Ronnie05's Blog

Elaborating the 3G Services

I get the feeling sometimes that 3G is more of a global buzzword amongst people around with only a shallow understanding of the services it enables. Sure, everyone is aware of the High Speed Data Access on mobile devices, but what does it do beyond that? Here are a few thoughts on services and features that 3G enables/would enable in times to come:

1. Large “Enterprise” Apps: The SAP and Oracle ERP systems run on broadband and even then are notoriously heavy on system resources and usage. 3G with its enhanced data bandwidth and higher speeds of data would be a huge enabler in terms of running these large “enterprise” applications on the mobile “on the go”. Enterprise adoption for running business and systems would thus be the biggest contributor for 3G revenues.
2. Video Streaming
: This will be the most “visible” benefit of the high data speeds in 3G across a diverse set of usages
a. Video Conferencing: We have seen this (remember the Deepika Padukone BSNL ad)
b. Video Streaming/Mobile TV
: TV content on the move through air on the mobile
c. Social Networking: While access to Facebook and other SNS sites is possible on 2G, video sharing is yet to catch on. Videos On Facebook and YouTube consumption will see a big fillip thanks to the data speeds of 3G
d. Mobile Surveillance
: An application which has both enterprise and domestic use, video feeds of users house or work place will be enabled by 3G

3. Live Gaming: Rich media transferred through over the Internet providing a console like Gaming experience would be another domain that would benefit from high data speeds

4. Cloud Streaming: Music, Video Clippings, or Streaming Games are possibly the first phase of Cloud based services. Going beyond, the focus would shift to the Cloud wholly. The kind of stuff being spoken of here is Part OS in the cloud, Remote Software, Remote Applications. The user device would simply have to log into the cloud and choose the end service and the enablers will dynamically support the end service. Thus a lot of storage on the device (such as mobile phones), will shift to the cloud which will come into service only when required by the user. The high data speeds will support the dynamic transfer of data and services through the air.

5. Location Based Services: While most Location Based services will normally be supported on 2G networks, there may be high end applications such as LAYAR which will require speedy and dynamic link up with the central servers to feed location data to the consumers

6. m-Commerce, m-Health, m-Payments and m-Banking: All and most of these are supported by 2G services, but enhanced data and security layers for payments, banking and commerce could be facilitated by 3G. Similarly Remote Health monitoring (in absence of broadband connectivity) can be another major service enabled by 3G (remember the Deepika Padukone BSNL ad again)

Gartner: Top 5 mobile applications in the future

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates, The Technology Ecosystem by Manas Ganguly on November 20, 2009

Gartner has predicted that Money transfer applications, Location based services and mobile search will be amongst the top 5 mobile application categories by 2012. The predictions are basis the revenue projections, loyalty and business model, consumer value and estimated market size and penetration of each of these application categories. Consumer mobile applications and services will no longer the prerogative of mobile carriers. The increasing consumer interest in smart-phones, the participation of Internet players in the mobile space, and the emergence of application stores and cross-industry services are reducing the dominance of mobile carriers. Each player will influence how the application is delivered and experienced by consumers, who ultimately vote with their attention and spending power.

A few inferences that can be drawn about the mobile applications perspective: The Importance of the eco-system approach to develop and deploy applications and the emergence of MVNAs (Content aggregators) and MVNEs (Content Enablers)!

Gartner also predicts customers will use no more than 5 mobile applications, which would be chosen according to their needs and demands. There will be opportunities from niche market apps as well.

1.Money transfer ranks No. 1 on Gartner’s 2012 biggest applications list, contending the service’s lower costs, speed and overall convenience boast strong appeal to users in developing markets.
2.Gartner believes the LBS user base will grow from 96 million worldwide in 2009 to 526 million in 2012, crediting its ability to meet a range of needs spanning from productivity and goal fulfillment to social networking and entertainment
3.Mobile search, is listed third due to its dramatic impact on technology innovation and industry revenue.
4.Mobile browsing–according to Gartner, browsers will be available on about 80 percent of handsets shipping in 2012, compared to 60 percent of devices in 2009.
5.Mobile health monitoring is fifth, followed in descending order by mobile payment, NFC, mobile advertising, instant messaging and mobile music.


Google Android Eclair gets Google maps navigation


I first used a navigation based software more than 2 years back. It was the voice based navigation system NAVTEQ on the Nokia E90 communicator. The maps were still evolving and the ancillary services have come a long way since.

Google today announced upgraded maps and navigation for mobile: Google Maps Navigation (Beta) for Android 2.0 devices. It features 3D views, turn-by-turn voice guidance and automatic rerouting. The enhanced Google maps features the following upgrades:

  1. Google Maps Navigation, automatically updates maps and business listings from Google Maps eliminating the need to buy maps or update the software.
  2. Search function is enabled on the software (Like Google on the internet)
  3. Search by voice is a very potent feature which takes makes the work of typing inputs light and this is one of the biggest advantages of the Google Maps Navigation.
  4. Live traffic view is another killer feature in the Google Maps Navigation.  A Traffic indicator light in the corner of the screen glows green, yellow or red, depending on the current traffic conditions along the route. For all those hassled by long traffic stoppage times, this feature is a HUGE utility.
  5. Google Maps Navigation searches along the route to give ancillary points of interest e.g restaurants, gas stations etc.
  6. Google Maps Navigation uses the same satellite imagery as Google Maps on the desktop….
  7. …and yet can zoom into the next turn looks like. Double-tapping the map to zoom into Street View, shows the turn as one would see it, with the route overlaid.

Video Demo

How will Facebook become the most important company on internet?

Posted in Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on September 7, 2009

An interesting article by Mike Elgan, Computerworld detailing his views about the opportunities that Facebook has in making a splash through its status as the biggest social networking portal. Compelling read.

Facebook could become the most important company on the Internet — more important even than you-know-whoogle.

How? By becoming indispensible to everybody as the ultimate mobile social networking service. Here’s what Facebook should do:

1. Add one-button friending: Facebook’s iPhone app, as well as other Facebook cell-phone apps, should feature a button that uses Bluetooth to scan the room for other people who have also activated their Facebook buttons. Once you and the other person have tapped your respective buttons, you’ll now be “Friends” on Facebook.

This single feature would replace business cards for business people, and the standard processes for casual connections among younger people.

It would leverage the user base to practically “force” non-users to sign up. Imagine a business meeting or a nightclub where everyone is connecting, and you’re sitting there like a schmuck muttering stuff like, “er, I don’t really use Facebook.”

2. Emphasize use of Facebook as an address book: Once everyone got into the habit of connecting with their cell phones, all data on friends, family and colleagues would be in Facebook, not Outlook, Gmail or dedicated contact software.

Facebook should then enable users to add any and all contacts, or to import them from other applications. That would make Facebook the preferred contact application.

The new iPhone app that shipped last month makes it super easy to tap the “Friends” icon, and get to what is essentially an address book. (The address book is one tab called “Info” and the other two tabs are: “Wall” and “Photos.”)

If I ran Facebook, I’d tell the UI team to default to Info, and put the phone number and e-mail address at the top. That would mean using the Facebook address book would be as easy as any other address book, with two benefits. First, the contact data is maintained by the owner of that data, not you, so it’s always up to date. Second, it comes with “Wall” data, so you can easily see what people are up to before you call or e-mail.

3. Improve messaging: Everybody has a love-hate relationship with e-mail. We love it because it’s so useful and universal. But we hate it because of spam.

Facebook is in a position to offer a superior alternative to e-mail, because people can only send messages to you if you’ve pre-approved them (by friending them).

Unfortunately, Facebook’s “Inbox” feature is slow and cumbersome to use. It should work more like e-mail and less like some kind of dumb message board. It should also let you send messages outbound over e-mail, and people should be able to send you messages from the outside only if they’re replying to your Facebook-originating message.

In other words, it would work exactly like e-mail, but people or companies that are not on your Facebook friends list would not be able to initiate messages to you. Good-bye spam! Hello forcing everyone to use Facebook!

4. Leverage location data: Nokia announced last week that some of its smartphones will be able to use a Nokia-developed application to push location data to Facebook as part of a status update.

First of all, this is just scratching the surface of how location data can enhance Facebook. Second, Facebook should be building this, not partners.

Facebook should be able to tell you when friends are nearby. This should be user controllable, so you can choose to be alerted to all friends, just some friends or no friends. The idea is that when you get within, say, a half-mile of someone you care about, your phone bleeps, and it says, “Joe Schmo is just around the corner!” Facebook should then offer options to chat, call, meet up or ignore.

5. Fix the internal spam problem: Give users the ability to auto-reject cause, group and other invitations. It’s just so much spam to most of us, and makes us long for an alternative to Facebook.

By letting people who don’t want to get this junk to turn it off, Facebook would suddenly become wonderful to use, rather than annoying.

Sure, there are a gazillion tweaks Facebook could make to improve the service for users. But to become massively powerful, Facebook should own the future of mobile social networking, improve messaging and get rid of the junk that makes Facebook annoying.

That’s where the money is, too, by the way. By doing the five items on my list, Facebook could replace Linked-in, Plaxo, DubMeNow, Gmail, and a host of other services. They could scan messages like Google does and present contextual ads. They could provide contextual ads based on location, even offering a restaurant or bar as a suggestion for where to meet nearby friends. And by implementing my plan, they would gain millions of new users, further boosting their power to attract big ad dollars.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Facebook will aggressively pursue any of this. Based on past performance, I think Facebook will squander the opportunity of the decade. They’ll muddle along as a popular social network, and let Google, Microsoft and others make off with the future of mobile social networking.

Too bad. Facebook could been a contender.


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