[DC3] FW: Two Years Ago, India Lacked Fast, Cheap Internet—One Billionaire Changed All That - The Wall Street Journal.

Sivasubramanian M 6.Internet at gmail.com
Wed Sep 5 20:05:53 UTC 2018

On Thu, Sep 6, 2018 at 12:46 AM Edliano Valeriano <edliano at hotmail.com>

> That´s ok.

I would be cautious about a blanket OK.

Twelve or fourteen years ago, Reliance entered the mobile voice
connectivity business with some disruptive changes to the way the telecom
firms worked in India. Eventually, Reliance's telecom division was
structurally partitioned away as Reliance Infocom within the family, and
after a time gap of 10 years it is now Reliance, under the brand name Jio.

Even twelve years ago, the scale of operations and the technology choices
were impressive. What Reliance appears to do now replicates a similar jump
in technology and standards which has a nation wide impact. It is true that
this company is not hesitant to invest in a submarine network, or to bring
in current technologies (4G) and it is true that the bandwidth offered in
most places (as far as I know or sense) is high by existing Indian telecom
standards. This is of value to India.

But I would be cautious before rushing into a raving review. A telecom
company is a telecom company.  Jio came up with introductory offers that
offered Internet for 3 months almost free. Its prices for data are lower
than the competitors and prompted competitors to lower prices. I would see
this as a pricing strategy for the introductory phase, that would
eventually accumulate a subscriber base of 300 million or more users in
India, each of whom would gradually pay recurrent and increasing
subscription / data charges, say an average of $5 per month per connection
for basic usage, which would then translate to a billion dollar or two per
month of revenues from basic mobile voice/data services alone, not counting
fiber to home revenues or corporate revenues or value added revenues. So,
its initial policy of attractively low prices is not really charity.

My concerns (others from India may have more observations or concerns):

1. What is actually a "Plan"?  Why do telecom firms offer confusing plans
?  Why not a more straightforward straight line, uniform billing process?

2. What is unseen behind the phone company's pricing plan and relatively
liberal data bundle?

( I recently took a post paid plan that offered 25 GB of data for $5 a
month, at present there is no other post-paid plan, when data limit is
reached, the incremental charges amount to about 30 cents per GB, which is
surprisingly low by current industry practices, but still why isn't pro
rata? And why is there is there a limit of $2 or $3 of incremental data
after which the data connection abruptly stopped working? Reliance pushed
text warnings for every one or two cents of additional usage, I tried an
additional advance deposit of $25 even after which the messages persisted.
The phone company appeared to have total and complete control over my
phone, the push messages bypassed all phone / Operating System and
Application settings on my android phone, no changes in phone or O/S or app
settings stopped the irritating messages, and my email messages that asked
them how and why they had so much control over my phone settings went
unanswered.  Probably, what was bundled with its low prices and relatively
high bandwidth was a compromise on the ownership of the user's device. )

3. 2. ( I don't know) What are their roaming charges for voice and data
when the phone is to be used overseas?

4.  Small charges, often invisible, often too low to dispute, from a
hundred million users, every month, add up to a huge sum of money, akin to
the manner in which banks accumulate revenues unnoticed. Does its pricing
model already include or likely to include in future,  invisible small
charges for incremental revenues in excess of straight line revenues?

5.  Does the policy environment in the past and at present make it
selectively easier for Reliance to install and deploy infrastructure so
extensively? With a more open and far more uniform policy environment,
would India have attracted other Telecom firms, other business houses or
even a new class of investors to bring about these many or more innovations?

6.  Is this article, even by a miniscule degree of chance, preemptive
coverage to project an impression that private telecom operators fulfil all
the communication needs satisfactorily and that Community Networks are not
really relevant in India?

Sivasubramanian M

> ------------------------------
> *De:* dc3-bounces at listas.altermundi.net <dc3-bounces at listas.altermundi.net>
> em nome de dc3 at bob.ma <dc3 at bob.ma>
> *Enviado:* quarta-feira, 5 de setembro de 2018 15:41
> *Para:* 'Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity '
> *Assunto:* [DC3] FW: Two Years Ago, India Lacked Fast, Cheap Internet—One
> Billionaire Changed All That - The Wall Street Journal.
> I’d be interested in a reality check on this story “Two Years Ago, India
> Lacked Fast, Cheap Internet—One Billionaire Changed All That
> https://www.wsj.com/articles/two-years-ago-india-lacked-fast-cheap-internetone-billionaire-changed-all-that-1536159916”
> (tell me if you need a pdf or other form).
> There is still the issue of having to negotiate with a provider for each
> device in each place for each purpose but that’s a topic in its own right.
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Sivasubramanian M
Please send all replies to 6.Internet at gmail.com
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