This is not the year end prediction but sadly all the action is taking place in the mobile arena. We are not going to see anything major happening in wireline business because it’s not “cool”.
First, the contentious number portability system is going to be launched initially in the four metros. I can bet that this would come into play only after Reliance launches it’s GSM service. For very obvious reasons because it would be betting big on the churn specially from the lower end of the market. It has already placed orders for “millions of handsets” and is looking forward to flood Indian market with “choice”. Expect some rude shocks for the incumbents.
The exact mechanism isn’t clear but there is going to be a big mess initially. I am sure that the operators would want to put across punitive “termination charges”, get host of clearances etc etc before you can heave a sigh of relief from it’s evil clutches. Yet, there is no differentiator between the Shylocks and the Satans in the market because at end of the day, they are all part of the same shit hole. Expect some high voltage drama here.
Second, the 3G licenses would be issued. There is no final word as to how this is going to be achieved; we are waiting for the Minister to feed fat on more money. By the way, Pioneer has a damning expose on their wrong doings over the past one year. (Link Source) Unless,Mr Minister is fed fat in his Swiss Bank account (Indian banking system sucks) we are not going to see anything move in this direction.
Mobile value added services is not going to add anything extra unless operators offer free porn. Imagine, free streaming porn without any restriction and daily MMS scandals! Since, Indians are loath to accept anything that comes out in the open, they could start streaming this for select few, obviously for a higher remuneration. I wonder why no one has thought about it. Callback ringtones are a passe’. So, not much of an action there too.
Mobile Virtual Network Operators would perhaps be legalised under immense pressure from the business house of Tatas. They are very keen to expand their “brand”; I have not seen any major advertising campaign from Virgin Mobile in recent times. They are spiked and spooked and relegated to some corner uncared for. How would that really matter? Does having more operators actually make sense? I believe that one size fits all strategy is not feasible. There are scores of people who would be happy to make unlimited outgoing calls for a fixed sum. Some people like to call telemarketing companies for pranks. Some people like to call fixed “hotline numbers” which offer “anonymity” without realising that the calls are routed within India alone. Some people like SMS alone. I feel that there would be companies to cater to such sections of deviants alone unless someone wants to prove me wrong.
So basically, we are left with no real action. 3G and number portability would be launched when Reliance announces it’s intention to start it’s GSM services. 3G licenses would be auctioned when Mantri ji has a green signal from his swiss banker. MVNO is an old tune from equally old flute; after virgin’s debacle no one wants to burn their backsides.
Where does the landline fit it? What of the frigging e governance issues? What of the “e learning”? Sheesh. Such lofty ideals would be done to waste? Who has the time to bother about such issues?
Although, I do see some reduction in the price when the price of international bandwidth crashes; the demand from the cyber coolies reduces as a result of economic downturn and telecom operators would be forced to deploy their “excessive bandwidth” for residential purposes. We might see the death of dial up; unless BSNL wants to keep it on a life support system. Since, they are only ones on the national scene offering it for free! Morons.