Cellular Services – Challenges ahead
DIG BSF (Retd)
It is interesting to observe that during the 20th century, technology has been developed to travel faster, higher and further than ever before in the history. Now Electronics, Computer, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have made the transfer of information and ideas almost instantaneous. The world and universe around us is shrinking in technological time and distance. Sir J C Bose at the time conducting his experiment about the Radio waves a century ago would not have imagined that his discovery will achieve a highly connected country we see Cellular phone being used by citizen of all walks of the nation
We are all
aware that the key to a national prosperity, apart from the spirit of its
people lies with the effective combination of 3 factors—technology, raw
materials and capital. Out of these 3 factors, the technology development
through ICT is perhaps the most important to make up for a deficiency in
natural resources and reduce the high capital demand.
If we look at
the Telecom Sector in our country .The national picture is very encouraging,
contribution of our cellular mobile phones, in the international arena is
significant as we are the 2nd largest mobile Subscriber base with about 157
operational networks with an Investments around Rs.
The two cities Delhi and Mumbai, , account for 45.67 million mobile phone customers, or 5.28% of India’s 286.86-million mobile phone customers, The growth is poised to continue through the forecast period, and India is expected to remain the world’s second largest wireless market after China in terms of mobile connections.
The Impact Of
Mobile Phones In
Telecommunications is a critical building block for the country’s economic development. The cellular mobile has become a device to provide a personalized mobile experience as you get connectivity when you want it and where you want it. When subscribers turn on their mobile devices, they want to get the services and Internet applications they want, when they want them, where they want them, and how they want them. Mobile subscribers want a personalized mobile experience. They want to be more than an account, a phone number, or an IP address. Service providers have the rich, dynamic, contextual information required to personalize the services. However, much of this information remains untapped due to several challenges, may be in times to come more personalized services will be offered by the service providers other than the data being used merely for the telemarketing. It can be by using the subscriber data and application policies to customize offerings such as of providing a free ‘day pass’ for a new service funded by mobile advertising revenues, delivering more bandwidth to a subscriber who wants to engage in mobile gaming in the evening but not during the day, or allowing a subscriber to download unlimited videos on the weekends, or providing streaming videos or music when the subscriber is at home but not while roaming and also enabling a new third-party location-based social networking service.
Open the mobile ecosystem by creating flexible policy rules that securely broker subscriber data to third-party application providers to generate new revenues, while respecting subscriber privacy preferences. Adopt innovative service models such as mobile advertising and revenue sharing with application providers, which require real-time information on subscribers. Implement fair usage policies on a per session, per subscriber, billing period or time of day basis, and manage network congestion by redistributing bandwidth to improve the subscriber experience. Reduce operating costs by unifying subscriber data, eliminating outdated or duplicate subscriber data sources, easily provisioning subscribers new services, and predicting and upgrading mobile data capacity based on the number of mobile transactions. Access to communications needs to be seen as a foundation on which other initiatives can be built in under served areas, mobile phones can help to widen markets, create better information flows, lower transaction costs and substitute for costly physical transport.
medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and urban slums can
gain maximum benefits in enhancing their businesses through the use of mobile
services. Amidst the spreading gloom of the economic downturn following the
global financial meltdown, the Indian telecom sector provides the proverbial
silver lining as it has withstood the impact. As the communications mainly
mobile phones are finding their presence in the rural
The benefit mentioned are from 2G, but with 3G things are going
to brighten up and benefits are expected to increase several fold. It is
generally perceived that 3G will bring Mobile Broadband in
Thus it is
hoped that 3G will bring in the much needed broadband connectivity for both
rural as well urban
To build an integrated eco-system of service providers, content providers, application providers, etc.
Bring the much needed foreign investments into the country.
Extremely effective tool in driving penetration of the huge addressable market in the rural areas.
Increased economic opportunity through tele-education, tele-medicine, e-governance, etc.
Facilitate achievement of Government’s broadband objectives.
Now let let us see the cellular scenario both current and of the future. These technologies can be briefly described:
The best technology now widely available- Features-include: phone-calls/fax-Voicemail—Send/receive-large-email-messages-Web-browsings-Navigation/maps-News,updates-TV,streaming-Electronic agenda meeting reminder-Speed: 144 kb/sec-2mb/sec—Time(typical) to download a 3min MP3 song: 11sec-1.5min
3G System Capabilities- Capability to support circuit and packet data at high bit rates- Interoperability and roaming-Common billing/user profiles-Capability to determine geographic position of mobiles and report it to both the network and the mobile terminal support of multimedia services/capabilities
Entirely packet-switched networks- All network elements are digital- Higher bandwidths to provide multimedia services at lower cost (up to 100Mbps) - Tight network security.
Satellite- Cable- DTH (Direct-To-Home) -
Telecom based Services:
GPRS /EDGE /3G-WIMAX-(MMDS)
Now let us talk about the emerging technologies such as HSPA (HIGH SPEED PACKET ACCESS and LONG TERM EVOLUTION LTE
HSPA (HIGH SPEED PACKET ACCESS PROVIDES
–With Existing 3G/UMTS–Consistent with 3GPP standards. Delivering peak rates of 14Mbps in the downlink and 5.8Mbps in the uplink today Ever-improving performance, with commercially-proven transmission bit-rates of up to 14Mbps today and up to 42Mbps in the near future Highly economic urban and rural coverage, with up to 200km cell range and measured speeds in excess of 2Mbps at the cell border However the technology of the future is LTE.
LONG TERM EVOLUTION:
LTE is an all IP network based upon TCP/IP, with higher level services such as voice, video & messaging, built on top .LTE has considerable flexibility, supporting channel bandwidths from 1.4 MHz to 20 MHz. This optimises the use of radio spectrum by making use of new spectrum and reframed spectrum opportunities. Operators evolving to LTE from GSM/WCDMA/HSPA will maintain full backward compatibility with legacy networks. LTE will have scalable channel bandwidths using OFDMA with both TDD and FDD operation.
All IP nature of LTE means converged services will become a reality It can deliver the massive capacity at a much reduced cost per bit. Applications like High Definition (HD) video streaming, mobile gaming will be possible with LTE. Low latency (below 10 ms) & higher Data throughputs.
With such an impressive picture of the Cellular mobile service a darker side need also to be mentioned before we conclude the paper .This in respect of the consumer experience .we have come a long way from the era of no dial tone to connectivity any time any where but few personnel experience which I think all of us are also getting used to and taking it for granting, these are Mobile telephony — that brought a communications revolution to India since it was introduced 15 years ago is now almost an irritant, due to the poor quality of its services No network in certain areas even in city like Delhi the connectivity is not universally available this what is termed as call dropping
The Menace of Call dropping:
This is very
frequently happening in the current
Fixed lines phones are once again in the front, though they don’t offer complete mobility or at best have restricted mobility getting someone to call you on your landline is the best practice and safer for business many people have shifted to fixed telephones now for all important business calls, many people say that ‘call drops’ that is getting disconnected before the call ends had seriously affected their business.
“When you want to make an important call, you are unable to do it, SNAPPED Overloaded networks, inadequate spectrum and poor infrastructure are some of the reasons for calls ending abruptly.
There three reasons for the Call drop. When the network is overloaded that is there are more subscribers than the network’s capacity can carry, inadequate spectrum (airways through which voice signals travel) Spectrum planning that was done when network roll out took place in mid-1990s is no more valid and poor infrastructure.
operators who provide the service are the main culprits of this call drop
problem as they have not invested in infrastructure. Each tower (it holds the
equipment that transmits signals) should not have more than 800 subscribers.
But some operators are running 1,000 or more subscribers to save costs. • Large
operators need to put at least 1.000 towers more in New Delhi and Mumbai which means additional
investment for them The DoT is equally responsible
for this as they have done Poor spectrum planning — operators have been
allotted much lower spectrum compared to their international peers. , All over
the world an operator normally gets 20 MHz of spectrum. In
The four GSM
. Market leaders in
There are other factors which create an irritant with user they are the telemarketing efforts by the service provider is nothing less than a nuisance one is likely to get a marketing call at the most odd moment. The future deliberations to suggest improvement in this very important social tool needs to take care of some of the issue including
Expansion of existing Network without deterioration in service level; improvement in connectivity; up gradation of Technology-Fixed – Mobile Convergence-Number portability.
Social aspects-Radiation Safety for the users-Aesthetic mobile Tower Scenario keeping in view the city skyline Control on misuse of SMS & MMS services.
I would like to conclude by quoting our new Minister of State for external affair Shri Shashi Tharur who talks of Mobile Magic I quote-“ The transformation in telecommunications has accomplished what our socialist policies couldn’t — empower the less fortunate”. Unqoute