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  • The Changing Face Of Telecom - Cell Phones Transforming The Way People 'TALK'

    changing-face-of-telecom-cell-phones-transforming-way-people-talkAnalysts say that the last printed newspaper will be delivered to an Indian Home doorstep some day in 2060's. Looks like the landline here will die faster. Analysts are predicting that the last landline is likely to be decommissioned sometime in 2030. Today Indian customers are surrendering their landlines at an estimated rate of 100,000 lines a month!

    People are getting more used to the mobile phone which has many more interesting applications over and above the ability to talk and not tethered to a line at the same time. It is said that broadband which is one other useful application on the fixed line is increasingly becoming a sucker when it comes to bandwidth.

    The Consequences

    The 100,000 lines per month depletion is likely to cause an exponential downward spiral. The cost of operating a fixed line network will now get distributed over a lesser base of customers. This will in-turn increase their monthly payouts and more of them will decide to quit.

    There are businesses that are dependent on the wireline infrastructure to pinpoint the callers location with ease (just from the connection without any need for spoken words). Most important of them are the human safety and security services like 100, 101, 102 etc. The mobile infrastructure does not yet provide such foolproof methods.

    There are other commercial firms that will suffer as well. For example, tele-marketeers depend heavily on the landline infrastructure. Why? Because incoming calls on the mobile phone are charged to the mobile owners. Also, there are legal restrictions that tele-marketeers need to comply with when it comes to mobile phone infrastructure.

    Today, there are two big operators like BSNL and MTNL who rely heavily on their wireline business. Both of them do not have a wireless business that is compensating for the loss of wireline business. Going by the current trends, these companies can potentially decide to file for a government bailout and soon the taxpayer will be maitaining the wireline infrastructure.

    Why is The Landline getting Routed...

    No mobility and positioned as outdated technology. Requirement of mobility has increased and customers want everything to happen on their palms. Mobile services proved its capability of delivering such ideal requirements and people expect more. However, if we see Landline services, except Broadband ADSL2+ as a value addition, it has nothing special.

    Lack of innovative tariffs compared to mobile services market
    . People are still paying based on traditionally designed Landline tariffs. Some monthly commitment and you will get some free calls; this is how tariffs are positioned in the market. I donít know if telecom operator can provide per second kind of tariff due to equipment feasibility. But I am sure if BSNL and MTNL start offering per second billing on landline it will really slowdown the surrenders. MTNL has recently started offering Add-on packs for landline where customers can take a pack for additional free calls.

    3G. Some people keep hanging to their landlines as it also provides broadband connectivity. But with the advent of 3G in the Indian Telecom market, the incentive of broadband with a fixed line will be washed away gradually.

    Cancelling your Landline? Here's a Checklist

    A mobile-only home will still keep on connected to all the same people, businesses and services that it did when connected to a traditional telephone. Most mobile phone packages include plenty of talk minutes and can even be tailored to your needs with, for example, bolt-on packages of extra minutes or a foreign calls allowance.

    However, there are a few things you need to be aware of before cutting off your landline connection:

    Freephone and non-geographical numbers. Most mobile networks wonít let you call 0800 and 0845 numbers - often used by banks, et al - for free from a mobile phone. However, some networks do give you unlimited calls to such numbers for a small extra monthly fee

    Network coverage. If you live in an area of poor network coverage then replacing your landline may mean you donít always receive enough mobile phone signal to make and receive telephone calls. However, cheap devices are available that help boost your mobile signal while at home

    What the Government should DO, but it wont do!

    In order to prevent the rout of landlines, the government can provide each house with a wireline connection (just as social security) i.e basic connection will be free, any additional usage can be charged. this will take care of 100, 101 etc and also other business depending on wireline. Apart from this, wireline service providers can sub-lease their backbone infrastructure for ISPs and earn some more revenue. A pretty decent solution, but is anybody READING!