India Tech trends 2011 – My 2 cents!


  • 2011 will be the year, when we should see roll-out of HSPA networks in major cities, towns by the private mobile operators and that should help in ubiquitous mobile internet access – to start with in cherry picked locations! India is deploying 3G networks when we have > 700 Million mobile connections already and that means quite a large no. of  terminals are 3G ready. But we need to see how the mobile operators innovate wrt affordable 3G data plans, which is a MUST for a decent adoption else it will remain the way EDGE/GPRS has fared till now. Till such time, we should WiFi offload the mobile internet traffic from Smartphone when we access from our Homes. We need to ensure that we set the mobile browser setting as below:
  • iPad, Tablets, Kindle should find lot of  traction.
  • Expect a lot of buzz around India specific apps – stock trading,  e-tickets, Bank payments ….
  • Video calling – probably India will show the world how to market this feature effectively and take it to the users who are in the bottom of the ARPU pyramid.

Exciting times are ahead and in the meanwhile please do NOT ‘death grip’ your phones! and have a funfilled 2011.

Cheers :-)

iPhone 3GS connectivity issue with BSNL Broadband


I was involved in remote troubleshooting of  iPhone NOT connecting to the newly installed BSNL Router (Type 2 ADSL modem in BSNL parlance, make – Teracom) while the laptop would connect instantly. The following worked:

  • configured wireless settings for WPA – mixed mode with passphrase (instead of WEP 64 bit key, as done by the BSNL technician)
  • WPA and WPA2 encryption protocols are newer, more effective security options for wireless networks than the older WEP protocol and hence the new generation devices work better with it.

Why I think FCC’s decision to free up ‘white spaces’ is disruptive?


The reasons:

  • This move will recharge the complete wireless and Internet eco-systems players – Silicon (RFIC, Baseband …), device manufacturers, infra vendors, application developers et al and push them to innovate
  • Lower frequency band and hence better indoor penetration ( ~ 90% of all mobile broadband internet access is done from inside a building)
  • Un-licensed spectrum – affordable rural mobile broadband access at low ARPU’s and could lead to Digital Inclusion.

Latest India Telecom Statistics


The latest data wrt Mobile and Landline subscribers in India – as of March 31st, 2009 and it is nice to note India is clocking an impressive 15 Million net additions every month. How I wish we could achieve 10% of this mobile telephony net-adds wrt Broadband Internet subscriber additions month-on-month!

A secret sauce comprising of following items could turn the corner for Internet in India to achieve similar success as mobile Voice.

3G/WiMax spectrum allocation at viable rates, Iphone style mobile devices, compelling applications( mobile widgets), open Internet (strictly NO Walled Garden approach) & data services at USD 7-8 monthly ARPU.
india_telecom_stats_31mar09

Run up to the start of 3G mobile services in India


The action starts with the auctioning of 3G spectrum. Some stats:

  • India has 23 Telecom Circles – Metros (4), A Circle (5), B Circle (8) and C Circles (6)
  • You can bid for one 5MHz carrier only (5+5 MHz)
  • 1920-1980 MHz paired with 2110-2170 MHz.

It will interesting to see how the 3G operators are going to push the maximum limit of Shannon’s Law to achieve decent no. of concurrent users per sector + throughput per user ( hope some multiples above the existing 384 kbps/sector throughput of EGDE and 140 kbps/sector of  GPRS networks)  which will determine the success of 3G in India. 3G is being touted as the last straw to pull the country forward wrt Internet penetration as growth in Broadband using existing Copper lines (ADSL) seem to have plateaued. Only ~ 5 Million Broadband connections out of available ~ 35 Million Cu lines (BSNL, MTNL and Airtel) buried underground.

  • Shannon’s law defines the theoretical maximum rate at which error-free digits can be transmitted over a bandwidth-limited channel in the presence of noise

Circles Reserve Price- 3G in USD Reserve Price- BWA (WiMax) in USD
Metro cities (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and A circles (Andhra Pradesh incl. Hyderabad, Tamilnadu excl. Chennai, Karnataka incl. Bangalore etc..) $ 40 Million 17 Million
B Circles ( West Bengal, UP (East) etc..) $ 20 Million $ 8.5 Million
C Circles ( North-East, Assam etc..) $ 7 Million $ 3.1 Million

India Internet and mobile statistics


It is impressive to note that the net month-on-month mobile addition (connections) now clock 9 Million per month in India:

GSM + CDMA = 305.23 Million connections

Wireline (landline) = 38.63 Million connections.

While the Voice part of the mobile business is doing good, things aren’t looking good on the Data front. Only 3% of mobile user base have subscribed for data (mobile internet and open garden ). I am sure the following mix of network and content will help advance the case for mobile internet in India:

  • 3G networks – HSPA/WCDMA/LTE to boost capacity per base station
  • quality mobile specific content
  • vibrant eco-system where-in the mobile operator gives majority of the revenue share ( > 80%) for mobile specific content to the developer

How I solved BSNL Dataone Broadband problem – Frequent Link disconnection


I had frequent problem last week of ADSL Link in my modem/Router (Huawei MT-882) going down. The Link Led will turn green ( Link Disconnection) from Orange (Link good) and this cycle will repeat every few minutes.

Repeated calls to BSNL call center – 1 800 424 1600 got me the following answer – Sir, if you are able to talk to me using the same telephone link which is connected to your ADSL modem means there is no problem in the cable and it should work. Similar point-of-view was also expressed by their JE/JTO from the exchange.

I did my troubleshooting by logging in to the modem and figured out that the SNR- Signal-to-Noise Ratio has gone down to 5 dB from the earlier > 30 dB, both on the uplink as well as the downlink.

I went down to the ground floor of my building where the BSNL Distribution Box was located, identified my cable pair, cleaned the cable with knife blade (noticed that the cable lead was totally rusted) till I could see the colour of Copper in the cable and wrap’d a Electrical Insulation tape (Steelgrip tape) on each of the leads.

I came back up, switched ON the modem, the SNR got back to > 30 dB (Please refer to the snapshot of the DSL router stat page) and I am living Happily ever after.

Moral of the story: Phone communication uses Low frequency so we may get acceptable speech quality even with BAD physical connections, but for Broadband ADSL which uses the High frequency tones, good physical connection is an absolute must.Snapshot of ADSL modem - Huawei MT 882

India Internet Statistics


Pl. refer to the picture for the split of the Internet Connections in India. The dial-up numbers are going South while the Broadband no’s are going North with affordable monthly usage fee of Rs.250 (USD 5).India Internet Statistics

The major Service providers in the retail Broadband Internet Access space in India are BSNL (http://www.bsnl.co.in/service/dataone.htm), MTNL (http://mumbai.mtnl.net.in/triband/) & Bharti Airtel (http://airtel-broadband.com/level2_t12.aspx?path=1/9).

How to Setup Wireless (WiFi) network at Home


The following are the steps to setup a Wireless network at Home

Assumptions:

1. You already have a Broadband DSL Connection from BSNL, MTNL, Bharti Airtel etc..

2. You own a Wireless Router/Access Point

3. Intel Centrino Laptop or a WiFi USB/PCMCIA adaptor

Network Setup:

1. Open IE/Mozilla browser and type http://192.168.1.1.

2. Username: admin

3. Password: password

4. Configure the username and password provided by the Service Provider (BSNL Dataone, Airtel ) in the WAN settings menu/ PPP Refer to the below images:

DSL router settings

5. Connect the Ethernet Interface of the Wireless Router (WAN/Internet) to the Ethernet interface of the DSL modem/Router

6. Configure the Wireless Router as follows:

a. http://192.168.1.2

b. username: admin

c. password: password

d. Enter Wireless security settings as detailed in the below image:

WiFi Config

e. Steps to configure IP address to the Laptop computers automatically from the Wireless Router:

IP address config

f. Now enable the Wireless in your laptop, keyin the passphrase you had used when configuring the WiFi Router and it is all set.

Good Luck and Happy Browsing!