New generation conversations with 3G

by CXOtoday Staff    Nov 30, 2010

Arvind Sharma3G is a boon for all the developing countries including India. Faster data access and multimedia services is just a touch away. The 3G spectrum will change the outlook of the era with its feature studded hi-fi technology, opines Arvind Sharma, VP, Longcheer India.

With an astounding number of telecom operators shown a green signal to roll out 3G in Indian market, the hype over 3G seems to have spawned a tsunami of fantasies in the hearts and minds of Indians. The advent of third-generation, 3G networks has been a momentous development for the Indian telecom market. After a long waiting period plagued with several rounds of delay, the Indian government had finally allowed two state-owned operators, Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL)—to roll out 3G services in over 12 Indian cities. The ball has started rolling again with the private telecom sector also allotted 3G spectrum.

India is a content hungry market and 3G as a concept will bring about a considerable change in this market. With the onset of 3G technology, there will be high data transfer rates over longer distances, efficient bandwidth use, map and positioning services and multiplayer gaming. It will also create a large market for utility (mobile Video conferencing, m-bill payments, m-commerce apps etc.), social networking, mobile online gaming, education, mobile TV and e-governance related services etc.

A treat for techno geeks
The key components of 3G service is mobile-to-mobile voice transfer. During this process, three layers of information are sent. The first layer is the actual voice information. The second layer is a control transmission to keep the quality high. The last layer is basic connection information that prevents dropped calls.

While there are a number of similarities between WiFi technology and 3G services, a few distinct differences exist. WiFi was created to allow high-bandwidth data transfer over a short range transmission. This makes it ideal for local connectivity to larger networks. 3G networks use large satellite-driven connections that connect to a system of telecommunication towers. This means that the range is far greater than other technologies.

Minimum speeds for a stationary user is 2 megabits per second, whereas in a moving vehicle, users get 348 kilobits per second. In ideal conditions, 3G service provides for download speeds of 14.4 megabits per second. Upload speeds range around 5.8 megabits per second. The 3G technology speed is certainly way ahead of current GPRS and EDGE technology 171 kbps and 474 kbps respectively.

Future in India
India is one of the fastest growing telecom markets in the world. But we have seriously lagged behind when it comes to deploying 3G networks in India. 3G has always been mired in various controversies. It was launched in India in 2009 by MTNL and BSNL. However when we talk about its usage and response, there’s still more time to it. Though the carpet has been rolled out, there’s still a long way for 3G to become user friendly.

Until and unless all operators become functional, the base can’t grow exponentially. Currently there are about 1.4 million 3G subscribers in the country on the networks of two state owned cellular operators. Pricewaterhouse Coopers, one of the leading accounting and business consulting firms, has predicted that India will cross 100 million users by 2015.

The first countries to implement this service option were Japan and South Korea, where 3G now accounts for nearly 70 percent of the networks. Europe and North America, specifically companies in the United Kingdom and United States, have also implemented these services to a bulk of commercial customers.

Many countries such as China and Indonesia have delayed the implementation of 3G service due to licensing restrictions and the overall cost of the system. 2G uses a different radio frequency, which means that all new equipment and infrastructure are needed to utilize this service.

However the technology is just few months old in India, It still needs to express itself in full boom.

Response systems
People in India are looking forward to more information, faster data access and multimedia services through their mobile phones. 3G technology is here to turn this dream into reality.

Networks are one part of the entire 3G saga another important aspect to the story is the handsets, which would actually be the enabling device for the subscriber who wishes to log on to this high speed Network. The heightened activity in the 3G handset market has inspired many prominent brands of the country to launch 3G enabled mobile phones.

Till recently, 3G devices below Rs. 15000 were a rarity, but now one can get a 3G enabled device for less than Rs. 4000. However things on the 3G front are quite dicey for the time being, as for its high success mantra every existing mobile user in India will have to go the 3G way.