Rowing Hard to be a Top Player

Date:   Thursday , May 03, 2012

Aphase of growth driven by 2G technologies in telecommunication industry is winding down and 3G services is expected to drive the next wave of telecommunication. All the telecommunication service providers have launched their 3G services in India with multiple services and various usage- based traffic plans, with varying uptake. The research indicates that 3G subscription will increase at a rapid pace (30 percent CAGR - Compound Annual Growth Rate) between 2012 and 2016 to cross the 200-million mark.

After the launch of 3G services, various international markets have adopted different strategies. While carriers in developed markets primarily focused on enterprise customers, carriers in developing markets is highly betting on retail consumers and offers the high speed wireless technology as a potential broadband option to the consumers. Moreover in the midst of various challenges faced by Indian carriers such as congested networks, limited available spectrum, Tata DOCOMO is quite positive about its 3G rollout. Tata DOCOMO is the first private sector operator to launch 3G services in the country, having launched 3G services simultaneously in all the nine Circles where it won the license has introduced several exciting applications for the 3G customers.

Tata DOCOMO is working directly and partnering with various organizations of repute to offer a host of relevant and impactful 3G services. While there is lot of hue and cry about 3G uptake would rise in 2013 and reach over 90 million by March 2014, in a candid conversation with A P Sriram, Chief Operating Officer, Tata DOCOMO – Karnataka Circle shares his plans set ahead for Tata DOCOMO.

3G adoption stage in India and strategies set for Tata DOCOMO

3G is evolving and it's a gradual process. We do not anticipate a sudden surge in the usage of 3G services because from an operator’s perspective there are partial dependencies on external factors like 3G enabled devices, smart phones, seamless connectivity, innovative services on 3G network and so on. But yet, I would say that the possibilities are enormous and growth looks promising. A new research report suggests that 3G will definitely catch the imagination of the Indian audiences by 2015.

Unlike other operators, we have not labeled our 3G services as a 'premium' service. Hence, continuing with the Tata DOCOMO tradition of keeping things simple for the consumer, our plans and tariffs are honest, transparent and easy to understand. Our very approach to 3G pricing has been to take the worry out of our customers’ lives and provide him/her a hassle-free 3G service experience. Our dual-tone pricing strategy—Small Screen Plans and Large Screen Plans—provides tremendous flexibility and value to our customers, enabling them to choose options best suited to their usage patterns and share of pocket, thereby stamping out any worry or concerns over heavy usage and high bills. These tariffs are designed to offer total freedom to customers—to stop them worrying about bills, freeing them to explore the world-best 3G Life offered by Tata DOCOMO.

Combating Competition

Tata DOCOMO has been constantly giving the industry firsts for each product category, be it Voice, Data or 3G. There have been many innovative products launched in Karnataka in the last quarter which has actually gained popularity with the customers. To name a few we have unmatched services in VAS- Facebook on Mobile, Grab A Song; Never before Offers for Postpay Customers- Unlimited Plan @Rs899, Pure Rent Free Plan; Exciting Prepay Offers- Truly Unlimited CDMA Plans, 200% Talk time clubbed with full Talk time on First Recharge @Rs47; Double the Speed with newly launched Photon Max in Bangalore and various exciting Data plans for Rest of Karnataka market.

Future Plans

We will use our partnership with our partners like NTT DOCOMO and application providers to bring to India the world-best services and applications that will take mobile telephony to a new level altogether.

We have been taking a lot of initiatives on the 3G front. We believe that we have the potential to emerge as one of the top two or three players on that front. Tata Teleservices Limited (TTL) was the first operator to launch the services, and was able to complete the process of rolling out our networks within two months of receiving the spectrum. Our 3G services were launched successfully and so far we have not witnessed any problems on our network. We had the support of NTT DOCOMO to help us roll out the network. As a result, our consumers have been enjoying a great 3G experience.

We also have plans to focus and capitalise on dual-technology capabilities, and reap the benefits of having presence in the CDMA space as well, as this is most suited for data services. We will continue to build the Tata DOCOMO brand and consolidate our GSM arm. We will also move aggressively to emerge as one of the top three wireless operators in the country. There is no set deadline, but this is the clear focus and vision for our organisation. We are working towards this goal.