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New Cell Phone Radiation Norms: Death for the GSM phones/ 3G gets a shot in the arm

Posted in Device Platforms, Technology impact on economy and population by Manas Ganguly on September 1, 2013

The new radiation norms for mobile phones in India will come into effect from today. This entails no more than 1.6 watts over 6 minutes of usage. All handsets to be sold in India from now on will have to display exact how much radiation they emit/ SAR value.


With the new SAR norm, India would become one of few countries that are following the most stringent norm of 1.6 watt per kg average over six minutes period on 1 gram of human tissue.

This would be the death knell to the GSM standard mobile handsets in favour of the WCDMA/3G handsets. Devices on the WCDMA/3G/CDMA platform are inherently less harmful than mobiles on GSM standard as has been proven by the following studies-

1. Studies by Joel Moskowitz at UC Berkeley indicate GSM phones to emit 28 times more radiations compared to CDMA/WCDMA/3G phones.
2. The November 2009 issue of “Journal of Clinical Oncology,” indicates usage studies on GSM/WCDMA standards indicate that 37 percent of GSM phone studies indicated a link to tumor risks. About 15 percent of WCDMA/3G phone studies found a similar link.
3. April 2011 issue of the “International Journal of Science Technology and Management cites GSM cell phones to increase brain activity between four and 24 times greater than WCDMA/3G cell phones.
4. The reason for the difference between EM radiation of GSM versis CDMA/WCDMA cell phones is the use of higher transmission/transmitter power. On an average, GSM phones use 2watt/sec transmission power, where as WCDMA/CDMA technology uses a tenth of that power (200 mWatt/sec). This is manifested by the higher dBm (deciBell milliWatt) ratings of the GSM phones.

While exposure to EM Radiation cannot be strictly zeroed on cell phone usage – annecdotal evidence supports cell phone usage with increase in exposure to radiation. Exposure can be minimized by use of landline phones, phones on CDMA/WCDMA standards and use of earphones to increase the distance between the human body and the device.

This new regulatory statute would thus serve in favour of WCDMA handsets and would kill off GSM devices on the whole. Increasing WCDMA volumes would also mean greater affordability for such devices – and thus the economies of scale and penetration would step in.


ADA (Reliance Telecom): Exercising Muscle to gate crash into the GSM party

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on February 2, 2009

Airtel execs and business managers are withering hard times and so will it be over the next 3 months. The 33% market share GSM Telco in India faces its touchest competition on the Indian turf till date: Reliance GSM national roll out. Interestingly in East India, where both these service providers compete in the GSM space, Airtel trounces Reliance by a factor 2x – 3x! This could however be explained by lack of emphasis on GSM by Reliance and a hindrance in terms of pan India absence. (Airtel has been blaring its pan India presence in Ads)

After its launch on December 28, 2008, Reliance has taken the battle to the Airtel camp. So long a majority player in the CDMA space, Reliance is using its CDMA business infrastructure, retail outlets and distributors and reach as a starting point. That effectively reduces the roll out cost and time most significantly. Reliance GSM coverage between launch and today has crossed 14,000 towns and the goal is to reach 24,000 towns and 600,000 villages across India linking the widest diversity of 1 bn people on the planet. this was the fastest network rollout in the world within a span of 11 months, 6 months ahead of its schedule. It took 15 years for other competitors to achieve the same coverage.

The opening gambit at Reliance is free talk time to users worth 450 minutes over a 90 day period (5 minutes per day). It could make a sweep at the lowere end of the customer pyramid and there are some serious numbers there. Reliance and Anil Ambani are hoping that after the honeymoon of 90 days, it would have a sizeable volume based on churn from other operators as well as new net adds.
So this would be battle toyal between two companies played on the low tarriff and subscriber addition turf. Reliance has made its opening move with a talk time discount. Very soon, this promises to be an all out tarriff war. Airtel would look to reduce the churn and Reliance would be exteremely aggressive on customer acquisitions. Going back to my blog on Customer loyalties, with very little separating and differentiating Airtel from the challenger, Reliance in terms of service, network and consumer loyalties, Airtel could bleed. Reliance will try to limit its cost of acquisition.
However, the question remains, HAD AIRTEL DONE BETTER ON CREATING LOYALTIES IN CONSUMERS by building its loyalty and service credibility, it would probably have been lesser worried about the churn it would be facing in near time future.

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