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Why CEM Is Vital For Indian Telcos

Customer_Experience

In a competitive business like telecom where price and technology are no more the differentiating factors, what can make an operator stand out is the quality of customer experience and how it is being delivered.

CEM_Mahindra_ComvivaNo, its not vital just for Indian telcos, its rather absolutely critical for any service provider for whom customers hold the key to their success. But, in Indian context, at present scenario it holds much more weight for the Indian crowded telecom market. No other country in the world has as many operators as India, and in no other market competitors face such fierce competition.

And its also critical to remember, despite India offering telecom services at the second cheapest rate (Bangladesh tops the list), cost of the service or providing most affordable service in the world’s second largest market is no more a differentiator here.

CEM Is The Key

Then what is the key to their survival? Without an iota of doubt, its the customer experience. Your customers are not going to stay with you for long, if the experience they get is compromised.

Over the years, telecommunication has seen layers and layers of evolution, and most of it are from a technology point of view. The operators, globally, have transitioned their services from 2G to 3G to wimax to 4G, and some are even contemplating 5G. There are few trials going on this regard and this year’s edition of Mobile World Congress is full of new technologies like 5G and Internet of things. So far, so good. It appears the telecom industry is moving with the times, or even, little faster than the times. However, there is a miss, a big one – offering customer experience in accordance with the evolving times.

Customer experience, most importantly, the quality element of it, decides the stickiness of a customer with the brand. In a competitive business like telecom where price and technology are no more the differentiating factors, what can make an operator stand out is the quality of customer experience and how it is being delivered.

“A unified customer experience makes all the difference in ensuring and improving customer loyalty and minimising churn. The world has turned digital and to differentiate your brand from the clutter, it is imperative that operators cater to the customer’s entire lifecycle, while walking the tightrope of the silos of customer care, finance, sales and marketing and IT departments,” says Amit Sanyal, AVP & Head, Customer Value Management, Mahindra Comviva.

A recent study by IDC states that though the telecom industry has gone through a huge technological evolution, individual service providers have failed in strategizing a digital transformation of their companies. And the operators are admitting they are not transforming fast enough to the demands of the digital era.

CEM As A Service

Indian telcos have invested huge amount of money on hardware and software in order to provide telecom services to customers, however, investment on offering the right kind of customer experience has been a big miss. And this area is being tapped by experts in these domain like Mahindra Comviva and others. These companies offer CEM as stand alone products as well as on a managed service model. Mahindra Comviva, for example, has a suit of CEM solutions including managed customer experience management. As per the company, using CEM can get rid or hosts of challenges like stagnant revenue, low differentiation of service quality and lack of customer delight, besides saving huge cost.

The Roadblocks

Then, what is stopping the service providers go the digital way and offer best customer service experience? The first and foremost is lack of a proper strategy. 46% of operators surveyed by IDC admitted not having a strategy in place to digitally transform their organizations.

“As digital transformation is made up of multiple projects and initiatives, it’s clear from this research that companies in Asia Pacific fear timelines are slipping, and that they have serious concerns as to whether they have enough strategic focus and digital skills to transform fast enough,” says Jatinder Ahuja, head, India & South Asia, Amdocs whose company offers plethora of services including CEM solutions to majority of the global telecom operators in over 90 countries.

The other significant challenges include low adoption rates of digital channels, multi-vendor and legacy systems, and too many manual processes. This results in almost 80% of the digital transformation processes being executed as standalone projects, which does not give rise to the desired results.

First things first. The organizations need to have someone at C-level to strategize the transformation process. We could call him chief digital officer or CDO.

A similar sentiment echoes from Nigel Frenwick who serves as VP, and principal analyst at Forrester. In a recent Twitter chat on CEM, he said, “though the operators globally as well as in mature markets like India are concerned about customer experience, they lack awareness.”

The IDC report is bang right there. 89% of the respondents in its survey feel the need of a CDO in their organisation the fast moving digital era. However, only 28% of service providers have it.

The next big step is to find the right partner who offers end-to-end solution in your transformation journey, the partner that offers business agility, new digital skills and omni-channel customer experience.

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Next Wave Of Digital Innovation By Nishant Batra, Head, Engagement Practices, Ericsson India

Nishant Batra – Ericsson
Next-Wave-Of-Digital-Innovation-By-Nishant-Batra,-Head,-Engagement-Practices,-Ericsson-India
Nishant Batra, Head, Engagement Practices, Ericsson India

In the digital age, mobility, broadband and cloud are delivering exponential innovation in the form of smart materials, 3D printing and robotics

The demise of US-based electronics retailer RadioShack into bankruptcy, announced earlier this year, represents a lot more than a change in the way we now purchase our tech gadgets. The new tech era we are currently experiencing has the potential to deliver unimaginable growth and prosperity, driven by endless opportunities in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) that is set to shake the very fabric of society.

By 2020, advanced mobile technology will be commonplace around the globe, 90 percent of the world’s population will be covered by mobile broadband networks and 70 percent will be using smartphones, according to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report 2015. But to fully understand the opportunity, we must look back to nearly a century ago when the first RadioShack opened in 1921.

The 20th Century factory floor many of us imagine involves an assembly line of workers. Each plays their part in that line preforming highly specialist jobs. Prior to this there was a far less efficient system. The factory worker would be a generalist – building the entire product from beginning to end. This is because workshop technologies did not support division of labor. When the technology eventually evolved to support the more efficient model, so did the entire process of manufacturing.  We are now standing at a similar inflection point in the evolution of ICT.

If you were to wind back nearly 25 years and walk into a RadioShack store, you’d find products ranging from a personal stereo, a VHS recorder, a PC and even a cellphone. Today, the features of all these products are crammed into one single smartphone – this device is in turn contributing to the consumption of 3 exabytes of data every month. And as with the latter day factory worker, this is leading to exponential increases in productivity and driving entirely new behaviors.

In fact, when we see stats ranging from the $13 million raised in crowd funding to the 133 million hours of YouTube watched, or the 2.7 billion Facebook ‘likes’ each day, what we are actually witnessing is ICT beyond the inflection point.

Similar to the way steam, coal, iron and railways delivered transformation in the industrial age, mobility, broadband and cloud are delivering exponential innovation in the form of smart materials, 3D printing, and robotics in the digital age.

This pace of innovation is relentless. In 2030, futurists predict that there will be people walking the planet with a life expectancy of 150 years, buildings will be generating more energy than they can consume, and the driverless car will very much be a thing of reality.

The big difference is that the technologies underpinning this new change are no longer the preserve of big corporations and institutions, but accessible to the average person.

ICT is beginning to transform the way we use services that have worked harmoniously for years.

In this age of empowerment, the very idea of ‘Education’ is being turned on its head through ICT, empowering practically anyone to gain access to the best learning resources on the planet. Coursera, Knewton and a range of online universities are redefining the idea of learning and development.

If our ideas of transportation, retail and education are being transformed at a personal level, you can only start to imagine how this is impacting businesses, institutions and industries at a macro-level. In fact there is a new logic being applied across industries. The era of Spotify, Netflix and countless other game changers in the media sector has demonstrated what can happen to a fully digitized industry. Other industries are now set to follow.

Growth and innovation is not necessarily coming from physical assets but from people, technology platforms and data that are used as a basis of invention. As a result, businesses and governments can now improve relationships with customers and citizens using digital services.
Starting a global business today requires little more than an idea, a user base and a network of collaborators. Funding can be crowd-sourced; factories can be rented while work spaces and digital infrastructures are scaled as needed.

At Ericsson, we’ve had first-hand experience of the vast potential this New Logic is delivering across industries through partnerships with likes of the Stockholm Royal Seaport, Volvo, Philips and Maersk Line.

Stockholm Royal Seaport has ambitious plans to create an urban district that is both climate-positive and free of fossil fuels by 2030. An underlying smart grid system will connect apartments, meters, buildings, vehicles and harbor facilities. This is powered by a technology platform that also allows new applications to be built for city management and smart street lighting, as well as transport, education and health services.

In other parts of the world, the city of Curitiba in Brazil was the first to connect public buses to a mobile-broadband network. In doing so, it has provided a more reliable bus service used by 70 percent of all commuters. This service produces 200 thousand tons of CO2 emissions per year, which is dramatically lower than the 1.5 million tons generated by annual car travel.

At Ericsson, we see this change as part of the Networked Society. As the term implies, a ‘Networked Society’ is more than how a network shapes the fortunes of a business or the quality of someone’s life. It is about a society that will fundamentally change the way we innovate, collaborate, produce, govern and achieve sustainability. We are on the verge of a new ‘Golden Age’ of great inventions, peace, harmony, stability and prosperity.

There are obstacles. When existing institutions are challenged, the legal, commercial and social frameworks that underpinned them need to be modernized. New practices and assets are needed. For example, connected robots may well sharply increase productivity but this again leads to bigger questions about the future of work. Similarly, market effectiveness is helping create more billion dollar startups, but the gap between income and wealth distribution continues to widen.

These are challenges that principally cannot be solved by technology alone and requires business, governments and other communities to come together and collaborate.

As we adapt to a world that has now made companies like RadioShack, we can only look towards the next wave of innovation.

Nishant Batra, Head of Engagement Practices, Ericsson India

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Bringing Internet To More Indians: Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

Narendra Modi – Google
Bringing-Internet-To-More-Indians-By-Sundar-Pichai,-CEO,-Google
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Googleplex

Google is planning to work with Indian Railways and RailTel to bring Internet to more Indians – starting with 10 million rail passengers a day

When I was a student, I relished the day-long railway journey I would make from Chennai Central station (then known as Madras Central) to IIT Kharagpur. I vividly remember the frenetic energy at the various stations along the way and marveled at the incredible scale and scope of Indian Railways.

I’m very proud to announce that it’s the train stations of India that are going to help get millions of people online. In the past year, 100 million people in India started using the Internet for the first time. This means there are now more Internet users in India than in every country in the world aside from China. But what’s really astounding is the fact that there are still nearly one billion people in India who aren’t online.

We’d like to help get these next billion Indians online—so they can access the entire web, and all of its information and opportunity. And not just with any old connection—with fast broadband so they can experience the best of the web. That’s why, today, on the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to our US headquarters, and in line with his Digital India initiative, we announced a new project to provide high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 train stations across India.

Working with Indian Railways, which operates one of the world’s largest railway networks, and RailTel, which provides Internet services as RailWire via its extensive fiber network along many of these railway lines, our Access & Energy team plans to bring the first stations online in the coming months. The network will expand quickly to cover 100 of the busiest stations in India before the end of 2016, with the remaining stations following in quick succession.

Even with just the first 100 stations online, this project will make Wi-Fi available for the more than 10 million people who pass through every day. This will rank it as the largest public Wi-Fi project in India, and among the largest in the world, by number of potential users. It will also be fast—many times faster than what most people in India have access to today, allowing travelers to stream a high definition video while they’re waiting, research their destination, or download some videos, a book or a new game for the journey ahead.

Best of all, the service will be free to start, with the long-term goal of making it self-sustainable to allow for expansion to more stations and other places, with RailTel and more partners, in the future.

We think this is an important part of making the Internet both accessible and useful for the more than 300 million Indians already online, and the nearly one billion more who are not.

But it’s not the only piece. To help more Indians get access to affordable, high-quality smartphones, which is the primary way most people there access the Internet, we launched Android One last year. To help address the challenges of limited bandwidth, we recently launched a feature that makes mobile webpages load faster and with less data, and we’ve made YouTube available offline with offline Maps coming soon.

To help make web content more useful for Indians, many of whom don’t speak English, we launched the Indian Language Internet Alliance last year to foster more local language content, and have built greater local language support into our products—including Hindi Voice Search, an improved Hindi keyboard and support for seven Indian languages with the latest versions of Android. And finally, to help all Indians reap the benefits of connectivity, we’ve been ramping up efforts to help women, who make up just a third of Internet users in India today, get the most from the web.

Just like I did years ago, thousands of young Indians walk through Chennai Central every day, eager to learn, to explore and to seek opportunity. It’s my hope that this Wi-Fi project will make all these things a little easier.

Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google

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Meet The ‘Repair In India’ Man Of The Country

hitendra-chaturvedi-greendust

GreenDust, that works on reverse logistics concept is in talks with Foxconn and expects India to be a $25 billion market by 2020

greendust-hitendra-chaturvedi
Hitendra Chaturvedi, MD& Founder, GreenDust

Before India’s Prime minister Narendra Modi started the ‘Make In India’ campaign a year back, there was a man who took few bold steps in that direction, by means of ‘repairing’ what is available in India. In 2008, a computer engineer from IIT Roorkee started a company that repairs, refurbishes and reuses the electronic goods including home appliances, gadgets, mobiles etc and created a market of billions of dollars.

That’s Hitendra Chaturvedi for you who founded GreenDust six years back.

How come a computer engineer jumped in to ‘second hands’ market? Chaturvedi clarifies with a brilliant analogy.

“When someone gets sick or take ill, we don’t take him to the crematorium, we take him to a doctor,” Chaturvedi says. “Then why we behave differently with electronic goods when it still has lots of life left.”

“And these are not second hand or used products,” he clarifies. “We call it our ‘Repair in India’ initiative.”

And this ‘repair in India’ is the first step towards ‘make in India’, he believes.

The Idea

Chaturvedi worked on that idea and almost started the concept of ‘reverse logistics’ in India. He started working on the thousands of electronics goods lying idle in warehouses and godowns that have little or no damages. His company GreenDust gets these products, does whatever repair required, refurbishes, and sells in the market at a much cheaper rate.

“India’s electronics retail market is set to touch $120 billion by 2020,” he cites some report and ‘the return rate is almost 15 to 20%.”

“That creates a market of around $20-25 billion in next two to three years,” he says.

The Scaling Up

GreenDust created a flutter few days back when Foxconn’s chairman said that the company is in close talks with GreenDust for some kind of associations. There were rumors that the Taiwanese electronics manufacturing giant would be acquiring or investing in Chaturvedi’s firm

“Yes, we are in discussions, and Terry Gou liked the concept of GreenDust. We are yet to finalize in what way we could work together,” Chaturvedi tells TeleAnalysis.

Foreign collaborations or not, GreenDust however, is expanding its reach in the country. The company is hiring people from tier-II and tier-III cities and also hires engineers from IIT as well as other engineering institutes.

“Knowingly or unknowingly we have been working on ‘Make In India’, ‘Skill India’ and ‘Clean India’ concepts since inception. In the last four years, Chaturvedi says, GreenDust has stopped 3 million units of electronic goods from going to e-waste plants.

“In that way we are helping India to reduce pollution generated from the e-waste plants,” he adds.

At present GreenDust has 14 plants for the repair and refurbishment of the electronics goods and the company has over 600 direct employees.

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Mobile Broadband : A Balancing Act By Nishant Batra, Head of Engagement Practices, Ericsson India

Nishant Batra – Ericsson
Mobile-Broadband:-A-Balancing-Act-By-Nishant-Batra
Nishant Batra, Head of Engagement Practices, Ericsson India

Mobile Broadband : A Balancing Act By Nishant Batra, Head of Engagement Practices, Ericsson India

Operators need to provide mobile broadband for all but need to do a balancing act of providing high-quality user experience and also maximizing revenue potential for operators as they roll out 4G networks

The proliferation of smartphones and rapid uptake of mobile broadband are inducing new behaviors amongst the Indian users. Mobility is increasingly becoming a part of their daily lives, triggered by the need to be ‘always connected’. It is interesting to note that it is not just Gen Y or Gen Z which is rapidly embracing smartphones and mobile data, but also the older generations.

Ericsson ConsumerLab study shows that the proportion of smartphone users above the age of 50 has quadrupled in India over last 2 years, from 1 percent in 2013 to 4 percent in 2015. Additionally, mobile data users in the age bracket of 31–40 years have increased almost 3 times in the same timeframe. Voice no longer dominates, but today’s smartphone users are most interested in internet browsing, social media, instant messaging and mobile app usage.

As per Ericsson Mobility Report released in June 2015, global smartphone subscriptions are set to more than double by 2020, reaching 6.1 billion. By this time, 70 percent of the world’s population will be using smartphones, and 90 percent will be covered by mobile broadband networks.

With an increase in the number of smartphones, the pace of development in WCDMA/HSPA has also accelerated. WCDMA is the predominant mobile broadband technology in use today. By the end of 2014, more than 35 percent of the Indian population was covered by WCDMA/HSPA, which will increase to over 95 percent by the end of 2020. WCDMA/HSPA subscriptions are also expected to increase from over 120 million in 2014 to around 620 million by 2020.

A major factor that has contributed to this success is the falling average selling price of WCDMA/HSPA smartphones, which is expected to drop further. This is why mass market mobile broadband is being driven by WCDMA/HSPA-capable smartphones in many parts of the world, and will continue to be for some years to come.

Recently, a report titled ‘3G Wireless Investment Motivations’ by Current Analysis found that the top reason why operators continue to invest in 3G networks is to support growing voice traffic. Another key driver is 3G provides an important complement to LTE. Moreover, 40 percent of them cited cost-effective 3G device supply as a reason for continued investment in 3G networks. The big question for operators is how to satisfy demand for GSM and WCDMA/HSPA efficiently, maintain a high-quality user experience and maximize their revenue potential as they roll out LTE 4G networks.

Given WCDMA/HSPA’s key role in delivering mobile broadband to the mass market, operators will need to find ways of building and enhancing their 3G coverage and capacity. This way, 3G will offer an excellent mobile broadband experience both in its own right, and as a complement and supporting technology to LTE 4G. This is especially important as a growing number of subscribers become accustomed to mobile broadband and will be more inclined to switch service providers if they are not getting the performance they expect. A WCDMA/HSPA network that can handle smartphone users’ demands well outside LTE coverage may also enable operators to sustain a premium LTE consumer experience.

To maintain and grow mobile broadband share, operators need to carefully balance their investments across GSM, WCDMA/HSPA and LTE over the next three to five years. Operators can also optimize WCDMA/HSPA usage by considering smartphone functionality and applications, capacity, coverage, feature evolution, spectrum refarming and transport strategies in a multiband, multilayer and multi-access technology context. Live network experience shows that simply getting the existing WCDMA/HSPA 3G network into shape, through tuning, optimization and introduction of the latest features, can boost traffic capacity by as much as 100 percent (using the same spectrum).

Evidence from existing operators also demonstrates that when subscribers have access to faster, more responsive networks, their data usage increases – providing recurring revenue boost. Typically, the changes that many operators need to make to their 3G networks include adjusting parameter settings, activating existing features in the right way, and introducing some newer features. For example, they can prioritize voice while allowing users to stay connected to 3G (and not fall back to 2G). Also, they can introduce powerful HSPA enhanced uplink functionality to improve mobile broadband performance, make radio parameters consistent across all sites, and activate important smartphone features like Enhanced Uplink Forward Access Channel, High Speed Forward Access Channel and Continuous Packet Connectivity. By introducing newer WCDMA/HSPA capabilities, such as multi-carrier technology, operators can substantially increase the throughput offered by 3G networks.

This way, operators can continue to provide GSM coverage as efficiently as possible, and ensure WCDMA/HSPA offers the best possible mobile broadband experience – not only as a high-quality complement to LTE, but also as a way of delivering mobile broadband coverage to very large populations for the first time. With a suitable investment, WCDMA/HSPA will support LTE (and not just be a fallback), and will enable operators to maximize revenue by delivering good network performance and a seamless experience across their 3G and 4G networks.

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Cisco Technology Radar 2014

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At Cisco, a self-nominated team of enthusiasts, unaffiliated with any particular function or business unit take up the challenge of identifying technology developments worldwide. Technologies identified by this team are assessed by a panel of distinguished engineers, fellows, directors and VPs and a few are selected as novel and most relevant to Cisco. Cisco calls this team and the process – The Technology Radar.

Today, these volunteer scouts have become fundamental to Cisco’s intelligence gathering initiatives. By channeling their passion for emerging technologies, they help Cisco in identifying opportunities and threats that could impact our business and customers in five, ten or even twenty-five years’ time.

Some of the key transformational trends identified in 2014 are:

Internet of Everything (IoE) and M2M communications: The Internet of Things, and specifically increased automation in industrial systems and processes, coupled with big data, will bring tremendous advances in predictive diagnostics, with important applications in environments as diverse as retail and automotive safety.

By 2022, M2M connections will account for 45 percent of total connections while person-to-machine (P2M) and person-to-person (P2P) will account for the remaining 55 percent. M2M already represents a significant market which continues to grow. Some of the most common M2M applications are telemetry (e.g. utility meters), telematics (e.g. car navigation systems), sales and payment (e.g. vending machines), and fleet management (e.g. cargo tracking).

Multi-vendor Clouds: Public, private and hybrid cloud environments based on static configurations will give way to dynamic and multi-vendor cloud environments. New technologies will allow cloud service providers across multiple environments to adopt common Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to provide reliable and economical services.

Video in ultra-high definition: High definition video systems are becoming rapidly more affordable, presenting us with exciting opportunities for new video experiences on a previously unseen scale. Video technology in ultra-high definition (2160p and 4k – 8k- 4320p) will become imperative for smart phones, augmented reality glasses, tablets and other devices equipped with camera.

With a resolution up to 16-times higher than current HD TV (1080p), their impact on the network requires the adoption of new technologies like P2P streaming, federated content distribution networks, HEVC (H.265) or HTTP adaptive streaming.

Context Aware Computing and Collaboration: The mash-up of big data and collaboration applications is going to drive the creation of a new wave of “context-aware” computing and collaboration experiences. Within 12-24 months, we will witness the rise of collaboration applications which automatically present to us information about the people and organizations contacting us.

Furthermore, collaboration applications will leverage context-aware information and big data to gather useful historical information (documents, past interactions, recordings of meetings, even Facebook status) which are relevant to how teams work together, thereby preserving intellectual property and strengthening relationships and collaboration.

Real-time analytics: In the era of the data deluge, businesses demand fast access to information and immediate data insights in order to make quick and informed decisions, and to improve financial and operational performance. Real-time analytics have a broad area of application, spanning from financial markets to advertising, automation and security. Analyzing massive amounts of data almost on the fly implies high performance requirements on systems’ hardware and software.

Interactive collaboration through the web: The embedding of rich media collaboration within browsers – promises to transform the way businesses and organizations communicate and engage with customers. Within 12 months, we’re going to see retailers, financial services organizations, and other providers of high value services embedding Web Real Time Collaboration (WebRTC) into their web interfaces to transform the way they engage with customers.

New Internet architectures: With the number of connected devices set to rapidly expand from 10Bn today to 50Bn or more by 2020, current internet infrastructure needs to evovle to support this exponential growth of connected devices.

We will see the rise of a new Internet architecture characterized by (a) ‘Fog Computing’ – the convergence of networking and compute at the edge of networks to create a more distributed intelligence that balances the need for centralized mega-scale data centers with more locally-useful computing and decision making capabilities, (b) a new type of networking architecture characterized by open APIs and by the embrace of developer communities who will create applications that optimize the integration of networks and management systems and business applications, (c) we will pass the peak of the SDN hype cycle and see real-world applications emerge in 2014, and (d) a new set of IT skillsets which accompany the convergence of computing, networking, storage and applications will emerge.

Security and Internet of Everything: As more and more devices – from wearable medical devices to devices that carry personal financial information – join the Web, privacy and security become more important than ever. In the coming 1-3 years, we will see a new form of multi-layered security emerge, replacing today’s model of “protecting the perimeter” with a combination of security technologies that includes localized clients embedded within devices or localized connections and centralized cloud-based intelligence which constantly scans to protect.

Self-Organizing Networks (SON):  SON refers to a set of capabilities that increases the level of automation in network planning, operations and maintenance of LTE (Long Term Evolution) and next generation mobile networks. Today‘s mobile networks are largely human operated. SON is expected to decrease the capex and opex associated with them.

These automated functions aim towards a self-configuring, self-optimizing and self-healing network, increasing network performance and quality by adapting to dynamic changes in network conditions.

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How is Reliance Jio deal different for RCOM and Bharti Airtel?

Mukesh-Ambani

In a gap of eight months Reliance Jio has signed network sharing agreements with Reliance Communications (RCOM) and Bharti Airtel. The big question is whether the agreement btween the two (RCOM and Airtel) is same in value terms or whether it is different?

In April, Reliance Jio signed deal with RCOM to share the latter’s 120,000 km optic fibre network across the country which would help the latter in providing backhaul for its yet-to-launch 4G LTE services and in return Anil Ambani’s RCom can use Reliance Jio’s yet to be built optic fibre infrastructure. The agreement provides joint working arrangement to be put in place for upgradation of the existing optic fibre network, capable of delivering next generation services like LTE. The deal was worth Rs 1,200 crore as one time indefeasible right to use.

In the month of June, Reliance Jio signed another agreement with RCOM for sharing nationwide telecom towers infrastructure. Under the terms of the agreement, Reliance Jio Infocomm will utilize upto 45,000 ground and rooftop based towers across RCOM’s nationwide network for accelerated roll-out of its 4G services.

The agreement also provided joint working arrangements to configure the scope of additional towers to be built at new locations to ensure deep penetration and seamless delivery of next generation 4G LTE services. The total value of the tower deal is more than Rs 12,000 crore during lifetime of the agreement.

Bharti Airtel deal with Reliance Jio is a comprehensive telecom infrastructure sharing arrangement under which both companies will share infrastructure created by both parties. The deal includes optic fibre network – inter and intra city, submarine cable networks, towers and internet broadband services and other such opportunities identified in the future. As part of this arrangement, Bharti and Reliance Jio have already announced an agreement under which Bharti has provided capacity on its i2i submarine cable to Reliance Jio.

The arrangement could, in future, be extended to roaming on 2G, 3G and 4G, and any other mutually benefiting areas relating to telecommunication, including but not limited to jointly laying optic fibre or other forms of infrastructure services. This means that both the companies will not jointly lay optical fiber or other forms of infrastructure services and here RCOM has an advantage having an exclusive agreement with respect to building of new towers.

Reliance Jio Deal With Respect To RCOM and Bharti Airtel    

RCOM Deal
45,000 (ground and rooftop) tower infrastructure worth Rs 12,000 crore
120,000 Km OFC network worth Rs 1,200 crore
Upgradation of existing OFC network
Configuring additional towers to be built at new locations

Bharti Deal
OFC network (inter-city and intra-city)
Submarine cable networks
Tower infrastructure
Internet broadband services
i2i submarine cable capacity

Source: TeleAnalysis

For OFC and tower, RCOM will be the primary provider whereas Bharti Airtel will be the secondary provider. Bharti Airtel will be used in areas where RCOM doesn’t have tower or OFC capacity. On the other hand, Bharti Airtel has an advantage with respect to Internet broadband services and i2i submarine cable capacity.

In order to provide customers high speed Internet connectivity, it is expected Reliance Jio in future will sign up with Tata Communications and Reliance Globalcom for submarine cable capacity closer to the launch of 4G LTE services in the country. If Reliance Jio signs submarine cable capacity with RCOM and Tata Communications, Bharti will also lose this advantage in the long run.

Being a greenfield operator, Reliance Jio has no other option but to rely on Bharti Airtel and RCOM network to built a pan India network within four-five years of bagging the license so that broadband services can kickstart at the earliest.

So, in toto, RCOM is at a higher pedestal vis-a-vis Bharti Airtel w.r.t. network sharing revenue even with the inclusion of i2i and Internet broadband services. It is difficult to predict by what percentage RCOM revenue will be higher than Bharti Airtel but industry sources say that the difference between the two is huge and RCOM is leading the current race.

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