3G - Road Map For The Indian Operator
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3G - Road Map for the Indian Operator

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Project Manager
Third Generation or 3G mobile telephony services have been introduced in over 100 countries worldwide.  In India, the auction of the 3G spectrum was held in March 2010 wherein none of the operators managed to win licenses for PAN India. The telecom operators are expected to launch 3G services by early 2011.

Am trying to put my thoughts here in terms of the way it might impact the telecom operators.

Immediate points to ponder:


  1. Funding requirements – The funds required for the payout for licensing fees and the equipment enhancements must be an immediate concern item for all the telcos who have successfully won spectrum.
  2. Increased marketing investments – To ensure the uptake and usage of services, operators would have to educate the subscribers regarding the benefits of the services. Thus putting more pressure on them to invest in the marketing activities.

Thought provoking long term plans:

  1. Competitive advantage: With no operator able to nail the PAN India licenses, the telcos in a particular region may invite the high ARPU 3G hungry subscribers from the ones who could not win the licenses there. Number portability would definitely play an interesting role here.
  2. New avenues for revenue generation: Currently data services make a 5-7% off the VAS revenue pie while in the matured European nations it is about 20-25%. So the operators can look forward to increased uptake and thereby additional revenues.
  3. Better Spectrum management: With the 3G spectrum available to the telco and it’s better voice handling capabilities, they may be able to manage subscriber expectation in terms of QoS much better.
  4. Handset Prices: With the operators beginning to liaison with the handset manufacturers, they might want to play an important role in increasing the affordability of 3G enabled handsets for mass adoption of services.


Shivraj Singh Dabi