Indian Cell Operators Can’t Afford To Ignore WLL Option: Study

New Delhi: | Updated: Apr 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
Indian telecom operators using GSM technology cannot afford to ignore WLL as a substitute for mobile services as the current mobile penetration is only 0.5 per cent, leaving a large market still untapped, a study conducted by Rabobank International has said.

“The WLL technology is a potential threat to the GSM operators despite the fact that established mobile operators have 99 per cent of the mobile subscriber base in their books, as mobile penetration is only 0.5 per cent,” the report said. The report however predicts that fixed service providers with a WLL licence will compete mainly in the consumer market with their own fixed line and its competitors’ mobile service. “WLL-based services are not expected to target businesses as a substitute to fixed line services due to the nature of applied narrowband WLL technology,” the report said. This might lead to an adaptive strategy by the mobile operators by positioning mobile phones as normal telephones, making fixed connections obsolete,” it said. Lower call tariffs and cost structures have driven the WLL-based limited mobility to emerge as a complementary alternative in India, it said.