Ronnie05's Blog

The coming age of autonomous cars

Posted in The Cars of the Future by Manas Ganguly on June 18, 2014

Autonomous cars are no longer just the realm of science fiction – and the social and economic implications are enormous. Cars with basic autonomous capability are in showrooms today, semi autonomous cars are coming in 12-18 months, and completely autonomous cars are set to be available before the end of the decade. Beyond the practical benefits, it is estimated that autonomous cars can contribute $1.3 trillion in annual savings to the US economy alone, with global savings estimated over $5.6 trillion. There will undoubtedly be bumps in the journey – including issues of liability, infrastructure support, technical, regulatory, consumer acceptance and even pricing/ penetration. After all the conventional automobile industry has been around for 110 years and the disruption in terms of performance will take time. On the other hand, climate related issues, gasoline prices, lower costs of running will be key to faster acceptance. There would be obstacles, but none of these currently appear to be insurmountable.
image

Tagged with:

An open letter to Mr. Narendra Modi – Cleaning the Telecom Muddle in the country

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on June 15, 2014

Dear Modiji

It is refreshing to see the course of action that you have been taking to put India and Indian Economy back on track. Knowing that your time is precious, i would keep this short and to the point. I write this letter with a four pointer action plan as the road-map for the recovery of telecom sector in India. While i would avoid playing cliche, the background to all this is how telecom/ broadband penetration is directly associated with GDP acceleration and inclusive growth of the economy. Out of the very many reports that substantiate this fact, the IAMAI ICRIER report on Internet’s impact on the Indian economy suggests a $17B p.a boost to Indian economy basis broadband basis the fact that 10% increment in broadband penetration can increase GDP by 1.08%.It is believed that if the TRAI broadband roadmap 2012 targets are met, it would generate $87B to Indian economy within 2012-14 time-frame.

The policy paralysis from 2011-2014 coupled with disputes on spectrum and spectrum-pricing, retrospective taxes has arrested the growth of telecom sector – and now with a stable governance building up for next 5 years, it is expected that you would be instrumental in resolving not only the immediate issues but provide a long term vision of growth of this sector. With due respect sir, may i beg to put a few pointers to the long term needs and hence the roadmap of the industry.

The right horse and the right cart
1. While spectrum related regulations need a cobweb cleaning – it is important that the roapmap takes into account the right spectrum for telecommunications. By right spectrum, i would mean the 450 MHz and 700MHzDD bands to be put in pace. With 4G in place, if the right spectrum support is provided to the ISPs/ operators, it will give a huge boost to providing high speed broadband not only to urban centres but also to rural areas. The economic effects of putting the right spectrum and the right technology together in the long runs outweighs any immediate hassles that need to be undertaken for setting this prescription in place.

Dont put the cart before the horse
2. Growth and Governance would need to walk side by side. One cannot follow the other. While governance would need to make monies and admissibly so, retrospective actions, arbitration and taxes would need to be side stepped. A very just economic model for spectrum auctions could involve – Low CAPEX (auction rates) and higher OPEX (Revenue shares) with operators.

A few horses for inclusive development through broadband
3. A phased project scoping of telecommunication projects with critical KPIs – which could be based on social parameters, such as education, healthcare, community care powered by broadband could also be a very apt in driving inclusive and sustained growth – could also lead to interesting results. Such a project would need to be driven from the PMO in terms of a large scale integration with ministries, states and operators

The race winning horse cannot have too many jockeys
4. Last but not the least, there has to be one apex body on Telecom, suitably represented by Telcos, Telecom infra companies, other telecom eco-system players, ministries, consulting bodies and the officials. We would need to do away with too many such bodies (including the now dissolved EGOM) and too many voices and opinions (often contradicting) – and need one apex body for the industry.

I am sure, with your wisdom and perspective, many and most of these points would be in your agenda. While there are other priorities that you may right fully have, this four pointer could be a good starting point for cleaning up the Telecom muddle in the country.

Yours Faithfully.

(Views expressed in this blog are solely mine with no affinity or bias towards anyone)

Tagged with: ,

The Telco versus Broadcast battle

Posted in The future Telco by Manas Ganguly on June 11, 2014

I am blogging after a long time – – on a break evaluating couple of priorities and a new avatar possibly

As I write this, there are couple of things happening in the Indian telecom industry level

1. Reliance Jio is investing in a FTH (Fibre to Home) network mesh.
a. I am assuming that this being a costly exercise will be limited to top 40 towns and most possibly to residential and office densities.
2. Telcos such as Airtel, Reliance and Idea are aggressively investing in media houses.

If you put the two together, there appears a paradigm in the near future, where Telcos of the current day morph into broadcasting organizations – offering data, voice-over-data/telephony and television. Most of us have heard of triple play services – but given the erratic nature of Indian networks coverages and the widespread geography – these have never fulfilled into real time.

FTH operations will allow Telco model migration to broadcasting model. Why do I call this broadcasting model? Because these will typically involve a larger eco-system to share holders – targeting a customer and in return subsidizing services.

Sample this: “Super A” category localities get different TV ads versus Sec.A localities. So for the same program, a “Super A” category individual gets to see a Jaguar Ad where as a Sec.A locality person sees a Corolla Ad.

What is the potential of this? Google created the No.1 company of the world, basis online analytics. Broadcasters/Telcos have the opportunity to create more wealth by combining geography/location, content, analytics, real-time onground profiles of users. Additionally, Telcos cater to one platform at a time, Broadcasters will typically be multi-platform presence.

Is it a Telco battle in the first place? It would be the hybrid Broadcaster Telcos to initiate this change to broadcasting – there first level revenue pool would be the core Telcos. There would be a disruptive pricing across all current voice and data plans. Plain Vanilla Telcos will have difficulty in preserving revenue/profit pools in the face of such disruptive pricing. The user subsidy would be made good with advertising revenues from the service. The multiplicative effect on advertisements from multiple screens and the analytics would drive the advertising revenues. Depending upon the plan scalability, the ad revenues would account for service subsidy as well as the bottomlines for the broadcasters. Then there could be the fillip to online / digital wallets – we shall mention this as fringe benefits.

It is the Telco’s battle to loose anyway. There could a few questions about laws and regulations – but they are all expendable and changeable – we all know that, don’t we?

The network effect of Broadband on the Economy.

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on June 1, 2014

If your believe that Broadband penetration is the messiah-like solution or the panacea to a lot of 3rd world nation issues and problems, there is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that you haven’t been thinking alone – the International Telecommunications Union has firm evidence of the positive impact of (higher) broadband penetration on the economic well being and growth of nations.

Expostulating the (positive) impact of broadband on economy of the state, the ITU states that-
First, broadband exhibits a higher contribution to economic growth in countries that have a higher adoption of the technology (this could be labelled the “critical mass” or “return to scale” theory”).
Second, broadband has a stronger productivity impact in sectors with high transaction costs, such as financial services, or high labour intensity, such as tourism and lodging.
Third, in less developed regions, as postulated in economic theory, broadband enables the adoption of more efficient business processes and leads to capital-labour substitution and, therefore loss of jobs (this could be labelled the “productivity shock theory”).
Fourth, the impact of broadband on small and medium enterprises takes longer to materialize due to the need to restructure the firms’ processes and labour organization in order to gain from adopting the technology (this is called “accumulation of intangible capital”).
Finally, the economic impact of broadband is higher when promotion of the technology is combined with stimulus of innovative businesses that are tied to new applications. In other words, the impact of broadband is neither automatic nor homogeneous across the economic system.

So much so for the obvious – but then whats the bad news: Just that broadband by itself is not the end all prescription to everything – the effect of broadband is not homogeneous across all industry groups and broadband’s positives are possibly more applicable to industries classified as under Information, Communication and Entertainment. There would have to be some bridge building for industries, which are little off-centred from the direct broadband benefits – and again, these pose interesting bundle of opportunities to businesses and entrepreneurs.

Tagged with: ,
%d bloggers like this: