The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

March - 2010 - issue > Technology

The Wireless (R)evolution in India

Pardeep Kohli
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Pardeep Kohli
Wireless companies, have often tapped into resources in India to leverage talent found in the country’s growing wireless technology sector. The growth in the industry is evident in India’s auction of 3G spectrum in January 2010, which was a major step toward a wider, more advanced range of wireless services throughout the country. But it also was just the first of many steps that India’s mobile operators will have to take over the next several years.

Each step directly affects an operator’s bottom line and competitive position. A prime example is voice. Although wireless data usage has skyrocketed in India and most other countries, voice is still wireless’ “killer app” in terms of both the percentage of revenue generated and the reason why consumers and businesses sign up for wireless in the first place.

For India operators planning to deploy 4G technologies – LTE or WiMAX – over the next few years, the ability to support voice will be key from both a revenue and competitive standpoint. Otherwise, they’ll languish as niche plays, such as providing an alternative to fixed broadband, instead of capturing a share of the mobile voice market, too.

Data-only operators also risk missing out on customers who prefer to get mobile voice and mobile data from the same operator, such as to qualify for a multi-service discount. Those customers are particularly attractive because the more services that a customer buys from a single operator, the less likely they are to churn – something that’s becoming easier to do, thanks to mobile number portability. In fact, 18 percent of Indian mobile users say they would churn if they can keep their number, according to an August 2009 survey by The Nielsen Company.

Leveraging the Past

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