Segment Analysis: Telecom Software

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.

Indian
Telecom Software Companies
CompanyMarketTypeSales
 (Rs Cr) (1999-00)
Mahindra BritishTelecomMostly exportContract development240.3
Hughes SoftwareSystemsExport/Domestic Contract
development/products
107.3
InfosysMostly exportContract development/92
SatyamExport/DomesticContract development/Integration48.7
Future SoftwareExportContract development47.96
Usha
Communications
Export/DomesticProducts/Integration34
Access TechnologiesExportContract development23.3
Astral TelefoundationExportContract development/Products3.55
Infozech SoftwareExport/DomesticProducts/Integration2.09
V&D Estimates

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,
    etc.

  • 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.

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