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Telcordia India - Looking to make a mark through MNP

May 15, 2009
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The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has finally issued issued a 10year licence to Telcordia Technologies India Limited for implementing mobile number portability (MNP) in the country. Telcordia India will implement MNP in south and east India.

It was about time that the MNP ball started rolling. DoT had released the MNP guidelines in August 2008. At that time, the government had planned that MNP would be implemented in all four metros and Category A circles within six months and in the rest of the country within a year. But the process actually started only in February 2009 when A. Raja, minister for communications and IT, announced that the successful bidders for implementing MNP would be announced by March 2009 and the LoIs would be issued subsequently.

For Telcordia India, which has kept a relatively low profile in the country since setting up shop in 2006, getting the licence spells good news. It has provided the company with an opportunity to consolidate its presence in India.

Telcordia India, a part of the Telcordia Technologies group of companies, was set up in 2006. It provides open and configurable software and services for IP, wireline, mobility and cable networks, helping telecom companies transform, manage and expand their networks.

The company is headquartered in Gurgaon with a program delivery office in Hyderabad. There is a dedicated software research and development (R&D) centre called Telcordia India Labs, which is based in Chennai.

Telcordia India's clientele comprises telecom service providers, enterprises, suppliers and government entities. The company's client base includes major companies such as Tata Teleservices lised Telcordia's Converged Application Server to consolidate prepaid services on a single real-time charging platform; and RCOM used Telcordia's Network Engineer planning and design solution to streamline and organise outside-plant engineering processes. DoT too has engaged Telcordia in the past to provide technical and project management support for the design and implementation of a national radio spectrum management and monitoring system.

Telcordia India has formed several alliances with vendors. It has tied up with IBM to help telecom service providers create new revenue generating services and improve operational efficiencies, with Wipro for software engineering and development, and with INCA Informatics for data migration support. The primary focus areas for the company are next-generation operation support systems (OSSs), service delivery and charging, interconnection, and research and consulting.

India focus
India is a strategic market for the company. Says Richard Jacowleff, president, interconnection solutions at Telcordia, "The company has multiple offices and an R&D lab in the country, and currently works with several Tier I customers on strategic initiatives to support their growth, increase their profits and differentiate through innovative services. Telcordia remains focused on leveraging its heritage as the architect of the US communications system and enabling India-based carriers to deliver a superior customer experience that drives communications usage."

The company will invest close to $10 million for building infrastructure in Bangalore, Kolkata and Gurgaon. IBM India is its partner company in the project and Telcordia is using its data centre for running the application.

As part of its first-phase rollout plans, number portability services will be implemented in Kolkata within six months of signing the licence. The services will be rolled out in the West Bengal telecom circle in the second phase in the subsequent six months. In effect, number portability will be offered across the state of West Bengal by April 2010.

Under MNP, the recipient operators will pay a porting fee to the number clearing house, that is, to Telcordia India. Telcordia, will in turn, pay an annual licence fee of 1 per cent of adjusted gross revenue, although this will come into force two years after the award of the contract.

Issues and concerns
Industry analysts feel that though the company is beginning to make its mark on the Indian market, there remain a few areas of concern. The primary concern, they feel, is that since Telcordia is a specialist company catering to a clearly defined niche segment, it is more vulnerable to market fluctuations.

However, Jacowleff feels that specialising or focusing exclusively on one area adds to the company's strength. "It is important to remember that communications is not just one of our businesses, it is our only business. With more than 800 customers in 55 countries, 1,800 patents and countless prestigious awards, the Telcordia team continues to address the hardest, most complex problems facing the communications industry. The analyst firm Stratecast, a division of Frost & Sullivan, has reported that Telcordia continues to lead the $1.17 billion global service fulfilment market with a 25 per cent market share."

For Telcordia, MNP is a priority, and the company hopes to leverage its global expertise in number portability services in India.

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