Recently, Nokia Siemens Networks celebrated
20 years of GSM. What happened to rest of the industry?
GSM changed the world in the last two
decades. We are more connected thanks to GSM technology and the mobile
operators who committed their precious time and funds for the development and promotion
of the technology.
Many business houses tested waters.
Companies like BT burnt their fingers. Several companies have failed to do
business. However, majority received significant returns on their investments
and they committed more funds to grab more market share. The virtual monopoly
of GSM in the mobile space will continue despite challenging situations.
The last decade saw the near collapse of
Motorola and Nortel and the emergence of Apple, BlackBerry, Huawei, ZTE and
others in the mobile space.
GSM operators, in collaboration with top
infrastructure equipment vendors such as Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks, ZTE,
Huawei, and others and their industry association, did a commendable job in the
last one decade.
Thanks to Vodafone’s pioneering emerging
markets initiatives, many operators started hunting for rural subscribers for
The current decade offers enough
uncertainties to the industry. We are not sure what will be the next
breakthrough technology after LTE. What will be the impact of 3G investments in
emerging countries? Will mobile internet save operators? What will happen to
some of the leading equipment vendors? Will they face the fate of Nortel?
The GSM family of technologies,
standardized by 3GPP, has evolved further to EDGE, 3G and LTE. Third generation
3G WCDMA networks have higher data speeds and more capacity for mobile
LTE, already in commercial operation in
over 20 networks worldwide, marks the next step in technology evolution. The
main driver for LTE is the need for data capacity for mobile broadband
services. GSM, 3G and LTE are evolutionary technologies, with networks being
built and expanded according to the needs of coverage and capacity, with
seamless interworking between the technologies.
Today’s 838 GSM networks in 234 countries
and independent territories around the world have more than 4.4 billion
subscriptions. GSM is still growing fast, with 1 million new GSM subscriptions being
added every day. That’s a rate of nearly 12 a second.
On July 1, Nokia Siemens Networks
celebrated 20 years of GSM service. What happened to the rest of the industry?
We did not hear from the industry associations who have supported GSM. We did
not hear encouraging words from other leading equipment vendors. Many operators
were also absent in the celebration. Is there nothing to celebrate for GSM that
covered 80 percent of world’s population?
Can the GSM players become more aggressive
to start addressing the following issues in the next one year? Hope their
industry associations and our governments can be more active to chalk out
strategies for the following 10 suggestions.
Solve interoperability and standardization issues
Fix timeframe for achieving measurable green initiatives targets for all
Chalk out plans for meeting 100 percent geographical penetration for
voice service in all countries
4) Provide free voice service in countries where
mobile penetration is below 50 percent
Ensure that at least 70 percent of the world population in each nation
is covered with mobile internet
Substantially increase download speed of mobile broadband
Reward customers, if they are less satisfied due to poor quality of
Punish operators and vendors who are forming cartels and fixing prices
Address the issues of individual developers and players in the value
added services segment
10) Our television and refrigerator has a
long shelf-life. Can we use a trouble-free mobile, tablet and PCs for at least
By Baburajan K
Chief Editor, TelecomLead.com