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Ramp Up or Lose Out

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DQI Bureau
New Update

So finally, we have a figure to it. That a poor telecom infrastructure, with

special regard to international bandwidth, is a cause of concern is never a

chosen subject for debate. But a recent CII report points out that India stands

to lose $21 billion worth of investments in the ITeS/BPO sector to competing

Asian countries, on account of poor connectivity and bandwidth availability

issues.

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The state of India’s telecom infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired.

Downtime in telecom networks ranges from 3% to a whopping 15%, against a global

benchmark of 0.1%. Downtime on even international circuits is an unacceptable 2%

against a global standard of less than 0.3%.

Lack of adequate infrastructure is a major threat to the realization of

Indian’s IT vision for 2008, the report says. Availability of affordable and

reliable long-distance bandwidth is a critical factor in success of ITeS/BPO

services, as unique nature of the work requires immediate connectivity and high

levels of redundancies, in everything from power to connectivity and at times

even locations.

An official in telecom industry confided that there have been many instances

where large corporates in the West have ruled out against outsourcing work to

India only because of lack of faith in the country’s international

connectivity. He pointed out that India had only linear international

connectivity, whereas other ITeS destinations including Malaysia and Philippines

had a ring-topology based international connectivity, thus offering absolute

redundancy.

On stake is an opportunity too big to loose. The global ITeS/BPO market is

currently estimated at $10 billion, and McKinsey says it may grow to $140

billion by 2008. And as $21 billion amounts to a whopping 15% of the global

market, we can wait to see if India could rise to the occasion and grab all that

is coming its way.

Rishi Seth in New Delhi

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