From a pure technology point of view, the definition of communication software is rather vague. However, broadly
speaking, they are of three types. Telco software, embedded/systems software,
and networking software.
The first two can broadly be called “telecom
software” and are discussed here.
Keeping up with global trends, Indian software developers
also started concentrating on telecom software. Almost 90 percent of the
telecom software sales were exports. In terms of growth, however, telecom is
the fastest growth area in software exports. Today, telecom software
development is restricted to primarily three types of companies–big
software companies like TCS, Wipro, and Satyam, the specialized telecom
software companies like MBT, Hughes Software, and Usha Communication
Technologies, and the in-house developers like Alcatel, Tellabs, Lucent,
An estimated 65 percent of the telecom software exported
from India is estimated to be system software, largely related to switching,
wireless technologies like GSM and CDMA, SS7, IP, Frame Relay, and ATM.
These are developed by in-house development companies of major telecom
companies or through contract manufacturing by some big software companies.
The Indian market for the telecom software constitutes
almost entirely of the telco software market. After initial deployment of
basic billing and customer services, most operators have been slow in
investing on telecom software. A few operators have changed their billing
systems. However, the area that has seen maximum new deployment is pre-paid,
customer care systems including call centres, and of late WAP based
solutions. The only active market has been that of ISPs. Few Indian ISPs
have gone for powerful billing packages. Portal and Wipro have been quite
successful in this market.
- This year, the Indian market will see more action, with opening up of
vacant basic services’ circles and Domestic Long Distance (DLD) services.
A few other telecom majors are planning to have their development centres in
India and some having the facilities are looking at expanding them.