On http://www.ciol.com by Sunny Sen on 02 Jun 2009
For infrastructure providers 3G will be a value-add during slowdown, as they would get to put in a lot of new developments. Layout of next generation networks that are 3G compatible will help in better manageability of services over the networks. Even service providers believe that 3G would make the entire mobility space much more accessible. The government, though, has to look at 3G with a much broader perspective. The broadband connection, as they have not reached the set target, will also benefit with 3G coming to India.
Looking at the manageability front, 3G will not only help in managing new services, but also fall in line with 2G and 2.5G services. It will give a whole new experience of network management at the back end. “As a 3G network is downward compatible, SPs would prefer to upgrade their existing networks so that with increased bandwidth they can offer high-bandwidth applications and services to their 3G customers, as well as serve more 2G and 2.5G customers on the improved network,” says Vish Iyer, vice president, service provider, Cisco India & SAARC.
3G Billing Process
“Billing systems must cope with the dichotomy in business processes and the complexity in operations for accurately billing pre- and post-paid subscribers. This is a challenge that operators must address as it adds additional pressure to the bottom-line,” says Paresh Shah, vice president, information management, Convergys India. For post-paid customers it would help the operators to offer innovative services on demand like real time balance tracking and notifications. This will actually become the handiest tool to operators as they are working to limit credit exposure from post-paid subscribers and provide the necessary cross subscription discounts and invoice generation that subscribers demand.
“In 3G, services priced differently will be posted in one bill. Apart from that a number of new parameters for calculating charges can be used like number of packets, uploading and downloading data, QoS, location and content. This will give rise to complex methods of billing,” says Tamal Bardhan, marketing head, Usha Comm.
“3G will help service providers manage their existing infrastructure better and remain competitive in a mobile number portability (MNP) regime. It will also generate a more addressable market to the GSM service providers. They can go back to their existing customer base and provide them with enhanced data services” says Animesh Sahay, head, telecom business, India and SAARC, Juniper Networks.
3G will not only make its presence felt in cities and towns but also bring in better and faster networks to rural India. “Looking at the country’s broadband penetration through copper and coax; wireless technologies are becoming prominent. 3G and WiMax will ensure that remote and rural areas get networked. Thus 3G is a positive sign of the growth of the Indian telecom industry provided the government supports it equally,” says Jayesh H Kotak, vice president, product management, D-Link India.
In the years to come 3G would make a lot of difference in making business models more innovative. 3G and WiMax will help solve the problem of low broadband penetration in India to a great extent. It is high time the government realizes the need and use of 3G. In a fast growing economy these technologies have the power to change the development roadmap of the country.
Apart from the bandwidth, 3G would also enable compressed data over the network. This would in turn maximize and increase WAN link by reducing the frame size, thereby allowing more data to be transmitted over the link. Though at this point we do not need much data compressibility as the transmission will be through fiber.
3G allows for transferring voice in networks much more efficiently than 2G and enables efficient VoIP in the future. This leads to decreased cost per bit and voice minute for the operator, and eventually for consumers. “Today’s networks are many times more efficient than early 3G networks and will evolve to LTE which is again three times more efficient than current 3G networks,” says Randep Raina, head, 3G India, Nokia Siemens Networks.
But the high costs will lead to new services making its way into the market, especially the urban areas. “Unlike 2G, in 3G one has to come up with very innovative applications and tariff plans. If operators are able to come up with new services there surely is a lot of money to be made,” says Subhendu Mohanty, country head, home & networks, mobility business, Motorola.
It perhaps goes without saying that vendors are looking at 3G because it is one of the areas that would bring them enough revenues. For instance, in case of Motorola their deployments for MTNL in Delhi alone are close to Rs 300 crore.