Internet communications company, Nimbuzz is considering buying the new Unified Licenses for an amount of 15 crores so that it can start offering Internet telephony services in the country. The unified license was announced by the Indian Government recently but it still has to detail the guidelines and other important agreements. After reviewing these conditions, the company is likely to go ahead and buy the license according to a report in the Hindu Businessline.
Internet Telephony in this case means using an Internet based service (VOIP) to make calls to landlines and mobile phones. Currently, there are restrictions as to using VOIP to make calls to phones which use the mobile network or wired communication. You can only make use VOIP completely when you use it to call someone who is also using VOIP i.e a Nimbuzz to Nimbuzz call. These restrictions are mostly going to go away once the Government announces the details behind the unified license for operators.
The move will give Nimbuzz an advantage to go ahead and built its network and get users to use Internet telephony which will definitely result in cheaper calling rates on an average. I foresee this development hurting the revenues of traditional mobile network operators if more Internet players jump onto the bandwagon. In Nimbuzz’s case, this is a move to gather revenues since Internet telephony is a paid service while other services the company provides like chat, calling etc. are free thus making the company rely on advertising to generate revenue. The unified license will help the company open new revenue channels and thus not risk dependency on advertising alone.
Nimbuzz is also going to move into more areas like gaming and selling virtual goods. Currently, it has partnered with various telcos to run Nimbuckz, a facility that allows it to sell virtual products like avatars, special emoticons, gifts and chat games. India is an important market for the company, so much so that it moved base to Delhi from Amsterdam last year. Buying a unified license is decent bet by the company and I feel that their existing user base in the country will make it easier for Nimbuzz to promote its adoption.
Story Source | The Hindu Businessline