Indian Telecom Folder

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Abhijeet
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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Abhijeet » 18 Dec 2009 00:49

Not sure if anyone has been following news about Hayai Broadband, a to-be-launched ISP. They claim they will offer much faster speeds than existing ISPs (2-100 Mbps) for reasonable prices. There are a few long-running threads about them on the India Broadband Forum. Not sure if they will actually deliver on their claims since they are pre-launch (due to launch in Mumbai at the end of the year), but it would certainly be a great thing for broadband in India if it's not vapourware.

http://broadbandforum.in/hayai-broadband/

Overall, what I got out of following the discussions on that forum is that:

- The cost of international bandwidth is a function of the distance to the server, and hence more expensive in India where traffic patterns are generally India-US due to lack of domestic hosting capability
- The NIXI interconnect charge that I've written about before (Rs.50/GB), which doesn't exist in most civilized countries, makes ISPs wary about allowing their users too much data allowance
- And finally, oligopolies in cable ownership and end-user broadband providers means that prices are still far higher and speeds far lower than they should be in India.

At the end of the last decade, 56kbps dial-up Internet was readily available in urban areas in India. It says something about the lack of progress we've had in this decade that 10 years later, the standard Internet plan is still a 256 kbps or 512 kbps one, often with download caps.

4x (or even 8x) improvement in 10 years? Really?


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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Suraj » 04 Jan 2010 04:03

Official TRAI press release on telecom subscriber data upto November:
Telecom subscriber data as on 30th Nov 2009
Total Telephone subscriber base reaches 543.20 Million
Wireless subscription reaches 506.04 Million
Wireline subscription declines to 37.16 Million
17.65 Million new additions in wireless
Wireline subscription declines by 0.10 Million
Overall Tele-density reaches 46.32
Broadband subscription is 7.57 million

December data should be out in a week.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby merlin » 04 Jan 2010 17:50

Abhijeet wrote:Not sure if anyone has been following news about Hayai Broadband, a to-be-launched ISP. They claim they will offer much faster speeds than existing ISPs (2-100 Mbps) for reasonable prices. There are a few long-running threads about them on the India Broadband Forum. Not sure if they will actually deliver on their claims since they are pre-launch (due to launch in Mumbai at the end of the year), but it would certainly be a great thing for broadband in India if it's not vapourware.

http://broadbandforum.in/hayai-broadband/

Overall, what I got out of following the discussions on that forum is that:

- The cost of international bandwidth is a function of the distance to the server, and hence more expensive in India where traffic patterns are generally India-US due to lack of domestic hosting capability
- The NIXI interconnect charge that I've written about before (Rs.50/GB), which doesn't exist in most civilized countries, makes ISPs wary about allowing their users too much data allowance
- And finally, oligopolies in cable ownership and end-user broadband providers means that prices are still far higher and speeds far lower than they should be in India.

At the end of the last decade, 56kbps dial-up Internet was readily available in urban areas in India. It says something about the lack of progress we've had in this decade that 10 years later, the standard Internet plan is still a 256 kbps or 512 kbps one, often with download caps.

4x (or even 8x) improvement in 10 years? Really?


Yes, this is what irritates me no end. We should have a minimum of 2 Mbps broadband connection without any download caps available for 500 bucks a month. To start with.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Abhijeet » 05 Jan 2010 01:37

I don't think the economics today will allow 2 Mbps unlimited connections at Rs.500 - not till most data is hosted or mirrored in India, the interconnect charge is dropped, and there is more competition in the international bandwidth provider market. Going through the Hayai pricing page, the best that even they can do is Rs.2500 for a 2 Mbps unlimited connection, which is less than Airtel (apparently that's around Rs.3300 for 2Mbps, after taxes) but still hardly a massive change.

I'm consistently surprised that most posts on this thread are all about peace, progress and prosperity on the mobile phone front, while hardly anyone complains about the terrible broadband situation. Either most people have resigned themselves to their pathetic connectivity, or don't live in India and so would rather post the latest India Shining story.

Here is an interesting image of the "price per Mbps" in different countries around the world. The image seems to mess up the page formatting if posted inline.

http://i.imgur.com/xVT0F.jpg

Japan is the cheapest at $0.27 per Mbps per month, followed by Korea at $0.45 per Mbps per month. The most expensive seems to be Poland at $13 per Mbps per month.

At Rs.3000 ($60) per month for a 2Mbps connection, India is roughly at $30 per Mbps per month.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby sampat » 05 Jan 2010 02:51

Data is wrong in that image. I pay around 25€/month for 5mbps connection. Apparently, they got it wrong for many other countries. Go to reddit.com and read comments for this submission.
10 mbps cost around 45 € and 110mb around 55€.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Abhijeet » 05 Jan 2010 17:49

I used to pay around $50 per month for cable Internet in the Bay Area, which I believe was 16 Mbps (the ISP was Comcast). That would be right around the $3.33 per Mbps that they show there.

The Bay Area is probably ahead of the overall US in broadband speed, though, so you may be right that the numbers are lower than the reality.

55 euros ($65) for 10 Mbps is roughly $6.5 per Mbps, not too bad.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Mort Walker » 08 Jan 2010 16:45

Abhijeet wrote:I used to pay around $50 per month for cable Internet in the Bay Area, which I believe was 16 Mbps (the ISP was Comcast). That would be right around the $3.33 per Mbps that they show there.

The Bay Area is probably ahead of the overall US in broadband speed, though, so you may be right that the numbers are lower than the reality.

55 euros ($65) for 10 Mbps is roughly $6.5 per Mbps, not too bad.


Residential connectivity in the US is generally quite good in the top 50 US metro areas. With broadband Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) 3.0, cable operators (such as Comcast, Cox & Road Runner) can easily provide 22-25 MBPS average speed for $50-$60 per month. I pay $60 per month for 25 MBPS average without additional services; however upload speeds are more important and for residential use I am limited to 10 MBPS average. Rates are cheaper if one bundles services like land-line phone and cable TV as well.

At 20 MBPS for $60/month, this is $3/MBPS per month.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Dileep » 08 Jan 2010 20:26

How do you factor the volume cap into the costing model? I get 600KBPS actual speed to USA, 1.6MBPS actual to BSNL's server for around Rs 400 per month. That will be $14 per MBPS. There is a 2.5GB cap per month, which I will never exceed.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Abhijeet » 09 Jan 2010 00:06

My understanding is that download caps are not widely used outside of India and other laggard countries. Certainly cheap, unlimited, high speed plans are available almost everywhere else now. In the Bay Area, Comcast introduced a 250 GB "cap" in early 2009 which would be really hard to exceed.

For the image above, it's likely that whoever compiled it didn't consider download caps at all.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby ldev » 10 Jan 2010 22:51

Even for supposedly "unlimited data' outside India, there are caps, albeit at high levels e.g. one company has the following packages:

3MBps 10Gb monthly cap $23.95
7MBps 30GB monthly cap $34.95
14MBps 60GB monthly cap $39.95
16MBps 125GB monthly cap $76.95
50MBps 150GB monthly cap $144.95

Though they are generally easy with the download caps i.e. they are soft caps enforced only if you exceed your monthly cap consistently.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Abhijeet » 12 Jan 2010 02:42

Speedtest results from the newly launched ISP (as I understand it, FTTH), Hayai in Mumbai.

http://broadbandforum.in/hayai-broadban ... results/6/

Sample speed screenshots to various servers around the world:

Image

Image

Image

Should warm the heart of anyone who's been suffering Indian "broadband" so far.

I hope this is for real, and that they expand rapidly.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Stan_Savljevic » 21 Jan 2010 05:29

A paradigm-shifting trend in the mobile industry is happening right in India, and this is the per-second billing thingy. Just wait a couple of years and you will see this trend all over the world except for some fatcatty countries such as US where the users are paying far more than what it costs to get a wireless connection, because of the wastages on the way that are essentially made to ensure that things cost high.

Any further telecom revolution on the mass-commercial scale will with a high likelihood start in India and spread elsewhere, that is how it will be.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Adrija » 21 Jan 2010 11:32

A paradigm-shifting trend in the mobile industry is happening right in India, and this is the per-second billing thingy.


Not sure if it is sustainable, at these levels the entire industry will perhaps be making operating cash losses....Q3 results will be interesting

Not sure if it is in our best interests to make the industry go towards such low (unsustainable) prices- mobile players represent a good hope (but not the best) in making broadband a possibility beyond the fat cat encalves. Normally the market would step in and correct it via M&As etc but here in India there are regulatory barriers stopping that from happening.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Vipul » 21 Jan 2010 21:55

Idea Cellular has declared a Profit of 170 Cr for Q3.I doubt the Top 5 companies will be making Losses.Its the new entrants who will be bleeding.The Price war would get worse till consolidation(which is inevitable) happens.The tariff would start firming up after that. Hopefully BSNL will keep this rise in check then.(Unless of course the Govt sells it)


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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Abhijeet » 28 Jan 2010 10:40

Why is per-second billing such a big deal? Asking because I'm genuinely curious. At first glance it just seems slightly more efficient than per-minute billing, since callers will be saving, at most, Re.1 per call (per-minute billing rates are generally not more than Re.1 per minute). Why is this paradigm-changing?

Perhaps there's something here that I haven't thought about.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby krishnan » 28 Jan 2010 10:44

Because you save money. Talking to someone for say 30 second and ending up paying 1 rupee is different from talking the same 30 sec and paying 30 paisa

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Suraj » 28 Jan 2010 11:10

Please allow me to take a slightly nostalgic view of the telecom scene: I remember the days when the few who owned cellphones would typically respond by telling the caller he'll call back from a landline, and proceed to do so. PCO phone booths were common, often manned by a handicapped person who had been given a job in the process. I just realized after a few recent trips to India that I don't recall seeing a single PCO booth during those visits. Have they really become a thing of the past ? Part of me gets annoyed at the general lack of civility when it comes to cellphone use in public, but another part of me is very pleased to see so many around me owning them and use them almost indiscriminately. I remember the times when just a landline, and subsequently a cellphone, was a great luxury.

19M subscribers added a month is an incredible pace of addition - ~630K new subscribers every day, or 440 new subscribers a minute, or more likely about 900-1000 new subscribers a minute, since they don't add them during all 24hrs in a day but just business hours.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby nachiket » 28 Jan 2010 12:26

Suraj wrote:19M subscribers added a month is an incredible pace of addition - ~630K new subscribers every day, or 440 new subscribers a minute, or more likely about 900-1000 new subscribers a minute, since they don't add them during all 24hrs in a day but just business hours.


Hope this continues at the same rate because India has a lot of catching up to do in the Wireless subscriber base percentage wise.

List of countries by number of mobile phones in use

Just 44% of the population has mobile phones in India compared to 89% in the US 52% in China, 58% in Pakistan and 143% :shock: in Russia. India's percentage is one of the lowest.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Abhijeet » 28 Jan 2010 13:06

krishnan wrote:Because you save money. Talking to someone for say 30 second and ending up paying 1 rupee is different from talking the same 30 sec and paying 30 paisa


I think the main difference is that per-second billing is 1 paisa/sec, while per-minute rates are generally around Re.1/minute. Then the price difference is significant, but it's not intrinsic to per-second billing. Per-minute billing rates could similarly be 60 paise/minute, and then the difference in costs for a typical call would be much smaller.

In other words, the paradigm shift (if any) is not per-second billing, it's that the call rate has now effectively been reduced by 40%, from Re.1/minute to 60p/minute. I wonder whether these prices are sustainable.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Adrija » 28 Jan 2010 13:14

Why is per-second billing such a big deal?


Because it actually is two BIG drops bundled into one

1. Effective price drop from Re 1/ minute to 60 p/ minute- that is a 40% price reduction
2. Even bigger, it bills you for the precise period called. Typically, most calls (~40%) are less than 30 s, while only a very small number (~15-20%) are in excess of a minute. So for a vast majority of your calls, your revenue drops from Re 1 previously to 30-40 paise.

offsetting this is the elasticity effect- the reason why the vast majority of calls are so short is because of the price, and with the per-second billing, people talk longer at that end. We may be seeing that in action as the total minutes of use did dhow an increase in Q3, after declining for the previous 3-4 quarters. Hence the overall revenue impact as not as severe for telcos as the price move would imply on a ceterus paribus basis

Hope this helps

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby jaladipc » 28 Jan 2010 23:17

Stan_Savljevic wrote:A paradigm-shifting trend in the mobile industry is happening right in India, and this is the per-second billing thingy. Just wait a couple of years and you will see this trend all over the world except for some fatcatty countries such as US where the users are paying far more than what it costs to get a wireless connection, because of the wastages on the way that are essentially made to ensure that things cost high.

Any further telecom revolution on the mass-commercial scale will with a high likelihood start in India and spread elsewhere, that is how it will be.

thats right.Probably its only in India where a subscriber pay the lowest amount to make a call.
I am not so sure about the long distance and International call changes there these days.

For sure canada sucks among the most horrible service providers.Under a most saving corporate plan i have to shed $50/month (if i dont use my data plan) as per contract and have to pay more if i have to use data plan depending on the amount of data used.
and for long distance they charge me 50 cents irrespective of my plan and for international calls? you can make a number :D

IMHO Canada might need players like Reliance to bring down the prices.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Abhijeet » 28 Jan 2010 23:40

Adrija wrote:Because it actually is two BIG drops bundled into one

1. Effective price drop from Re 1/ minute to 60 p/ minute- that is a 40% price reduction
2. Even bigger, it bills you for the precise period called. Typically, most calls (~40%) are less than 30 s, while only a very small number (~15-20%) are in excess of a minute. So for a vast majority of your calls, your revenue drops from Re 1 previously to 30-40 paise.


The first point is not intrinsic to per-second billing - it's simply a price drop, which could as well be applied to per-minute billing. As to the second point, if you save at most 60p per call, you'd have to make an awful lot of calls at the very worst case (just over an integer minute) to see a significant difference in your bill.

My point is simply that the brouhaha over "per-second billing" is actually obfuscating the issue that the fuss is about the price drop, and not about the granularity of billing. The price drop is nice, but I've heard dark rumours that it's below-cost pricing. It would be interesting to see whether it's sustainable.

---------------------------------

To the person who asked about international call rates: they're still quite high, although much lower than they were 10 years back. A call to the US is about Rs.6/minute, and that's the cheapest international rate.

In general, domestic rates have dropped "low enough to not matter" for most upper middle-class Indians. The days of cutting short your STD calls because of the bill are more or less over. The next step is to bring international calling to the same level of "low enough to not matter". In the US, this is generally true with Vonage and calling cards like Reliance - you can call pretty much any civilized place in the world and talk to someone there for as long as you want without worrying too much about the bill. This hasn't happened in India yet, but should (I'm hopeful) in the next few years.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Chinmayanand » 01 Feb 2010 15:17


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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Prem » 02 Feb 2010 00:17

http://www.business-standard.com/india/ ... om/384255/
Essar plans to invest $2 bn in African telecom

The source said it would be difficult to go for the standard 70:30 debt-equity structure which is popular in India. Not revealing the size of the project, he said Essar was looking for only big projects and the company might need to set aside more equity for it.

The group, he added, had also prepared a telecom blueprint for Africa under which it would invest $2 billion to get 20 million customers and more, spanning six to seven countries in the region. “It sees huge potential in investing in Africa, which has a mobile customer base of 200 million,” he said.

According to an Ernst & Young report, the African wireless telecom market grew 49.3 per cent (compounded annual growth rate) between 2002 and 2007. The average mobile penetration for the continent is 37 per cent, expected to rise to 61 per cent by 2012.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby vipins » 02 Feb 2010 12:58

Mobiles on blink in Noida, Delhi too may be hit

Mobile services in Noida remained badly crippled for the second day running as the authorities launched a crackdown on ``illegal'' mobile towers. Already 193 of 576 towers have been sealed, leading to mobile phones going on the blink, especially in residential sectors 29-35 and industrial sectors 2-12.

What's more, a similar crackdown has started in Delhi. Already, 40 mobile towers have been sealed in the city and more ``illegal'' towers are in MCD's crosshairs. Delhi has 4,532 mobile towers, out of which MCD reckons 2,517 towers are illegal. So, if these are sealed, mobile phone services in the city will be very badly hit.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Nayak » 02 Feb 2010 15:15

Abhijeet wrote:Why is per-second billing such a big deal? Asking because I'm genuinely curious. At first glance it just seems slightly more efficient than per-minute billing, since callers will be saving, at most, Re.1 per call (per-minute billing rates are generally not more than Re.1 per minute). Why is this paradigm-changing?

Perhaps there's something here that I haven't thought about.


I have a dual sim, one with docomo sim and the other with airtel sim. I use docomo to make calls and airtel to receive calls. Docomo sucks outside bangalore as the signal goes off the blink, whereas Airtel is awesome in it's coverage. Most of the time when I make calls it is in the duration of 10-15 seconds. The number of such calls are around 5-6 per day. If I use the old billing method I would be spending close to 5 rs per day, now I spend only re 1. :mrgreen:

Also Airtel had an issue of limited validity for prepaid number, and I had to top up every month, paying a hefty amount of rental. Now due to docomo, there is no validity limit and docomo gives 100 % recharge.

My monthly bill is now around 125 per month max. Tata Docomo jai ho....

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby David Saenz » 05 Feb 2010 11:54

BSNL loses Ethiopian Tele deal bid.
“BSNL had bid aggressively for the contract, but lost to France Telecom,” sources familiar with the development told ET. They said although BSNL had made a financially better offer than France Tele, it did not qualify on some other criteria, including operational performance in the domestic market.
Also, Ethiopia has earlier worked with France in 1903 when its communications functions was under the Palace Administration. At that time, experts from France suggested that telephone, posts and telegraph should be organised under one ministry, which later became ETC. That seemed to have worked in favour of France Telecom, said sources.


BSNL has been losing market share on its home turf to private operators as it struggles with red tapism. Its $10-billion tender for 93 million GSM lines has been put on hold, hurting its ability to expand and rope in subscribers.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby David Saenz » 05 Feb 2010 12:10

Stalemate on mobile towers hits credit cards
The ripples of the mobile tower crisis in Noida spread wider on Thursday, with several shops at high-end malls in the satellite
town reporting difficulties in swiping credit cards. Already, cellphone users are facing call drops and frequent disruption of connectivity; now, shoppers are being turned away, triggering fears of related services being hit.

Shopkeepers say the crisis is hitting business already. J P Aggarwal, a jeweller at sector 34, said he "had little business as the swiping machine developed a snag that lasted all day". Blaming the Noida authority for ignoring the problems of residents, he said, "why are we being dragged a problem essentially between two agencies?"

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby chetak » 05 Feb 2010 12:17

David Saenz wrote:
BSNL has been losing market share on its home turf to private operators as it struggles with red tapism. Its $10-billion tender for 93 million GSM lines has been put on hold, hurting its ability to expand and rope in subscribers.


The competition regularly pays off local BSNL underlings to disrupt and degrade BSNL services trying then to force customers to the networks of the competitors.

They also target and hire away key BSNL personnel to hamstring the public service provider.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Suppiah » 05 Feb 2010 13:47

Chetak, you dont have to pay anything to BSNL underlings to do a shoddy job, they have been doing that successfully for decades now. The commie union bosses say these things to divert attention from the real issue which is horrible attitudes and poor work culture and lazy habits of the monopoly era.

I wonder barring a few exceptional cases, whether anyone would touch these BSNL babus with a 10 foot pole which is why they are fighting to be part of ministry and enjoy cushy life, not be in BSNL.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Adrija » 05 Feb 2010 19:38

Chetak, you dont have to pay anything to BSNL underlings to do a shoddy job, they have been doing that successfully for decades now


Only partly correct please. BSNL's problems lie in three areas

1. Operational shoddiness, as you correctly pointed out. However, this actually may be the least of the problems, in terms of impact
2. delay in market expansion i.e., not being able to pick mobile subs because of delays in equipment purchase- this is a real problem, costs huge immediate revenue lost, and becomes more critical long term in light of #3 below
3. Decline in their core fixed line business- this is actually a global trend, a combination of both consumer preferences (we pay more on mobile even when there is a fixed line around), economic/ capex (too costly to roll out, and needs to be very precisely targeted) and regulatory obligations

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby vina » 05 Feb 2010 20:49

Decline in their core fixed line business- this is actually a global trend, a combination of both consumer preferences (we pay more on mobile even when there is a fixed line around), economic/ capex (too costly to roll out, and needs to be very precisely targeted) and regulatory obligations

Err. Wasn't this always an opportunity to be the "classic rent seeker" and be the perpetual parasite ?. For eg, under the garb of "rural obligations" and "catering to fixed line" a poor laborer in some rural part of Bihar had to pay a huge fee and add on fees on his mobile talk time, so that some Dilli Billi fat cat in urban areas could "enjoy" cheap landlines and BSNL could continue to be in business.

It would have made sense if they had massive rural landline penetration and that was under threat. But no sire. None of that ever happened. Remember the days whey you had to pay Rs 3000 (when avg monthly incomes were Rs XXX per month) and wait for 10 years ?. Such parasites (Air India /Indian Airlines is another classic one) should be killed. Instead the govt facilitates that by allowing to suck blood out of others and survive (BSNL and Air India.. other airlines and public pay taxes and transfusions are given to Air India to help that miserable leech keep competing against well run airlines)..

You want a solution to the Airline industry's woes in India. Simple. Allow Air India/IA to go bankrupt and get that capacity off the market and give bilaterals to other surviving ones and get some rationality back into fuel pricing.. Once that happens things will be fine.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby chetak » 05 Feb 2010 21:10

Suppiah wrote:Chetak, you dont have to pay anything to BSNL underlings to do a shoddy job, they have been doing that successfully for decades now. The commie union bosses say these things to divert attention from the real issue which is horrible attitudes and poor work culture and lazy habits of the monopoly era.

I wonder barring a few exceptional cases, whether anyone would touch these BSNL babus with a 10 foot pole which is why they are fighting to be part of ministry and enjoy cushy life, not be in BSNL.


Not so true now a days.

These guys are mostly on the ball.

A complaint now generates fairly prompt action and call backs and follow up. They even give you feed back sometimes, in cases of delay.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Vasu » 06 Feb 2010 01:45

Suraj wrote:Please allow me to take a slightly nostalgic view of the telecom scene: I remember the days when the few who owned cellphones would typically respond by telling the caller he'll call back from a landline, and proceed to do so. PCO phone booths were common, often manned by a handicapped person who had been given a job in the process. I just realized after a few recent trips to India that I don't recall seeing a single PCO booth during those visits. Have they really become a thing of the past ?


The need for a PCO becomes so much more acute if your mobile isn't working for whatever reason, and you happen to be an unknown city. Its happened to me quite a few times and that is why I keep wishing that they will always be around. Anyways, you will find plenty of PCO's still in all tourist towns and cities, after all, even the European backpacker must need some assistance sometime!

On a more serious note, PCO's do serve the purpose of being a source of contact for any person in distress for whatever reason. Till public phone booths become more common in the cities, the PCO's should be encouraged still.

Are there no public phone booths in the country because people steal parts of them?

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Suppiah » 06 Feb 2010 05:09

chetak wrote:Not so true now a days.

These guys are mostly on the ball.

A complaint now generates fairly prompt action and call backs and follow up. They even give you feed back sometimes, in cases of delay.


Yes, I have to agree, since my own recent experiences have been more positive. I see even a sense of panic in their lower levels, which often translates into extra courtesy. However, it is too little too late or as the Tamil saying goes, 'Surya namaskar after going blind'

Their past sins in hobbling and holding back the growth of this crucial sector and as a result India's overall economy itself, are nothing short of treason in my opinion. I know GOI will not kill this dinosaur for political reasons and will even plunder tax payers to keep them going, but if it dies a natural death, I and many others, will not shed a single tear.

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby Suppiah » 06 Feb 2010 05:15

Adrija wrote:Only partly correct please. BSNL's problems lie in three areas


2. delay in market expansion i.e., not being able to pick mobile subs because of delays in equipment purchase- this is a real problem, costs huge immediate revenue lost, and becomes more critical long term in light of #3 below
3. Decline in their core fixed line business- this is actually a global trend, a combination of both consumer preferences (we pay more on mobile even when there is a fixed line around), economic/ capex (too costly to roll out, and needs to be very precisely targeted) and regulatory obligations


Item No. 2 is a problem faced by all govt. procurements, including defense. BSNL is but one small victim of overall red tape, incompetence and lethargy in this aspect.

Re. Item No. 3, they could have prospered renting out their fixed line to ISPs, mobile operators and all and sundry while simultanesouly expanding capacity and going after mobile business. But did not. They were like, as the saying goes, a beehive built on the backside of a dog that neither benefits the dog nor will it let anyone touch it :lol:

They have started doing so now (renting out mobile towers). They could have had a co-opetition mode with new players. Instead they treated private parties as state enemies and conducted propaganda to somehow try and go back to the glory days of socialism by raising all kinds of bogies, including security. The writing is on the wall now, they are reading it slowly

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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby AjayKK » 06 Feb 2010 13:00

BSNL exec unions question leadership

New Delhi: After MTNL, whose MD, RSP Sinha was asked to step down recently, it is now the turn of BSNL's board members and senior leadership to face scrutiny. BSNL's executive unions are questioning the qualifications , delivery and motivation of the company's senior leadership , blaming it for the public sector telecom giant's rapidly declining financial health. A letter has also been sent to the Public Services Enterprise Board (PSEB) asking it to replace the existing BSNL leadership with the best external talent from the IITs and IIMs.


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Re: Indian Telecom Folder

Postby vina » 06 Feb 2010 15:35

BSNL just like AI/IA is in an irreversible death spiral. Make no mistakes about it. You can put anyone you want there at the top . The result will be the same. Nothing can be done, given the constraints of govt ownership and the interference of politics and non business considerations that determine decision making.

And yes. The disinvestment decision is five years too late. Just like when Arun Shourie wanted to sell AI/IA along with Maruti, but the political class ganged up and prevented that from happening, eventually dooming IA/AI, same story with BSNL.

Problem is this. BSNL's business model is obsolete. Look at what the competitors have done. They have cut costs to the bone, while leveraging the latest and greatest in Telecom tech . Look at the kind of things Airtel and others have done. Entire IT outsourced, entire Network and ops outsourced, even mobile towers/infrastructure is shared across multiple people /spun off, the only thing left is a very small core of marketing/branding/strategy/sales/HR folks.

BSNL on the other hand is massively overmanned, has lagged in new tech investments, has massive legacy investments, has very little of the high quality management/strategy/marketing/branding kind of folks and too much of the linemen /operations kind of folks and huge legacy infrastructure and massive assets on the balance sheet , which it has to carry alone.

Put all that in a market framework against lean mean competitors, this obese fat BSNL will be slaughtered in the market (as it is happening now).

For absolute survival sake, BSNL should push DSL in it's vast land line network. But the BSNL folks simply dont have it in their DNA to sell. They have never sold anything earlier. Their standard operating procedure is to have the customer beg at their feet and supplicate to get service of any kind (and meet AE, EE, DM, DY DM and such uncomprehensible monikers at exactly 3:40 to 4:30 say every 2nd Thurday regarding "complaints".. duh, who woulda thunk that for a telephone company, you cant just "call" and make complaints! :rotfl: ) . The only route for survival is that and they cant execute there.

Also, the mobile phone side, with the entry of all the new guys (who are even ligther asset wise than the Airtels and Vodafones ) dropping prices to gain market share will mean that BSNL is simply priced out of the market. No money to be made in the mobile side.

All this will call for radical cost cutting, outsourcing and bringing in people with totally new skill sets and orientation.. A complete churning of BSNL. All of us know that can never happen given the govt ownership and the vested political interests and control..

Yeah. yeah.. The JNU ding dongs will write tomes about how "govt should ensure independent management and no political interference" .. But of course no one will call them and tell them that it is impossible and the raison d'etre of the Public Sector and "Commanding Heights" and all that is precisely to increase political control over business in the range of pursuing "multiple objectives "including equity", "balanced growth" and everything else including eliminating corns in everyone's feet" .. Those guys wanted it that way. It is proving unworkable. Now they are saying that "this is a corrupted version, only a "pure" version going back to the roots will work" (sounds familiar innit ?, I have always maintained communism and islamofascism are very similar , the difference is just the theology and the names of the deities).


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