NEW DELHI: A new communications era is set to dawn in 2013 – mobile roaming will be made free and number portability, limited to circles, will become borderless. If you are in Chennai and shift to Ahmedabad, you will be able to take the same number, much like you own it and decide which operator to go with.
And if you are merely traveling on work – there won’t be roaming charges. While such conveniences will usher in a truly borderless mobile era and reduce your roaming bill to zilch, telcos will suffer a Rs 13,500 crore revenue loss when roaming becomes free.What they lose in roaming can be gained multiple times via faster internet services.
India’s two world’s – rural and urban – suffer a common pain – lack of bandwidth. The former doesn’t have it and the latter surfs at glacial speeds, making videos or downloading sites and files on smart devices too slow. For both, 2013 will be a revolution.
Rural areas will leapfrog into broadband and urban areas will connect on faster fourth generation (4G) networks.Under the Rs 20,000 crore Bharat Broadband project by end 2013, fiber will reach 250,000 gram panchayats, taking internet to villages. In three rural clusters where pilots are on, 100 mbps bandwidth is available. In all 13 states have given permission for laying fibre on ground and the rest expected to sign on by February end.
For urban users, graduation to 4G will mean a three-fold jump in internet speeds on 3G, to 100 mbps. Bharti Airtel launched 4G in 2012. Others including Reliance, Tikona, Aircel, who have the 4G licence, will follow suit in the New Year. Welcome to ultra-broadband mobile internet