Telco wrapup: RCom to shake up GSM market, Confusion over Mobile TV, RCom to launch IPTV…and more

RCom plans price war encore in GSM
After four years, Reliance Communications (RCom), India’s largest mobile service provider offering Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology, is set to start another price war in the Indian telecom space by cutting Global System for Mobile (GSM) call rates 30 per cent when the service is launched.

RCom plans to invest Rs. 5,000 crore for GSM setup.
IMHO
: Reliance’s CDMA launch in 2003 was accompanied with “free incoming calls” (operators were charging anything from Rs. 1/ to 2.5/ per minute) service and that changed the entire telecom landscape . Hope they repeat the history with GSM launch.

Mobile advertising gets creative – reaches tier II cities and rural India.
Fair & Lovely scholarships ad campaign, promoted via Reliance Mobile, has sort of revealed the “deep Indian mobile web” via it’s finding.

the objective of the campaign was to reach out a large number of women especially those who are not touched by the media and generate leads for the program. And HUL opted for mobile as it offers both reach and interactivity required for lead generation

Reliance Mobile — which has an active subscriber base of over 35 million and 20 million Reliance World application enabled hand-sets — executed a pan India ad campaign from mid August to mid September, 2007, on Reliance Mobile phone network.
Clickable banner ads in various languages and a special Fair & Lovely Scholarship Zone was created for R World. The banner ads were linked to a microsite where interested students were supposed to provide their details like annual family income and the course they intend to pursue.

And the result? Fair & Lovely scholarships mobile ad campaign generated around 50,000 leads out of which 60 per cent were from tier II and III cities and 40 per cent from urban cities. IMHO: Well, that also shows Reliance’s reach – it’s not a “yo” service (i.e. urban), but is a preferred service for Indian masses!

RCom partners with Microsoft to launch IPTV
Reliance Communications (RCom) is close to rolling out Internet protocol television (IPTV) services in the country in association with Microsoft. The companies have been working on the project since 2003.
MTNL has managed a little over 1,000 subscribers till date. It, however, hopes to rope in about 40,000 of its existing broadband customers (about 3 lakh) for IPTV.

RCom is also expected to sign a licensing agreement with Microsoft for managed services, which is the practice of transferring day-to-day management responsibility to a service provider.

Mobile TV – a broadcasting service or a telecom service? Debate is on between broadcasters and mobile operators
Subhash Chandra promoted Zee TV and its direct-to-home (DTH) service Dish TV have pitched for treating mobile TV as a broadcasting service and have sought preferential treatment over the telecom companies.

Responding to the consultation paper on mobile TV brought out by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), Zee TV says that only companies with proven record in the business of broadcasting should be allowed to offer mobile TV. This means that government should not allow telecom players to offer mobile TV services. However, telecom majors including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) have said that they are automatically eligible for mobile TV operations as they hold the licence for telecom operations. But broadcasters have claimed the eligibility of ownership on mobile TV.

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