Ronnie05's Blog

Chrome and H.264: Endlines (Part III)

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems by Manas Ganguly on January 20, 2011

Without Google’s support Chrome’s decision to drop H.264 may be a spoiler for its own future (and it hasnt been as bright for Chrome as other Google products)

Advantage Flash. Chrome may suddenly become a little less useful

Most mainstream accessible HD video both online and off today is encoded in H.264 and would need to be either transcoded or put into a Flash container to be viewable in Chrome. Some developers and video editors have said they plan to abandon Chrome as an explicit target since they would have to support at least two and possibly three video implementations to get Chrome to work. Third-party plugins may work around the flaw, but critics have noted that Google so far hasn’t been consistent in dropping proprietary formats and still has fully integrated Flash.

Half Move

Google, with the growing popularity of its Android mobile OS and the recent introduction of Google TV, packaged into electronics by technology companies like Logitech, is growing its reach to the point where it could perhaps mount a challenge to H.264 across all screens. However, Chrome dropping support for H.264 is a half move really because Google continues to support H.264 in its Android mobile operating system and will likely will probably continue to serve thousands upon thousands of videos in H.264 via YouTube. That makes Google’s Chrome-only announcement relatively impotent. Depending on whether Google chooses to extend this technology decision to its other products, the dropping of H.264 support in Chrome could be either hugely influential or dismissively foolish.

Indian Telecom Story (Part XXXVI): Mobile Number portability dawns!

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on January 20, 2011

The key word here is FINALLY. After years of being pushed and lobbied against Mobile number portability finally becomes a reality on Indian Soils. So whats changing?

Is the MNP a bug bear or will it see huge churns?

There are arguments and numbers both in favour and against. Analysts estimate the rate of subscriber churn at 6-8% among pre-paid subscribers, who make up nearly 95% of India’s 700 million mobile phone connections, and 1-3% among post-paid subscribers. The 5% subscriber base of post-paid subscribers contributes about 20% of revenues for larger telecom players. That’s the prize money various mobile operators are going to fight over — to win the post-paid subscribers.

Sample This: Hindustan Times – MaRS in a report have painted a dooms scenario for a few of the operators. According to this survey 17.6% or an estimated 120 million users (of the 700 million base) will want to switch. Two of the old timers, Airtel and Vodafone are expected to count windfalls where as BSNL and the CDMA houses are expected to loose subscribers!

The test market, Haryana, where MNP was introduced 2 months back hasn’t however shown any huge blip in terms of churn. Just about 1,40,000 out of 19 million subscribers in Haryana (1% users) have switched their operators, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

Telecom operators are already developing specific retention strategies wherein key customers will be offered incentives to stay on. Deep discounts would be offered to high value customers who would want to change operator.

CDMA operators (Reliance and Tata Tele) are expected to be the big losers as users may side up with the incentive to move to GSM comes from a wider choice of handsets as well as service providers.

How does it effect the Operators?

MNP is expected to cause a near-term increase in S&M (sales and marketing) costs, network expenses, and churn rates. However, meaningful proportion of corporate subscribers moving from incumbents to new entrants would not possibly happen. Operators are likely to respond by bringing down post-paid tariffs, which are currently about 25% higher than pre-paid call rates. The boldest move yet has came from Loop Mobile, a regional operator in Mumbai, that went beyond the talk by offering to compensate subscribers for every dropped call. Such post-paid tariff reduction could put Telco earnings at risk by a factor of 5-8%. MNP is likely to increase the cost structure of all the players as they will need to spend more on improving their quality of service and customer care. Measures, to both attract customers and retain customers take its toll on profitability of Telcos given that tariff levels are already extremely low. Under such a scenario, telecom operators with stronger financial profile would be better placed to cope with the increasing competitive intensity

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