Saturday, November 21, 2009
The world’s economic balance of power is shifting dramatically. By 2050, the United States and Europe, long the traditional leaders of the global economy, will be joined in economic size by emerging markets in Asia and Latin America. China will become the world’s largest economy in 2032, and grow to be 20 percent larger than the United States by 2050. Over the next forty years, nearly 60 percent of G20 economic growth will come from Brazil, China, India, Russia, and Mexico alone. However, these emerging markets will not rise among the world’s richest countries in per capita terms: their average income in 2050 will still be 40 percent below that of the G7 states today. The end of the decades-old correlation between economic size and per capita income will have profound effects on global economic governance. The G20’s recent transformation into the world’s principal economic forum highlights the beginning of a more integrated and complex economic era.
From New Year, the country's 500-million mobile phone users will be allowed to retain their numbers while switching service providers,
with the telecom regulator clearing number portability, a move that could intensify an ongoing price war that has already hit the sector’s profits and revenues.
Mobile users unhappy with the services of their operators just need to pay a nominal fee of Rs 19 for moving to a new service provider, telecom regulator Trai said on Friday.
Subscribers in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and category ‘A’ circles such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh will be allowed number portability from December 31 while the rest of the country will have the facility from March next year.
Several surveys have shown that about half the country’s mobile users are unhappy with the services offered by their cellular operators. Besides, the telecom industry already has an annual churn rate of 40%, indicating that a big chunk of subscribers could dump their operator to avail better tariff plans and services.
Trai said the fee for availing of number portability cannot be more than Rs 19. With new operators waiting to start operations in the already crowded Indian telecom market, the industry is expected to see competitive pricing in this segment too. Thirteen mobile phone firms are jostling for space in a market that, analysts say, can support no more than 5 operators. Four more companies are due to launch services next year.
Trai has also snubbed the demands of Syniverse Technologies and MNP Interconnection Teleco Solutions, two companies chosen to implement number portability, that they be allowed to charge customers between Rs 75 and Rs 200 every time they change their operator.
Trai's analysis revealed that customers may not opt for MNP if they would have to pay more than Rs 50, the amount needed to take a new prepaid lifetime connection. "Based on stakeholder comments and keeping in mind international practices, the Authority has estimated 10% porting rate for the first 15 months and 7%, 6% and 5% for the successive three years for the calculation of per port transaction charge," Trai said in a statement.
In a draft regulation released by Trai earlier, the regulator had said that new mobile users would be permitted to change their operators only after 90 days of signing up with a service provider. The users who wish to change their operator will have to give a written undertaking to their existing service provider for switching to a new operator. Trai has fixed a four-day window for operators to process an application.