3G tech to open doors for innovative services

Written by State Bureau | Jamshedpur, Sep 30 | Updated: Oct 1 2008, 06:32am hrs
With work on spectrum allocation about to begin and a roll-out expected in the next three to six months, 3G is likely to open doors for unique and innovative services in the country, said Alcatel-Lucent India president Vivek Mohan.

He was was here to address XLRI's General Management Programme (GMP) students at the B-School's CEO Forum on 'the Indian telecom scenario with opening up of 3G'.

The services he was talking about include data applications in the field of education and health services in the rural areas. Idea is one such company that is working closely "with some of us" for figuring out lessons for rural areas.

Mohan feels while 3G will be used to run voice traffic in the metros and other cities in the country where 'voice dropping' is a problem at present because of congestion, it will also meet the "unmet broadband demand" on mobile.

On the cost of 3G technology, Mohan said: "I have faith in the business acumen of Indian operators. I am sure the price will come down significantly in a year to a year-and-a-half's time."

According to the Alcatel-Lucent India president, the mass volume of China and India who put them in a place to drive the 3G technology.

India, Mohan said, unlike other markets, has been the leader in 'managed services'. This means while operators do the marketing, vendors like Alcatel-Lucent and others run the operators' network.

"This trend is catching up now globally; 'managed services' are growing very fast today and becoming a very important piece of the telecom pie," he added.

With the bidding process for 3G spectrum allocation appearing to be round the corner, three to four operators, including state-owned BSNL and MTNL, are expected to roll out the 3G technology in the country in the next three to six months.

With the mobile sector likely to grow at a very significant 22% growth rate, which means adding on around 100 million subscribers each year for the next three years, operators like Bharti, Reliance, BSNL and Vodafone are expected to lead the market in the country.

Alcatel-Lucent has a 10% market share globally in the 3G space. Its Indian arm, Alcatel-Lucent India, with around 4,500 people, is into service, sales and global R&D.