt the gsm? fears for higher prices in 3g cdma are uncalled for.everybody wants to attract the customer, moreso the 3g cdma providers!
  18. Reliance Communications Launches GSM Telephony Services

    dear kumar shah ur analysis is good and quite laugh inducing,however i am not sure abt the revolt of the towers! usually i carry gsm and cdma mobiles together in my pocket and couldnot make out any revolt till date!!!
  19. Reliance Communications Launches GSM Telephony Services

    agreed that there will be birthday pangs ...but the way anil was making tall claims abt the completion of the work...
  20. the discount offered may be small,but recycling is a lucrative proposition
  21. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2009/0...10152220100.htm New Delhi, Dec 31 If the telecom regulator’s proposal to bring down various charges payable between operators goes through, mobile tariffs could come down by 20-30 per cent in the New Year. In a consultation paper issued to review the interconnection usage charges (IUC), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has indicated that mobile termination charges could be as low as 13 paise a minute compared to the existing rate of 30 paise a minute. Termination charges are paid by the operators on whose network the call originates to the operator on whose network the call ends. This means that if a mobile user is currently paying Re 1 per minute for making a local call, he may be able to make the same call at 80 paise a minute. Mobile users could get further discounts on long distance calls as the regulator has also proposed to reduce the ceiling charges for carriage from the current level of 65 paise a minute. TRAI said that carriage charges can be as low as 16 paise for each minute. Carriage charges are paid by cellular and fixed line service providers to long distance telephone operators. New players may gain New players stand to gain if the proposals go through as their pay out in the form of termination charges to existing players will come down substantially. This is expected to be passed on to the subscribers. Mr Rajiv Mehrotra, Chairman, Shyam Group, said, “TRAI should bring the mobile termination rates to 9 paise a minute. If these charges are lowered then local calls rates will come down to lower than 50 paise a minute.” Shyam is one of the new players, which has partnered with Russian conglomerate Sistema to offer CDMA based mobile services across the country. Other new players include Swan Telecom, Unitech, Datacom and Loop Telecom. Existing CDMA based mobile operators said that a reduction in termination charges will bring down tariffs. Both Reliance Communication and Tata Teleservices are practically new players in the GSM segment and could gain if the regulator decides on a lower charge. Mr S.C. Khanna, Secretary General, Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India, said, “A reduction in termination rates will encourage new players. It will also benefit the customers as the new operators will be able to offer tariffs that are substantially lower than the existing charges.” Revenue loss However, pan-Indian GSM operators who have a large customer base, will stand to lose on revenues earned from collecting the termination fee. “If international methods are adopted then it would not come down to the levels as is being proposed by the regulator,” said a Cellular Operators Association of India executive. Going by the division in the industry over the proposal, the telecom regulator will have to do a balancing act. While TRAI has indicated a lower charge for both carriage and termination charges, the regulator has also given a higher value in the consultation paper. For example in the case of mobile termination charges, the TRAI has indicated that it could be 28 paise a minute in which case there will be no impact on the tariffs at all. TRAI said that the proposed charges are only indicative. “The preliminary estimates of ranges in termination and carriage charges are only indicative as the Authority would make appropriate analysis after the methodology and various inputs going into the methodology are firmed up,” TRAI said in a release. A final decision is expected by March 31, 2009 after taking inputs from the industry. Fixed line subscribers could also benefit as the regulator has indicated that the termination charges for fixed line services could also come down to 19 paise a minute from 30 paise. But such a move will impact state owned BSNL’s revenues since it will receive lower charges from private operators who terminate their call to any of the PSU’s 35 million fixed line telephone users.
  22. Reliance Communications Launches GSM Telephony Services

    update from sp shukla, Rcom official on gsm rollout. (video is also avlbl now) http://www.moneycontrol.com/india/news/bus...e-r-comm/373257
  23. http://www.business-standard.com/india/new...c/06/51/344382/ Chairman and managing director of India’s largest state-owned telecom company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Kuldeep Goyal talks to I****a Russell about the recent controversies surrounding the company and the company’s future plans: Q: BSNL has been given a headstart for 3G services when compared with its private counterparts. How do you plan to capitalise on this opportunity? A: We are planning to launch 3G services by the end of next month. We are going in for a large-scale launch, mostly in the northern and eastern parts of the country. We also want to cover important towns in the South, including cities like Chennai. We want to provide a number of premium services through the 3G mode, like video-calling, video games and movie downloads, besides high-speed internet connectivity. Q: Do you think cost would be a main differentiator between the state-owned and private operators offering 3G services? A: Cost in this case may not be that much of a differentiating factor because the services initially will be used by the higher strata of the society. Q: The government has been raising concerns about the dwindling revenues of BSNL. Do you think 3G services will provide the company a huge boost in its revenues? A: 3G will of course bring in additional revenue. The capital expenditure which is involved initially may not be equitable initially, but once the customer base builds up, we hope that this will be a really profitable business for us. This (cost of 3G infrastructure) is an incremental cost. I can’t give the exact figures, but it is substantial. Orders have already been placed for the equipment. We should have our pan-India rollout by mid-2009. Q: With the entry of new private operators in the telecom space, how do you see this market now? A: With various new operators and new competition, BSNL is trying to improve the quality of service. We are trying to improve our network quality so that consumers not only find our services affordable but also of good quality, and that is how we would like to differentiate ourselves with the rest of the operators. Q: BSNL’s market share, compared with the private operators, has been depleting every quarter. What are the reasons for this and how do you plan to improve the situation? A: Our market share was affected due to capacity constraints earlier. But now a capacity of about 37 million lines has been created, along with commissioning of a large number of BTS or towers. We hope that with this we will have a significant increase in the number of customers. Q: What is the status on the 96 million line tender that you had issued earlier this year? A: That is under our evaluation. It will take some time. It is a very complex tender: there are four zones. In each zone, very intricate evaluation is required. Technical evaluation is still going on Q: BSNL has been dragged into the centre of a controversy with its recent intra-circle roaming agreement with Swan Telecom, which has not even begun rolling out its services. Your response to that? A: With Swan Telecom, we only have a memorandum of understanding. There is an understanding that if there is an extra capacity with us, we may allow them to have intra-circle roaming and in addition they may have arrangements with us to share their infrastructure. It is only an understanding as of now, no agreement is there. Nothing has been given to them, nor any payments have been received. As and when the capacity becomes available, we may try this out, and if this experiment becomes successful, we may try this out with others also. Q: With a host of incumbent operators in the market, why was Swan Telecom chosen? A: Intra-circle roaming was permitted by the government only recently. After the government permitted it, someone had to be the first one (to have such arrangement). Q: It is also alleged that BSNL’s agreements with Soma Networks were unfair as they did not go through the required bidding process in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh? A: Soma Networks approached us quite some time back when there were no other offers like that. We conducted trials and we found that the services that were offered were quite satisfactory. They were appreciated by the government of Gujarat. Therefore, we had an understanding to take the first-mover advantage and start with Soma Networks. Now we have come out with request for proposals (RFPs) for other circles. So this thing came when no other offers were there. Soma Networks had brought in a new technology and therefore we entered an agreement with them. Q: Soma Networks has deployed FDD technology in the three states which is obsolete when compared to the TDD mode of spectrum that the private operators want to deploy. Besides, it is not possible for both technologies to co-exist. A: When they brought that equipment it was in the FDD mode. But now the government has allotted spectrum only in TDD mode. Therefore, we too have started deploying the TDD mode. These three states had allotted spectrum in the FDD mode, the way trials were carried out. We have requested them (Soma Networks) to switch to latest technologies later. Q: Don’t you think that is will stifle the competition? A: I would not like to get into that controversy, but if there is such a thing then in any case we are requesting them to come out with the TDD mode equipment also. Q: Can you elaborate on you plans for WiMax in the country? A: We have already ordered 1,000 BTS for rural blocks from Huawei and Gemini. Bids were opened recently for another tender for Kerala and Punjab. For the remaining states, we have issued an RFP under the franchisee model. Q: BSNL had planned to hive off its infrastructure arm into a separate company. What is the progress on that? A: We have engaged Boston Consultancy for studying this. We hope to receive their report early next financial year. Q: What is the status on the much talked about listing of BSNL? A: BSNL Board has passed a resolution and has recommended the government to have an initial public offer (IPO) to list the company by issuing 10 per cent of its shares. Once the government takes a decision, we will again have a dialogue with the employees and make them understand the advantages of listing. Now, because of the downturn in the economy, this is probably not the right time (for the IPO). Q: There were also talks about BSNL’s merger with ITI and then MTNL. Is there any progress on that? A: As far as the proposal to merge ITI with BSNL is considered, it was felt that this request could be looked into only after the listing of the company. At the moment this is not feasible. Even merger with MTNL can only be considered once BSNL gets listed. So a lot of things depend on the BSNL listing. Listing is what the company requires. Q: What kind of a road map do you have in mind for BSNL for 2009? A: We want to expand our mobile and broadband services, and launch new services like 3G and other value-added services. Right now, we have about 75 million customers. We hope to add more than 20 million customers next year.
  24. http://www.business-standard.com/india/new...s/05/36/344169/ The government expects to come out with the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) policy by January 5, when the auction of 3G spectrum commences.Addressing the pre-bid conference for auction of 3G and BWA spectrum, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) Joint Secretary JS Deepak said, “We are hoping to come out with the policy on MVNO before the end of January 5, which is the deadline for (the) application of 3G spectrum.” He added a sub-committee of the DoT was looking at it. As MVNOs do not have spectrum, they operate through commercial arrangements with licensed mobile network operators, buying bulk minutes of traffic and reselling them to their own subscribers.
  25. Some telcos want delay in 3G auction http://www.business-standard.com/india/new...n/05/36/344170/ The 3G and broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum auction is running into further controversies with a section of telecom firms opposing the timing of the auction and internet companies planning to move the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Even though Reliance Communications (RCom) is ready with $1-billion investment for 3G rollout, it intends to focus on GSM rollout at the moment. The company is “receptive to the opinion that the 3G auctions should be held at a later date,” a source close to the development told Business Standard. This follows a similar move by Vodafone-Essar. The GSM major had earlier written to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) seeking postponement of 3G auctions. The company had said the global financial crisis would make mobilising funds an “extended process”. Gartner Principal Analyst Naresh Singh said: “The financial crisis shouldn’t be a concern as the reserve price of Rs 2,200 crore is not too high for any of these companies. The 3G spectrum auction has already been delayed and the industry wants the government to go ahead with the auction. Moreover, a cash crunch in the industry will lead to more realistic auction bids that will be beneficial to the customer.” Meanwhile, the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) plans to move the PMO over the telecom ministry’s move to seek surrender of the earlier-issued BWA spectrum. “BWA spectrum was allocated to five internet service providers in the country and these firms have been paying for it for the last couple of years. Now the ministry wants us to surrender it and participate in the forthcoming auction,” ISPAI President Rajesh Chharia told Business Standard. This, say companies, is not viable as there is no clarity on the issue. ISPAI had taken up the issue with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the telecom ministry “unsuccessfully”. “We are not seeking postponement of the auction but we want to know whether our members will be allocated the same amount of BWA spectrum and at the earlier price,” Chharia said.