Will Telephony Calls be free in India? – Atleast for someone!

Will telephony become Free in India? Will telephony just become Internet telephony? Will 4G networks and IPV6 track the entire world with 300 Billion IP adresses? Will VOIP calls be much better than analogue calls? Will your thumb recognition become your worldwide biometric identity? Read to know more…

If we were to go by the growing clout of telecom operators in India and the fierce fight among them for Bandwidth, it’s a rare chance that the telephony would become free. However, based on my previous post on how the TSPs might just turn into ISPs, this might just become true. Even the government of India through their BSNL and MTNL services is planning to launch 2MBPs free broadband internet connection by 2009.

At-least for Youth it might be…
There have been not so old instances of free service providers like Tiger etc which failed to attempt such a concept. Though, I guess it was too early for Indian markets. However, looking at how wireless telephony has expanded in India and why mobile marketing should work in India. I do see a large Youth market out there (Youth Ages 10-24, by 2025 is estimated at 349,200,000 by Population reference bureau) who would not mind listening to a 5 sec ad after every 15 minutes that they spent on phone; if there phone calls were free of charge. (Or probably the premium telephony for business users where they don’t get ads, but they pay higher rental charges.) Also they are given an option of a unique single online mobile wallet for multiple purchases in which they need to buy a monthly recharge wallet card varying anywhere between Rs 99 – Rs 1000.

So, what I am essentially saying is, having an online mobile wallet which gets recharged by a payment of Rs. X/month, like from a recharge coupon which can be bought from a local shop. (Even this will get eliminated when we will have 4G network and IPV6 so that every device will have an IP address and just a Biometric thumb recognition would be your worldwide identity.) Now, they get to talk free and have to listen to some Voice / Video Ads and probably text messages. What they just need to do is probably use the mobile wallet to buy the services being offered to them through promotions on their mobile.

Why should I buy from my Mobile Wallet?
Well anyways, wouldn’t you be buying your monthly required items like a deo or a Movie DVD (after watching the trailers on mobile) or may be a grocery or something similar? And if you get to buy the same through a Mobile phone through a special promotion being run and it gets delivered to your doorstep…obviously an hassle free shopping experience (oh did I say that Oil prices are always rising and travelling has become a challenge, specially if you have stayed in places like bangalore, mumbai, dubai etc). You can browse through the online store on your mobile and choose and pay directly through your mobile wallet safely by your biometric signature check on your mobile phone.

What’s in it for the Supplier?
Cheapest media to connect and advertise directly in the hands of the consumer. No large real estate investment, no large set-up required, no middle men’s commission, just pure B2C delivery of products.

How can you implement this?
Initially promotion of the Mobile Commerce or M-Commerce can be supported through certain specific low cost campaign launches from advertisers like contests, freebies etc. and over a period of 2 years when we see M-Commerce becoming popular, the TSPs (or WiISPs), would start charging the advertisers for the AD time which will again be contextual content ads targeted according to the buying or other behavior of the audience.

Is this model sustainable?
This is the question which we have to answer and will get answered only by looking at the response to the mobile advertising’s success in India. Would Indians accept the technology and would prefer to buy on Mobile or would still want to visit the store to buy? Would the telephone calls be completely free or the companies like Skype or Google charge the consumers to call? Would internet broadband become a reality on mobile phones or would it still be marred by the technology?

I see the light of positive hope and this approach of Mobile driven sales and marketing catching up in next 2 years time.


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