POI disputes in Indian Telecom

abraham-paul_photoHow to resolve POI disputes in Indian Telecom.

Short link: http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-VA

Abraham Paul P.    Dated 28 September, 2016.

Introduction: Of late, there have been bitter disputes between incumbent Mobile Telecom Providers in India versus a new entrant. As someone in the field for over 60 years doing Planning & Implementation, telecom systems right from Magneto to most modern Digital systems in India and abroad, I would like to mention few points for the kind notice of Government, Regulators, Telecom Service Providers, its federation heads, Internet Service Providers, the Inter-country Cable & Satellite operators and the  Media.

1. In a saturated topography with presence of far too many Telecom Service Providers in India, demand for new Telephone connections (both Fixed & Mobile) as of now, is far less than ready to supply; except perhaps in green fields predominantly in some rural and many remote areas. 

2. According to fundamentals of Telephony, in topography situations such as above,  the volume of Telephone connections as well as the volume and pattern of Telephone Call Traffic (originating & terminating) continues to remain more or less same with one or many new entrants come into operation and even if they are able to poach considerably large volume of subscribers from incumbents network; offering advance features, products, attractive  service plans and cut throat Tariffs.

3. However, when subscribers of an existing operator moves to a new operator in a service area the Intra-Exchange traffic become less and roaming traffic increases to that extent, needing more interconnects making it necessary for existing operators are to add more junction interface equipment and junction circuits to the Roaming hub.

4. The question arise is who will expand the Roaming hub with additional junction equipment and the switching path and share cost of additional circuits making the inter connectivity issue significant, as to who owns the Roaming hub, may be a consortium of operators. It does fit into appropriate business case as existing have cost for added connectivity while suffer loss of revenue due to lessened  volume of subscribers.

5. Government and TRAI need to look up at these issues and decide ‘Who will bell the Cat’. Surprisingly neither the DOT, the TRAI, nor the warring TELCOs / COAI, the Technical experts and the ever vociferating Media guys thought it relevant though obviously enough things cannot go on like this, anymore.

Previously DOT owned the Transit & G/W systems in PSTN.  The question is who will bring in these in place the PLMN space?

The options are: 

i) DOT to get it done by BSNL Corporation.  It can be a good business diversification to earn additional revenue from interconnect charges. Also can keep its idling staff occupied.

The interconnect interfaces and through connects shall be IP based to provide all types of junction circuits Voice, Data and Multimedia of contemporary and future networks.

ii)  A Consortium of TSPs to set it up and operate with a Cost and Revenue share, basis.

iii)  Give fresh license to an existing or new Service Provider exclusively for this purpose.

4. Last but not the least is the Technology part.

4.1. The type and technology of the Systems, Network and mode of Transport unlike the VOICE call Transit & G/W systems are much different and ever changing in wireless Telephone arena and that too need a combination of all till the entire Telephony comprising PSTN and PSPDN become IP based. We are at the threshold of VoLTE enabled LTE solutions for handle Voice and all sorts of Data and Multimedia communication needs.

However, these can happen practically in the field only with commensurate eco system and improvement of knowledge level of common mass that constitute a greater part of the consumers of today. Even so, a workable version of Transit exchanges and Gateways capable of handling all these shall be in place.

One way is to resolve this is to have Interface equipment at POI in every Local exchange shall be capable converting and switching all modes of call element into a common protocol of PSPDN and switch it through Transit and Gateways.  Due to above reasons, every local system shall only be connected to nearby Transit Systems by default, not with other Local exchanges even within the City or Service area.

4.2.  Revenue generation by the transit & Gateway system operators. There are billing arrangement in the Transit and Gateway systems and transit calls of different modes are appropriately measured, billed and charged and apportioned according to usage by various TSPs/ ISPs etc.  As mentioned earlier, due to technical and commercial reasons and to avoid duplicate charging at different transit points every local system shall only be connected to nearby Transit Systems by default, not with other Local exchanges even within the City or Service area.

4.3. Responsibility to provide enough Interface equipment within the system and at the POIs in the Roaming Gateways according to traffic rest with the Gateway system provider. It shall be also their responsibility to upgrade their changes happening in the Technology including possible transit methods using Cloud Computing.

Whatever be the reasons and arguments for and against delays and disparities in decision makings about Service area, License, Spectrum, Inter-connectivity and Technology, there is an urgent need to look at the basic fundamentals of Telephony. It is surprising how with about one billion users a Wireless Telephony business India could go on without ensuring appropriate and adequate Topography.

It is astounding to watch big arguments about Free basics, OTT Players, and everyone pitching for Net Neutrality. Many questions arise as to:

i) Whether the stakeholders involved care to look in the basic fundamentals of Telephony:  ii) Does Private industries like Google etc., foraying into Telephony business as OTTs  wedging in with own networks, come under the definitions of  “Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)” that include PLMN and PSPDN?

4.4. It leads to a most relevant question whether World Wide Web (www) that interconnects millions of private servers (that are like Private Branch Exchanges) that do not adhere any norms and rules of full time availability and traffic parameters come under the foray of PSTN.

May be I am the only person in the World ask this question, but unless it is given serious consideration, the legacy Telecom Industry will end up in a grinding halt. I know it meaningless to point fingers at things that are in vogue unless I have better ideas and ways to resolve it.

My view is that the above described problems crept in are disrupting the the PSTN, inadvertently or else, can be resolved by adopting CLOUD computing technology segregating and safeguarding “INTERNET’ services in PSTN from the World Wide Web.  

The future will be CLOUDS and CLOUD computing and with that it is possible to segregate PSTN which includes PSPDN and INTERNET that inter connect it regionally as well as across the world can be protected from the World Wide Web access to it will be according rules and regulation of PSTN.  Please see the picture below explaining the idea contained in my proposal of segregating and protecting INTERNET for PSTN from World Wide Web.

Conclusion. Telecom business, a Service Industry also obligatory to handle one of the essential services, is a different ball game. Therefore, the policies of Government and also some extent the industry shall be People Centric and not Money Centric and better to keep the Judiciary out of it.


Author: Abraham Paul. P. Owner  FCOMNET.  Ex:V.P Technical Sales, SPCNL SIEMENS ICN / Director TRG, TS & SC, SIEMENS ICN U.A.E / G.M & SMT Telecom Business Group, BPL Mobile India / TES (A) DOT India.

Please see my other blogs on related topics:

  1. Impact of transition from Voice to Data & Multimedia http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-23

2. Make Telecom Systems, network, Phones, product and services for the common man. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-9i

3. Digital India: Views, opinions, and new proposals on various Technology & Social and Community affairs. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-J5

4. Telecom Industrialists need caution on broad band network ideas that do not fit in the future. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-4s

5. Net Neutrality without hurting Telcos and End users. http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-ES

6. Exclusively banked Universal Money management using phones.          http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-4g

7. Save Telcom businesses, a service industry handling a vital essential service in verge of collpapse. wp.me/p1ZsI2-12v

8. TELCOs in India missed the Bus in diversifying business into Pay by phone VAS. wp.me/p1ZsI2-30

Published by Abraham Paul

Vision & Objective: Telecom has always been the passion of my life. After 60 years of outstanding career and many personal contributions to the industry, I still have same urge, and desire to give back to the industry, the abundant experience, knowledge and potential acquired, by providing consultancy service to forward looking enterprises and entrepreneurs in Legacy and New generation Telecom & IT in the areas of Business Management, Technology, Engineering and Services. Apolitical and religiously unbiased.

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