Telcos Need To Repackage Data To Maximise Revenue : Sanjay Kaul, MD, Cisco India

“SPs can repackage their data offering and offer it as a wholesome solution rather than a GB-led product” – Sanjay Kaul, MD, SP Business, Cisco India and SAARC

Everything got changed in the Indian telecom industry post the entry of Reliance Jio in to this space. The mainstay of revenue for operators, voice, was offered free; data that used to cost Rs 250 per GB, a month back before the Jio launch, was suddenly made available for Rs 10 a GB; SMS, roaming etc were too offered for free.

The traditional income streams – voice, SMS, VAS etc- were no more seemed to bring in the desired results. Data rates, too, are not expected to rise in coming times. A tough time ascended on operators to reclaim their revenue generating sources.

“Its a tough time,” says Cisco India MD for Service Provider Business Sanjay Kaul. “But the solution too lies in the data business.”

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Sanjay Kaul, MD, SP Business, Cisco India SAARC at Cisco India Summit 2018

He believes, like many in the industry, that cost of data is not going to rise in recent future, and hence expecting revenue in the traditional method seems little improbable.

“Data price is not going to rise, it may go down or, at best, remain flat,” forecasts Kaul, while speaking to TeleAnalysis at the sidelines of Cisco India Summit 2018, the company’s annual conclave, in Goa.

“But what the SPs can do is repackage their data offering and offer it a wholesome solution rather than a GB-led product,” he said.

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Operators these days offer multiple solutions- from voice to data to TV to content to business solutions and even financial services. “However,” he says “these are still offered as standalone products, and customers, of a singe household, are consuming these solutions from multiple service providers.”

He offers a solution here. “This pattern can be tapped and SPs can repackage their entire offering to their customers in a manner that is competitive, yet profitable,” says Kaul who is responsible for Cisco’s business from service providers.

“At present a household consumes 4GB of data a month which is expected to touch 46 GB in next four years,” he says. “And this projects a tremendous opportunity for service providers by 2021.”

Kaul is of the opinion that the tough times prevailing in the Indian telecom space at present is a precursor to the good times that can be brought in with more connected devices and a fully digitized service architecture.

With 4G getting stabilized and 5G ringing in, the service providers can look at incremental revenue sources including SMBs, IoT etc once their network and processes are fully digitalized.

“To execute on digital opportunities, the service providers need digital networks,” says Kaul. He adds that SPs have started realizing the potential of digitization and the Indian telecom space has started seeing increasing momentum to digitalize the organizations.

“And it has impacted our business too, we grew 38% in the last fiscal, way better than the industry average,” he said.

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