Ronnie05's Blog

Age distribution of social networks

Posted in Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on March 16, 2010

US Google ad planner data showcases an interesting perspective on age demographics among the major social networks. While the usual suspects such as Bebo has a teen bias and Linkedin has a 25-25 age bias, the eye opener really is the fact that Facebook’s audience has 61% of users over 35, while twitter is similar with 64% of users over 35.

Interesting take outs from the graphic there.

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Taking Mobile VAS further than just Infotainment

Posted in Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on March 15, 2010

Mobile VAS services and Data ARPU is looked upon as the redeemer of ARPUs in India. However, for mVAS to make an impact, it needs to be more than mobile infotainment. Profiling Conferencing, Mobile Adevrtisements, Education, Healthcare, Live feeds of Wholesale Rates, Mobile Payments, Ticketing and the UID tagging which will lift the mVAS game to mass usage levels.Here’s the top few expected to drive mVAS big.

Conferencing: Video Conferencing is increasing with companies cutting down their traveling to reduce costs and also for security reasons. This trend will not only help reduce costs but also reduce the Carbon footprint of physical travel.

Even if Mobile advertising in India is still at a nascent stage, Mobile as a medium has the highest reach in the country and the potential remains extremely high. 2009 saw a dramatic rise in Mobile advertising through the two main delivery mechanisms i.e. Voice and SMS. Mobile sMS Advertising will likely shift from being a mass advertising medium to selected targeting which will be based on subscriber profiling.

While Business and Advertising and Infotainment will be the drivers to MVAS in times to come, but the greatest challenge would be in terms of making MVAS mainstream.

Experiences in rural India show that information and communications technology can enhance poor people’s opportunities by improving their access to markets, health care and education.

Education: One such successful example of this is The Stanford Learning Lab that has created a prototype SMS quiz to aid learning of new vocabulary. The aim of this project was to provide highly flexible, mobile learning material that users could access in very short time-spans ranging from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. The constraints of the 160 character limit of SMS messages turned out to be an advantage as it forced the construction of suitably concise chunks for such short-term learning opportunities.

Healthcare: Apollo Hospital group has set up a 50-bed telemedicine center at Aragonda village (Andhra Pradesh, South India). It has also set up freestanding centers at Guwahati and Kolkata. These centers are equipped with facilities like CT- scan, X-ray, ECG and integrated laboratory and are linked to Apollo’s specialized hospitals at Hyderabad, Chennai, and Delhi for seeking referral services, second opinion, post-acute care, interpretation services and health education. The hospital group has also a web portal, Apollo Life that allows patients to interact with doctors via the web, upload all their diagnostics and reports on the net. Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre (EHIRC), Delhi through its Escorts Heart Alert Service (EHAS), Utilizes telemedicine in establishing prompt contact with patients in distress. The EHAS subscribers can record their ECG’s at the time of discomfort through the cardiac beeper provided and transmit them through a telephone to the “heart alert centre”. These tele-ECG”s can be monitored 24-hours at the dedicated center and fully equipped mobile cardiac care units from the centre can be rushed to provide intensive care to the patients before they brought to the hospital for medical investigation. India is a vast country and the role of Telecommunications for realizing tele-diagnosis, tele-consultancy and tele-education can be a boon to people who still have relatively low access to medicine and healthcare.

Access to Opportunity: With the advent of 3G, fishermen can negotiate prices for their catch before heading for shore by sending in pictures of the type of fish they have on board. Similarly, farmers and horticulturalists who have perishable produce can take advantage of 3G services to bargain for the best prices before harvesting, by bypassing middlemen. Services like Mobile Banking, Mobile Money Transfers, Utility Bill Payments, Payments for purchase of movie tickets etc are also likely to take off.

Giving the Indian billion an identity: Identity authentication at banks, gas connection centres or while providing rural jobs will just be an SMS away. The Nandan Nilekani’s project will provide a unique identification (UID) number, not a card and the authentication will be made by using mobile phones. Once the numbers are issued the authentication will be done Online. The authorities will send the UID number to the designated points through mobile phone message. Also, the fingerprint of the person can be sent to the central database and the authentication can be received within minutes verifying the identity of the person. It will help provide portability to our farmers, laborers. When they move from state to state, this UID will help them get employment without hassles. Banks, mobile service providers, LPG gas connection counters and many more partner organizations can use this UID to verify their customer. With the growing mobile phone network, this will become an easy process for authorities to verify people. Nandan Nilkeni’s team is likely roll out the first batch of UIDs in 2010. They plan to issue at least 600 million UIDs over the next 5 years.

Finally, in a country that has been Infrastructure starved for all times, Indian companies have already laid out a 670,000 kilometres network of optical fibres even in the remotest areas and the progress on this front still continues. rural network based on the extensive optical fibre network, using Internet Protocol and offering a variety of services and the availability of open platforms for service development, viz. the Next Generation Network, appears not only to be an attractive proposition but a powerful one as well. Fibre network can be easily converted to Next Generation network and then used for delivering multiple services at cheap cost.

A study earlier had indicated the Telecommunications sector will increase its contribution to the India GDP from the existing 2% to 14%. That sounds a few degrees steep. But then the power that can be generated by linked a billion people together is also incomprehensibly powerful.

Mobile VAS: Building a sustainable alternate revenue stream

Posted in Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on March 15, 2010

MVAS will drive data revenue/ARPU, but the telecom eco-system must have to look beyond the ABC of Mobile VAS as we know it.

Indian Telecom Market numbers continue to sizzle: Indian added 19.9 million new subscribers in January 2010, which (to give a perspective) is 1.5X the number of subscribers US added in the whole year 2009. It is like adding a whole Canadian wireless market every month. For the year 2009, India added 177 million subs versus 106 million for China. A lot of this growth is powered by the tariff hyper competition and the ARPU have now dropped 30% YOY (INR 155.6 for OND 2009 Quarter versus INR 220 for OND 2008).

Now, with operators having no price differentiation, quality will be the driver for growth. Also this will most likely lead the valuation model to move from subscriber based one to a model based on margins and minutes of usage. With the lowest tariffs in the world, industry analyst have started raising questions on the viability of the business. With MNP round the corner where a subscriber move to another service provider it is unlikely that the tariffs will rise from here. The rapid re-basing in pricing by incumbents will seriously affect and threaten smaller, regional and startup operators, perhaps shortening the period before which industry consolidation inevitably takes place.

Operators are looking at more avenues and revenue streams to augment their Incomes and stay afloat and the M-VAS industry holds a great deal of promise out there. The Indian MVAS industry estimated at more than USD 1 Billion in 2009 is expected to grow at a CAGR of 50% in 2010 and help the Service Providers arrest the fall in their ARPU’s and improve their profit margins. 90% of Operators revenues in India come from Voice and Rentals. Of the balance 5% comes from SMS’s and MVAS accounts for only about 5% of revenue. Clearly for Indian Operators, MVAS is the next revenue opportunity.

MVAS so far has been restricted to Mobile Infotainment. The VAS operators call it ABC in the Indian Context (A for Astrology, B for Bollywood and C for Cricket). In 2009, the most popular mobile value added services were songs and ringtone downloads, mobile games and mobile advertising. With the rise of reality shows, interactive participation in TV and Radio game shows and contests has already gained tremendous popularity. Given India’s demographics where more than 50% of the population is under the age of 30, infotainment is most likely to be the service that will run up the operators ARPU’s in 2010.

However with 3G roll outs around the corner, MVAS will assume greater dimensions than the ABC/Infotainment that it has so far been. It is anticipated that 2G to 3G migration of users in the first year of launch will increase the ARPU by Rs 200 per month per migrating subscriber.

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Twitter: A breather is a right time to re-focus on future coordinates.

Posted in Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on March 12, 2010

Studies show a lower level of new users on Twitter. However the level of engagement in twitter seems to have gone higher. Perhaps, this low growth period is a good time for Twitter to look at growth engines for its sustained future growth.

A recent survey by Barracuda labs has thrown up some interesting results and observation about the Twitter Phenomenon, that has been the focal point of micro-blogging and community based conversations. Unfortunately for Twitter, the stats say that most of its users aren’t very active.Only 26% of Twitter users had 10 followers or more by December 2009, while only 40% were following 10 people or more (in fact, a majority of Twitter users, 51%, were following less than five people). In terms of tweets, the report estimates that 34% of Twitter users hadn’t tweeted even once, while a whopping 73% of Twitter’s users tweeted less than 10 times. That means nearly all of the tweets on the social network were coming from about one-fourth of the userbase. Power users dominate.

However, there real worry at Twitter is the dramatic decline in users created.Twitter use grew by 20% in April 2009 before dropping off to 0.34% growth in December 2009.

This inspite of the fact that Twitter had some stellar real time coverages of the Haiti and Chilean earthquake, some with profound implication in terms of aid and life saving situations.

However the silver lining is the fact that the stats are turning steadily into Twitter users and the chatter is expanding both in terms of number of size of users and the user engagement with the medium. Twitter recently reported it had reached 50 million tweets per day. The new users of Twitter may seem to be hitting the saturation, but the existing users are enriching the content and context more than ever. Thus there is a qualitative enrichment of the platform.

Twitter now has to ensure that it is able to integrate more features and services that make for a better user conversation and sharing experience. The Lists and Location Based Feature is just the beginning. Twitter has to deliver on innovation to add to the user experience even as users keep adding to the quality of conversation.

Check out the detailed June 2009 report here.

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Bing’s baby steps to No.2 in Search and Yahoo’s uncertain gamble.

Posted in Internet and Search by Manas Ganguly on March 11, 2010

In the battle of Search Engines, Yahoo! seems to slowly loose its steam even as Bing is beginning to take baby steps towards the No.2 Search Engine Position. The Bing strategy seems to get to a threshold level after which it would launch a frontal attack on Google. This is as per latest data from comScore on US markets. Bing’s gains are aided by the company’s aggressive marketing and there is a question mark on Bing’s ability to sustain traction. The Microsfot agenda however looks like they would keep buying out the share gains as long as Bing doesnot get a 20%+ figure consistently for a quarter or so. Then they would slowly scale down the marketing dollars.

Bing’s efforts at more relevant search results are catching attention of users globally. The sidebar feature alows the user to cut the chase down pretty quickly. However, Bing lacks in specialist products such as the Google Scholar. It appears to be the vertical searches–such as autos and health–helping Bing, which has been its strategy to differentiate itself from the Google juggernaut.

For Yahoo, which is almost voluntarily stepping down from the No 2 position, the gamble is still very unclear. In an earlier post, i had discussed Yahoo’s new strategy which was about re-positioning Yahoo to make it more relevant to users. Yahoo was in effect trying to re-create its 2000-2005 era of success, which looks pretty tough in an age where domains are getting neatly domained (Facebook for Social networking, Twitter for Micro-blogging, WordPress, Zynga on Facebook and more). I am doubtful of sustainability of Yahoo’s efforts in absence of a very clear positioning plank. It might have got the numbers with a big budghet marketing plan, but i am not sure if they can create stickiness (a la Facebook).

Here is the quick update on the Search Market results for February:

1.According to the data, total US core search volume increased 10.4% Y/Y in February, below the 12.4% growth in January. The total growth in the first two months of 1Q decelerated to 11.4% Y/Y from 4Q’s 15.8% Y/Y growth.
2.Google domestic core search market share was 65.5% in February, up slightly from 65.4% in January. Google grew February core search volume by 14.3% Y/Y, behind 16.7% growth in January. Google domestic core search volume growth of 15.5% Y/Y in the first 2 months of 1Q is below 4Q’s 19.9% Y/Y increase.
3.Yahoo! domestic core search market share dropped to 16.8% in February from 17.0% in January. Yahoo! February core search volume was down 9.8% Y/Y vs. an 8.9% Y/Y decline in January. Yahoo!’s first 2 months of 1Q domestic core search volume’s decline of 9.3% Y/Y underperforms 4Q’s 0.5% Y/Y decline.
4.Microsoft sites domestic core search market share increased to 11.5% in February from 11.3% in January. Microsoft sites grew February core search volume by 55.4% Y/Y, up from 49.6% Y/Y growth in January. Microsoft sites’ domestic core search volume was up 52.4% Y/Y in the first two months of 1Q, ahead of 41.9% Y/Y growth in 4Q.
5.Ask Network domestic core search market share dropped slightly, to 3.7% in February from 3.8% in January. Ask grew February core search volume by 0.7% Y/Y, down from 15.5% Y/Y growth in January. Ask Network domestic core search volume was up by 7.8% Y/Y in the first two months of 1Q vs. 8.8% Y/Y growth in 4Q.
AOL February domestic core search market share stayed flat at 2.5% in February. AOL February core search volume declined by 29.3% Y/Y vs. a 27.8% Y/Y decline in January. AOL domestic core search volume was down 28.5%

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Steve Ballmer’s paints Microsoft’s future in Cloud

Posted in The cloud and the open source by Manas Ganguly on March 9, 2010

Cloud computing continues to be big business. Cloud-based offerings pulled in $46.4 billion in 2008, a number that was projected to increase to $56.3 billion in 2009 and $150.1 billion by 2013. Thus the technology is slated to have a 21% CAGR over the near horizon.

Steve Ballmer is busy directing the resources of Microsoft to build its future in the cloud. Quoting Ballmer:
“The cloud fuels Microsoft, and Microsoft fuels the cloud. About 70 percent of the folks that work for us today are either doing something exclusively for the cloud or is inspired to serve the five dimensions that I talked about today. A year from now, that will be 90 percent.”

Ballmer is buoyant with the fresh success of Office 2010. Microsoft Office 2010, due in June, will is optimized for the cloud. Ballmer said. “We’re having some success. For the parts of our Office product that are already in the cloud, about 90 percent of the customers – at least institutions that we work with – choose us.”

Microsoft is moving toward storing data in the cloud as much, or more, than on a user’s hard drive – whether it be the movies that users can download via Xbox Live or TellMe, a voice-driven service that will handle about 10 billion spoken commands this year. The Windows 7.0 will also have the plug inns that will enable it to connect to the cloud. Windows Azure, SQL Azure, Microsoft SharePoint, and Exchange – lie on top of data services and use the smartphones and enterprise computing devices as input. Microsoft is also launching an ad campaign focused on its commercial and government businesses, which stand to benefit from cloud services.

So, then that is about Microsoft’s effort to move and centralize its business around cloud computing. Reproduced below is Steve Ballmer’s memo to the Microsoft group employees which places emphasis on cloud computing as the future for Microsoft. For once Mr.Ballmer you are so right and spot on.

The Body copy of the memo:

Today, I spoke to a group of students and faculty at the University of Washington to discuss how cloud computing will change the way people and businesses use technology.

My goal was to challenge people to look at the cloud more broadly and understand the multidimensional nature of the cloud transformation happening today. Other companies have defined the cloud in a narrow, one-dimensional way. Although these companies provide some interesting components, Microsoft is uniquely delivering on a wide range of cloud capabilities that bring increasingly more value to our customers.

In my speech, I outlined the five dimensions that define the way people use and realize value in the cloud:

• The cloud creates opportunities and responsibilities
• The cloud learns and helps you learn, decide and take action
• The cloud enhances your social and professional interactions
• The cloud wants smarter devices
• The cloud drives server advances that drive the cloud

This view fuels our investments across the entire company, from datacenters to cloud platform technologies to cloud-based development tools and applications. Today, nearly every one of our products has, or is developing, features or services that support the cloud. As I said today, when it comes to the cloud, we are all in. We are all in across every product line we have and across every dimension of the cloud.

Of course, this is not news to any of you. We have been making huge investments in the cloud for the past decade. Nearly five years ago, Ray’s “Services Disruption” memo provided the outline for what we needed to do as a company, and with the delivery of Windows Azure at the recent PDC, we have made huge strides in making this vision real.

To keep our momentum, it is critical that every Microsoft employee works to deliver the full benefits of the cloud to our customers.

As a part of this, I request that you do the following:

• Watch the speech on demand here
• Learn more about our cloud offerings and how they relate to our overarching software plus services strategy here
• Review your commitments to ensure you are landing our vision with customers and partners.

Of course, there is more work to do. We have strong competitors. We need to be (and are) willing to change our business models to take advantage of the cloud. We must move at “cloud speed,” especially in our consumer offerings. And we need to be crystal clear about the value we provide to all our customers.

To drive our message home even further, today you will see an ad campaign in the U.S. focused on our commercial and government businesses, a new website with consolidated content and case studies, and ongoing emphasis on the cloud from me and other members of the SLT in our upcoming speeches and presentations.

We have an enormous opportunity in front of us. We have great products and services in the market today and a range
of new ones on their way.

All of our products make the cloud better, and the cloud makes our products better.

Thanks,
Steve

Infosys Flypp: Unveiling the MVNA/MVNE era

Posted in Industry updates, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on March 8, 2010

How Infosys powered Flypp platform for Mobile Apps would redefine MVNA/MVNE constructs

Days after Airtel announced its Apps store, Infosys, India’s 2nd largest IT services company announced its plan to roll out mobile application stores for 9 mobile operators across the globe. Infosys is already partnering with Aircel to build Aircel Pocket Apps. Infosys is working with 2 more Indian Carriers and has other operator partnerships in West Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. Infosys claims that it can deliver a full fledged apps store within 6-8 weeks, with its applications platform, Flypp. The Flypp platform allows Infosys to develop utility-based apps that can be used across mobile devices, regardless of the operating systems or hardware constraints. The apps featured include apps developed in-house as well as those developed by Apps Developers.

As part of Infosys’s new engagement models (NEMs), Flypp is offered to operators on a revenue-share basis. Flypp hosts 2,000 apps that can be directly deployed by mobile operators into an app store and we will grow the number to about 10,000 by mid-2010,

NEM strategy and its mobile application implementation at Infosys, is a critical business unit for the company. Flypp is able to provide operators a host of localized mobile apps that can differentiate one app store from another and drive data consumption at the customer end. Flypp provides independent software vendors a viable and attractive channel to showcase and monetize their proprietary applications across multiple geographies and service providers. App developers are not charged to host their apps; only when an app is downloaded by customers does the operator pay for the download and revenue is shared with the developer.

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Infosys only began targeting the domestic telecom market during the past 12 months, having previously targeted its efforts towards North America and the UK. Already the mobile platform has helped the company to report good numbers from the telecom industry that contributes nearly 16 per cent to its revenues. For Infosys, Flypp allows it to price its services based on business level outcome against input based pricing or fixed price projects. Expected to be a critical focus area for the company, nearly 1/3rd of the company’s revenues are estimated to come from NEMs in the next 5-7 years. Currently, the non-linear initiatives contribute about 5 per cent to its revenues and the pie is expected to grow going forward. The Indian market’s contribution to Infosys’s revenue is a mere 1.2 per cent, and with initiatives such as these, the company wants to increase its domestic revenues.

Infosys with its global presence and IT experience should be able to re-define Mobile Virtual Network Enablers and Aggregators (MVNA/MVNE) in its true sense. With its platform approach, Infosys becomes the enabler for Mobile companies to leverage on Infosys’s IT development strengths. This also helps Operators to focus on their core business and leave the IT led apps development processes to the IT specialist.With its ability to pull the pool of Apps developers and giving them a larger canvas/market, Infosys could soon evolve into an aggregator as well. There are challenges in managing a eco-system, but Infosys has a formidable reputation to back it up. What goes unsaid is this move allows Infosys to have a very sound stepping stone into the Mobile Industry through the Apps route.

Bottomlines: The Flypp powered App store may be a success or failure for consumers or Telecom Carriers, but in the long run, it will be an ideal stepping stone and learning experience for Infosys in terms of Consumption of mobile apps and internet. The Insights could be leveraged in other ventures for Infosys

Google Transit: Real Life Solutions to Delhi’s commuter problems

Posted in Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on March 6, 2010

Google Transit, a partnership between Google and Delhi Metro comes as a welcome announcement for travellers in Delhi trying to get from Point A to B through the Delhi metro. It facilitates travellers by providing them with not just driving directions, but also metro schedules and routes, offering detailed information on which metro lines to take, what time trains leave, where to switch, what the cost of the commute is, how long it the trip will take, and what services – whether these be ATMs, coffee shops or bars – are near a designated metro station. Google Transit will be available for free on data enabled mobile phones.

The service will continue to be updated as the Delhi Metro updates its information. The Google/DMRC partnership comes at a good time, given that Delhi expects a surge of tourism surrounding the Commonwealth Games in October.

Google has also launched the service in an experimental manner in Kolkata, as well as parts of Chennai and Hyderabad and has expressed an interest in partnering with multiple agencies in various regions.

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Profiling IPTV (Part IV): The Outlook on Indian Markets. A Billion Dollar Opportunity

Posted in New Technologies, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on March 5, 2010

Outlook

Wireless IPTV: Wireless IPTV also called ‘Quadruple Play’ is going to be a revolution in India. Launch of 3G and WiMax technology will bring about a huge change in the Indian market.

User generated content: IPTV is much ahead of DTH when it comes to user generated content. Exclusivity of content and differentiation will be key requirements for IPTV to be successful has gone beyond DTH potential to go beyond DTH when it comes to brining user interactivity believes that wireless IPTV is going to be a revolution in India. Launch of 3G and WiMax technology will bring about a huge change in the Indian market.
Interactivity: IPTV is all about interactivity, services from a cable or satellite operator are ‘pushed’ into your home. The user has limited choice and has to keep on surfing channels for variety. Cable TV is a one-way communication where as IPTV provides for a two-way communication. Users have complete control over the content they wishes to view. Content providers and operators will have to come up with more innovative interactive services to capture the imagination of Indian consumers.

Competitive environment: IPTV is not just restricted to telecom operators, globally leading cable operators have also aggressively marketed IPTV services to reach out to new customers. Cable operators can leverage their existing cable network infrastructure, existing customer base and customer reach to offer comprehensive and high quality services at affordable prices.

Recommendations

Indian operators providing IPTV services have not aggressively pushed and promoted IPTV like the way they have promoted DTH. The marketing efforts have been lacking to a great extent. Though BSNL has tried to some extent, the efforts are more of an evaluation strategy rather than a marketing strategy. A more focused marketing strategy would yield better results for these companies. Long term success will depend on Operators collaborating with content developers, content providers and VAS providers to offer unique customized customer centric content. Exclusive content, such as any sporting event exclusive rights, is another area where global operators have been able to push IPTV.
IPTV operators should leverage flexibility of IP platform to extend services to mobile platforms and develop effective approach for content acquisition. Operators need to build advanced services and offer more options for bundling with other services to improve value proposition. Web based and mobile video delivery by working on IPTV into a cross platform strategy could be a significant leverage available.

The Indian market could be the next billion dollar opportunity for the equipment providers for Global and Indian IPTV equipment providers. The need is to have innovation and technology to produce low cost customized set top boxes that can cater to Indian masses. Equipment makers will have to draw inspiration from mobile devices manufacturers like Nokia and to some extent healthcare device makers like GE who have learned the art of building low cost and quality products targeted at Indian consumers.

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Indian Telecom Story (Part XXVII): The Future is Mobile Internet.Is India Ready?

Posted in Industry updates, Internet and Search, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on March 4, 2010

The Mobile Revolution is dead, Long live the Internet revolution!

At the very outset, I need to correct myself: The Mobile Revolution is not dead by any means. India is just 525 million subscribers young and the estimate is 1 billion by 2014. However, the age of hyper competition has seen the net revenue realizations drop like a stone through the last few months. White Box Manufacturers from China have swamped the device arena and have redefined the principles “lower cost of acquisition” and “feature rich devices”. Micromax, a non entity till an year back has done close to a million devices in the January, 2010 calendar month. You still have to add Spice, Karbonn and others to the list. On a cumulative basis white box manufacturers a.k.a local players are clocking close to 1.5-2 million handsets in a month. That’s some number. However, the point I try making here is that India with its 525 million subscribers is suddenly not as attractive a telecom market for the next 500 million waiting to happen. ARPUs and realizations have reduced considerably for the incumbents and it is difficult to fathom how the new entrants want to make sustainable profits. Fortunately for Indian Telecom, 3G looks like a near future possibility and while most of the spectrum will still be used by voice services, there is some hope for data and VAS models.


The Google Bus which was an initiative by Google to introduce the Internet to the masses.

Internet and delivery: The Telecom Operator perspective.
The next big thing for Indian Telecom is likely to be Internet and Internet based VAS services. To put it in numbers, the number of Mobile subscribers in India is 525 million and the number of internet users is 47 million. The opportunity thus would be leveraging the existing 47 million users and the big opportunity is growing the 47 million onwards. Coupled with applications like Mobile ticketing, Mandi Rates, Weather services, Banking and payments, internet would change the way people think and work radically. The idea is not the top of the line innovative “bells and whistles” apps but apps which reflect daily chores and activities that people undertake. (Remember the “What an Idea Sirjee” ads?). Content aggregators, developers, Telecom Operators, handset manufacturers and the eco-system needs to bring solutions which help people fulfill their daily requirements in a better manner.

The interesting thought here is that Internet delivery may not be the way it is currently done.
• The Computer will definitely be replaced by the handheld
• Regionalization and Vernacularization of content will be the key to adoption

Device capability and building the eco-system: The Handset manufacturer’s perspective
So for handset makers in India, its time to abandon the cost game and play the value game. Nokia is already learning the ropes with its Life Tools and is trying to create an eco-system in the current for service demands of the future. However, a lot others are not quite there both in terms of intent and capability. The game will see a shift from “Call and SMS” handsets to “Call, SMS and more” handsets.

The capability building will include two things:
• Device capability: Evolve from “Talk and SMS” Device strategy to data capable handsets. Most of the handsets in the mid range are not even Java enabled and have inadequate RAMs. This may be OK for cost reduction in short term but the devices would be severely short in terms of generating a demand tomorrow.
• Building an Eco-System: Device manufacturers need to integrate their products with a development eco-system. It would mean giving away a lot of their channel power to the aggregator or developer but it is necessary to get into the shared mode of delivery rather than “do it all myself”.

The mobile internet revolution is waiting to happen. However the delivery and the content needs to be thought through.

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