When asked about MNP, one of our commenter once said “I’ll believe it when I see it” and I guess he was right. Once destined to start from September 20, the government has now pushed the Phase I MNP date back to December. Reason? Well, the telecom department wants to give some more time that will allow to upgrade existing networks to be compatible with MNP. Also, they haven’t been able to resolve technical and commercial issues.
This information has just arrived and it’s good to see, there’s no stopping the Indian telecom sector. TRAI let loose the data for the month of July and we’ve got a subscriber reach of 441.66 million from 427.28 million in June. It’s a good increase of almost 3.36 percent.
Amongst the operators, Airtel took the crown for the most new customers – about 2.8m subscribers while Reliance came in second for almost 2.4m and Vodafone with 2.23m subscribers.
A quick rehash to the MNP (Mobile Number Portability) scene. MNP is a service which will allow users to change their service providers without the need to change their numbers. Now, after a series of delays, it is set to arrive on September 20, 2009 in most of the cities and few states while others will have to wait till March 20, 2010.
Yesterday, TRAI revealed the draft norms that will bind the MNP service as well as users gaining from it. This is what you need to know if you’ll be going for it as soon as its available in September.
Bharti Airtel is on a roll; last month it achieved the 100 million subscriber mark and became the first Indian telecom operator to have such a huge consumer base. A few weeks later, it was awarded the best telecom service provider in Asia-Pacific by Frost and Sullivan. Today, it announced another achievement, which is again first in the category. It became the first ever Indian telecom operator to cross 5 million subscribers in a Metro circle, and we are referring to Delhi/NCR out here.
According to the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Bharti Airtel had maintained its top position in the GSM-space and has a market share of 32.48 per cent. The last one million subscribers of these five million have been added in only 13 months. On this achievement, Bharti Airtel’s CEO for Delhi & NCR ( Mobile Services), Shashi Arora said,” This is a testimony to the faith and trust that the customers of the Delhi & NCR have reposed on Airtel and we would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one.”
Airtel and Vodafone, who jointly account for over 170 million of the 400 million cell phone users in the India, are all set to bring Apple’s latest iPhone, called the iPhone 3Gs to India. Apple which has exclusive tie-ups with Bharti and Vodafone has confirmed that their latest gadget will hit the Indian shores this August, however, they still haven’t given a word about its launch date or the pricing. [Read more…] about iPhone 3Gs to be officially launched by Airtel and Vodafone in August
COAI has released the GSM subscriber base for May and its not surprising to see the additions but at a slower rate. A total of 8.3m subscribers were added to the wireless segment taking the total base to 403.66m.
Airtel again led the pack in April gaining in excess of 2.8m subscribers while Vodafone trailed behind at 2.5m.
On the other hand, government owned BSNL and MTNL saw few additions to the tune 4.5 lakh and 45,553 respectively.
Blyk’s been in the news recently because it plans to enter India. Their announcement of entering the Indian telecom scene is not surprising but its way of functioning is intriguing, which is different than the regular cellular operators. Its works as an MVNO (currently in UK and Netherlands) and offers free talktime and other freebies for viewing ads on the phone. Now one would expect the same MVNO model to be followed here but this is what they said when we contacted them.
Blyk will not work as an MVNO, but as Blyk Media, partnering with mobile operators in all countries where we have presence or will expand to.
We further asked if Blyk will devise some other means for users to earn credits but was returned with “no further details”. They are neither confirming nor denying anything which makes us to do nothing but wait for them to let loose some new details.
Economic Times is reporting that TRAI will be seeking views from stakeholders and experts on the possible tariffs for the MNP service.
We will issue a consultation paper next week on the port and dipping charges of mobile number portability (MNP) service … We will have to see the service is affordable to customers.
Now that they “really” want the service to be affordable to us, we thought of asking the customers directly. So we want to know how much are you willing to pay for such a service. Select your option in the poll below. We really want to know what you think.
PS: If you’re wondering what MNP is all about, read over here.
This could spell some trouble for four of India’s biggest telecom operators. India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT), has ordered a special financial audit into the books of four telecom operators, including the country’s largest mobile phone service provider Bharti Airtel Ltd. and other big names like Tata Teleservices Ltd., Vodafone-Essar Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd.
The purpose behind this audit to check these operators’ revenue sharing with the government and to confirm if prescribed revenue sharing norms are being practiced. Telecom service providers in India are required to share between 6% and 10% of their annual revenue as license fees and 2% to 6% of their domestic and international long-distance telephony service revenues.
DoT has decided to appoint special auditors, who will be given up to three months to submit a final report. A similar special audit had earlier been ordered for RCom Ltd., and the auditor’s report is expected later this month. DoT has also ordered that if these operators are found guilty than they would be strictly penalized. The fiscal penalty will depend on the variation in shared revenues.
As of now, these four companies have not spoken to the media and Tata Teleservices and Vodafone-Essar claim to not have yet received an official communication on this matter.
Do you need a proof to know that Indian telecom is heavily shielded against recession? Month after month, GSM operators have added millions of subscribers and its 8.93 million for the month of April. The report includes major GSM players except Reliance who is said to report the figures separately. The total count now stands at 297.7 million GSM users in India and if we take Reliance into account we may be very close to the iconic 300m landmark.
Another good news is that India’s leading operator, Airtel added 2.81m users during the same tenure taking their subscriber base to 96.74m. Will they cross 100m in May or June? Start your petty bets.