Ronnie05's Blog

Indian telecom story: Collaboration as a tool to Profitability

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on February 16, 2009

The recession has not been able to put the spanner through the growth engine of Indian telecom Subscribers. It is adding the 10 million month after month and the engine seems good to keep chugging on at a fair and brisk pace. The ARPU are south bound, which has a direct relation to profitability. However, competitors collaborating with one and the other have been able to keep the costs light. Wonderfully well, collaboration has reduced the CAPEX and OPEX of the operators giving them the healthy booster shots in their profits! I had reported sharing of the infrastructure / towers/ sites in some of my earlier posts as well. This has the single biggest tool in terms of reduction of the Capital expenditures! It was under the government intiation that infrastructure sharing started off. The win win logic, was higher reach (which the government was persuing) and lower CAPEX which the Telcos were persuing while adding the numbers. Both these objectives were thus fulfilled by Project MOST! Operators today have set annual targets of 50 – 60% incremental sharing! The traffic varies from being heavy in the day times to being sparse in the night times. An analysis of the traffic for geographies also enbales switching off the sites, without impacting service quality and on the other hand, making savings on the OPEX! While project MOST is based on existing infrastructure sharing, roll out of infrastructure in weak coverage areas and sensitive areas is also happening through collaboration. So instead of 2 or 3 different towers in a newly opened geography, operators are agreeing on one site shared by the others. Three simple steps and yet, when CAPEX accounts for 31% of your Revenue and your OPEX is $ 6 (per consumer), with ARPU of $6 per month (implying no margins), changes in these figures can significantly alter your bottomline.

Social Context in Search applications: Is Google missing the action?

Posted in Social context, media and advertising, The cloud and the open source by Manas Ganguly on February 16, 2009

Search Engines are now a way of life with Internet addicts. While there is Google and Google only, there are others like Yahoo, MSN, Cuill, Ask and many others. I am a Google fan and on one occassion had told my wife, there is Internet and there is Google!

However, off late, Google seems to have fallen back in terms of Search. Not in terms of market share, not in terms of volumes, not in terms of efficacy or any optimised results! It is the social context that Google has started missing. This news feed was featured some time back and essentially speaks about Ziva Software’s application for mobile search, Zook coming together with Nokia! This addresses a huge potential market of mobile search applications. With more and more people opting to use Internet on the go on their mobiles, a search feature is a very apt application. Loaded as a widget (the name of a icon which features the application on the menu screen), these mobile search applications can will massify “SEARCH”!

So what, i said to myself, you can also load a Google Search Icon on your mobile and use it for search. But there lies the catch. A socially optimzed search will not only “search” but also prompt solutions intutively. As an illustration, if i do a “Italian Food Joints + Connaught Place” search on Google and a Social context optimized search engine, Google will generate the list and throw it back at me in no time. The Socially optimised search will generate the list, understand relevance of Restaurants (which means i need to eat –> hence may require booking) and intutively given me an option, “Book a Table?”. I can take the browser on Book a table and click on it so that i would directly talk to the Restaurant manager! Two Clicks.

On a Google, i would get the results, click on the result, figure out the telephone number, write it down ona piece of paper and then call the restaurant. Thats 3 clicks + manual work. Thats one click and a lot of hassle too many!

Kudos to Zook for having done that now! But with size and might of Google, it may turn it around any day now. Zook will have some days and time and distance to go before it thoroughly integrates all content like Google. But so long, for Social aware context applications, is the way, it is to be.

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