Tata Docomo, the joint venture of TTSL and Japan’s telecom major NTT Docomo has announced launch of next gen 3G mobile services by diwali.
TTSL is one of those companies who operate both on CDMA and GSM technologies to offer telecom services throughout the country. The company has reached the mark of 80 million subscribers on GSM and CDMA platform at the end of September, 2010.
As Tata Docomo, the pioneer of per second tariff is going to be first private operator to start 3G services there are immense speculations and expectations from them. TTSL bagged 3G spectrum for nine circles in the auction held in May this year.
As of now only BSNL and MTNL – state owned operator duo together have been offering 3G services through out the nation.
Coverage & Roaming:
Tata Docomo will launch 3G services in 9 circles out of total 22 telecom circles of India. Tata Docomo gives its 3G services a miss in all of 4 metros – Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata & Mumbai and another two lucrative Category ‘A’ circles – Tamilnadu and Andra Pradesh.
As it is missing out high revenue circles, there is a chance of fewer takers of 3G. But as BSNL with its sick marketing strategy can not grab a huge 3G subscribers in these circles there are high chances of Tata Docomo as fast mover.
|Circles (Tata Docomo 3G will be live by Diwali)||Category|
|Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh||B|
|UP West (incl. Uttarakhand)||B|
|Total A category circles: 3|
Total B category circles: 6
It is for sure Tata Docomo is going to enter in roaming agreement with other operators to offer 3G services on roaming. We guess it could be BSNL & MTNL. 3G Roaming is going to be another attractive source of revenue for these two PSUs. BSNL 3G has presence over 500 cities over the country.
Offering roaming in Delhi and Mumbai is going to be a must for Tata Docomo as they are offering 3G services in surrounding UP West and Maharastra circles.
Ultra Fast Launch:
While most of the operators who bagged 3G licences have planned to roll out 3G services at the end of this year, Tata Docomo is going to roll out same in next month. It is certain with this head-start they like to tap the market taking advantages of MNP (Mobile Number Portability) which is scheduled on 31st October.
Without NTT Docomo’s expertise on 3G Tata Docomo can not launch 3G services so quickly. “The service quality will be world class, with the network being provided by Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei,” as Tata Docomo spokesman said.
I am not sure about which series of HSDPA is to be employed on Tata Docomo’s network (FYI Airtel plans to deploy 14.0Mbps HSDPA category 10). BSNL & MTNL is offering 3G services on HSDPA category 6 (3.6 Mbps) and category 8 (7.2 Mbps).
India is a market which is price-driven not by quality of services; hope to see change of scenario as TTSL partners NTT Docomo, a global leader of 3G technologies.
Powered by 3G, Tata Docomo may bring bundled netbook, tablet, handsets and data cards also. Among handsets, it is expected to roll out Android powered devices mostly.
India needs data and more data, at an affordable price. So data plans from them are going to be crucial point. We can also check what the private players think about our data requirement. I do not think they are coming with any true unlimited plan – may be 10 GB data cap and then speed will be downgraded to 2G – GPRS/EDGE.
VAS portfolio could be exciting ones, courtesy NTT Docomo. mCommerce may hit up.
It is for sure, that 3G will not affect voice tariff of 2G, video calls also will not be too costly. Main differentiator of 3G market will be data plans, high speed coverage and VAS in some point. The shift in demand from voice to data has revolutionized the very nature of the market.
Voice plans will bit help them much to grab new customers, but high speed data plans will do. Let’s see who are currently offering high speed wireless internet services .
|BSNL EVDO||Cheapest high speed wireless internet plan- unlimited at Rs 750 p.m. Has awesome coverage over Kerala.|
|BSNL 3G||Unlimited data plans @1499 p.m. around Rs 500 you can get 2GB data. Largest coverage.|
|Tata Photon+/Virgin vFlash||TTSL’s EVDO services.|
|Reliance Netconnect Broadband+||Reliance communications’ EVDO services. Industry rumors they are coming with a revised tariff plan.|
|MTS MBlaze||Powerful coverage in Rajasthan, but other circles only main cities are covered, for example only Nagpur & Pune of Maharastra|
To keep away Photon+ from this competition TTSL may bring some dual mode (HSPA+EVDO) modems.
Tata Teleservices (TTSL) is trying to be telecom superpower of India over years, it has been trying a lot to get there – first to come up with CDMA (following Reliance’s success on CDMA), then move to popular GSM platform and prioritize it , made franchise agreements with Virgin Mobile and later with Future Group, launching the pay per second and pay per call plan for calls, and pay per character for SMS and pay per kb or pay per site for GPRS and now they are ready to boom by Diwali with 3G services. Let’s wait for what is coming.