labels: confederation of indian industry, telecom
Tamil Nadu is a gold mine for telecom players news
Our Convergence Bureau
21 September 2002


Chennai: The improvement in telecom infrastructure has resulted in communication getting added to our list of daily priorities in life, like vegetables and cooking gas. India has the sixth largest telecom network in the world with 38.5 million landlines and is growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 17 per cent.

Speaking on the telecommunications connectivity, at the Connect 2002 conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at Chennai, Bharti Telenet CEO K Krishnan said: A 1-per cent increase in tele-density means a 2-per cent hike in the gross domestic product. The industry is hopeful of achieving the tele-density targets set by the Telecom Policy: 7 per cent of tele-density by 2005 and 15 per cent by 2010.

Terming Tamil Nadu a gold mine as far as telecom business is concerned, Krishnan said there are around 3.6 million connections totalling an investment of around Rs 36 billion per annum. The state registers a growth rate of 16 per cent per year. The state has a tele-density of 5.3, well above the national average of 3.7, and Chennai alone has the tele-density of 19.5, above Hyderabads 13.2 and Bangalores 18.7.

According to him, private operators including Bharti, Reliance and Tata Tele Services are planning to cover 100 towns in seven years for the basic telephony network. He said the i2i-based 8.4 tbps submarine link that his company had established between Chennai and Singapore will go a long way in providing the necessary connectivity infrastructure to the state.

VSNL director (operations) N Srinath said opportunities for the corporate data services business is very huge. While outlining the investments and growth made in transoceanic cable capacity, he said there is no paucity for bandwidth anywhere. On cost and performance counts the cable system fares better than satellite systems.

Highlighting the opportunities for Indian companies in China, Vision Century Corporation managing director Chua Tiow Chye said: Indian companies enjoy a cost advantage over Chinese software outfits. For instance, salaries of Chinese software professionals are 20 per cent higher than Indian professionals. Further, China suffers from acute shortage of software analysts and project managers.

Chinas software export value was US $0.85 billion, while that of India was $6.2 billion. Software exports as a percentage of total exports in China is a meagre 0.37 per cent and that of India is 14.7 per cent. Chye said there is immense scope for Indian companies to enter into joint ventures with Chinese companies and help them offer products built around Indian expertise.

With sudden disasters looming round the corner natural and manmade corporates worldover will have to focus on disaster recovery and business continuity planning. Anthony Lim, regional director, Asia Pacific, Check Point Software, explained that business continuity planning in the context of network security means continuous working without any downtime.

Urging corporates to have proper business continuity plans to deliver customer requirements, Lim felt that virtual private networks are a good solution. Agreeing with him on the issue of security and continuity in business operations with India becoming a centre for business process outsourcing (BPO) was Ram Bhagwat, managing director, OrbiTech Solutions. Today international organisations are locating their headquarters away from trophy locations and countries.

He said though technology has brought in several benefits, it has also increased our dependency. Every business needs to identify the risks and then plan to mitigate the risk to ensure continuity and survival.

Corporates should see the difference between the risks related to business and those related to disasters, as the latter has the capacity to totally disrupt activity, summed up Manoj Kunkalienkar, joint president, ICICI Infotech Services.

 


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Tamil Nadu is a gold mine for telecom players