India’s only pure-play CDMA operator Sistema Shyam Teleservices aka MTS India is working on its data focused voice enabled Strategy.
Before we are dragged into discussion of this decision of MTS, let me introduce Cheenu Seshadri. Last year He was Chief Strategy Officer at MTS and on an interview with The Hindu (September 2010) he explained the future roadmap of the company and that is ‘Our strategy is data, data and data’.
He expressed his love for data services and that is the way they can beat GSM players with revenue from solely data services.
His thought is not absolutely wrong, as India favours GSM for voice services and for data the choice is CDMA. TRAI’s report irritated the GSM players a lot and they eventually via COAI registered a complaint to DoT against EVDO players.
The policy can go right in some circles, where MTS has low voice customer base and low ARPU, especially in South & West region where Cheenu is positioned at COO.
And as they are not leaving the spectrum, they have to maintain the existing customers in those circles. In certain circles like Kolkata & West Bengal where MTS is very popular with voice offerings.Recently MTS launched CDMA Wireless Fixed phone (WFP) as MTalky.
MTS in spite of having pan India spectrum has not commercially available in all 22 circles. In some circles like Assam, Madhya Pradesh and North East MTS had a soft launch. May be in these circles MTS will go with only data services.
Currently MTS holds 2.5 MHz spectrum on 800 MHz band. As per earlier agreement DoT will provide upto 5 MHz (6.2 MHz in case GSM players) when CDMA operator have a certain subscriber base. Without voice services it would not be easier to archive that goal for MTS.
With 2.5 MHz in hand, MTS can have only 2 carriers of 1.25MHz which will allow them to roll out EVDO Rev B with maximum downlink of 9.8 Mbit/s (per carrier 4.9 Mbit/s).
So Some quick facts about MTS India
First telecom company in India to launch Prepaid Mobile Broadband Services under the MBlaze brand.
First company to give One Million free minutes as talk time to its customers in India.
First company to offer Smartphone for FREE in India (MTS Pulse)
First company in the world to launch CDMA EV-DO Rev.B Phase II network in Jaipur
First company to launch High Speed Data services on a national highway in India (265 Km long Delhi – Jaipur stretch)
First company in India to launch Android powered Smartphones in the below Rs. 5000 category – MTS Livewire & MTS MTag 3.1.
As per the Q2 Financial Results announced by the MTS, the company has been performing well both in voice as well as data side of its business.