Polaris Wireless eyes big gain from new DoT norm

Jan 01, 2012

Source: Financial Chronicle (India)

Polaris Wireless eyes big gain from new DoT norm

With the department of telecom (DoT) asking all the telecom operators to comply with highly accurate location-based solution (LBS) from May 31, 2012, California-headquartered location-based solution service provider, Polaris Wireless is expecting a market share of more than 50 per cent in India.

DoT has asked all telecom operators to comply with norms where they can locate callers with an accuracy of 50 metres in urban areas. Polaris now has an R&D centre in Bangalore to support its clients across South Asia region. The Bangalore centre would be expanded to sales and support office for Indian clients, said Sridhar Kolar, vice-president and head of India operations, Polaris Wireless.

Kolar said "The government has asked all telecom operators to be ready to store and provide highly LBS by May 31, 2012. We are in advance negotiations with all the operators. It is regulatory requirement and we believe we will have more than 50 per cent of the market share by next three to four years."

The DoT has asked for phased implementation of complying with LBS requirement. According to the directive, in sub-urban and rural areas, 50 per cent of the callers should be located within 100 metres by 2014. And in remote places, 50 per cent of the callers should be located within 300 metres by 2014. Buoyed by the prospect, Kolar said, the company would be doubling its headcount in Bangalore by 2014. He added, "Even telecom operators can increase their revenues by providing LBS service to subscribers. Fleet management companies, transport companies, ITES companies and even families can locate their employees, fleets and children." Child tracker and family finder are the most popular LBS services abroad.

At present, the operators earn less than $25 million by providing LBS services. But Kolar expects both the operators and vendors' market to grow. He said, "By 2014, the commercial LBS market for telecom operators would grow to more than $250 million. And the market for vendors providing LBS solution to operators would be about $300 to $500 million in India."

An official from DoT who didn't want to be named, said, "Operators have asked the DoT to postpone the LBS deadline as they feel it would stress their balance sheets in the time when their growth has become stagnant."

Sridhar said, "We offer software-based LBS solutions. We don't sell hardware which are to be fitted in towers. Hardware also have maintenance cost. Our solution is 1/6th of what hardware-based solutions cost."

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