Friday, December 25, 2015

Jio Remains the Only Factor in Indian Telecom for My Interest!


I am writing on telecom stuffs since 2008, and that time I found the interest in it because I was a student with limited pocket money. I was an active member of Forumz.in (founded by Gabu, and now the forum is out of internet) and there I met Tarun PK with similar interest. Tarun was that time already running a small portal called Telecomtalk.info with negligible reader base.

I joined on the Team Telecomtalk in 2009 - perfect timing for Indian telecom as many new companies were started to invest money in this sector, thanks to A. Raja, the then telecom minister who sold airwaves to new companies at a cheap price. The new entrants were Swan Telecom, backed by Etisalat (Cheers); Shiva Group, backed by Batelco (S Tel); Videocon Telecom; Sistema Shyam Teleservices; Unitech, partnered with Telenor, Loop Telecom, Tata Tele's GSM venture with NTT Docomo.

Anyway we know what happened later - in February 2012 Supreme Court cancelled the most of the licenses and few stayed in the battlefield.


However 2008-2012 was a dream time for telecom ventures in India. Low priced licenses made the companies to roll out services at a very cheap price to consumers but at the same time they bleed themselves and incumbents got a major blow to their business.

Being a student I enjoyed the 'customers' rejoice' as I was getting super cheap voice and 2G data plans. In 2007-08 when I got my personal mobile I opted for Airtel while my family were very much into CDMA. Reliance & Tata Indicom were predominant in my family. My reasons were simple : GSM has more handset options, and Airtel 2G hack via WAP.

However in between 2008-09 I had a second GSM connection and that was Reliance GSM. Airtel 2G data was not much of use for me as I opted for home broadband from BSNL - 2Mbps night unlimited plan worked best for me. Auto wake up, and auto disconnection & reconnection tweak helped me to download more than 100GiB per month at night. Despite the fact my connection was on new system (NIB II) we hacked BSNL broadband and through out the day it was 256kbps unlimited download!

In 2009 MTS was launched in Kolkata with too-good-to-miss plans and I left GSM segment. Once MTS brought Evdo data I moved out from BSNL Broadband which was slow, faulty and out of order many times in a month. Prepaid data is always better than postpaid ones. I am using MTS as my primary mobile no. since then.

Cut to 2015. Right now I earn someway good and I have not to worry about the spending on mobile voice or data or whatever. And I really need them in pushing my professional life. And this spending does help me to earn more. So I am no longer interested in better offers. However I am still interested in telecom as Jio's 4G which is biggest for a greenfield operator, is yet to be launched. Jio started from zero, creates its own ecosystem and keeps its strategies under the wrap. Hence Jio is the only interest in telecom for me.

There were many speculations regarding Jio's strategies. Even some of them are still going on. And I also predicted some of their moves. But as Jio will go for pre-commercial launch by December 27, 2015 I think we rather sit silent and watch what Jio brings.
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