ABCDJ – what now

In India, the Telecom Value-Added-Services (VAS) was referred to as the business of ABCDJ – Astro, Bollywood, Cricket, Devotion and Jokes. This was the volume and revenue driver for almost all mobile operators beyond the voice and text revenues and it sure was a significant one (if we include the ringtones and call-back tunes within Bollywood or Devotion category). With the TRAI’s new SMS guidelines, the VAS players cannot send SMS based content to users who are on NDNC. There are talks of partial NDNCs but the fact remains that this business has been hit in a big way. The

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Has the BlackBerry revolution begun?

Last couple of weeks, I have been amazed at the number of users who have been flashing their BlackBerries. All my friends have one – whether they are salaried or self employed – and I do understand their need to be connected on emails. But the surprise came when I met college students using BlackBerry Bold & customer care staff upgrading from a monochrome Motorola to a BB. It seems now you can never be too far from a BB ! So what really is causing this? Is there a genuine need for a bigger base of users these days

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Rural telecom users price insensitive?

Read an interesting report in the ET today, based on some survey conducted by Credit Suisse. They survey found that the rural consumers are more quality consicous and less price sensitive. Hardly any of the polled users had switched operators basis call-rates. This is very interesting coz most of us (self included) had believed that this is a market where ARPUs would be low and constant reacquiring would mean that the telco’s hardly make any money. Also the report says that the rural consumers would constitute almost 40% of the total users by 2012.These two findings have some serious ramifications:

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TRAI on overdrive ! Telecom business to see a complete overhaul…

The last 7-10 days have been filled with a lot of action in the Telecom sector, and the regulatory authority TRAI seems to be at the centre of it all. Consider these: – 3G policy is launched – BSNL MTNL given a go-ahead for an early 3G launch – Net Telephony proposed by TRAI supported by DoT – Legal threats to GSM players for failing to provide interconnect to Reliance’s GSM – Proposal to allow takeover of 2.5G players without the wait period – Allow callers to choose their STD/ISD carriers While the 3G announcements were much expected, a few

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3G now in India… immediate impacts on Telecom Sector

Today’s biz papers were all shouting out loud about the 3G telecom policy now finally being here. For the uninformed like me, it meant too much excitement about half a mark (thats how much of technology leap we would take by this costly migration from strong2.5G to 3G/strong ) on the score card… So I decided to read more about it and understand the business logic behind all the fuss. It seems 3G promises the platform for real convergence on the small screen (read handset)- with streaming video, media rich applications, high speed data transfer and what not. But the

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Rural mobile telephony: Show me the money !

Remember the famous lines from “Jerry Maguire”-” Show me the money” With the next battles for telecom shifting to the countryside- I guess most of the telco honcho’s are rattling along the same lines…Coz exciting as it may seem, rural cellular telephony doesnt seem “profitable” enough in all its entirety- or maybe I am missing something. Now, from what I understand of this business- the two major costs are infrastructure (read that as towers etc)  bandwidth- both of which are semi-fixed costs. I say semi-fixed coz- these can be acquired only in batches- you cannot buy tower or bandwidth capacity

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