Pantazescu: Broadband will create new industries /5.07.2006
Marian PANTAZESCU: First, let me point out that if we compare the growth of 2G services after their first launch, and the growth and penetration of 3G, all statistics show that 3G has a faster growth rate than 2G for the same maturity period.
The same goes for the Internet. If we think of the fixed Internet when it was launched some 20 years ago, the mobile Internet grows much faster than did the fixed Internet in its similar maturity period.
Just as the Internet and mobile telephony changed business models, individual behaviors and created new industries, the same is going to be true about broadband, either fixed or mobile.
Even if voice is going to stay as a very important service in both fixed and mobile networks, since we have to admit it is the most natural means of human communication, definitely the multimedia communications will grow. This will lead to new opportunities, both for the industry and for adjacent industries such as media, content and advertising.
Ion VACIU: Last year I had an an interview with the president of mobile operator Zapp and I was surprised to learn that their business model was similar to the other two operators, namely 80% voice and 20% data. In their case I expected a larger percentange of data.
Marian PANTAZESCU: The proportion of voice and data are similar, more or less.
We should take into account that the proportions are given by users’s behaviour.
In the future we will definitely see an increase in the usage of mobile data and multimedia services.
But we should not forget that the drivers do not neccessarily come from telecom industry, but, as Mr. Bedros said earlier, from the content and other adjacent industries.
Ion VACIU: I always compare these technologies with a highway. If your car is older, you will pick the first lane. If you own a Ferrari or Honda, you pick the fourth lane and go 300 km/h.
Dan BEDROS: It depends whether there is a radar or not. And you receive by 3G the picture with the exceeded speed limit.
Dan GÂRLAŞU: And the fine directly on your mobile bill. That’s it, the service is born.
Dan BEDROS: An excellent application for 3G!
Ion VACIU: Mr. Bedros is talking about the latest application launched together with Orange and the Romanian police. Tell the paradox of the man who fined himself.
Dan BEDROS: Oh, yes, the paradox. After we rolled it out, when I went to visit the command center,
one of the policemen who used to commute to Bucharest was very angry. “What have you done to me with this modern system! I wrote four fines and only at the fourth I realised it was my own car!”
Marian PANTAZESCU: Clearly, if we think of new services, and we have had countless examples today,
they will have to match the needs of customers.
Romania is a specific market. And as a matter of fact, no market is quite similar to another. Mobile TV is very popular in Germany, MMS in UK, and SMS is popular everywhere, actually.
The Romanian market is definitely still voice-centric and it will stay so for the next few years.
SMS is a popular service in Romania and it is still gaining in popularity, actually. Yet, messaging services like voicemail are used less than in North-American markets, for example. This is characteristic for European market, the europeans generally use more SMS than voicemail.
You mentioned here the accelerated growth of broadband, which I believe will continue, both for fixed and for mobile.
There will definitely be an increase of mobile telephony penetration in the rural areas, where about 45% of Romanian population lives. And certainly we need to offer services tailored for these areas. While multimedia and broadband may take a while to become a necesity there. Their adoption will be driven by urban areas and by economic growth, which requires an increase in productivity.
In order to come up with new successful services we, as an industry, operators and suppliers need to look carefully at the costs in orfder to come up with very good prices so that people in the rural areas can afford the services.
Ion VACIU: It looks like the rural 45% of population is a good busines opportunity for all companies present here.