Regulators

Convergence India: Speed, connectivity, affordability, Value = Broadband Revolution in India

NEW DELHI: Affordability. Connectivity. High Speeds. Value. Four things that the impending broadband revolution in India needs to focus on to become a reality. Chaired by Trai chairman Pradeep Baijal, the inaugural session of the 13th Convergence India discussed topics like access technology, last mile operators, affordability, penetration and reach of broadband.

Along with the Trai chairman, the other panelists included MTNL chairman and MD RSP Sinha, BSNL director-finance S B Saxena, Motorola VP for South and South East Asia Amit Sharma, GTL Ltd CEO Michael Clark, Alcatel CTO Olivier Baujard, Lucent Technologies CMO Soum Mukherjee and UTStarcom Inc VP Brian Caskey.

 

Affordability

Stressing on affordability, Baijal began his speech saying “Unless the price is right in India, there can be no services.” These sentiments were echoed throughout the session. Motorola’s Sharma pointed out that there was a direct relation between decreasing of tariff and rise in penetration. In his seven point agenda that he put up, GTL’s Clark recommended that the Internet connection regime rates should be liberalised.

VOIP – Value over IP

Lucent technologies CMO Soum Mukherjee pointed out that today VOIP did not only mean Voice over IP but meant Value over IP. The more the value added services provided, the more the consumption would grow.

Making an interesting statement, MTNL’s Sinha said that, ”We are keen to tie up with content providers and are looking at having at least a 100 TV channels including VOD so that the entertainment oriented consumer is attracted to our broadband services”

 

 

Connectivity

One of the major issues surrounding broadband is the issue of the Last Mile Operator and how much it should be opened up. Considering the huge potential of the market when and as it develops, there is a lot of insecurity amongst the players as to who will get to cream the milk. BSNL’s Saxena pointed out that inspite of the tough ground realities it faces in taking connectivity to the rural areas, it was focusing on the concept of a Cyber Dhaba.

Even as the discussions bordered around the technical at times, the essence of the discussion was very well stated by Utstarcoms Caskey. Said Caskey, “The consumer does not care about technology. All he wants is simple connectivity, simple hi speed access and he wants this at a simple affordable price.”

Organised by Exhibitions India, the 13th Convergence India seminar will be held in New Delhi's Pragati Maidan from 22 to 24 March. The event shall feature concurrent sessions discussing the latest issues around development of converging technologies even as 300 exhibitors from 25 countries across the globe showcase the latest at the exhibition centre.

Speaking at the conference, Exhibitions India managing director Prem Behl said, "Convergence India has moulded lasting alliances, and has brought together a talented group of conceptualizers, developers and executors - the technology specialists, industrialists, buyers, sellers and visitors, who will together initiate a dialogue on technologies and services of tomorrow."

Also present at the panel were MTNL chief general manager for business development T R Wadhwa, Fraccaro (Italy) CEO Nello Genouese, Scientific Atlanta director of sales (Asia) Brent Smith, TEMA chairman N K Goyal, Andrew Corporation director - system engineering (Asia Pac) Ben Cardwell and Veraz Networks country head Yogesh Bijlani.

Even as technology to deliver and distribute across platforms and formats is the backbone of the B2B event, Behl indicated that next year onwards, the event would also focus on B2C including content and devices.

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