We had discussed part of the ecosystem- far reaching, direct understandable, customer requirement point of view which can be directly converted into revenue generating demand.
But there are many bigger drivers required to enrich this 4G ecosystem. If you are only customer of this 4G world then just to know it is enough, rest all may have to ponder lot many thoughts and put your business decisions to support it. Let us see some of the key drivers-enablers and hence essential part of 4G ecosystem.
1) Spectrum: Digital dividend band of @ 700MHz~800Mhz and other bands 900Mhz, 1900Mhz, 1GHz above(but cost of raising towers will increase with this)
Scarce and but still inefficiently used in India or so to say not futuristically planned so far. Current scenario in over populous country like ours, spectrum remains scars even to provide enhanced quality voice services in many areas. Intense competition kept occupied some spectrums. Hopefully business economy itself will drive efficient usage habit. (Towards lighter note, as an Indian consumer by nature talkative- we do also contribute to this scarcity.) Rest spectrums been still be in use or critical for very essential stakeholders- Defence, ISRO, Space programme, other security and government agencies. Their claims cannot be just ignored and future proof and safer solutions need to be handed over before they vacate commercially useful spectrum. It goes without saying somebody has to do it and somebody has to reimburse the bill J
2) Was IPv4 enough if everything goes IP?
IPv6 adoption is required sooner or later. Anticipated scenario of every electronic gadget used for infotainment delivery or consumption will require its own address. Some goes to the extend and expand IP address need to your Freeze, AC, Cars and so on.. Whatever the scenario acceleration for adoption of IPv6 will be the need of the -if not the hour then couples of years only for sure.
The only saving grace here is already POC are running with some of the leading telecom, IT and educational institutes like IITs and IISc. And there is expected plan of converting all government web-sites IPv6 compatible. Lot of activities like flesh of IPv4 over skeleton of IPv6 to ensure continuity etc etc been worked out or under advance stage of completing.
But the fact remains need for IPv6 to ensure expected QoS with 4G.
3) Policy Decisions
This will be the single most critical for ensuring right turn for the future of technology and telecommunication industry in India. Many thing starting from spectrum, how to ensure and monitory QoS, network architectures like femto, pico to other end how to ensure seamless connectivity with 2G/3G, making voice compulsory or optional for 4G operator, reserve price.
How to be technology agnostic, but can it be geography agnostic? If yes, then how can it ensure rural penetration of internet and ensure to narrow digital divide- to be addressed.
Finer balance to be made for optimal use of spectrum, commercial demand for business efficiency w.r.t technology and network management- (block of minimum 40MHz spectrum etc), and tune it with the constraint of scarcity of spectrum availability and level of competition to be maintained to avoid customer exploitation and business viability.
If this not enough then first time policy is getting prepared for almost oven fresh technology which is still in nascent stage and rapidly evolving, making it even fewer examples/ models available to study, learn, get inspired or simply emulate.
These are just some of the exemplary issues which policy makers need to address under the huge botheration of 2G scam and politically explosive matters like favouritism closure to Lokasabha election year maximum 2014.
4) Handset or Devices and user end equipments
This is my favourite topic and will like to reserve one for some other time.
This driver will not be just driven with happenings in India but greatly influenced by mighty of Google, Apple and the technological leaders envisaging this aspect and how it is fitting with global canvas -especially first part- handset/ Devices. It may change all together how we look at it right now. Yes, one additional factor for Indian perspective for the adoption of newer technology with rapid late some one individually or collectively need to subsidize the cost and reduce entry barrier in parlances of cost of voice communication at the rate of post card or handset availability @ Rs. 500/- with Monsoon Hungama. How to create Indica of this 4G tech at least as far pricing is considered... J