Monday, August 31, 2009

Wimax auction in India -and opportunities!

I was in a time warp at the "6th International Wimax conference' in Delhi on Aug 21st!!
For a person who grew up in an age where telephone (read landlines) were a rarity in the neighbourhood, and one had to wait for hours to get connected 'via trunk calls' to make long distance calls, the convenience of STD booths in the eighties at every corner was in itself a major lifestyle change. And as I became a professional, I wondered how one lived without the pager and a mobile phone for major part of the nineties: and so I have always been aware that 'globalisation' along with ' cell phones and internet' have significantly changed the way I ever thought I will live!

More so, as a recruiter today-the ability to 'catch almost everyone on the move' from anywhere-is a far cry from the time of telegrams, 'pp numbers', the challenges were entirely different!! (this would be another story another day...)-

The ecosystem of telecom operators, telecom equipment manufacturers, system integrators were electric;, presentations made by representatives of the respective fraternities -harped on 'what could be' if the policy makers could just bite the bullet and announce the 'auction' for 3G and wimax- without delaying.

Here is what I learnt that day :
-Wimax stands for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access and telecommunications technology and aims at providing wireless data over long distances in a variety of ways-offering downloads of upto 70mbps!!
-Wimax is to broadband, the way cell phones penetrated India thru GSM/CDMA!-India, with a population of 1.2 billion has a little over 5 million broadband ( compared to about 300 million mobile users)
-Widespread access to broadband will increase the 'inclusive' economic productivity significantly ( eg, long distance education, tele-medicine, and e-governance). Hopefully, the digital divide will reduce the heavy pressure on urban sector to provide employment and infrastructure to rural migrants.
-Indian telecom services yield a low (lowest in the world) average revenue per user (ARPU)-and hence WIMAX is cheaper to deploy compared to a fixed line infrastructure!
-A senior Railtel official mentioned that soon one could use internet on the train-at a 20mbps speed!! Imagine the effect it can have on the online entertainment industry! Or the gaming, banking commerce, travel industry…
-(And boy, if these industries grew, well..well, what about the demands of the recruiter community :)!) The future looks exciting!! Already I have some clients in the telecom space, waiting and watching the regulatory bodies-to announce their plans!

So, it was a sense of déjà vu when the announcement came last Thursday. While the responses of the experts and their reactions are diverse, one thing is for sure, we can see a sea change before the end of 2009!!
PS Regards the job opportunities being thrown up, please feel free to reach out to me! We are already getting enquiries from software companies deploying telecom projects, apart from sales professionals from ‘tower companies’, apart from leadership positions in the Wimax industry. RSVP [email protected] for specific details….
Cheers!! Rock on!

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