In some parts of the world, mobile growth can be hard to picture.
Take India. In October, India recorded its record growth in GSM subscribers. 7.7 million new users in one month.
It’s a handy figure as it works out at just over 10,000 new users every hour. Or almost 3 people a second buying a handset, given a new phone number, having pre-paid or monthly subscription billing systems set-up. (This figure even misses some new GSM subscriptions from Reliance, India’s second largest, mainly CDMA, mobile provider).
At NSN, we deploy almost 3,800 base stations in India every month; we’re putting up over 120 every day!
I mention this because today, Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) and Nokia Siemens Networks announced a new five-year deal for GSM network construction and management in India. Not only does it play to our technology strengths, but, perhaps even more importantly, reinforces our managed services leadership in India.
One of the interesting things about the expansion is that up until now, TTSL has been a CDMA operator. Now it is making a significant foray into GSM, hoping to exploit the huge growth in this dominant standard.
Competition remains fierce in India, with one or two new operators expected to launch over the next 6 – 12 months. But TTSL’s strategy makes sense, given the domination of GSM as the mobile standard globally. In addition, our lowest-power base stations make a huge difference to running costs where energy bills make up the third biggest chunk of a mobile operators OPEX.