Saturday, June 2, 2012

New Telecom Policy (NTP) - India Inc 2012

I've written about NTP some time back here

Now let me summarize the key points of the minister announcement and the release.

  1. m-governance policy has been drafted to provide services via mobile phone. Basic banking services can be accessed via the mobile phone. Individual intimation of all kinds of public and private services like school/college admission/ assignments, pension payment, utility bill payments, first level health services, cash withdrawals/deposits will become the norm. A single number could be called for all government services across all three tiers, 24/7. 
  2. Aadhar will enable IDs to be authenticated online or via the mobile phone. 
  3. A National Broadband Plan has been initiated that aims to provide Broadband Connectivity across the length and breadth of the country by 2014 through a combination of wireless and OFC/ wireline
  4. Telecom service providers will be able to support IPv6 services
  5. A concerted effort to boost manufacturing activity is now exigent and Government to Create corpus to promote indigenous R&D, IPR creation, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, commercializing and deployment of state-of-the-art telecom products and services
  6. One Nation - One License
  7. One Nation - Full Mobile Number Portability & One Nation -Free Roaming.
  8. Make available additional 300 MHz spectrum for IMT services by the year 2017 and another 200 MHz by 2020
  9. Transition to new Internet Protocol (IPv 6) in the country in a phased and time bound manner by 2020
  10. To revise the  existing broadband download speed of 256 Kbps to 512 Kbps and subsequently to 2 Mbps  by 2015 and higher speeds of atleast 100 Mbps thereafter
As usual, the ambitions are good and targets are high. But the billion dollar question is How, When & Who.
Again, as usual there is no mention and no details provided. Details will be shared in due course.

This is the problem with Indian policy makers and the objectives are good, planning is good and intentions are 'holy' (pun unintended) but what seriously lacks is the "Execution Plan". This is where nations like Singapore, Korea etc excels and move fast.

Out of the 10 key points I've summarized I believe the biggest change agent is point no.5. Rest are supported statements and offering speeds of greater than 100 Mbps (even if it's in 2020 or 2050) is still a dream which I don't think I can see it in my life time in India. 

We seriously lack respectable Hardware market and this is where we need to move our resources and R&D effort. A billion+ people and more than 50% of code in any software is generated by Indians but the platform that runs the code is not manufactured in India. This is where we can overcome our dependency on services sector too.

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