Mehul Pandya, ED, CARE Ratings
Telecom industry in India has come a very long way from the wired handsets having limited functionality to the current state of fast evolving mobile handsets with access to over two million apps on various platforms (such as Android/IOS). The telecommunication industry in India is rapidly growing and witnessing many developments over the period with progression from 2G to 4G technology. The subscriber base in India has grown from 27.38 million in April 2004 to 981.65 million in December 2017 (COAI). The average data usage per subscriber per month spurred to 1.60 GB in September 2017 from merely 70.10 MB in June 2014 (TRAI).
Over the years, efforts are targeted toward development of affordable technology for masses and thereby increasing the penetration while reinventing for the maturing urban markets. Faster, smaller, and integrated is the essence of upcoming technological developments with go green being the target in the telecom infrastructure segment.
In terms of speed, the next tech revolution which is being talked about among masses and experts is 5G; enabler of next-generation IoT and M2M applications such as autonomous vehicles and virtual or augmented reality, which will need the low latency it promises and a solution for futuristic ever-growing demand for data. We are living in era of IoT which continues to increase the already wide coverage of Internet by integrating every object for interaction via embedded systems, which leads to a highly distributed network of devices communicating with human beings as well as other devices. Connected cars, homes, smarter transportation system with live tracking, smarter fleet etc. are the few developments which have been recent but have changed the way of living. This, coupled with increasing market of wearable devices, has been keeping the innovators on toes and their prevalence is going to be an inevitable thing in coming times. But this also poses a challenge in terms of cyber security. For example, instances of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks targeting the IoT devices could increase, as hackers look to exploit service providerS and business networks which can create havoc in case of essential facilities.
Therefore, delivering content to any device securely, whether it is a phone, smart watch, TV, or a laptop, is a thing that is certainly going to find the importance in the telecom development. Delivering uninterrupted and all pervasive telecom networks offering internet as well as calling facility (now becoming hygiene factor) wherever the user requires, while enhancing security with better quality of encryption, stringent safety features etc., is going to be the prime focus of telecom players which requires development and upgradation of infrastructure. This, in turn, requires huge investments and increase in competition with innovators entering in the market that led to ongoing consolidation in the telecom industry. Further, single window service is the ultimate picture of telecom industry and telecom companies foraying in digital TV, e-wallets, handsets, entertainment industry is a step toward that.