Make Telecom Systems, Networks, Phones, Product and Services for the Common man. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-9i
Dated 3 August, 2006
Introduction: There is urgent need to make Telecom systems, Networks, Phones, Products and Services that are available, accessible and affordable to common man. As in every business, success of the business lies in its capability to build volume, affordable ‘Cost of ‘User Devices’ and “Cost of Usage’ are important factors in bringing in business volume in Telecom business also.
1. There was a time where the business focus of most Telecom industrialists were on the creamy layer with the buzz words “80% of telecom revenue come from 20% of the high end users”. But enormous growth story of Telecom that happened in last decade is ample proof that the fact is other way around. Considerable reduction in cost of end user devices and low cost of usage helped the business to grow in huge volumes everywhere, turning the table as 90% revenue-generating users are from the general mass that contribute much higher volume of revenue than that of the 10% in the creamy layer. Pre-paid mobile phone service is a typical example. (Incidentally, I happened to have planned, procured and implemented the first IN based prepaid system in India in end of 1995.)
2. However, the phone vendors found that there is big business in mobile phone and hence vied each other in bringing into the market more and more super hyped up phones so as to make quick money from the creamy layer instead of enhancing capability and longevity of affordable models catering the needs of the vast majority users in the general mass of the population.
Same is also true in the case of hype up in in offering higher and higher data speed capability whether the technology systems and network available in the field are ready for it, and also whether most users that generate major business volume and revenue really need these and have the knowhow to manage sophisticated technology phones, products and features.
It creates considerable fission in the path of smooth growth as most of the hyped up products are like putting the cart before the horse making it difficult for the service providers to make available systems & technology that cater for the high volume of lower level and the low volume creamy layer customers at the same time.
3. As the sophisticated features being offered with the release of every high profile phones cannot be included in the lower models, users are compelled to replace their phones. Same is the case about the high data rate handling capability of phones being offered for 3G, 4G etc. services.
3.1. 4G LTE cell sites would cover bigger cell area but such network do not support Voice calls and therefore need to fall back to 2G networks to service voice calls. Within the switching systems, voice calls are circuit switched with dedicated channels set up for real time handling of voice path that collects the voice content from caller’s time slot and drops in the called party’s time slot and vice versa. Whereas Data is handled in a different path and need not be on real time basis. Handover technology in the network being different for 2G vs 3G/4G, it could momentarily break the dedicated path inside switch during handovers and result in call drops. This is one of the reasons for high incidence of call drops being experienced now in many networks.
3.2. The phenomenon of time slot stealing. Another aspect to be understood is that modern phones use high power chips compared to normal and low end phones and that would end up in steal the timeslot in use by low end phones in the vicinity in congested cell areas resulting in call drops.
In addition to above factors, the new generation technology use different frequency in the spectrum layer in different countries and hence one cannot roam with same phone everywhere which also becomes an important factor that could disrupt the growth of business volume.
Therefore, there is a need to provide features, products and services that are useful and affordable to the majority population and continue to be of interest in the long run that will be of and benefit both users and the industry.
3.4. While it is possible to manufacture phones that can handle different technology systems and network, cost goes up heavily both for the network operators as well as for the users especially where Governments extract money for different layers of wireless spectrum needed to provide service across the users.
4. Issues related to spectrum. Technologies change too fast. What is good today may become obsolete tomorrow and new technology systems would need different systems connectivity and transport methods that would also need different range spectrum. Moreover, Mobile phones are no more mere phones but are mini-computers.
It makes it impractical for licensed service providers to pay for spectrum needed for many years in advance unless it shall include cost of new spectrum needed by them for technology upgrades later. There are many such contentious issues to be ironed out between the Licensee/Spectrum providers and Telecom Industrialists.
5. Potential of using phones for disparate telephony related and non-telephony related Value Added Systems are becoming limitless. For example, the products that related to multimedia transactions, health care products, various forms of Money management using phones etc.
However, Governments policies on telecom shall be people centric and not money centric.
In fact Telecom penetration of a billion users and its effect on the much talked about ‘Inclusive finance’ with Direct Benefit Transfer with huge savings that can be made by prevention of pilferage and corrupt practices in India will contribute much more to it’s GDP than what government make by selling License and Spectrum to Telecom Industry which will be ultimately passed on to the user. Please read my paper on how power of mobile technology can help Government to earn hundreds of Trillions rupees per annum that is many times the current budget outlays. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-Ku
6. Mobile phones in one form or other, play a major role in Internet of Things (IOT). (Please see my blog Mobile Phones as ‘Life Science Device’. (Internet of things) http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-zM
Phones are no more just phones but most are mini computers now. Data and multimedia services and Voice over IP are giving way to IP based switching and method of transport. The features such as text to voice conversion especially with transcription to vernacular option is a marvelous product that can be of great use in guiding the users who are not having text reading level of knowledge, to follow the instructions in the texts in screen displays or voice interactive systems and respond accordingly. Some of which could be voice response for authentication in form voice recognition for security purpose.
The danger in this is the cost of service and end user devices will go up and push a major portion of low end users out of the system affecting business volume and revenue. This can be countered only by convergence of systems, networks, connectivity, method of transport to keep the keep the cost of usage and end user devices affordable to common man. Further the fast mushrooming new generation phones is draining considerable amount of foreign exchange.
In short Government should concentrate on people centric technology and focus on making mobile phones a Life Science Device (LSD) and services available at affordable cost that will help eradicate poverty and enrich the social status of hundreds of millions in the lower spectrum of the socio economic pyramid in the country.
Also please read my blogs and chart showing Poverty index, Standard of living versus resource mobilization based on GDP growth. The crux of the issue is that in a young developing country like India with over a quarter of the population still under below poverty level, trying to push ‘development’ at breakneck speed will only help to widen the gap between the rich and poor. It is worthy to keep in mind that most of the ills we cry about now will vanish as the overall eco system improves and standard of the living of the people in the base area of the pyramid, improve.
Please see my other blogs on Telecom.
- Open out Telecom Manufacturing Sector in India. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-3o
- Impact of transition from Voice to Data & Multimedia. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-23
- Convergence of Wired and Wireless networks. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-26
- Exclusively banked Universal Money management using phones. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-4g
- It was (is) wrong to sell wireless spectrum by auction or else. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-3
- The never ending Telecom muddle in India. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-gG
- Universal Un-banked Money Management by phone http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-4g
- Mobile Phones as ‘Life Science Device’. (Internet of things) http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-zM
- Power and perils of Money going Virtual and the need to regulate. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-Ku
- Net Neutrality without hurting Telcos and End users. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-ES
Abraham Paul. e-mail: email@example.com Tweet @pa_paul
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