Giving Teeth to Mobility

Mobile access to enterprise wide applications will get a real shot in the arm with 3G

With over 67,000 crore rupees at stake, the recently concluded 3G auction was undoubtedly the biggest draw of its kind that ever happened in IBL aka Indian business league.

The battle for licenses was fought fiercely by service providers, with the future aim of getting significantly large number of consumer as well as enterprise customers for sustainable survival of their businesses.

For enterprises, 3G networks are the next step in their quest for higher-speed connectivity and streaming of videos on mobile devices. In addition, 3G offers businesses a new way of working both for among the employees and in reaching out to customers. It promises a huge step-up in bandwidth over 2G, GPRS and EDGE networks, enabling applications hitherto either not viable or painfully slow.

The technology will likely help enterprises in substantially leveraging e-commerce. It will enable them to offer new channels for reaching out to customers in an effective way, without any geographical constraint.

No wonder then, many IT managers are busy testing and evaluating various mobile devices to understand the technology and its usage in a better and realistic way.

According to Ashwini Yadav, Vice President - IT at IDBI Fortis Life Insurance, 3G by definition will allow for more bandwidth on the mobile handsets. If used correctly, it will be a big boost to the financial inclusion roadmaps drawn by regulators in
. In addition, if it is made available to rural
, it will create countless opportunities in agriculture, education and banking.

Demystifying new applications

Driven by a growing competition, Indian enterprises today understand the necessity of having a highly mobile workforce to ensure that the business priorities are taken care of even if an employee walks out of the office premises.

According to experts, with 3G, users will be able to experience true broadband speeds over mobile which will completely change the game. 3G dongles plugged into the PCs will provide network speeds superior to those available in many offices in

It will foster an era of cloud-based computing that has already spread throughout the western world, allowing IT departments to reduce costly internal infrastructure and rely on secure external third-party resources for CRM and many other enterprise applications, says Tim Daniels, Product Marketing Manager, Telesoft Technologies India.

IT managers today have realised that mobility does not end at providing an e-mail solution to employees. And one needs to look beyond to meet the specific requirements of individual businesses.

3G will see a huge uptake by the enterprise to enable their sales team on the field. It can equip sales team to give live demos over live IP instantly, and service engineers can be connected to the back office support team to download any upgrade patch or fault resolution, says Nikhil Jain, COO, Elitecore Technologies.

The high-speed connectivity will also support more demanding multimedia applications, such as video conferencing, VoIP, full-motion video and music streaming, while also offering faster web browsing and faster file downloads.

For Rajesh Aggarwal, IT Manager at Jindal Pipes, 3G offers to bring tremendous value for businesses. He, however, cautions that the success of the technology will largely depend on which all enterprise applications come into play.

With everything moving onto the cloud and the development of third-party applications on the rise, 3G might be a great asset to collaborate and share and help companies reduce their travel expenses on a large scale, he says.

3G has other takers as well. For example, leading car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki is planning to provide Internet access in the premium-segment cars. And LG Electronics is banking on 3G to streamline and strengthen communication between dealers, distributors, service centres and consumers across countrywide locations.

Commenting on the relevance for this technology for Star News, Subrata Dutta, Executive Vice President, Engineering, Star News, late last year revealed that he was evaluating if 3G was capable of helping Star to do live reporting from every nook and cranny of the country. He further felt that the prevailing market conditions demand people to get on-the-move information and the potential of 3G had not been explored fully well.

Nevertheless, the success of the technology will largely depend on the quality devices, pricing models and services from operators.

It will probably not make an iota of difference for some time to come. Indian mobile operators sell bandwidth as if it were gold. I dont see why 3G operators are going to do it differently after paying so money for access to a closed but huge marketplace. They would want to make a quick buck through expensive data plans, opined Tarun Dua, CTO,

At Rs 200 - Rs 10,000 per GB, the existing mobile data plans are not only the most expensive but the quality of bandwidth is also poor. The only USP is that it is mobile. Dua adds.

Runners Point

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