World biz and more as seen from India

Sunday, July 17, 2005

sOid Speak: Understanding WLL

Understanding WLL services and how they are classified has been a big confusion not only for consumers but even to an extent some services providers have taken a long time in understanding the services completely.

CDMA in India is known as WLL (Wireless in local loop). This WLL is further divided into two categories fixed and mobile. However, the technology standard is similar in both cases i.e. CDMA 2000 1X WLL fixed refers to handsets which can replace the existing fixed line sets.

WLL mobile refers to handsets which have all the features like GSM handsets. WLL fixed works within a city while WLL mobile functions similarly as that of GSM mobile.

There are 2 categories to choose from in WLL Fixed:

1. WLL- FWP: Fixed Wireless Phone (without wires)

2.If consumers are willing to keep their old phone set then they have an option to opt for WLL (FWT) Fixed Wireless Terminal. FWT is connected to existing telephone set.

Both the phones come with a data port which can be connected to a PC/Laptop serial port through a special data cable. The data cable comes along with an installation CD and it is available in the open market for five to ten Euros.

Presently LG, Samsung and Nokia are the leading equipment suppliers for WLL mobile in India. For WLL fixed, LG and Samsung handsets dominate the market. WLL fixed phones have an option to send SMS.

WALKY - The New Generic Name in Indian Telecom Market

Tata Indicom branded its FWP offerings as "Walky", a name that has been synonymous in the Indian market, with the FWP category. The WLL concept has come a long way, with several features being offered in the market, such as"
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Phonebooks with capacity upto 500 contacts
  • Wallpapers, screensavers, polyphonic ringtones
  • Inbuilt games
  • SMS capability in English and Hindi, with T9 predictive feature
  • High speed internet (upto 153.6 kbps)
  • World Clock, Calculator, Stop Watch, To-do List, Sophisticated Alarm, Calendar
  • User profiles

The most important aspect of this service is the tarriffs that are offered, which are cheaper than wired-line rates.

The big question however, is something that can be pulled out from a Kotler - one of the basic fundamental of marketing - "What does the consumer want?"