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Beyond the tip of the Ice-Berg- The Multi Billion $$ Indian MVAS market Opportunity

Posted in Industry updates, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on March 30, 2013

Presenting a few key take outs from the WCIR (Wipro Council of Industry Research) and IAMAI report on the Future of the India MVAS industry – Beyond what is now to where it could be headed in times to come.

1. Number of mobile Internet users in India set to explode by a factor 2X between December 2012 and March 2014, from 87.1mln to nearly 165 mln.
2. Indian MVAS market will grow at a CAGR of 25% between 2012 and 2015 to reach US $9.5 billion in 2015, from an estimated US $4.9 billion in 2012.

Total Indian MVAS Market Size (in US $ blns)

3. Even though 96% of the survey respondents accessed the internet on mobile devices, only 56% had subscribed to some form of paid MVAS
a. Most of these subscriptions are basic offerings such as SMS alerts and CRBTs
b. Paid services used today only enable limited value delivery to providers and consumers alike
4. VAS services available today are perceived to lack customization and are easily replaced with freely available options.

Reasons for not subscribing to Paid VAS

5. Complexity is consistently rated as a key barrier to service adoption. 64% of participants believed that advanced mobile health services would to be too complex to use.
6. Users express concerns about the unique aspects of the mobile experience that could compromise usability. 56% of participants were concerned about the screen size of mobile devices.

VA Service Usage by Classification

7. Researches such IAMAI and Wipro establish that they are willing to pay for services when they perceive value.
a. 80% of the respondents believe that enriched and transformational data services will save time.
b. Therefore, the use of basic services is projected to decline, while enriched and transformational services are projected to rise from current usage levels
c. Transformational services will reinvent the consumer experience – and may ultimately replace the brick and mortar alternatives or complement them
8. In terms of VA services, mEntertainment is expected to be the largest contributor to operator MVAS revenues and provides key opportunities in localized vernacular content, on-demand music and video content and live TV shows and events
9. Innovation in other MVAS categories such as mEducation, mFinance, mHealth has largely stalled out with basic SMS and IVR based information services.
10. Services available today only skim the surface of consumer experience. As categories reach higher and higher maturities, consumer requirements will evolve faster- driving a rapid shift in consumer preference from basic to enriched to transformational services

With acceleration in 3G/4G deployments, increasing smartphone penetration and MVAS maturity – Users will migrate from the basic services to enriched services aand furthermore to Transformational services – and that will drive dramatic growth in the industry. Listing down a few recommendations maximize chances of success in the Indian MVAS market.

The new VAS paradigm - Charting Success Strategies

Source: Beyond the tip of the Iceberg IAMAI/WCIR report

Post PC or PC Plus?

Posted in Device Platforms, Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on March 28, 2013

IDC in its most recent report indicates that Tablets will surpass Desktops globally by 2013 and notebooks by 2014. IDC indicates, global shipments of smart connected devices to have increased about 30% in 2012, surpassing last year’s 1 billion units shipped with $576.9 billion generated. Tablets pushed the growth rates with a scorching 78% YoY growth (2013 versus 2012).

IDC Computing Devices 2012-17

IDC also notes shipments of desktop PCs will continue dipping, another 4.3 percent, in 2013
Notebooks will see a marginal growth of 0.9 percent.
Tablets, are predicted to register a new high of 190 million units shipped in 2013 with year-over-year growth of more than 48 percent.
IDC says smartphones will also grow another 27 percent, posting 918.5 million units shipments this year.

In terms of OEMs, Apple significantly closes the gap with market leader Samsung in the last quarter of 2012 with the combination of the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini bringing the company up to 20.3 percent unit shipment share as compared to 21.2 percent for Samsung.

Interestingly enough then, PC majors such as HP and Dell would increasingly get outmoded by the likes of Amazon – the antithesis of device majors.

So then, does this mean the end of the PC era? The Post PC era? … as Steve Jobs had crystal gazed. Well, it looks a certainity with these numbers and yet i would claim it as dawn of the PC plus era! Its a contrarian view given the convergence scenario – but i do believe that we will see a mobile stack of 4-5 devices going forward – Smartphone, Tablet, Notebook, Smart Watch or Google Glass and more (Smart TV, Smart Car and Smart Refridgerator not counted).

Tablets will occupy a unique place. PCs will occupy a unique place – Physical keyboards are actually really important. Both devices will co-exist with more and more convertibility and ability to work together. The convergence eco-systems will also work on platform portability across the range of converged devices.

Hence it is not so much as “passover” of the PC as the emergence of new computing devices which only add to the PC to further the case of always on ubiquitous computing.

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Infographic: India Tablet Market (CY 2012)

Posted in Device Platforms, Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on March 25, 2013

The infographic below captures the market dynamics of the India Tablet markets in 2012. Tablets Zoomed, Phablets emerged as a segment and there was a change in leadership ranking order in offing. (Click to enlarge the Infographic)

Tablet 2012 Infographic

Source: CMR

India iGDP set to break through $100billion with 300mln+ connections by 2015: McKinsey

Posted in Industry updates, Technology impact on economy and population by Manas Ganguly on March 20, 2013

The Internet Economy in India is future waiting to happen. With approximately 200 million new users connecting to the internet in the next 3-4 years horizon Internet is the next big economic and commercial business opportunity. On a cummulative basis the internet economy’s contribution to India’s GDP (i-GDP) is set to break the $100 bln mark (a 3X growth compared to 2012)

1. Number of internet subscribers in India expected to grow from 135 million (Exit 2012) to 330 million (2015).
2. At the same time, Internet’s contribution from India’s GDP to grow from 1.6% in 2011 to 3.4% in 2015.
3. Thus India’s i-GDP (internet contribution to GDP) is expected to hit about $100 billion by 2015 – making it one of the most attractive investment locations and industries globally. Refer to the Chart below for the Assumptions and Calculations

Source: McKinsey's "India Internet Opportunity" March 2013

4. Device Convergence; low cost device innovations; reach and affordability of data networks; Increasing digital literacy; access relevant apps and services on the net are factors that are driving the growth of Internet networks in India.

Whats now required is a comprehensive government policy roadmap for the Telecom sector which has been adrift following a few bad calls by the government.

Source of Data: McKinsey Report March 2013 – India’s Internet Opportunity.

Google and the principle of more wood behind fewer arrows! ( Service Prioritization and End of Life)

Posted in Internet and Search, Mobile Computing by Manas Ganguly on March 19, 2013

Google prioritizes its products and services and while it is constantly innovating in different levels and layers of services – it is equally ruthless in chopping of products and services which donot support its strategic imperatives and directions.


From an outsider’s perspectice, the following principles are evident as a part of Google’s service End of Life (EOL) strategy.

1. Products and Services are shelved as and when a better substitute (in terms of delivery mechanism or service/customer experience) is in place
Examples include HTML over UiApp, 3D imagery (Street View) over Google Building maker, Android/Chrome over iGoogle, Youtube over Google Videos, Google Drive on desktop over Cloud Connect, Google Shopping over Search API and many more.

2. Axing stand alone services in favour of a platform approach
For Instance HTML5 over Voice App for Blackberry, Google Apps/Vault over Postini (and many more)

3. Inadequate or middle of nowhere solution!
Lack of success of Google Wave was attributed among other things to its complicated user interface resulting in a product that was a bit like email, a bit like an instant messenger and a bit like a wiki but ultimately couldn’t do any of the things really better than the existing solutions

4. Services that are simply non-core i.e it doesnot extend Google’s strategic imperatives
Google Classic Plus was a customization service that let people upload or select images to use as a background on However, it really was noncore in terms of customer experience or service delivery. It was hence dropped.

5. And then there is Performance…
Google Health (inspite of all its promise) was axed as it was seen not having the broad impact that Google had planned. Same goes with Google Apps for teams as well.

Listed below are a list of services that have been chopped over the last few years – for not having made the Google cut – its a case of Google forever prioritizing and trying to put more wood behind fewer arrows

A list of services that Google has plugged out to focus on a narrower set of objectives and services

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CISCO VNI: Mobile Internet data traffic to grow 13-fold by 2017

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on March 17, 2013

Highlights of the CISCO Visual NBetworking Index foreacsts (2012-17):

Growth in Mobile data traffic
Global mobile data traffic will jump by 13 times over to a rate of 11.2 exabytes consumed globally per month at an annual run rate of 134 exabytes. To put this in a frame of reference, the monthly rate for 2012 was 0.9 exabytes of mobile data traffic.
The highest growth rate for mobile data traffic in the Middle East and Africa at a rate of with 17.3-fold growth. But the Asia/Pacific region is expected to dominate with the most mobile traffic overall, accumulating 5.3 exabytes per month by 2017.

Global mobile data traffic grew 70 percent in 2012.
Global mobile data traffic reached 885 petabytes per month at the end of 2012, up from 520 petabytes per month at the end of 2011. The amount of mobile Internet data traffic is poised to explode in the next four years — especially in Africa and the Asia/Pacific region.


Last year’s mobile data traffic was nearly twelve times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000.
Global mobile data traffic in 2012 (885 petabytes per month) was nearly twelve times greater than the total global Internet traffic in 2000 (75 petabytes per month).

Mobile video traffic exceeded 50 percent for the first time in 2012.
Mobile video traffic was 51 percent of traffic by the end of 2012.

Mobile network connection speeds more than doubled in 2012.
Globally, the average mobile network downstream speed in 2012 was 526 kilobits per second (kbps), up from 248 kbps in 2011. The average mobile network connection speed for smartphones in 2012 was 2,064 kbps, up from 1,211 kbps in 2011. The average mobile network connection speed for tablets in 2012 was 3,683 kbps, up from 2,030 kbps in 2011.

In 2012, a fourth-generation (4G) connection generated 19 times more traffic on average than a non-4G connection.
Although 4G connections represent only 0.9 percent of mobile connections today, they already account for 14 percent of mobile data traffic.

The top 1 percent of mobile data subscribers generate 16 percent of mobile data traffic, down from 52 percent at the beginning of 2010.
According to a mobile data usage study conducted by Cisco, mobile data traffic has evened out over the last year and is now lower than the 1:20 ratio that has been true of fixed networks for several years.

Average smartphone usage grew 81 percent in 2012.
The average amount of traffic per smartphone in 2012 was 342 MB per month, up from 189 MB per month in 2011.

Smartphones represented only 18 percent of total global handsets in use in 2012, but represented 92 percent of total global handset traffic.
In 2012, the typical smartphone generated 50 times more mobile data traffic (342 MB per month) than the typical basic-feature cell phone (which generated only 6.8 MB per month of mobile data traffic).

Globally, 33 percent of total mobile data traffic was offloaded onto the fixed network through Wi-Fi or femtocell in 2012.
In 2012, 429 petabytes of mobile data traffic were offloaded onto the fixed network each month. Without offload, mobile data traffic would have grown 96 percent rather than 70 percent in 2012.

Android is now higher than iPhone levels of data use.
By the end of 2012, average Android consumption exceeded average iPhone consumption in the United States and Western Europe.

In 2012, 14 percent of mobile devices and connections were potentially IPv6-capable.
This estimate is based on network connection speed and OS capability.

In 2012, the number of mobile-connected tablets increased 2.5-fold to 36 million, and each tablet generated 2.4 times more traffic than the average smartphone.
In 2012, mobile data traffic per tablet was 820 MB per month, compared to 342 MB per month per smartphone.

There were 161 million laptops on the mobile network in 2012, and each laptop generated 7 times more traffic than the average smartphone.
Mobile data traffic per laptop was 2.5 GB per month in 2012, up 11 percent from 2.3 GB per month in 2011.

Nonsmartphone usage increased 35 percent to 6.8 MB per month in 2012, compared to 5.0 MB per month in 2011.
Basic handsets still make up the vast majority of handsets on the network (82 percent).

Data traffic driven by profusion of devices not so much in terms of numbers of users
Cisco is predicting there will be 5.2 billion mobile users – up from 4.3 billion in 2012. But they also predicted that there will be more than 10 billion connected devices (including more than 1.7 billion M2M connections) within four years – up from 7 billion total in 2012.

Source: Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2012–2017

How dynamic distributed computing and resource allocation is pushing the boundaries of modern computing?

Posted in Big Data by Manas Ganguly on March 15, 2013

Globally, Petabytes and Zettabytes are the new everyday normals for Data and Data Operators. In the era of consumer based massive media generation, web giants such as Google and Twitter are honing their skills at dynamic and distributed computing to serve the global demands of high-speed data realization. Here’s how?

A Google data centre

The raw computing power for responding and processing to billions of online requests comes through data centres – clusters and arrays of servers handling queries and searches. Google for instance works on Petabytes of data generated on a daily basis. Management and economics of data centres are key technology and business supports for running the internet. Hence, processes and techniques to enable data centre efficiecies are key to great internet experience and data delivery.

Towards this Google and Twitter, independently have been working on Dynamic distributed computing resource allocation systems. The term is used to imply efficient parcelling of work and applications across Google’s fleet of data centre and armies of computing servers. Google calls this system Borg and Twitter calls it Mesos. Google has a next generation system that is in the works called – Omega.

These systems provide a central brain for controlling tasks across the company’s data centers. Rather than building a separate cluster of servers for each software system — one for Google Search, one for Gmail, one for Google Maps, etc. — Google can erect a cluster that does several different types of work at the same time. All this work is divided into tiny tasks, and the system dynamically assigns these tasks wherever it can find free computing resources, such as processing power or computer memory or storage space i.e resources.

Underneath the concept of dynamic distribution of application/ computing load across sets of servers is the core- the microprocessor! Traditionally, the computer processor — the brain at the center of a machine — ran one task at a time. But a multi-core processor lets the programmer run many tasks in parallel. Basically, it’s a single chip that includes many processors, or processor cores. The numbers could be as high as 64 or 128 cores on the same processor – thereby multiplying the processing capability.

Thus Omega and Mesos let you run multiple distributed systems atop the same cluster of servers. Instead of running one server for Application 1 and the second server for Application 2- this now allows the same server to run both the applications at the same time. Complex computational processes and data hogging activities now are automatically alloted computing resources and (server) core structure to allow the data centre do multiple times activity and computation.

Yes, there are other ways of efficiently spreading workloads across a cluster of servers. One could use virtualization, where virtual servers can run atop physical machines and then load them with relevant software and applications. But with Borg and Mesos, the human element in juggling all those virtual machines is eliminated making the process automated!

A perspective on data business model evolution

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on March 14, 2013

Data is the future and there are any number of. forecast based models about the growth of data businesses.

While the technology and the delivery mediums/ paradigms are in place, there’s little defining value creation in operator-user interactions. Presenting a simple 4 step evolution curve of data business from the mere transaction based model (followed globally by operators) to a more complex eco-system based intelligent networks which thrive on meaningful user-operator-advertiser-broadcaster relationship.

Operator Data Business Model Evolution

As I see it operators are already implementing different parts & elements of this roadmap and with the scissor curve setting in – there would be more unique and innovative business models which we would get to see in near future.

The paradigm of Multi screen experiences

Multi screen apps

Rapid adoption of mobile devices such as the Tablets, Smart TVs, Connected Cars and Augmented Reality units are creating a huge impact on the way consumers interact with content, potentially putting billions of consumer dollars up for grabs: cable licensing agreements, advertising budgets, on-demand subscription fees, not to mention the future of the connected home. But despite all of the excitement — or perhaps because of it — there is still a lot of confusion about what the different types of multi screen apps are and how the technology is evolving to support this use case.


Multi screen scenarios imply the instances when the user is engaged across multiple screens – the most notable is that of a TV and a mobile device. Google recently shared that a stunning 77% of users are using a second device when they are watching TV. On the surface of it, a content owner could be upset about this dual activity being a distraction and yet – Dual screen apps present an opportunity to engage the user on more than one consumption platform. For example- watching the Superbowl on TV and tweeting about the event online. Thus, this allows creation of an interactive experience that enhances it with additional information, related advertising, or calls to action. These are the types of experiences that are poised to radically transform the way consumers engage with content.

Top Activties across multi screens

Social Aggregators of multi screen content i.e Companies like GetGlue, Shazam, Zeebox, and Sidecastr have all created apps that detect what program a user is watching and present social or companion content on their device. Their hope is that they can assemble a large enough audience to become interesting to advertisers that want to target these users

Amongst the bigger players, Apple, Google, and Microsoft are each building enabling technology for dual screen apps into their platforms, as they view content-centric apps as a key battleground in their overall platform war. Also participating are consumer electronics giants like Samsung, Sony, and LG.

Prima Facie, the key here is when fundamental technology architectures are in play, platforms generally win in the long run. If one can successfully deliver the capabilities that enable armies of developers to build vertical or use case-specific applications, the network effects will generally overwhelm any individual competitor that is trying to do everything on its own.

Infographic on the Multi screen play
The new multi screen world

Media: the Paradigm of Passive and Active consumptions

Posted in Semantic Media and Web by Manas Ganguly on March 8, 2013

Platform owners, Content aggregators, Application makers are looking to increase the engagement quotient on the platforms. Engagement by its very definition is about activity as against passivity. Terms such as Activity and Engagement read attention spans, relevance, context, stickiness/repeats and discovery. On higher level – user generated content, user leads creation, influencing user responses and creating user stewardships is where the monies lie for the whole of the eco-system.

If Google calls itself a media company over its earlier definition of a technology company, it imagines the future right. Technology futurists are all for technology that enables active Media consumption, real time measurements of engagement and stickiness and serving up experiences which are relevant to the context of consumption. The ability to measure the consumer behavioral patterns to applied stimulus is key to a connected, converged media – this is something that i call Semantic Media. Quality of Consumer interaction with the content is a high stakes game, with billions of consumer dollars up for grabs: notwithstanding cable licensing agreements, advertising budgets, on-demand subscription fees, not to mention the future of the connected home.

media - active & passive consumption

Whats the future opportunity at hand? You have to think about TV in the 1940s-1950s and multiply the impact a couple of 100 times. Thats what the future of media and technology is worth!

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