Top telecom players of India–Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Vodafone—are locked in an intense battle to become the leading telecom operator in the country. And telcos are now focusing on the enterprise segment to move up the value chain.
According to a report by research firm Market Research Store, the Indian telecommunication services market is likely to grow by 10.3 per cent YoY to reach USD 103.9 billion by 2020.
Vodafone recently announced the launch of its Super-Wi-Fi business, a high-speed Wi-Fi network called SuperWifi Go, which has a slew of benefits for enterprises.
CIO India spoke to top CIOs about the steps telcos are taking to tap into the enterprise segment, the roadblocks businesses face and the various steps they can take to provide seamless connectivity.
“The initiatives taken by telecom operators give value to businesses as they are looking for a mobile first approach for customers and employees," said Glory Nelson, senior VP, IT at SpiceJet.
"However, better connectivity and bandwidth at a lower cost will enable our IT team to deliver more projects," she added.
Nelson highlighted the importance of meeting service level agreements (SLAs) whenever telcos provide Wi-Fi to enterprises. She said, “If the service level is not according to the SLA, it has a bad impact on employee productivity. For free Wi-Fi in office, usage needs to be monitored and restricted."
According to Nelson, the usage logs should be made available to keep a track on whether it is being used properly, a feature telecos need to provide as a part of the service.
Telecom operators should offer a seamless user-friendly panel which allows the administrator to deeply monitor and control data consumption, she added. This will ensure that data is secure and bandwidth is utilized in a proper way. "Overall, we expect optical fiber and better bandwidth from the telcos," Nelson said.
Subramanyam Putrevu, CIO at Mindtree, said, “All telecom operators need to revamp their infrastructure by laying fiber links so that bandwidth becomes more reliable. Also, given the digital revolution in our country, operators must focus on cybersecurity.”
Nafees Ahmed, Group CIO at Indiabulls Group, said that all the telecom operators have to upgrade their infrastructure. The best approach would be to observe how telcos operating abroad are improving data connectivity.
Connectivity seems to be a pressing issue for most CIOs. “Our sales representatives find it difficult to upload documents in the field due to poor connectivity," Ahmend said. "Today, all the applications are data hungry, so telecom operators need to provide a good amount of bandwidth to consume data. Everything is worthless if we don’t have a good network," he added.
Telcos need to provide better visibility of traffic flowing through an enterprise, said Darshan Appayana, CIO at Happiest Minds Technologies. Also, high bandwidth is necessary for remote desktop and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure connectivity (VDI).
Now, it's upto these telecos to deliver what the enterprise needs to be the market leader in this segment.