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If I look two years back, a mobile user would never have imagined that two years down the line he could be talking to someone on an STD call at a tariff quite less than that of local calls ! This has happened and we all are witnessing it.

The competition in present Indian market has never been so intense as it is now, no matter if the operator is incumbent or a newbie,  we can hear about the launch of new tariff plans, easy recharge vouchers, free minutes calling and more exclusive services almost on daily basis and still feel that a lot more is yet to come. It seems that one day an ideal mobile user will be confused about what plan to choose among the countless options available. Anyway that day seems to be near and we all are going to witness that but what our eyes are witnessing right now is the punchline “Why can’t your mobile operator count in seconds?”

Have you ever gone through this puchline? If 'Yes' then you would be reading about non other than TATA DOCOMO.

During its early launch, some conceptions were held that would TATA flourish with its GSM network or not? There are still so many GSM operators in India would TATA be able to make a mark among this huge set of competition? Yet it has proved its mark by achieving a milestone - 5 lakh subscribers in Tamil Nadu circle, barely a month after the launch of its service.

The launch of new tariff plans which captured every talking mouth and it's 1p/sec or the launch of “Diet SMS”, wherein the company will levy charges only for the characters sent in the short message under the scheme Diet-SMS. Moreover its website is showing us how much we can save by getting per sec pulse scenario amazing!!! Also the launch of ‘Pay Per Call’ plan by TATA INDICOM thrived the telecom industry as the way by any CDMA operator has done, till now.

All this again resulted in the permanent setting of a per-second pulse and lesser tariffs by other GSM/CDMA operators too - AIRCEL & MTS. The recently released data of net telecom subscribers added in the month of August released by COAI, shows a steady decline in the count of new GSM subscribers. The experts says that it was quite expected - we can have a look at the number of new GSM subscribers being added month on month: 10.8 million (March 2009), 9.89 million (July 2009) and 9.74 million (August 2009).

The questions still arise: Whether these trends can pose a threat to upcoming Telecom operators who have yet to start their operations or in future time something else is to be seen! Whether is it about the total number of subscriber base or new subscribers added by an operator in August, AIRTEL is maintaining its position at no 1 spot. IDEA, AIRCEL & RELIANCE GSM have shown a steady growth in net % gain in comparison with previous month, with IDEA Cellular showing 0.03% gain, Aircel has 0.18% and Reliance GSM 0.02% gain all the way.

The dates for the 3G auction have been announced and Mobile Number Portability(MNP) declared to hit the country in December 2009, but the future talks / presumptions remain the same about MNP. "Will subscribers start jumping from existing incumbent operator to newbie’s giving more lucrative plans" and the mentioned point feels quite debatable, I have been asked many a times about my views on the same so I just want to share with all our esteemed reader of TELECOM TALK what my guess would be: the most use of MNP will be done amongst the youth segment and that too for getting group plans free/CUGs more low tariff’s, and mostly for those who calls to any one number particularly the most and want that they must pay the less they can.

Secondly MNP would be a thought for that person who is frustrated with his over-busy network during peak hours and daily ridicules the network, because of what use is a cellphone indeed if one cannot make an urgent call at his desired time. The same thought applies for a person who has to often roam out of his home network and he’ too once again becomes a victim of network not supporting him fully when in roaming or charges which are way too high!

Another factor affecting MNP will be "Word of mouth’" - yes and quite obviously there are very less people who read telecom articles & news. If one's friend tells the other that he is getting N number of benefits in his or her plan given by this network and if plans are really affable this type of “Word of mouth” will generally influence an ideal customer to think about MNP. The fifth genre comes of ‘Operator loyal customers’ who are using a particular operator for years and don’t face network hazards often and are quite happy with the services, mostly this segment comprises of postpaid customers. This genre will be least prone to MNP. These were some of the scenarios related to MNP and there could be many had any one talked about the shifting of co-corporate connections in name of MNP if not than also give a thought.

So Operators hold your subscribers firmly, provide them with good network coverage, lucrative plans etc. because the only thing which was previously holding a dissatisfied subscriber was the retention of the same '10digit mobile number' and now he’s about to get the privilege of shifting to the rosiest garden available in the telecom sphere!

All Our TELECOM TALK reader are invited to share their views freely on the current Indian telecom scenarios ‘healthy & beneficial discussions Not just lame comments please share your valuable views.

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