The next generation mobility service has lots to offer consumers as well as service providers, as I learn through my conversation with Nunzio Mirtillo, who heads South East Asia, Oceania and India market for Ericsson.

As I get into a conversation with Mirtillo, I find that the context is clear. I reminisce the early days of my career – wiring up wireless networks. From over a decade ago, I personally have worked as an engineer on GSM networks. And since that’s a part of my past, telecom infrastructure, and the joys of connecting them to the unconnected resonates with me till this day. It’s beyond a job, it’s beyond a business. It’s as impactful as connecting the disconnected with reality. Of giving the voiceless, a voice. And helping them discover the internet, a vast powerhouse of information.

As I introduce myself to Mirtillo, and we get into passing references of the state of the Indian telecom market, he opens up by telling me how we as a nation aren’t quite aware about the scale of the Indian market.

Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of South East Asia, Oceania, India at Ericsson

He recalls an amusing conversation he had at the back of the Indian Mobile Congress earlier this year, “One funny thing we were discussing was that GSM was going to disappear. Because by 2020, only around 200 million people will still have GSM. So 200 million people is as big as Europe.” This is what highlights what an interesting market India is.

From a business point of view, India on its own has the scale to justify working here. This isn’t the case everywhere else. In that sense, Mirtillo believes not only is it huge, but brings with it ‘fantastic opportunity’.

From Jio and beyond

As we get talking about the Indian telecom market, my mind swiftly rushes through the past year and half. Since launching itself as beta with employees, Reliance Jio has gone on to earn itself the opening slug for any headline around telecom trends in India – Reliance Jio impact. The scale with which it has impacted metrics has seen India catapult itself several notches in terms of average data speed, peak data speed and average data consumption. Obviously what drove that was free data. But what we cannot discount is the insatiable appetite for data that is inherent in the Indian market. – BGR