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British Telecom in India

British Telecom has been very active the last few days in India and have come out with a whole lot of announcements ( This is to be expected considering some of BT’s top brass were in India for the last one week).

One such important announcement was BT’s intent to offer low powered GSM in India, which they hope shall decrease the cost of mobile calls inside an office.What is really interesting is that this is a very grey area where there are no specific laws that allow or disallow such a service. Andy Green, CEO of BT Global services remarked

Low-powered GSM is part of our 21st century network solution and we are ready to explore, if it is allowed, in India.

I guess BT is hoping that they can get the licenses to implement this just like they did in UK early last year.

Now low powered GSM, technology as such is pretty similar to the normal GSM. The only real challenge is when the user in an office travels outside the office network and session handoffs have to happen in a seamless manner. Low powered GSM works fine as far as it is intra-office but the session handoffs are still quite an issue. But it does make a lot of sense (atleast cost-wise) in large offices or airports etc (where most people remain in the “office” network)

It will be very interesting to see how the already existing operators ( Airtel,BSNL) react to this and would they follow the same route as well.