2013 a mixed bag of fortunes for Indian Telecom Operators, What we Expect in 2014

Another year passes by Indian telecom was filled with many ups and downs many good friends lost their jobs in Telecom in 2013 but still there is always a ray of hope that telecom in India will be better in coming days…. as far as i see 2013 was relative a bad year for Indian Telecom I don’t know how many of them will agree with it ..

TelecomTalk

Though in 2013, what we thought MNP will make huge difference in the entire market share but it didn’t create a big impact the overall subscriber growth if you look in 2013 was very less. People sticked to existing operator we can call it loyalty or they never bothered much to shift.

Quality of Networks:

In 2013 the quality of network has degraded so bad that most of the operators never cared about voice quality or call drops they were like ..” sab chaltha hai attitude ..” Customers were suffering and may be operators also didn’t took such things seriously and customers was taking the burden..

FDI in Telecom

Then there was much hyped about FDI but nothing is gonna change or help Indian Telecom currently operators like Vodafone, MTS, Aircel and Uninor are almost in the 70 – 74% threshold of the allowed FDI limit so we can’t see FDI as a saviour of Indian telecom.

CDMA in India:

Should we says CDMA Is dead in India, how many of them are still using it even operators who have CDMA license are not cared about it much more … though if we see there are still many people who use CDMA network still but don’t know what brings 2014 for them operators like MTS are trying to rope it more and more subscribers by REVB technology but still something is missing that is making users not to opt ..may be users need a better CDMA handset ..

Telecom Tariffs:

If you look closely at the overall tariff chart of all operator last year every operator was in the verge of raising tariff but neither we can’t complain anything either cuz they are also doing business and even they need to sustain in the market, but what really hurts the sentiments of end-user is the monopoly of AVOID group the sad part is if One operator from AVOID group makes any hike in tariff or changes the rest of them follows it this is really killing the competition. The best example is Airtel myPlan and launch of i-Plan from Idea.

3G ICRA issue:

The biggest blow came to 3G operators when DoT slapped a penalty of Rs. 350 crore on Bharti Airtel for violating license conditions and offering 3G services via Intra-Circle roaming pacts which according to DoT is illegal. Later in April, similar penalties were imposed on Vodafone and Idea Cellular wherein the companies were asked to pay Rs550 crore and Rs300 crore respectively. End of the day we subscribers have to suffer but who has to be blamed for this operators or law makers ?

4G in India:

Even the much hyped Airtel 4G launch in India didn’t bring any cheer to users, be it in terms of device or tariff it was a big fail may be we can say the pricing was not right and the coverage was not up to the mark hope there are more takers for 4G in 2014.

Can Data be future of Indian Telecom :

One thing is sure data market is booming every second in India more and more new smartphones are being launched and people are going mobile. 2013 saw huge raise in data traffic . This literally killed SMS people are more dependent on online chat services like whatsapp and BBM and others . This had also created a major revenue drop among operators. This is not the only thing even TRAI stringent rule on Bulk SMS has impacted.

What to expect in 2014  :

a) 4G launch by Reliance Jio.
b) Some major merger by big operators.
c) Voice tariff will still go high.
d) Mobile-Data Tariff can come down.
e) 4G feature rich devices will be launched.
f) We can see some price drop in high-end phones.
g) Broadband tariffs can increase.

If you think i have missed any points that you think is important do let me know via comments …

What you can see in TelecomTalk:

I don’t want to make any big promises but i will make sure at least before the end of Q1 you will see some surprises from TelecomTalk, but i need some help from you if  you are interested to take TelecomTalk to the next level drop me a mail at  tarun[@]telecomtalk.info . :) .

Last but not the least i would personally like to thank all my TT Team mates… Experts, Tipsters, Analyst  and beloved Readers what we are now is because of you, we will always strive hard and continue to bring all updates exclusive analysis, behind the scene tariff plans and much more in coming days.

Hope 2014 brings good sales and subscribers for all operators and creates a good competitive environment.

Thanks for reading and a very Happy New Year we hope 2014 brings great joy and success for you and for your family. Thank you for supporting us.

This Article Was Written By: Tarun

Tarun - Founder & Chief Editor

A Happy Geek and a Network Research Engineer with a really cool day job…

{ 51 comments… add one }

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  • Aditya January 10, 2014 12:37 pm, 12:37 PM

    Hi,

    I am an MTNL user from Mumbai , Whether i will get 3g nework on bsnl if I am roaming in to Maharshtra , Karnataka & Rajasthan , whther bsnl has an Pan India circle.
    Can anyone please confirm me

    Thanks

    Reply
    • SS January 10, 2014 1:18 pm, 1:18 PM

      Yes except jammu & kashmir.

      Reply
      • Aditya January 10, 2014 4:10 pm, 4:10 PM

        What about the 3g speed in roaming except J&K?

        Reply
  • hari January 2, 2014 4:22 pm, 4:22 PM

    Pan india roaming free and inter circle MNP

    Reply
    • DUANE January 2, 2014 8:06 pm, 8:06 PM

      That will come … after the elections. Wait and Watch.
      For now, pay Rs 5 per day OR Rs75 per month and get incoming free with Rs 0.015 per second on all Local / STD outgoing calls.

      Reply
  • Nithin January 2, 2014 7:01 am, 7:01 AM

    Worst service is Aircel
    In Aircel
    Low rate 3g internet packs= But the speed was less then 2G
    Low call rates= You cannot talk also full call drop
    u complaint about slow internet they will tell u to do mnp

    Reply
  • Sayantan(Kolkata) January 2, 2014 12:32 am, 12:32 AM

    Docomo was not at all connecting to the internet at 12 at night on the 1st.At midnight,docomo‘s net gets connected on a single attempt.But on the 1st,even when it was getting connected,there was a data transfer for a few seconds and the data was getting disconnected automatically.Finally it was ok at 00:45.

    Reply
    • DUANE January 2, 2014 8:06 pm, 8:06 PM

      What else do you expect ??

      Reply
  • Big Dipper January 1, 2014 10:56 pm, 10:56 PM

    The AVOID group is responsible for the slow death of CDMA. Mukesh Ambani could have saved CDMA but his brother can’t.

    Reply
    • DUANE January 1, 2014 11:55 pm, 11:55 PM

      Happy new Year 2014… Welcome 4G
      Goodbye 2013 … Farewell CDMA

      Reply
  • SS January 1, 2014 9:50 pm, 9:50 PM

    So 12:00 AM new year night was the time when operators faced huge load on their servers. Many mobile networks crashed and many were jammed. In delhi airtel’s network almost crashed around 12:15 when all the services were stopped. Later all but data was restored and at 1:00 data was also restored. In up east uninor network crashed with no signal at all. BSNL UP east was also jammed.

    So telecom talk readers, was your operator able to sustain the load of new year’s eve? Replies appreciated.

    Reply
    • DUANE January 1, 2014 11:57 pm, 11:57 PM

      @ Mumbai : Vodafone 2G services had NO NETWORK Signal from 00:10 to around 00:12
      Airtel 3G had slow speeds (no data transfer) around the same period.
      rest all was fine… THIS IS TO BE EXPECTED – NO NETWORK HAS THE CAPACITY TO HANDLE HUGE INCREASE IN TRAFFIC and no amount of network planning can cater to same.

      BEST EFFORTS: Airtel Andhra had a COW (Cell On Wheels) arranged for New Year Eve a couple of years ago, which helped with additional network capacity.

      Reply
      • adil January 2, 2014 12:16 am, 12:16 AM

        i was on docomo 3G from your neighbour state i.e. up west and the data network was absolutely fine may be due to auto disconnection watsoever….

        Reply
  • hrishi4k January 1, 2014 9:22 pm, 9:22 PM

    Happy New Year to all…:)

    Reply
  • raj January 1, 2014 3:50 pm, 3:50 PM

    @tharun no you are wrong…broadband will exist.Which operator will provide 40-50 GB/month for Rs.1000 or less?

    Reply
    • rahul maurya January 1, 2014 4:35 pm, 4:35 PM

      because reliance jio will come and speed will be increased.

      Reply
      • Rama January 1, 2014 5:27 pm, 5:27 PM

        @rahul maurya
        only two things are possible;either reliance jio would proivde data at expensive tarrifs but high speed or data at low tarrifs and low speed both of them are not possible and if reliance jio really provides 40-50GB @1000 per months then i think their speed is gonna suck big time unless and until they have a FUP at 512 kbps or something and lets not forget that given their band their coverage is also not gonna be up to the mark and after their recent deal with bharti airtel i dont expect tarrifs also to be low;raj is somewhat correct if you consider the fact that broadband players like think broadband etc provide around 20mbps of speed for 20GB in banglore at pretty decent pricing;i dont think reliance jio will be able to make such kind of offers

        Reply
        • Tharun George January 1, 2014 7:00 pm, 7:00 PM

          Yes there are good regional broadband players. But I was pointing at pan India player BSNL/MTNL.

          Reliance Jio has to provide 4G at cheap rates. Else no one will buy it. Even if Reliance Jio offer 1GB at Rs 125 no one will buy it. We already have 3G operators at that rate. Why invest in a new Reliance Jio device? So only way for them to sell it is dirt cheap tariff.

          We all saw it back in 2005. When all went and bought Rs 500 CDMA phones from Relaince. It was just for 49p/min call rate.

          Reply
          • Rama January 2, 2014 3:48 pm, 3:48 PM

            @tharun george
            accepted that reliance jio would have to provide data at dirt cheap rate in order to survive but my question is would they even be able to make profit if they provide data at prices below what regional broadband players ask for;for local broadband players they dont have to pay for tower rents;they share capacity from only not so profitable operators like reliance;tata etc;i probably GUESS they dont have to pay any kind of suc infact i think its only the license fee which they have to pay and reliance jio on the other hand would have to pay for all such things and infact even have to be tenants on more towers because of their band so after shelling out so much from their AGR will they be able to make profit and 3G is already cheap in many states for example in my state tamil nadu vodafone at some areas is provding excellent speeds of around 11mbps for only 126rs per gb

            Reply
            • Tharun George January 4, 2014 6:55 am, 6:55 AM

              Data has more revenue potential than any other service. For voice operators are getting around Rs 0.5/min. Which is very very low. But see data, Rs 125-252 per GB.

              If Reliance Jio offer like 10-20GB per Rs 500 people will go for it. That is Rs 500 revenue per users. Even if someone takes the lowest data pack it will be above Rs 100. No other service in India will fetch that much ARPU.

              It is impossible to offer call rates at what is offered in India. But data service are offered in many countries for much cheaper than India. So it is possible in India.

              Reply
              • Rama January 4, 2014 10:13 am, 10:13 AM

                @tharun
                accepted that margins on call rates are too low in india but still calls still make about 80% of revenue of telecom operators and I dont think its so easy to provide so much of data at so low costs like 10GB for 500rs;I mean if someone can really provide data at costs like 10GB for 500rs and still make a profit out of it then why are operators like airtel,vodafone or even aircel not providing data at such low costs from what i have seen in the past is that when aircel tried to provide data at cheap rates they ran into high losses then how is reliance jio any different reliance jio is almost a full fledged operator only advantage they have is a low SUC but that also may not be there since the government has been considering a uniform SUC for quite some time now.And its only truly unlimited data which is cheap in developed countries;In us at&t charges around 50$ for 1Gb lte thats approx 3000rs and in pakistan 1mb 2G costs around 7rs.so compared to those rates 1GB 2G at 126rs is still a cheap option and even 1GB 3G in india

              • Tharun George January 5, 2014 7:45 am, 7:45 AM

                The best thing about internet is that it gets cheaper and faster every year due advent of new technologies like high speed optical fiber and 10 gigabit routers.

                Many developed countries provide data at much cheaper and faster. So it is possible in India too. Airtel, Vodafone and all other operator till now focus on voice service as you said 80% revenue from voice. So they don’t have the proper infrastructure to provide data service at cheap rates. Why would a company invest so much money for a service which generate 20% its revenue? But for Reliance data is their focus.

                For data service to be cheap, company has to put lot of money in building infrastructure like under sea cable, nation wide high capacity optical fiber cables. Reliance Jio has already started investing in these.

        • Weir January 1, 2014 9:14 pm, 9:14 PM

          They are not only planning but also providing “Fixed Line”

          Yeah I am also Excited becuase here in my City Solapur No One Offer Fibre Optic not also Bakwas Bsnl…But I am seeing Reliance JIO Laying Their Beautiful Colors FOC In Our City..
          When I read article on Times of India that they are also Providing Fixed Line Then I must Say Hurrrrrrayyy…So Atleast us in Solapur Dont have to care about 2300MHz band if they provide Fixed Line…
          Good Wishes RELIANCE JIO come SOON to SOLAPUR.

          Reply
          • DUANE January 1, 2014 11:59 pm, 11:59 PM

            @WEIR
            Why will Reliance go to a small town like SOLAPUR when others have not??
            What is the additional REVENUE they expect from there??
            Please answer WEIR

            Reply
            • Weir January 2, 2014 12:30 am, 12:30 AM

              Because There is no competition in our city in terms of ISP, Probably not becuase people dont buy it but because no one try it or if someone tries then they didnt Marketing enough, Yep Reliance JIO comes to pur city because there are too much hungry people who are crying for Good Broadband in Reasonable Rates, When Reliance JIO launch with Huge Marketing Strategy they will surely Hit it right.
              On terms of Revenue in our cities people paying BSNL huge amount of money with lack of Right Service, Same Good things Metros are getting in same or less amount of money than people in our city (tier 2) are paying to corrupted BSNL, There are 2 Private Companies Giving Corporate Connection in return of huge money which is cant bearable but they are still paying them to keep business going..When I did small survey in my city everyone is shouting scolding about BSNL becuase of thier Pathetic Service and Tariff, So in my view it will be huge if Reliance JIO launch in Solapur and We with great joy dump BSNL and in terms of our business and entertainment will not look back again.
              Additional Revenue for eg. say most of people like Students , businessmen, people who run small companies or like me want to grow my online busineess we need good Pings good Bandwidth, Good Speed internet…We dont grow if we dont get basic speed at reasonable price..cant all apps run with pathetic BSNL so called net connection…So in my estimate leave people who get new connection but people who have net internet via wireless or Wired copper connection will surely join Reliance JIO if They provide Great speed, Great Bandwith with reasonable price…
              I know i missed so much points but hey its 12:30 at night :)
              Hope this helps!

              Reply
              • DUANE January 2, 2014 8:09 pm, 8:09 PM

                @ WEIR … that is a mouthful :-)
                Seriously though, though you think that a small town like SOLAPUR will justify (in terms of revenues) the initial investment that RELIANCE will have to make for an underground cable system? Like that there are hundreds (Possibly thousands) of small towns across INDIA. Your views!

            • Tharun George January 2, 2014 8:06 am, 8:06 AM

              90% of Indian population is in rural India. Urban Indians already have mobile and broadband. So now all operators are focusing on rural India.

              Reply
    • Tharun George January 1, 2014 6:49 pm, 6:49 PM

      Aircel is already offer 1GB 3G for Rs 67 7 days. Reliance Jio will bring down cost per GB to even lower levels.

      Reply
    • Tharun George January 1, 2014 6:54 pm, 6:54 PM

      Which broadband plan is giving 50GB for less than Rs 1000 at full speed? I know there are stupid FUP unlimited plans.

      Also most broadband consumers use only 1GB-5GB. Why pay Rs 250 or more per month to get 2mbps 1GB when 3G offer 1GB at Rs 125 and speed up to 7.2mbps?

      Reply
      • Akhil Mohan January 2, 2014 8:32 pm, 8:32 PM

        Totally agree with you. My maximum usage per month is 4 GB. Earlier I was using BSNL unlimited plan of 499. But now satisfied with idea 3G which gave 2GB at Rs449. When Idea is constantly giving speeds above 3Mbps whats the use of 512Kbps from BSNL. Even in plan 950 they are giving max of 4 Mbps.

        Reply
  • raju January 1, 2014 3:47 pm, 3:47 PM

    no you are wrong…broadband will exist.Which operator will provide 40-50 GB/month for Rs.1000 or less?

    Reply
  • Anshul January 1, 2014 3:17 pm, 3:17 PM

    Watched a Tv Advertisement of MTS Canvas Blaze by Micromax, how is the handset, any reviews?

    Reply
  • shuvi January 1, 2014 2:52 pm, 2:52 PM

    I thnk cdma should be encouraged… Like verizon they put global cell which on both gsm n cdma.. So mts should work on that..

    Reply
  • Tharun George January 1, 2014 2:30 pm, 2:30 PM

    Just now I noticed “by Tarun on January 1, 2014 12:00 am “. Nice timing.

    Reply
    • DUANE January 2, 2014 12:02 am, 12:02 AM

      @ THARUN – TARUN must have had his FINGER(S) on the SUBMIT Button at 23:59:59

      Reply
  • DUANE January 1, 2014 1:12 pm, 1:12 PM

    Happy New Year 4G … sorry make that 4T …
    T(arun) and T(eam) T(elecom) T(alk)

    Reply
  • Rama January 1, 2014 12:27 pm, 12:27 PM

    I would say nothing else but HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE

    Reply
  • Anked Paralkar January 1, 2014 12:06 pm, 12:06 PM

    Indian government should encourage growth of CDMA by attracting CDMA mobile operators and giving adequate CDMA spectrum.Hope new govt brings in new CDMA operators by offering PAN India license. I prefer CDMA to GSM. Mobile handset manufacturers should make good quality CDMA phones(OMH)with loads of features for INDIAN mobile users. In India, CDMA handsets have limited features due to which mobile users do not like CDMA mobile service.

    Reply
    • RENJITH V January 4, 2014 9:35 am, 9:35 AM

      CDMA should stay here for giving reliable Voice service. GSM is a crap in terms of voice. Popularity doesn’t mean quality. So i think, CDMA will be saved by some operator. Becasue there are so many discerning users/fans of this technology in India also, just like it has in US, Canada, Japan and South Korea.

      Reply
  • Saurabh January 1, 2014 10:41 am, 10:41 AM

    A Very Happy & Prosperous New Year-2014 to the Team TelecomTalk incl. editors, post/article writers and readers/commentators. :)
    ________________________________________________________________

    I have a cracking news for BSNL users.

    BSNL has put up all old plan of 2G and voice packs and SMS packs on their selfcare portal. What I mean to say is 2G packs which were available before uniformity can be activated from the portal by logging into 218.248.65.243:7373/selfcareweb/

    I don’t have 3G here but I have activated Rs.301 pack on my friends’s number who is in Karnal and he got 6GB of data for 90 days and he is also getting 3G speed upto 3.2Mbps. So it is confirmed for Haryana circle. Do check in whether you can see also and activate it. ;)

    The old voice pack of Rs.135 which costs Rs.120.15 and provides 350 mins L+N is also showing there and can be activated. This plan was taken off by BSNL in October from Haryana and Punjab circle and a new 400 mins L+N plan was introduced for Rs.150 (133.50 via SMS/Portal). Now all plans including new and old ones are showing… It may be a new year gift. So hurry up before it disappears from there.

    Disclaimer: I’m not a BSNL user but holds its SIM. lol

    Reply
    • SS January 1, 2014 11:48 am, 11:48 AM

      Oh really? BSNL hiked its most famous minutes pack to 151 for 400 mins. Their online postal still shows 135 and i don’t feel better to recharge as am afraid of losing my money. :-D

      Reply
    • prasad mayya January 1, 2014 1:28 pm, 1:28 PM

      i tried… but it says you are not a bsnl customer… i am from karnataka

      Reply
      • Saurabh January 1, 2014 4:14 pm, 4:14 PM

        @prasad mayya, Sorry I forgot to mention with the link that it was for BSNL Haryana customers only. You can go to website for your state i.e karnataka.bsnl.co.in and llok for selfcare option there.

        Reply
        • Tharun George January 1, 2014 7:01 pm, 7:01 PM

          Our selfcare portals are for landline and broadband service only.

          Reply
  • Darshan Malu January 1, 2014 9:50 am, 9:50 AM

    Hope so it the BSNL CEO changes and new CEO brings a big fight to AVOID grp in terms of tariffs

    Reply
  • Ganesh Srinivasan January 1, 2014 9:07 am, 9:07 AM

    Happy New Year to all TT readers

    With political change happening after elections, Indian economy will get back into growth mode. I keep saying within my closed group of friends, that 2014 is start of “Golden Period” for India

    In telecom I foresee Vo of AVoId consolidating after recent FIPB approval for 100% stake holding. Their first target for acquisition would be Aircel

    2014 would be a year of consolidation and above average growth for telecom companies – products and services would get added with choice for customers to configure what they want like Airtel’s my plan

    2015 onwards would be start of high growth and value for money offerings in telecom

    Reply
  • Tharun George January 1, 2014 7:38 am, 7:38 AM

    Like landlines, broadband is going to die. The price of broadband goes high while speed or data usage never increase.

    But we already see 3G rates dropping below broadband rates and has much better speed than Broadband. After Relaince Jio, no one will take broadband.

    Reply
  • SS January 1, 2014 2:05 am, 2:05 AM

    Happy new year dear telecom talk readers. May be u guys must agree with all what tarun has said. 2013 was not a good year wrt to telecom. Tariff hikes, hefty fines on operators spoiled the landscape. But 2014… Its going to be a year where much big things are going to happen or might happen. Reliance jio 4g, possible merger of aircel, tata, mts, reduction in 3g prices (as seen by me), etc.
    Whatever news comes up in industry, telecom talk is always here to cover up the story and of course lets thank our editors, readers, analysts and Tarun for sure for keeping up the expectation of the readers.

    Reply
  • Weir January 1, 2014 12:19 am, 12:19 AM

    “Broadband tariffs can increase.”
    Will You Clarify this sentence..because I am already paying 600 rs for 2Mbps with only 2.5 GB data for overall month!
    So increase in tariff will be overkillng for broadband bcz no pvt operators is here in Solapur.
    I thought As Fiber Optic Cable being laying down in my city Reliance jio Will Make An Impact With Fixed Line with Unlimited Plan or in worst condition Very Fair FUP policy…

    Plz Elaborate your opinion about
    “Broadband tariffs can increase.”
    Thats it.

    Reply
  • Vishal January 1, 2014 12:18 am, 12:18 AM

    where is point b in “what to xpect in 2014″.. ;-) .

    Reply
    • DUANE January 1, 2014 1:17 pm, 1:17 PM

      b) Some major merger by big operators.

      Reply

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