After the Union Cabinet sanctioned approval for National Telecom Policy 2012 earlier yesterday, there is much to rejoice about. Especially for Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), the Mukesh Ambani-led conglomerate which has been leveraging opportunities in telecom sector for some time now.
The NTP 2012 seeks to do away with roaming charges, introduce a pan-India mobile permit that will enable mobile operators to offer morecommunicationservices, to share and trade spectrum and facilitate consolidation in the sector. More significantly this policy also supports Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – also referred to as Voice over broadband (VoBB) or broadband phone – a technology which allows communication via voice, SMS or fax to take place via the internet instead of a telephone network. Still in its nascent stages, VoIP in India has been limited to communication between computers or computers to telephone networks outside India. By opening up VoIP, the Cabinet has made way for better communication systems, affordable broadband connectivity and wholesome competition through non-facilities based providers.
Reliance Industries, a relative new comer in the telecom sector, has been aspiring to venture into India’s budding telecom sector for some years now. Just two years ago, Reliance Industries won licenses in 22 circles in Pan India Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) Spectrum during the auction for BWA 4G Spectrum, conducted by the DoT in June 2010, thereby endowing it with pan-India 4G licenses to offer Voice-over-LTE services. With a new found opportunity to tap VoIP segment, it is likely that RIL will launch its 4G broadband services across both data and voice services. Also, opening up of VoIP services eliminates the need to buy an existing telecom operator as a full mobile service provider for RIL’s 4G broadband services. What makes NTP 2012 even more favourable for RIL is the fact that RIL has pan-India licenses for 4G-LTE launch which can now support Vo-LTE over its network, entrusting the aspiring telecom-venturist to a market commanding position.
The biggest single advantage VoIP has over standard telephone systems is reduced cost. Moreover international calls are relatively inexpensive over VoIP network. Adding strength to the prospect of VoIP is the proposition of Reliance Industries powered 4G broadband services, which is all set to fuel the next generation of fast-speed internet services.
NTP over the years has paved way for better industry practices, improved services and healthy competition which in turn make up for better, more reliable and dependable telecom services. NTP 2012 too has opened up the sector to better practices, encouraging players like RIL to take the lead in the same.