The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) today quashed Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) penalty on Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone. The tribunal also allowed intra-circle roaming (ICR) for 3G services. Potentially Highly Corrupt Officials in the DoT had earlier issued notices to operators stating the illegality of providing 3G services through ICR pacts and imposed a penalty of INR500mn per circle. Airtel, Idea and Vodafone had been served penalties of Rs 3.5bn, Rs 3.0bn and Rs 5.5bn, respectively. We believe TDSAT’s current ruling is positive for the industry. Airtel and Idea currently have 10.98 mn and 10.2mn 3G subscribers, respectively. While the current contribution from 3G is minuscule, we believe this is sentimentally positive as operators will be allowed to add subscribers in circles where they have ICR pacts, which was barred earlier.
Time for Self Pat – We Told You so in 2013 – Last Year in a Detailed Analysis we presented What was the 3G Intra circle Roaming issue and Why they Appeared Valid to us ?
While data business remains a key area for all telecom operators, we believe TDSAT’s current order will not have much impact on operations as currently 3G is too small in the overall context. With rising contribution of data, TDSAT’s decision comes as a relief for operators as they will be able to provide data services in circles where they have ICR pacts with other operators. Also, in the long term this is positive as operators have the flexibility to provide 3G services and need not necessarily buy spectrum in circles where they do not hold 3G spectrum.
At a time when Indian Telecom Operators are dropping 3G prices, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular [A-Vo-Id] have bucked the trend and are instead raising 2G data prices offering pathetic data speed and have refused to move an inch on 3G data pricing.
A-Vo-Id Cartel have increased 2G data tariffs (1GB @ Rs150-155 from ~Rs125 earlier). This is the 2nd increase in 2G data tariffs by incumbent Continue reading Airtel Vodafone Idea 2G Data Tariff Increase Confirms Cartelization
In a country like India where illiterate and Corrupt Bureaucrats without domain knowledge and vision of the Telecommunications industry are the ones deciding allocation of the precious Spectrum, it is the Telecom Operators who have to find ways and means to maintain the QoS to retain customers. In heavily concentrated[High users/Sq Km & Concrete Blocks] Metro Cities Telcos are facing a big challenge of providing 3G mobile data services. In discussion with Network Engineers on the Ground here are the 6 commonly used techniques to handle the growth in 3G Data Usage with Limited Spectrum which is is also in 2.1GHZ band.
Fine-tuning / optimisation of radio networks, which includes fixing cell and antenna parameters (e.g., positioning), or increasing sectors, or resources per cell. Continue reading How do Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Mobile Data Carriers(3G) Address Network Congestion Issues ?
Without any doubt, almost every Analyst has the same view on the Indian Telecommunications sector dominated by 2G Voice that has seen stability and improvement on many fronts, but there is much more divergence on what could happen “later” on voice competition, data, capex and regulations.
Everybody is comfortable with voice-price increase potential and the debate is more on how long this continues for, rather than if voice prices will fall again. The upcoming results are expected to show signs of RPM increase which should provide the much needed relief to earnings (growth) forecasts for all telcos. This was Continue reading Voice Business Strengthening – Mobile Data Gets Pushed by another 18 Months
Reliance Communications fired a fresh salvo in the Indian Telecom Industry by halving 3G Data Tariffs across the board, pre-paid and post-paid. RCom has 3G Mobile Data Services in 13 Circles – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, West Bengal, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Rajasthan, Assam, North East, and Jammu & Kashmir.
With the external parts of the hi-speed wireless data ecosystem (smartphone penetration,awareness, apps gaining popularity) falling into place, a price reduction on 3G data packs to broaden the user base and spur usage was expected. However, the extent of cut announced by RCOM does come as Continue reading Reliance Communications Drops 3G Prices – Will 3G data Tariff War Extend Beyond Reliance Circles ?