Friday, 31 October 2014


The industry has experienced a massive shift from traditional mobile services such as voice and SMS to value-added services such as CRBT, WAP, m-gaming, m-utilities and infotainment, along with data-intensive services such as browsing, social networking, apps and video streaming. Today, what a consumer desires is a seamless, always-on, high-speed data service.

While 3G adoption is still picking up three years after its launch, the focus has now shifted to 4G technologies, especially LTE (Long-Term Evolution). 

But how different will the 4G be and does it command a premium over 3G? Well, 4G is expected to deliver speeds of 10-15 Mbps, 10 times faster than those of 3G, enabling users to download more content than 3G in the same amount of time. This makes data-intensive, on-the-go downloads such as music or HD video streaming a reality. Further, 4G promises faster connection times, assuring an always-on service experience. It offers less round-trip latency, making real-time applications such as VoIP, video calls, online gaming and multimedia content sharing quite practical. While 4G promises an improved user experience, the key question is will 4G be a game-changer and when can operators expect to break-even? And these concerns are amplified due to the various challenges that exist right now.
  •      4G ecosystem: Currently there is a lack of affordable 4G-enabled phones in India. The availability of $100 handsets suitable for LTE band 2300 MHz in India—which can help users in voice, data and video—could result in faster adoption of the service.

  •        Quality of service: 3G coverage in India is much below the levels needed to provide superior customer experience associated with high speed data technology, as cash-strapped operators face an investment dilemma. Here, 4G is a possible panacea if it delivers seamless and high-speed connectivity.

  •        Pricing: In the recent past, competitive 3G tariffs have helped increase its adoption. A key question for operators is how to price 4G services to encourage demand for early adoption while ensuring returns on investment.

  •       Product/service offering: Consumer interests and demands are shifting towards video calling, mobile gaming, HD content streaming, multi-tasking and seamless data connectivity.

Additionally, the Quality of Service models and Key Performance Indicators are different in the case of 4G. Operators need to be well prepared for delivering seamless experience backed with robust technology and network coverage of 4G services. Due to shift of consumers towards data-centric applications, 4G operators need to focus not only on Quality of Service but also on Quality of Experience as perceived by the user.


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