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Telecom Industry Review

Merger & Acquisition. Indian telecom industry is now settled in terms of number of service providers. Vodafone Idea Limited started its operation during 2018 while Reliance Jio, Airtel, BSNL are other steady telecom players.

Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecom Equipments (MTCTE). Under Indian Telegraph (Amendment) Rules, 2017, Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has mandated that every telecom equipment must undergo mandatory testing and certification prior to sale and import of use in India. This opened new window of certification labs across India. Many labs are in operation and we expect consumers will be getting good quality products and it will make manufacturers more accountable and responsible.

National Digital Communications Policy 2018 (NDCP-2018). Existing National Telecom Policy (NTP) -2012 has been changed to meet consumers demand and make India more digital friendly, which means NTP 2018 aims to facilitate India’s effective participation in the global digital economy. The policy aims to ensure digital sovereignty and the objectives are to be achieved by 2022. Government of India’s prestigious project BharatNet is on way to fulfill and meet this target. Many tenders have been finalized and are under implementation and more tenders are planned.

Under this program, government expects investment of USD100 billion and expansion of IoT ecosystem using telecom network- wired and wireless.

Transition from 4G to 5G. Most telecom operators have 3G/4G network in place and have been providing services to consumers; fifth generation mobile network, known as 5G, use cases have been demonstrated by all leading telecom service providers during India Mobile Congress 2018 . Use case includes connected car, remote surgery (tele medicine) etc. which will lead to new user experience and a connected safer society.

Quality of Service (QoS). It still remains a concern while we are moving toward higher data rate and better mobility technology. Call drop has been a concern for all operators and consumers.

2019 technology trends: Year of opportunities and challenges

5G. Fifth generation telecom network has arrived and world leading telecom players are in process of roll out services based on 5G technology. India government and telecom community has taken steps to walk with global telecom community and provide Indian consumers the latest user experience – 5G is known as an ultra reliable low latency network. Hybrid network will soon be in place.

Internet of Things (IoT). Government push toward smart cities, Digital India etc. is creating ecosystem for IoT and many service providers have enabled new applications/use cases of IoT. Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication will be area of focus for many service providers. Billions of devices are expected to connect in coming years and network will need new capability to handle such a scenario.

Blockchain. Most sectors across the world are trying to reduce manufacturing cum operational cost such as finance, government, healthcare, manufacturing, supply chain etc. Blockchain is the answer for them.

Connected car/intelligent transport system (ITS). Transport is no more just a means of travelling. It has reached and adopted a new technological dimension incorporating latest telecom cum navigational technology making connected car a reality. It will help provide a productive lifestyle and a green clean environment.

Augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and virtual reality (VR)– AR-MR-VR: During 2019, we see more use of AR,MR, and VR and it will change the way users perceive the world, and lead to a new immersive experience. AR, MR, and VR show potential for increased productivity, with the next generation of VR able to sense shapes and track a user’s position and MR enabling people to view and interact with their world.

Cybersecurity. With increased use of mobile broadband and lower cost of ownership for internet services, cyber security will be a challenge and the telecom industry needs to gear up to handle cybercrime and set up skill centers to create cyber warriors.

Sustainable growth: India is lowest ARPU country and it is a challenge to all service providers. Most telecom players will work toward sustainable growth in 2019 , with the key objective being to remain in business for longer time.

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