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Enterprise customers are needed because retail revenue is flat: Sukanto Aich, President Enterprise Business, Tata Teleservices Limited

January 31, 2012
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Most of the large telecom players have been concentrating on the retail consumer market till now. During the last two years, we have seen a surge in the amount of penetration in the retail consumers hence the voice revenue has grown exponentially.

However, today, the market is reaching a saturation point as far as penetration is concerned and more so higher ARPU customers have mostly been acquired by most of the telecom companies. In the next two years, retail telecom revenue is going to start stagnating and then start flattening it out.

Operators now have to look at new market revenue areas from enterprise segment. Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) is in this domain and now other telecom players have also started entering into it. When we talk about enterprise segment, it refers to B2B customers and providing telecom services to enterprise customers for their business requirements.

We have been providing such services in three large areas. One is wireline data services which include office to office connectivity, internet connectivity and lot of variants around it. The second area is the fixed line voice service segment, which starts from a basic telephone and also includes value added services like audio conferencing solution and toll free numbers, for the retail enterprises. The third segment is the mobility area.

Most of the players who were primarily offering wireless services are now predominately trying to enter the other two areas as well.

TTSL is already present in these areas and we are currently offering strong mobility services through our tie-up with DOCOMO.

TTSL has strong data capability because of our CDMA technology in addition to the recently acquired 3G spectrum, which enables much larger data throughput. This data can be used within the organisation to provide business value addition. For example, we are doing a project with an electricity company. Typically meter reading is taken once in a month. They also have large industrial users which consume a huge amount of electricity. We are putting a box (modem + SIM) next to their meters through which consumption of electricity is monitored on a real time basis. This helps them to understand the consumption pattern and also prevent revenue leakages. The box communicates over the mobility network back to the centre location. This is opening up large change for the enterprise customers.

Enterprise market in India

With the entire three domains included today, the overall enterprise market is estimated at Rs 250- 300 billion. Depending upon the requirement that they have, we along with our sister concern, are providing such communication solutions. AT&T and BT are providing services to their global customers but at the end of the day some of them are also partnering with us for providing India specific part of the network. IBM Global is one of the largest customers of AT&T. For the point-to-point connectivity which AT&T is trying to provide to IBM Global, from their UK office to India, the last mile till India and within India will be provided by an Indian telecom provider. So, they are partnering with us for the end-to-end services depending upon our respective strengths.

Tech tie-ups

We are basically providing them the backbone on which data will ride. We are also working with large system integrators for IT related work, TCS is off course our in-house, but there are other system integrators - Wipro, Infosys, Spanco - with whom we are working.


Applications are becoming crucial for the enterprise market to grow because it adds value to the customer. For example, login from your home in a secure manner to the office network. If one wants to contact a customer who is in a different time zone especially IT/BPO sector, then he has to stay back in the office to make that call. But, we provide a value add where he can call irrespective of his position. We are also working on automatic meter readings and location based services which can be used for vehicle tracking.

We will continue to provide these apps and have strength in this area with our partnership with DOCOMO which is one of the leading application service providers from the mobility platform globally. We are working very closely with them.

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