Nokia Siemens’ strategies to gain mobile broadband market share in India

Telecom Lead Asia: Nokia Siemens Networks’ future strategies in India evolve around growing its 3G mobile broadband.

As operators such as Vodafone, Airtel, Idea Cellular, Aircel and Tata Teleservices are in the process of enhancing their 3G presence across the country, Nokia Siemens Networks is sure of leading the mobile broadband infrastructure business in India in 2013.

Some of the these operators will also spending on customer experience management solutions.

Nokia Siemens is the telecom equipment supplier to Vodafone’s 19 circles and Airtel’s 8 telecom circles. This apart, Nokia Siemens, which is re-strengthening its global business with a special focus on mobile broadband, supplies wireless equipments to Idea Cellular (7 circles), Aircel (6 circles), Telenor (2 circles) and Tata Teleservices (6 circles).

Sandeep Girotra, regional head India, Nokia Siemens

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For instance, Idea Cellular launched 2,961 new sites (2G+3G) in Q3 2012-13. The Capex (Capital expenditure) of Idea Cellular was Rs 6.54 billion in Q3.

Idea Cellular rolled out 1,883 2G cell sites and 1,078 3G cell sites during the quarter, taking EoP site count to 87,662 and 15,545 for 2G and 3G respectively. Out of 114 million mobile subscriber base, Idea customers adopting data services grew to 21.75 million, now contributing 5.7 percent to service revenue.

Idea Cellular is betting on mobile broadband and its data ARPU is Rs 52.

Idea Cellular says its data volume grew 14.8 percent to 9,575 TB in Q3 FY13 (8,339 TB in Q2 FY13), while data revenue on sequential quarter basis grew by 10.8 percent.
The active 3G subscriber base stands at 4.1 million against 2 million in Q3 2011-12.

Top Indian mobile service providers will be looking at enhancing customer experience as retaining users is becoming a big challenge.

Sandeep Girotra, regional head India, Nokia Siemens Networks, says 2013 will be the year of 3G for all major operators. “We will not see aggressive rollout of 4G (TD-LTE) this year. We will also focus on offering our customer experience management (CEM) solutions.”

In Q4 2012, Nokia Siemens Networks reported 5 percent increase in net sales globally. The year-on-year growth was primarily due to higher net sales in Asia Pacific, most notably in Japan which saw strong growth in sales of both infrastructure equipment and services, as well as in North America which also saw strong growth in sales of both infrastructure equipment and services.

Mobile internet is spreading across the country rapidly. eBay India is a big believer in the exponential potential of mobile commerce and Muralikrishnan B, country manager, eBay India, believes that the next 100 million mobile users will probably have their first internet experience through their mobile device.

Among access technologies, 3G will attract more Capex. Nokia Siemens India head says domestic telecom operators should select future proof technologies to enhance presence geographically.

Sandeep Girotra is also not comfortable with preferential market access concept in India. India government is considering to offer preferential treatment to locally manufactured telecom equipments. He says Nokia Siemens will make more telecom products in India if the eco-system is viable.

Nokia Siemens’ India CEO is concerned about security issues that surfaced in the past 2-3 years. “Security to India and telecom network is important for the growth of the industry. Selection of equipment and testing need to be streamlined. We need stricter policies for ensuring security aspects.”

The other major concern, according to Sandeep Girotra, is spectrum refarming. He says refarming should go through proper thought process.

Baburajan K
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