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February 26th, 2014, Vol:1

The Fallacy of the Telecom System
By Alan Quayle

We experience it every day with services like Amazon, Airbnb, your local doctor or hair salon, and many websites with click to call and video chat. But telcos have still not caught up with this major change in the way services are accessed. Why?

I think the fundamental problem is industry adherence to the idea that we’re operating a single telecom ecosystem. Telecoms is, in fact, an archipelago with lots of islands behaving as independent little ecosystems and exhibiting little willingness to cooperate.

In today's interconnected, ecosystem-centric world this is a fatal flaw.

The fact is that telcos have failed to EDUCATE businesses and developers around the world about what telecoms can offer their applications, services and business processes. It's been up to innovators like Apidaze, hSenid Mobile, Nexmo, OnMobile, OpenCloud, Plivo, Solaiemes, Telestax, Tropo, Twilio, and many more to educate the market and build the business of embedding telecoms everywhere.

Some of these businesses have revenues of tens of millions per year and are well on their way to hundreds of millions, so this is not a cottage industry, but a fundamental shift in telecoms.

And telecoms has much to offer, thanks to new technologies and capabilities.

We have telecom APIs (including any IP based communication services; video communications; rich communications services; the good old PSTN); WebRTC (Web Real Time Communications) that extends communication services to any web-connected device; CRBT (Call Ring Back Tone) APIs opening up new possibilities simply through the act of calling; In-Call services - new services within the call made possible through IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem); SMS/USSD applications for developing markets and e-inclusion such as mobile payments, banking, e-commerce, bitcoin for emerging markets; Converged applications, e.g. taking the idea of Amazon Mayday and embedding customer experience management everywhere; and the list goes on and on.

It has never been a more exciting time in telecoms with the explosion of new ways our features can be embedded and new services created. Yet the Telecoms Archipelago fails to EDUCATE businesses and developers around the world. The innovators are small, their people and message can only stretch so far.

To address it, and in response to the request from the attendees at the TADSummit (Telecom Application Developer Summit, www.tadsummit.com) we're launching TADHack (Telecom Application Developer Hackathon, www.tadhack.com), a global event driven by the grassroots of the industry and focused on education across the breadth of what telecoms has to offer.

TADHack's sponsors show the companies who are prepared to put their money where their marketing mouth is and be judged head-to-head with competitors to educate and build the telecom application developer community.

Chris Lewis of Chris Lewis Insight has a nice quote in a recent weblog, "If a company is to be truly customer centric, then it must be prepared to bury its ego in its Go To Market strategy and work with partners to build the end user experience." The innovators have demonstrated they can bury their egos in sponsoring TADHack, let's see who else in the Telecom Archipelago can do the same.

Tonse Telecom is a proponent of the open telecom movement and is the analyst partner for TADS, TADHack events. Above piece originally authored by Alan Quayle and reproduced here.

The Spectrum Saga – Summary of the 1800 MHz and 900 MHz spectrum
auctions that just completed 3 days ago.

Government of India spectrum auction turned up a windfall in an election year triggering fresh hopes for a renewal in the telecom sector. However as the auction bidding histrionics subsided it is still too early to figure out whether MNOs outbid each other in a winners curse – as the total outlay committed by the combined set of bidders was close to $9.8bil or so (INR 61 million), far higher than what the government envisaged.

Summary of Auctions: –
The spectrum ended with AIRTEL, VODAFONE, RELIANCE JIO, and IDEA CELLULR spending the highest and acquiring the most spectrum for most circles.
Airtel, Vodafone, Idea had impending license expiry dates looming (20 years ending for Bharti and Vodafone this year) and for Idea in 2015.
Reliance Jio was the new comer who acquired spectrum to supplement the 2300MHz bands it holds nationwide.
These 4 players combined acquired about 330MHz of the total 353.2 MHz that was auctioned.
New Delhi metro circle turned out to be the most expensive and 900 MHz band was 100% sold out
Other bidders who also picked up spectrum were Uninor (Telewings), Aircel, RCOM
RCOM won the least (bidding only for Mumbai circle, getting 0.6 MHz of 1800 MHz) and paid the least too.
Aircel won 6 circles in North East, J&K, WB, and TN in 1800 MHz band and Uninor picked up 13.4 MHz in 1800 MHz band at a cost of about $136 Mil.

Regarding 1800MHz Band: -
Globally 108 operators have commercially committed to launch 4G services on 1800 MHz band
Rough estimates are that based on architecture chosen, pan-India 4G deployment could be of the order of $2 bil -$2.5 bil
According to GSA, 44% LTE 4G networks globally run on 1800 MHz band
Some estimates are that 1800 MHz already supports an eco-system of about 1200-1500 devices (incl dongles, terminals and smart phones)
1800 MHz certainly is far more efficient band than 2300MHz in terms of macro infrastructure, cell site deployment costs


Ericsson and Kodiak introduce 4G-compatible cloud-based push-to-talk (PTT) service in Europe
Ericsson and Kodiak have joined forces to launch PTT as a cloud service in Europe. Together they built a PTT platform that mobile network operators (MNOs) and mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) can use to offer PTT services to their enterprise and corporate customers. more here
Indian 2G Spectrum Auction Concluded With Airtel, Vodafone as Winners
India’s 2G spectrum auction concluded after 68 rounds of bidding with Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Jio emerge as major winners. During the auction that lasted for 10 days (3-4 February, 2014) the government collected a cumulative bids amount of INR 611.62 million. The amount fetched during this auction is much higher than the estimated amount of INR 410 million. more here
Huawei Helps BSNL Transition to NGN Switches
Huawei to transform traditional telephone exchanges of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to Internet Protocol (IP) based NGN switches in a phased manner in major circles. In essence, migration to IP-based packet switches and servers will set the platform for Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC), which breaks down distinctions between fixed and mobile networks and provides customers seamless inter-operability of wired and wireless voice and broadband services at home, office or while on the move, said a joint release by BSNL and Huawei. more here
Airtel Acquires Loop Mobile, Strengthens Presence in Mumbai
In an aim to strengthen its presence in Indian metros, Airtel has acquired Loop Mobile. “Airtel, a leading global telecommunications services provider in India and Loop Mobile today announced a strategic agreement for their operations in Mumbai (India) service area”. Under the agreement, Loop Mobile’s 3 million subscribers in Mumbai will join Airtel’s over 4 million subscribers, creating an unmatched mobile network in Mumbai. more here

About Tonse Telecom

Tonse Telecom is a research, consulting and advisory services organization focusing on the India telecom sector. Tonse Telecom enables telecom equipment vendors, ISVs, infrastructure developers and investors for success in the Indian telecom marketplace.

Tonse Telecom has onboard, a team of reputed senior industry executives and consultants who provide advisory services on specific projects. Tonse covers a broad spectrum of telecom technologies that include 3G, Wi-Fi /BWA, IMS, FMC and Triple Play, VoIP, Mobile VAS, End-device Applications and Mobile Content.

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