The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service June 2012 Contact: email@example.com India NewsWatch: Telecom Sector India NewsWatch is a package of news articles compiled by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) to help Canadian businesses stay on top of new developments. Look for TCS Insights in blue. Disclaimer: India NewsWatch is a compilation of articles from various media, packaged for the convenience of TCS clients. As such, the opinions and information in the included articles do not reflect the views of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) or the Government of Canada. Users should be aware that information from media and other sources may not be subject to the Official Languages Act and may be available only in the language(s) in which it was originally written. TELECOMBharti acquires 49% interest in Qualcomm APs IndiaBWA entities "One of our key objectives has been to include a strongBusiness Today, May 24, 2012 partner in the Indian venture with the scale, experience and resources to deploy LTE TDD networks. We areBharti Airtel, on Thursday said that it has signed pleased to have Bhartis participation and support in thisagreement with Qualcomm, the world leader in 3G and effort," said Dr Paul E Jacobs, chairman and CEO ofnext generation mobile technologies to acquire an Qualcomm. "GHC and Tulip have been great partners ininterest in Qualcomm Asia Pacifics (Qualcomm AP) facilitating this transaction. Qualcomm remains dedicatedIndian BWA entities. to the continued progress and success of the BWA venture and to fulfilling our commitment as a key equityUnder the agreement, Bharti has made an initial stakeholder."investment of approximately USD 165 million to acquire49 percent interest in Qualcomm APs India entities that Qualcomm expects to provide technical assistance tohold BWA licenses in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Bharti in connection with network architecture andKerala, partly by way of acquisition of 26 percent equity optimization, infrastructure and device testing, developinterest equally held by Global Holding Corporation and support the underlying technology and the LTE TDDPrivate Limited and Tulip Telecom Limited, and the ecosystem.balance by way of subscription of fresh equity in thoseentities. TCS Insight: With voice tariffs hitting rock bottom and voice revenues saturating, telcos are looking at data as aThe agreement contemplates that once commercial driver for increasing the topline. Bharti/Airtel, which hasoperations are launched, subject to certain terms and traditionally never been a first mover in any data initiativeconditions, Bharti would assume complete ownership and (always led by Vodafone and Idea), have decided to shiftfinancial responsibility for the BWA entities by the end of gears and capitalize on the first movers advantage. A2014. compelling reason for this acquisition was the government cancellation of intra circle 3G roaming andBharti already has BWA licenses in four circles Kolkata, with Bharti not having a pan India 3G license, theyKarnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra and 3G licenses in needed a supplementary license to cover the length andthirteen circles in India. With this agreement, Bharti has breadth of the country. With the combination of 3G andsecured a nation wide broadband leadership through a BWA/LTE/4G licenses, Bharti is all set to roll out highcombination of 4G and 3G, with its own networks in 18 speed data services across the country and this providescircles. Bharti has already taken the lead in LTE TDD Canadian companies with product and services for thesespace by launching 4G services in Kolkata and Karnataka advanced technologies, an opportunity to tap into theCircles. Indian market. Airtel slashes 3G mobile broadband rates by 70% "We are delighted to partner with Qualcomm, who The Hindu, May 17 2012shares our commitment to the Governments agenda ofbroadband for all. This partnership will combine the Telecom major Bharti Airtel on Thursday slashed mobilestrength of Bhartis national telecom footprint and broadband rates on its 3G networks by up to 70 per cent.Qualcomms technological leadership in the LTE TDDspace. With a broadband ready network across India, “Volume based browsing rate on 3G down from 10 paiseBharti is well positioned to lead the next phase of Indians per 10kb to 3 paise per 10 Kb. This will be applicable fortelecom revolution", Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and 3G non-pack users with effect from May 17, 2012,” theManaging Director, Bharti Airtel said. company said in a statement on Thursday.
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service Everywhere You Do Business To be sure, it won’t put an end to contentious issues suchThe offer is for those customers who have not subscribed as the price at which spectrum should be auctionedfor 3G service, which provides average high internet (which will be decided by a ministerial group) and thespeed of between 1 megabit per second to 2 mbps, under proposed refarming norms where some telcos will beany special offer and want to use high speed internet as required to surrender spectrum in a certain bandwidth forper their need. that in another. But it will provide a blueprint for reform of the current regulatory environment and eventual unify theAirtel provides 3G services across 21 telecom service market across the country. The reform agenda seeks toareas, with its direct presence in 13 telecom service limit the discretionary power of the government andareas and in rest of the circles under roaming agreement instead enhances the role of the market in determiningwith other companies. The company has won 3G the pricing of telecom assets such as spectrum.spectrum for 13 telecom service area in 2010 for littleover Rs. 12,000 crore. Spokespersons for Bharti Airtel Ltd, Idea Cellular Ltd, Tata TeleServices Ltd and Reliance Communications LtdThe statement mentioned special tariff for pre-paid users declined to comment on the policy. Telcos operating onstarting at Rs. 10, which will enable them 30 minutes of the dominant GSM technology platform, especially thoseinternet access on its 3G network with validity of 1 day. that have been in business for at least five years, areApart from this, Airtel 3G pre-paid users can buy 3G high sparring with the government on the proposed spectrumspeed internet service starting Rs. 45 for 150 MB with for pricing and refarming norms, which they believe willuse within 7 days to Rs. 1,500 for 10 Gigabit (GB) to be render their businesses unviable.used within period of 30 days. The new policy comes at a time when the Indian telecomAirtel currently offers 1 GB internet usage to its pre-paid sector has been severely hit by regulatory uncertaintyusers for Rs. 98 which is valid for period of 30 days. The and upheaval due to corruption investigations against thenew rates for post-paid users ranges between Rs. 100 for former minister, A. Raja, and a 2 February Supreme300 MB to Rs. 1,500 for 10 GB use within 30 days. Court verdict that cancelled 122 licences allocated to nine companies in January 2008 by him.The company also announced ‘Smartbytes’, an additionalusage pack, for 3G post-paid users who exhaust there Communications minister Kapil Sibal said the governmentmonthly limit of high speed internet usage. The company aims to provide 70% rural teledensity (39% at present) byannounced Smartbyte package ranging between Rs. 80 2017 and 100% by 2020, through the policy. “The policyfor 200 MB to Rs. 300 for 1024 MB or 1 GB. seeks to provide a predictable and stable policy regime,” Sibal said.TCS Insight: With 3G stabilizing and service finallyfinding acceptance, Airtel is now going all out to promote The NTP 2012 document is a framework document,its 3G services. Even if portrayed as a reduction in cost, based on which all telecom policy decisions are made bya closer look at its 3G packages reveal that contrary to the government. The document is meant to set out thethe advertisement, its most popular package – Rs 650 for direction of change of one of the country’s most dynamic3 GB data – has been hiked to Rs 750 demonstrating its sectors. This is the third such document put out by thepopularity. With increased subscriptions to data services, government after one in 1994 and a second in 1999.telcos will need to continue to develop content to furtherdrive up consumption and Canadian companies which The new policy is expected to give some clarity toprovide these services could look at filling this gap in the potential investors looking at entering the world’s fastestmarket. growing and second largest telecom market. This policy___________________________________________ is expected to be in place for the next 10 years, aNod to NTP sets stage for regulation reform statement from the department of telecommunicationsLive mint, May 31 2012 (DoT) said, adding that it will operationalize the policy byConsumers will likely focus on the fact that it does away bringing out detailed guidelines, “as may be consideredwith roaming charges, telcos on the spectrum and appropriate, from time to time”.licensing norms it details, and Internet service providerson Internet telephony, which it effectively allows, but Key changes in the current policy being brought in by theanalysts and telecom executives say the most significant new policy include the move to delink spectrum from thething about the National Telecom Policy (NTP), 2012, that licence, a proposal first moved by the Subodh Kumar-the Union cabinet approved on Thursday, is that it lays headed DoT committee, in its recommendations in 2010.out the policy regime for telcos and Internet service The delinking allows spectrum, considered a scarceproviders for at least part of the next decade. national resource, to be treated as a commodity and made use of after a market-discovered price is paid for it 2That should bring some cheer to a business that has to the government. Thus far, most spectrum has beenbeen roiled by controversy and which has rapidly lost bundled with the licence and allocated to mobilesheen among investors and lenders. companies.
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service Everywhere You Do BusinessInterestingly, the cabinet has made four changes to the available every five years; this will enable operators topolicy. These relate to removing the need for a spectrum design their network and services more efficiently. TheAct as well as the clear demarcation of turf related to policy also aims to provide broadband for all at apolicy decisions of DoT and the Telecom Regulatory minimum download speed of 2 Mbps, allowing full voiceAuthority of India (Trai). over Internet protocol, and promotion of cloud computing and next-generation networks, including IPv6.“We will also review Trai Act. In addition, policy-makingfunction will continue to remain with government. Trai will TCS Insight: NTP 2012 proposes to bring aboutnot make any policy. Any major policy changes in future predictability and stability in the regulatory environmentwill be brought back to cabinet,” Sibal said. which otherwise had been volatile lately, to say the least. NTP 2012 will definitely help increase the sentiment ofThe cabinet has also deleted revenue generation as a the industry and give it an impetus required for its nextpriority of the NTP 2012, making affordability and growth cycle as the focus now would be on data and newavailability of effective communication the core vision and technologies (VOIP, Ipv6 etc.) and slowly move awaygoal. from a pure voice play which has hit saturation. Consumers would also cheer from NTP as it wouldAs reported by Mint on 24 June, the NTP has also said abolish roaming charges and open up new services.that the concept of circles, or telephone-operating areas, When implemented, NTP 2012 will open a huge marketwill be eventually done away with, and the government for Canadian companies providing technology andwill work towards integrating all the 22 circles into one services from basic services like rural connectivity tonational circle. This would mean the abolishing of national advanced technologies like VOIP, IpV6 etc.roaming and the ability of a telephone user to use the __________________________________________same number across the country without having to get anew connection. Phone users would also be able to keep Analysts say telcos may see stable, volume-driventheir numbers when changing their service providers growthacross the country and not just within a circle as currently Livemint.com, April 12, 2012possible. DoT officials said this would take at leastanother two-three years to implement. After an eventful year, the Indian telecom sector is re- entering a period of stable volume-driven growth drivenThe removal of roaming could mean a hit on the by stable pricing and some margin expansion from datarevenues for the older incumbent operators. According to and regulatory clarity, say analysts. Fiscal 2012 begananalysts, the higher impact will be on older GSM with the launch of 3G-based telephony services andcompanies that have approximately 5-7% of revenue ended with 4G technology-based services set to launch.coming from roaming charges. But it also saw the Supreme Court cancel 122 licences allocated to nine telcos, and the finalization of the“This would be negative in the short term for operators as National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2012 that is expected tothey would lose roaming revenue. However, in the long overhaul the sector. A survey of six brokerages ahead ofrun, usage increase with no roaming charges might offset the telcos’ fourth-quarter results shows revenues forthe revenue loss caused to the operators,” Hemant Joshi, Bharti Airtel Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd are expected topartner, Deloitte Haskins and Sells, said. grow at an average of about 16% and 24%, respectively, over the preceding quarter.The NTP aims to make India a hub for indigenousmanufacturing, research and development and As for Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom), Barclaysintellectual property creation, enabling the country to predicts its quarterly revenue will fall as much as 35%become a centre for converged communications services sequentially, while Motilal Oswal sees a fall of only 4%.and greater participation by the country in international Net profits for the telcos show significant deviations. Thestandardization bodies. “The Union cabinet will decide the brokerages predict Bharti’s net profit to fall by 7-18% overmanufacturing policy within a month’s time,” Sibal said. a year ago. For Idea, the forecast is for a fourth-quarterThe cabinet also approved the unified licencing regime profit growth of 1% on an average, with Barclaysand authorized DoT to finalize the new unified licensing predicting a fall by almost 18% and Motilal Oswalregime with the approval of the communications minister. expecting a rise of over 25%. The biggest contributor to the relatively positive sentiment is the tariff hikesAnalysts expressed optimism over the policy. “Telecom undertaken in the second quarter of 2011-12 by as muchaccounts for 3% of the Indian GDP and is likely to cross as 20%.the 6% of GDP mark if the policy is implemented in letterand spirit. The approval has come at the right time, as the “After two consecutive quarters of increase in wirelesscountry’s GDP growth rate is falling, which is at a nine- RPM (revenue per minute) since the tariff hikes 3year low,” Joshi said. undertaken in July/August 2011, we expect RPM to remain flat this quarter as compared to the previous oneThe NTP also clearly says the government will have to (q-o-q, or quarter on quarter) due to relatively highermake clear the amount of spectrum that will be made competitive activity from market leader Bharti (to protect
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service Everywhere You Do Businessdeclining volume/revenue market share) and new This is expected to have a bigger impact on Idea andentrants like Uninor (to prevent subscriber migration post RCom than on Bharti, as the latter may be unable to bidlicense cancellation order by the Supreme Court),” for spectrum above what it already has. The nationalShobhit Khare, telecom analyst with Motilal Oswal budget has estimated a `40,000 crore windfall for theSecurities Ltd, wrote in April report. “Within operators, we government from the auction of spectrum. The apex courtexpect Idea to continue reporting the highest traffic verdict also had a positive impact on the telcos as withgrowth (6% q-o-q), followed by Bharti (3% q-o-q),” Khare the reduced competition, pricing power is back with theadded. RCom, Khare estimated, will post a net loss of `10 older, stronger operators and the chances of anothercrore for the fourth quarter on a revenue of `5,191 crore, debilitating tariff war, as seen in 2009, is less likely todown 4% over a year ago. occur. However, not all analysts are pessimistic. “Stronger minutes growth and lower-than-expected forexAnother contributor to the positive sentiment is the losses could result in upside surprise,” Aditya Narain,increase in incremental revenues from 3G and 4G data analyst with Citi Investment Research and Analysis,services. Bharti became the first operator to launch 4G- wrote in an 11 April report. For Bharti, the Africa businessbased Long Term Evolution (LTE) services on Tuesday, still seems to be unpredictable. “We expect the fourthin Kolkata, and has already attracted some eight million quarter relatively challenging for the Africa business,3G subscribers. The total number of 3G subscribers in given seasonal weakness, disruptions in Nigeria duringthe country is estimated at 15-20 million, with more being the early part of the quarter, and 1-1.5% depreciation inadded every day. The year 2011-12 saw a significant the African currency basket against the dollar,” Kharedrop in subscriber additions, from 15-20 million a month wrote.during most of 2010-11 to seven-nine million a monthnow. “We believe the decline in net adds is driven by TCS Insights: Good article that describes well themarket saturation in urban areas (market penetration is current status of the sector: volume-driven growth. Withapproximately 75% on pan-India basis), and lower tariffs levelling out, telecom companies are struggling toaggression and high churn rate for many challengers. We find new revenue streams to enhance typical low Indianbelieve lower net additions are unlikely to impact industry ARPUs. With possible increase in incremental revenuesrevenue and could also drive cost savings,” Khare wrote. from 3G and 4G data services, and other data-content drivers, Telcos show relatively positive sentiment. This“Though the pace of subscriber addition sported by each would open doors to content-driven mobile applications,of these companies remains modest, additions made by including gaming where Canadian mobile developersBharti and Idea are value additions, whereas those by have significant capabilities.RCom are more of volume additions,” Ankita Somani,analyst with Angel Broking, wrote in a quarterly preview __________________________________________report. But there is also some pessimism going around,because of the falling rupee as well as penalties and LinkedIn: India becomes second largest marketadditional charges that the department of The Economic Times, April 24, 2012telecommunications (DoT) is considering. “Players in the Social networking site LinkedIns Indian user base hastelecom sector (especially Bharti) continue to be haunted grown 300% in the three years it has had a marketingby rupee depreciation against the dollar due to huge forex presence in India. The firm, today, has about 14 milliondebt in their books. Bharti has foreign currency- users from India, which has quickly become its second-denominated loans worth approximately $11.5 billion in largest market globally, bigger than China and onlyits books,” Somani wrote, adding, “Given the rupee behind the United States, according to Jeff Weiner,depreciation, the company will suffer from higher interest LinkedIns chief executive.outgo, which will negatively affect its profitability on ayear-on-year basis.” Those 14 million Indian users join another 135 million-odd who are tapping into some 2 million companies and manyAlso, as part of NTP 2012, incumbent operators may be more individuals to seek out jobs (or be sought out forasked to pay significant sums of money for additional one), organise conferences and network with a broadspectrum they hold above 6.2MHz. “The liability for Bharti spectrum of people. On a recent trip to India to keynotedue to the one-time fee could be approximately `2,750 his firms B2B conference in Mumbai, Weiner-the 42-crore, while for Idea the impact boils down to year-old former executive-in-residence, with two ventureapproximately `1,085 crore,” wrote Somani, adding that capital firms in Silicon Valley-said the firms mobiletelecom licences will come up for renewal in a few years, business accounts for a fifth of its user base today,which means a further outgo from the books of the older compared to 8% in January 2011.operators. The 2 February Supreme Court verdictcancelling 122 licences is also expected to affect the "Mobile is our fastest-growing business," says Weiner.balance sheets of the operators in the short term. The "LinkedIn connects talent with opportunity at a massive 4coming spectrum auction, as mandated by the court and scale. Ultimately, our vision is to create an economicwhich the DoT says will be completed in a year, will likely opportunity for every professional," he adds. The stagelead to more debt in the balance sheets of telecom firms. may now be set for monetisation. In February, on an earnings call after announcing the companys fourth-
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service Everywhere You Do Businessquarter results of 2011, Weiner had said that now that companies providing ancillary solutions to such platformsLinkedIn had got the product and user experience right, will find the Indian market a huge opportunity to tap.the time was ripe to test ads in the mobile environment. ___________________________________________Indias booming mobile user base-around 700-plus millionand growing rapidly-is a clear opportunity for LinkedIn. Rs 10,000-cr incentive package for electronics mfg.More importantly, according to estimates of GSMA, a on the anvilglobal mobile services lobby, India is expected to become The Hindu Business Line, April 23, 2012the second-largest mobile broadband market globally,with 367 million connections in four years, compared to New Delhi: The Government is formulating a special20-30 million today. incentive package to encourage local manufacturing of electronic goods including mobile handsets,"The Indian market has shown a real propensity for social semiconductor wafer fab, consumer electronics andconnectivity," says Weiner. "So, in that regard, it is not telecom network equipment.surprising." He adds that LinkedIn has been able to reachcritical mass with English - unlike other markets such as The package includes reimbursement of indirect taxesChina, where local language is the key to building a and a subsidy of 20 per cent on capital expenditure madesuccessful Internet business. by high-tech manufacturers in SEZ units. Investments made in non-SEZ units could get a subsidy of 25 perThat may explain why India is a larger market for cent. The Ministry of Finance has agreed to the proposalLinkedIn than China, where it has barely a million with a ceiling of Rs 10,000 crore during the 12th Plan.members. LinkedIn has also been trying to promote itsB2B business. Homegrown firms such as Wipro and the The subsidy element may be linked to the projectIndian arm of multinationals such as Cisco, SAP and outcome in a bid to ensure that companies invest inHuawei use LinkedIn as a platform to connect with cutting edge technologies thats marketable.employees, vendors and business partners. Weiner willbe keen to press home this advantage as he seeks a For example, in the case of semiconductor wafer fab, 75stronger foothold in this market. per cent of the overall subsidy could be linked to production milestones.Unlike many other software firms that hire in thehundreds, if not thousands, LinkedIn has been flying The incentive package was discussed on Monday at abelow the radar in India. It barely has a 100 people meeting between the Department of Electronics and ITacross its offices in Mumbai, Delhi and its R&D unit in (DEITy) and the Planning Commission. A senior officialBangalore. This number will only rise incrementally, told Business Line, “The Planning Commission is inrather than in the dozens. The strategy is not to focus on favour of such a policy. It will take some more meetingsR&D (like many of its larger rivals), but on India as a to finalise the draft.”market. According to top Government sources, the Department ofFor the moment, the US accounts for two-thirds of Commerce has also concurred with the proposal,LinkedIns business and "international", including fast- confirming compatibility to Indias commitment to variousgrowing businesses in India, account for the rest. To drive international bodies including the WTO on subsidies.its international business, LinkedIn wants to not justincrease the number of users, but also deepen its In order to raise the initial corpus for the project, therelationships with them. DEITy has proposed to levy a cess on all electronicFor example, this February, it launched India-specific products sold in the country. The revenue earned frompricing for some of its recruitment products such as the cess will be put into the National Electronics MissionLinkedIn Recruiter, Jobs Network and Talent Direct. fund. According to estimates made by DEITy, theLinkedIn wants to mine the mountain of data it generates Government will end up being a net revenue earner byto 2020.improve the quality of its recommendations (who toconnect to on the site), as well as convert its recruiting The department has presented three scenarios withbusiness-the firms mainstay in India-into a more dynamic different production targets. If the production reachesone. $400 billion by 2020, then the Government subsidy will amount to $32.85 billion while the revenue accruals willTCS Insights: The Indian market has contributed be $58.52 billion according to the projections made bysignificantly in driving revenues of social media DEITy.companies in the otherwise stagnant international 5market. India’s young population along with the country’s This is part of Governments efforts to boostexponential growth of mobile phones (900 million manufacturing in the country. Over the past few months,connections and counting), has helped foster explosive the Government has taken a series of steps includingadoption of all social media platforms. Canadian formulating a National Policy on Electronics. The policy
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service Everywhere You Do Businesshad made it mandatory for Government agencies to give Silicon Valley.preferential access to electronic products made in thecountry. The National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), the Department ofTCS Insights: Analysts have traditionally felt that India Science and Technology (DST), Government of India,was losing out to China as the global manufacturing hub. Technopark and MobME Wireless have joined hands toIndia’s strength has historically been software and set up the Start-up Village - Indian Telecom Innovationtechnology services and with China catching up to this Hub. It will create a vibrant ecosystem for start-ups toniche segment, the Indian government is under pressure create breakthrough technologies for the globalfrom the private sector to formulate a policy to promote telecommunications industry.local manufacturing. This policy will hopefully pave thepath for this change and will thus help India with the This would be made possible in association with leadingimpetus to maintain its edge on IT – both on software and companies in the Telecom Sector by setting up Telecomhardware. Innovation Zones that bring the latest technology platforms and products to the start-ups in the incubator_____________________________________________ before it is released in the commercial markets, Sanjay Vijayakumar, CEO, MobME, said.Indias first PPP telecom startup village inauguratedThe Economic Times, April 15, 2012 Two start-ups have started functioning in the village, the first phase of which was inaugurated today. Start-up As part of the process to support new product initiatives village will give a slew of perks from three year serviceand turn them into successful ventures, the countrys first tax holiday to funding opportunities for Tech start-ups.Public Private Partnership telecom business incubator --Start-up Village -- was today inaugurated here by Infosys TCS Insights: The private sector’s need (to desperatelyCo-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan. look for new saleable products and technologies) and the Kerala government’s ambition (to promote itself as an ITDescribing it as a "milestone" in Kerala, Gopalakrishnan, destination) has resulted in what is a unique PPP modelwho is also chief mentor of the start-up village, said the for incubation. This is a unique concept since until now,concept was to create an ecosystem "to increase the incubation units were largely private fund or angelconfidence and probability of success." investor/Venture Capital driven whose primary objective was either strategic investment or the identification andTechnopark in Thiruvananthapuram is one of the most procurement of innovative IP’s. This kind of incubationsuccessful ventures of Kerala, but many are not aware of unit provides entrepreneurs with the genuine climateit and there is need to change this perception, he said. required to start and nurture their company without the odds that a traditional start up faces.Start-up Village, set in KINFRA Park at Kalamassery, willfocus on student initiatives from college campuses and ____________________________________________would be modelled on technology incubators in the For more information on Telecom Sector consult Telecom Sector Profile – India (see http://www.tradecommissioner.gc.ca/India) Want to know more? Contact the Information and Communication Technologies Sector Team in India at firstname.lastname@example.org Disclaimer India NewsWatch is a compilation of articles from various media, packaged for the convenience of TCS clients. As such, the opinions and information in the included articles do not reflect the views of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) or the Government of Canada. Users should be aware that information from media and other sources may not be subject to the Official Languages Act and may be available only in the language(s) in which it was originally written. 6 6