1 second billing: Telecom Trends

Yesterday there was this announcement from TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) that it may go on to make per second billing mandatory across all operators.

Currently this feature is a market differentiator, that only TATA DOCOMO offers such a billing of call on a per second basis.

Why do we need to watch this trend, because if all operators adopt this there will be a revenue reduction of 10% in the sector. Probably more according to HSBC.
As is evident on the capital markets after the news, today 3 of the top operators are in the top 10 losers of the NSE index.

Two things are evident here
1. Mono-Bi-Poly trend on time i.e. from billing every 3 minutes to 60 seconds to 1 second
2. Regulators force new rules to maximize benefits to customers by doing a cut off at the maximum benefit point (see pic below)

Two questions here
1. Is one second the ideal limit or can we even go to zero? How?
2. Can you think of other examples where regulation has come at the maximum leverage point?

Looking forward to hear from you

Reference: Chapter 14 Mann, DL Hands on Systematic Innovation for Business and Management, 2004


5 thoughts on “1 second billing: Telecom Trends

  1. Hi Murali, absolutely no problem – in real life, many TRIZ trends can act together at the same time and sometimes they can overlap each other.
    Consumer ideality is a complex factor and depends a lot of individual perception, habits, emotions, etc. Often there is no clear majority of consumers who would prefer one model over another, and therefore market can be segmented horizontally and not vertically. That’s why governments must not serve a role of a “superior guide” but provide ground for fair competition and freedom of choice.

  2. Hi Murali
    It was great talking to you – we had great fun using TRIZ tools for your ideation on Girl Scouts – I look forward to more TRIZ sessions with you

  3. Hi Murali,

    I wanted to comment on this long time back but could not since I was totally unaware of mono-bi-poly trend then. Keeping that aside, I wanted to share my thoughts on your first question “Is one second the ideal limit or can we even go to zero? How?”

    The telecom market in India has become very competitive and with the coming of two new players
    soon(Teleneor & Unitech), there can only be a war now & everyone will try to do different things now and we are seeing that(latest one being Airtel slashing roaming rates, rumours are sms is next!). Telecom companies started their business to make revenues from voice services as core business. But, if you have observed the current trend, non-voice services are slowly increasing. If I consider voice based services as core business for first S surve and non-voice based services as core business for second S curve, then can we say telecom market has moved over from first S curve and is now in the first half of second S curve? If so, voice based billing can go to zero if we consider the following aspects :
    1)Currently, breakup of revenues between voice based & non-voice based is approx(75:25). If this is
    reversed in coming years, then non-voice services can form the core business.
    2)Reports from Gartner & ITP predict that there will be huge investments in mobile applications(One such report is http://www.itpreport.com/default.asp?Mode=Show&A=2120). Hence,there is a potential in non-voice business since everything we do online using internet can be done through mobile phone. The opportunity is that it hasn’t yet picked so much in India and it indeed can be a market.
    3)Telecom companies also have lot of subscriber data like which number they often call, what time do they call, is it a local or STD no and many such information. They can mine & analyze this data and come out with sustainable business decisions(like different plans for urban & rural customers, heavy data usage plan for corporates etc). Can they might end up making money just from non-voice services while they are providing both voice & non-voice based services just like Polariod once made money by selling films & not cameras, Apple made money by one or two products when they had invested on more products.

    Let me know if this can make any sense!


  4. Interesting opportunities here. As Valeri mentioned it is not a MBP trend but rather a transition to microlevel trend. That apart can we even beat the zero time limit and “earn” money for making a call…Without sounding like a ditter, last I heard Virgin already has a plan like this.

  5. Dear Shree & Others,

    The way I anticipate is to introduce to regular curriculum as one semester in Bachelor course (B.Tech, or B.E.). I can contact Dr. Abdul Kalam, Dr. Kasturirangan (Currently working as advisor of to KAr Govt. on higher studies). Presently I am not in touch with couple a of deans I know in Kerala; Or rather they are not listening to me. I can contact, Dr. Roddam Narasihma, who is now the Director of INstitute of Advanced studies (NIAS) Near IISC (TATA Institute), which is coming on West Bangalore near Yashwanthpur In Bangalore, even though I have not met him personally. I understand Dr Prakash Apte from IITMumbai is not yet become a member of this group. This Dr. Praksh Apte is different from IIMB former director. In fact Dr. Apte (IITM) has conducted a 3 day seminar for VSSC Scientists during early 90’s When Dr. Madhavan Nair (Moon Man) was in VSSC. Of course unless the teachers are taught TRIZ, we can not introduce in big-bang way to students. I made a presentation to students & staff of TKMCE Kollam, Kerala on TRIZ during Mar 19, 2005?. I am not running any college for sponsoring.

    Best regards

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