It is the same thing again and again. The same hacks were crowing about the “fastest growth” in mobile ownership. So far, no concrete numbers have come up.
The mobile companies have had to follow the directive of the Ministry to identify and verify the credentials of it’s subscriber base. This was done in house and so far the compliance has been patchy. It is a no brainer that the “defaulters” would only survive a small rap on their knuckles for their failure to comply with the directives. I am wondering whether they would hand over the data to the Government. One may easly tally the numbers (of the verified customers) and the claims in the media by the “spokespersons”. We could then analyse the trends in telecom and the growth of the subscribers. It would not happen and is just a wishful thinking.
The ministry has announced the auction of 3G spectrum; hold you breath, while following the directives of TRAI! It came as a shock to me specifically when they make a song and dance sequence of following the regulator. Mr Moron’s (sorry for the intended pun) contention is that there is no “serious international” player in the market. This is horse crap and much of the “technology” in India is either European or American. It is the sidelined players elsewhere who wish to become a “part of the growing” subscriber base. Much of the 3G spectrum is planned to be used for voice calls. So you could kiss your dreams of a “mobile broadband” good bye. It is not happening.
More number of players would only mean that our home grown advantage would be lost. If there is any hope of defining our standards for mobile telephony, that too is gone. Moron and his retinue of babus have effectively killed the Indian Telecom party.
Value added services(VAS) is defining the growth part of the mobile phone companies. Yet, I am not getting to see the shake out or consolidation of the market. There are a few defined players in the market but few avenues where they can exploit the ideas. I liked the concept of “ask the question” service which relays back the answer for a question sent across. (via Emergic)
Speaking of VAS, the media companies are seeing the next growth oppurtunity from there. Here is the link from a useless business daily called as The Mint (promoted by Hindustan Times). Excuse the over the top marketing blurb but it should give you an idea where the market is heading next. The mobile companies are no doubt excited about this. (source)
Would your mobile phone be the next computer? I have reasons to doubt. Expensive handsets come crippled in choice of menus, they cannot be tweaked for optimum performance, restricted OS and inability to install software to your liking. We are restricted by what we are offered. At best they excite pre pubescent boys with their ‘toys’ and fuels legions of websites who promote these “gadgets”.
Nevertheless, mobile internet is clearly not happening. With pathetic speeds and access including lack of uniform standards to code the websites optimised for mobile viewing, we are not going to see a suffusion of “mobile broadband” as yet. At best, a few portals here and there. The handset prices still have to come to realistic levels including the taxes payable on them.
Mobile growth needs more success stories.