The government’s recent decision to allow BWA 4 G firms to provide voice services along with the core internet services is a red carpet for the Mukesh Ambani’s RIL. Advantage of the government decision is that RIL can now launch 4G (which is dedicated for wireless data) simultaneously providing voice services (call). Hence, the company can have better revenue prospects. It need not bear the risk of providing the sole internet product through 4G which needs heavy investment.
From the perspective of the consumer’s who are awaiting fast wireless internet, the good news is that because of the added advantage, RIL may fasten their 4G launch.
At present, voice services contribute to nearly 85% of revenues to the telecom firms. India’s wireless internet and data service market is yet to be developed to give sufficient revenue to the service providers. Because of this doubtful revenue prospects, the RIL has not launched 4G despite three years since the acquisition of a pan India BWA license.
RIL’s acquisition of Infotel Broadband in 2010 for nearly Rs 4800 crores was a big event in the Telecom sector. Many competitors have slowed down investment in 3G facilities fearing the capability of the RIL to turn around things for its advantage especially in the wake of the company’s holding of the 4G license. At that time, Infotel was the only company which has got pan India (in all 22 circles) license and for providing BWA internet through the government’s spectrum auction.
RIL may face some challenges on the technical front in providing voice services through the 4G. They are in the recent past were testing Voice Over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) route to provide voice services using the set platform.
The new developments indicate that with the serious prospects of the launch of wireless broadband internet, the Telecom sector of the country is going to be reloaded. Serious competition may reappear; interestingly, on both data and voice fronts and not just on voice.