Re: 3G digging, with MNP overtones
>From: Banibrata Dutta <banibrata.dutta@...>
>On Wed, Jan 6, 2010 at 9:21 AM, Vickram Crishna <v1clist@...> wrote:
>chartered accountant certification) really can be. If SMS costs are cut, as per the TRAI order, broadband
must follow, hopefully sooner rather than later. Where are the real revenues coming from?
>Good point to debate/discuss, but I think "where are the real revenues coming from ?" will be an important
question to answer.
>We can call Telco's greedy, money-suckers etc. etc., but the point is, either the govt. should start
running that organisation as a utility service company (which I dare say, seeing the conditioning of
BSNL, will spell a worse doom), or have status-quo.
>Telcos' earn from various sources (I think), other than the subscription fees, and usage charges, which
come directly from the subscribers. However these other sources, depend heavily on having a sizable
subscriber base, and sufficient information about the subscribers, that can be monetized in a smart way,
without breaking (or hopefully bending) any rules (law of the land).
My penchant for seeing the dark side may lead some to think I am only interested in criticising, but I prefer
to think of it as asking the difficult questions that don't seem to interest others.
Most service businesses have multiple sources of revenue. When those revenue streams come perilously
close to 'bending' or 'breaking' laws, it interests this group, I think, not because we have any
super-citizenly interest in putting anyone behind bars, but because:
1. If the rule, law or policy that is being tested may not, in our not-so-humble and definitely not unlearned
opinions, be in the best long term interests of the country, or of humanity, or both (hopefully, more often
2. If the rule, law or policy is in fact a Good Thing (as per conditions in 1. above), then the breaches or
near-breaches may well be harmful in ways that have not been spelt out elsewhere, and we think this is worth
a discussion, and perhaps someone will take the lead in doing something about it (preferably, as far as I am
concerned, to fix the issues and create an example where others will behave more responsibly, rather than
to spell out punishments that benefit no-one).
I totally agree that subscription based services often find new ways of revenue generation based on
exploration of their subscriber base, and sometimes synergistically from the burgeoning size of that
base, but I suspect* that in the case of our telcos, sometimes the officially documented size of that base
is dictated more by the imperatives of (future) spectrum allocation than by such pious objectives.
*if I had access to documented proof of my suspicions, I would probably be criminally liable for concealing
evidence, so no, I do not. But I do have friends who say they have quit their jobs after being asked to certify
subscriber lists, that they could not do without incurring just such a risk
Why is the government the only alternative that come to mind when some parts of the private industry sector
turns out to have feet of clay? Are there other answers?
Of course there are. That is why groups of individuals, techies and socially conscious both alike,
congregate (increasingly online, given the opportunity) to develop new communication technologies,
using wireless spectrum or otherwise, or to reverse engineer commercial technologies whose
dissemination has so far benefited only a small percentage of humanity (and far too often, not the
individual developers, despite the saintly phrasing of arguments about 'intellectual property').
Quite easy to find such groups - they are everywhere. Some of them are responsible for better ways of doing
the same thing, and sometimes ways of doing better things. I know several here on this list are already part
of such groups, and some consider it a way of life.
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