Ronnie05's Blog

The Mobile Economy in India

Posted in Technology impact on economy and population by Manas Ganguly on December 19, 2013

Mobiles and Mobility in India is a empowering industry which is expected to grow 408% with 2012-20 @ 19% CAGR
This adds atleast 1.3 million jobs between 2012-2020 and…
.. contributes to 375% increase in public funding
This also means a 409% increase to infrastructure investments

India’s citizens rely on mobile technology and mobile-enabled services to a degree that few would have predicted only a few years ago. With nearly 900 million mobile connections across the country, India represents a quarter of all mobile connections in Asia Pacific, and this figure is expected to rise to 1.16 billion by 2017. With improved
spectrum pricing and management, growth of mobile broadband service is expected to continue, with 3G and 4G adoption projected to increase by 31% between 2013 and 2017.

Nevertheless, India still lags behind the world’s major economies in mobile maturity and penetration. Network investment by mobile operators is held back by low tariffs due to the market conditions, an unusually high level of competition, and the financial burden caused by government policies that channel funds away from the sector, such as the high cost of access to spectrum. Indian operators are amongst countries that have the highest debt and lowest profitability ratios in the Asia Pacific region. This affects their ability to upgrade consumer services, meet demand in highly populated urban areas and expand networks to provide coverage to people living in rural areas.

India is lacking a regulatory environment that allows the sector to surge ahead and deliver the full, transformative
power of mobile to all. To do this, the government must design policies and regulations — working with the mobile
industry — that maximise long-term private sector investment. In order to invest, the industry needs clarity on the direction and the overall economic and regulatory environment that will be put in place to support this path. Only with a sustainable mobile industry will India be able to achieve the vision described in the country’s National
Telecommunications Plan — “to provide secure, reliable, affordable and high-quality converged telecommunication services anytime and anywhere for accelerated, inclusive socio-economic development.”

Increased penetration of mobile technology in India will bring with it many socio-economic benefits. In Agriculture, mobile solutions improve yields and provide greater access to markets. Greater access to healthcare and reduced mortality are facilitated by mobile solutions, while mobile technology brings financial services to rural and underprivileged communities. With mobile solutions, education for all is a goal that is increasingly within reach. Government and Administration has an important role to play in all of these areas by removing barriers to the integration of mobile solutions in an increasingly connected world.

Excerpts from the GSMA BCG study on Mobile Industry in India

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Indian telecom: State and Statistics (TRAI)

Posted in Industry updates, Mobile Computing, Mobile Data & Traffic by Manas Ganguly on August 1, 2013

India is taking to the Internet and how!

A recently released TRAI states 164.81 million users in India who have internet access. Out of that 143.20 million subscribers access internet through wireless phones, i.e. mobile phones and tablets. This puts 87% data users in India access internet through mobiles.

TRAI data also reports negative growth in the Indian telecom sector. According to data released by TRAI today, the number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 895.51 million at the end of December 2012 to 898.02 million at the end of March this year, registering a growth of 0.28 per cent over the previous quarter Dec-12. This reflects year-on-year (Y-O-Y) negative growth of 5.61 per cent over the same quarter of last year. Interestingly, urban teledensity declined from 149.90 to 146.96 whereas rural subscription increased from 338.54 million to 349.22 million, and rural teledensity increased from 39.85 to 41.02. Monthly Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) for GSM service has been increased by 6.99 per cent, from 98 in December 2012 to 105 in March this year, with YoY increase of 7.84 per cent.

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Ericsson Mobility Report: February 2013 (Summary)

Posted in Mobile Data & Traffic by Manas Ganguly on February 20, 2013

Total number of net adds for Q4, 2012 accounted 140 million.

Ericsson- Mobile subs by region Q4, 2012

In terms of new subs/net adds, China leads the fray with 30 mln subs, followed by India (11 mln), Bangladesh (9mln), Indonesia (8 mln) and Nigeria (5mln).

Mobile subs have grown around 9% y-o-y and 2% q-o-q

Mobility Penetration Q4, 2012

In Q4, mobile broadband subscriptions1 grew ~125 million to 1.5 billion, reflecting a 50% year-on-year increase.

There is continued strong momentum for smartphone uptake in all regions. Approximately 40 percent of all mobile phones sold during 2012 were smartphones, compared to around 30 percent for the full year 2011. Only around 15-20 percent of the worldwide installed base of mobile phone subscriptions uses smartphones, which means that there is considerable room for
further uptake.

data Traffic World Wide

By the end of Q4, 2012, Global mobile penetration reached 89% totalling 6.3bln connections- However, actual number of subs is around 4.4 bln, since many users have multiple connections

GSM/GPRS/EDGE subscriptions grew ~44 million and WCDMA/HSPA grew ~70 million. Together these technologies represent ~80 percent of total net additions. LTE subscriptions grew from 14 million to 57 million. GSM/GPRS/EDGE + WCDMA/HSPA + LTE accounted for 90% of the global mobile net adds.

World wide data traffic continues a healthy uptrend and shows significant and stable growth. Data traffic has doubled Q-o-Q Q4, 2012 versus Q4, 2011 with a 28% quarterly growth between Q3, 2012 and Q4, 2012.There are variations in data consumption patterns across geographies and maturity of markets.

ericsson-mobility-report-infographic

Source of data and Infographic: Ericsson Mobility

Android – Google’s best strategic move ever?

Posted in Computing and Operating Systems, Mobile Computing by Manas Ganguly on February 11, 2013

Android controls 70% of the Smartphone volumes in 2012. Over the last 4 years, ever since Google launched Android, this has been one huge success story. In this post, i am looking at the 3 factors that have fueled the Android’s success story. The success generated by Android is across three key levels – Present day revenues for Google,Access to mobility for Google and generating intelligence and information about the user – creating profile and semantic patterns which is the future of advertising as we know it.

android 15022013

While Google’s intent behind Android was such that it was not completely shut out of the mobile Internet by a dominant OS provider. The initial fears were around the dominance of Microsoft which in the post 2007-iPhone era came to be Apple. However, it just did better – it went on to become the dominant OS in Mobiles and handhelds itself.

We all know that Google makes almost all of its money on ad revenue – 94% of Google Q4 revenues were based on advertising. Of this $8bn was generated by mobile devices of which, analysts now expect $5bn of 2013 Google Ad revenue to be from tablets alone! That makes it seem like a pretty solid investment for Google to pay whatever it does to be the default search engine in iOS ($1 billion/annual), since the iPad still holds close to half of tablet sales.

Android is Google’s footprint on mobile- An Android device, properly signed into a Google account and running all the Google Apps, generates an endless stream of little bits of ‘signalling’ information, way beyond what Google gets from a desktop search user even if they’re using Chrome. It knows where the user lives and works, how he commutes – and which phone numbers on web ads he dials. All interactions with Search, Maps and anything else can be linked together. Android, allows Google to tie searches and advertising to individual people and places. In the long term, the data that Google gets from Android users is probably just as important as Pagerank in understanding intent and relevance in search. The real structural benefit to Google from Android now comes from the understanding it gives of actual users, and the threat comes from devices that do not provide this data.

It is quite possible that even Google didnot see the scale of success of Android – Not only did it mark Google’s entry on mobiles, it also is generating revenue and most valuable user information.

Productizing Tablets for Enterprises – The trade of between Productivity and Mobility

Posted in Enterprise Computing, Mobile Computing by Manas Ganguly on July 27, 2012

With 25 million tablets selling of in Q2, 2012 globally, tablets could very well have arrived as the third device in the mobile stack –  PC and smartphone being the first two devices. But do we find productivity yet on the tablets? Or would they always remain as consumption devices?

Tablets aren’t really new. They’re big PDAs. We do calendaring, note taking, alarms, and notifications on tablets — but so could a PDA, all the way back to the Newton. We’ve been using this kind of touch-based organizer for over a decade at the executive level (remember the clumsy tablets from Microsoft?). They’re coming into their own stride, but we still struggle with leveraging them for productivity.

Many IT professionals are wondering how tablets are going to affect the enterprise. We’re all trying to work out if, when, and how these devices are going to impact our work. However, I’m not sure we’re asking the right questions about these devices. Given that customized, purpose-driven appliances and tablets are the best answer to the ever increasing productization requirements, the case is still largely inconclusive.  We (Marketers in general) are all over the place trying to figuring out how to leverage mobile platforms. We’re looking desperately for a use model. This lack of a definite conclusion reflects the entire industry.

The classic innovation and monetization syndrome is that if we don’t innovate and implement this exciting new technology, our competitors will — but don’t worry, they’re as uncertain about how to proceed as we are.

Coming back to the use cases of Tablets for the enterprises, I see two major tablet applications:

  • Better mobile connectivity than PDAs. In particular, tablets are able to give a more feature-rich browsing experience and reasonable email communication. They also tend to work better with web apps like OWA than previous mobile devices.
  • Ability to design and deploy custom native apps.

The trouble seems to be one of convergence and transition. We’re transitioning from a desktop OS, application-based, business productivity environment — Office, Outlook, PowerPoint, and local applications running on a traditional PC. We use server-based back office, HR, and business processes platforms. Those are behind on developing meaningful mobile options, and they don’t yet rival traditional desktop PC methods in features and convenience. The value add of having a mobile device is offset by the limitations, where it’s an option.

Another driver is the convergence of cloud technologies and mobile devices. Public clouds make enterprises nervous, private clouds lose a lot of the supposed benefits of public clouds, and IT seems reluctant about adopting any cloud. But mobile devices are cloud pods. They’re lightweight devices designed to buzz around the cloud — gathering, creating, sharing, or moving information. Storing my private music and movies on the cloud is one thing, and storing my critical corporate IP there is another. The personal digital assistant part of the PDA is becoming a reality with Now and Siri, but we’re asked to place a lot of trust in allowing a cloud to collect meaningful information about us. Without that, we can’t reap the benefits of these solutions.

The enterprise challenge is that these mobile consumer devices take away the granular control of a PC. Ultimately, things are still sorting themselves out for tablets in the enterprise. It’s still very difficult to see where these technologies might take us.

Maybe Microsoft may have a few answers!

The Mobile & Social Enterprise space

Posted in Enterprise Computing by Manas Ganguly on July 11, 2012

Enterprises are moving fast especially with the BYOD phenomenon increasing in relevance. Enterprise computing is now evolving from a work space to any-where, any-time computing aided by the cloud, omnipresent across locations and devices and securitized in nature. Services which have augmented the Social and Mobile Enterprise experience include Yammer – a messaging tool for colleagues which allows companies to create a private social network for employees, document-sharing site Dropbox and project-management tool Basecamp.

Big guns such as Microsoft have increasingly moved to adapt its Office products – including Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, which generate about 50% of its profits – to an age where people work, share and communicate online. Microsoft’s Office 365, was the first big shift of its word processing products into the cloud. Documents are available over the internet and on a number of devices.

At the same time, Google is attempting its own challenge to Microsoft’s workplace crown with its Google Apps suite, which includes a web-based alternative to each Microsoft Office product.

With the consumerization of enterprise, enterprise majors are increasingly resorting to inorganic methods to augment their capabilities in the connected work space. The enterprise marketers of the 90′s and early 2000′s waited a long time before diving into social. Perhaps they wanted to see the sector prove itself and the social networks begin to cater to their needs through APIs as well as owned media presence platforms like Facebook Pages. Perhaps they believed they lacked the know-how to produce social marketing products themselves. In either case, giants like Oracle, Adobe, Microsoft and Webtrends have found themselves lagging behind, and without the months or years of lead time needed to build social marketing tools in-house. So we’ve seen a massive wave of consolidation as everyone tries to attain products in the four big areas of social marketing: publishing, advertising, applications, and analytics.

Building the future in Mobility: Facebook

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on May 15, 2012

Continued from the blog: Facebook needs to change the game

  • 500 out of 900 million Facebook users are using Facebook through mobile devices
  • In March, the average Facebook mobile user engaged with the social network for more than 7 hours, according to comScore

Going forward Facebook is expected to capitalize on mobility through advertising as it prepares for its IPO. That’s stats provided above give a lot of head-down time to which Facebook has to respond. Mark Zuckerberg’s, top priorities going forward is to transform Facebook’s mobile and advertising experiences and further integrate online apps into the platform

The big question is how the company can make more money with advertising on mobile. You can bet Facebook will figure it out considering advertising is the reason Zuckerberg and other insiders are about to become extremely rich.

For users, more advertising on mobile is somewhat of a drag, but there’s utility involved as well. A lot of what we’re doing on and with our mobile devices is being tracked by scads of application developers and device makers who aim to improve their products and marketing activities because they know what we like, where we go and how we spend our money. Needless to add, Facebook wants that data, too.

The ads we’ll be seeing on mobile will increasingly be highly relevant and the time is coming when we’ll get offers and ads pushed to our phones the minute we step over a retailer’s threshold at the mall.

Facebook is “just getting started” with its mobile app. As Facebook collects more data, such as location and which friends “like” certain products mobile ads will be better targeted to users.

Facebook’s initial public offering is set for this week and media outlets are stirring up a frenzy, reporting on everything from whether the company is overvalued at $96 billion to which character traits propel Zuckerberg to give speeches to groups of big-shot investors wearing a hoodie sweatshirt. Facebook’s mobile future is also getting a lot of attention.

Integrating the elements of convergence: The case for APIs

Posted in Internet and Search, Mobile Data & Traffic, The cloud and the open source by Manas Ganguly on February 28, 2012

Convergence has been the buzz word for a good part of the last decade and will continue to do so in this decade as well. However, for the discerning the definition or at least the meaning of convergence has now shifted from device convergence to technology convergence. The later being the superset of which devices are just another maifestation. So earlier its was the camera, the mobile phone, the GPS, the MP3 player and other such device charecterestics that really converged. However, in the present context it is the convergence of enabling technologies and the three big technologies that seem to be convergent at this time are: Mobility, Cloud Services and Big Data.

However, it is a relatively small lynchpin that drives the convergence of these three mega trends. Small in terms of what it is, but large in terms of the innovation spurts that it provides. The key here is APIs or Application programming Interfaces. APIs tie together the mega-trends in a fundamental and unalterable way. APIs are the lingua franca of the new wave in internet of all things combined with super mobility and seamless connectivity. In my mind, each of these three technology trends (on their own) will be on the fast track to commoditization and will risk facing the same fate as did most social business software plays. The magic and the premiums will come from contextual application of this innovation and smart integration.

To stake a few examples, Box.net as storage without document and device sync and collaboration is commodity. Apple’s iCloud as storage without ubiquitous local and iTunes media sync across devices is commodity. And Google Drive (as discussed here in Ben Kepes’ CloudU community) is also a commodity business not worth getting into had it not been for Google’s services such as Google Apps, Piccasa, and its media and unified communication capabilities under the Google Plus brand.

The premiums from big data, mobile access and cloud comes from
a) dynamically assembled media and content, and interpreted data in the cloud,
b) available wherever you need to consume and / or collaborate and
c) insanely focused and simple interfaces to complex backends.

Thats where money would be made in these commoditized services. APIs provide the integration through the value creation network. The only other differentiator in this case being experience!

The future in Microprocessing

Posted in Mobile Computing by Manas Ganguly on September 5, 2011

As the mobility revolution matures and smartphones start penetrating lower price brackets, Microprocessor chip makers such as Qualcomm and NVIDIA are becoming the superpowers of computing devices. According to a recent release by NVIDIA, revenue from NVIDIA’s mobile chip unit projected to mushroom tenfold by 2015, to a whopping $20 billion. Mobile processing sector will see very robust growth in the next 5 year horizon. It is estimated that there are about 100 million devices that will need chips this year — a figure that could soon rise to one billion, on the strength of more affordable smartphones, efficient ARM processors and the rise of ultra-thin notebooks. Between 2011-15, Gartner expects 4 billion smartphones being sold. Personally the 4bn number for smartphones appears to be a stretch given that it took Telecom industry a good decade and more to have 4bn subscribers on mobile networks. However, there are very many factors including price, better networks and mainstreaming of Internet that should benefit the massification of smartphones and tablets.

A few pointers in the general direction of microprocessors and computing given below:
1. Even while the demand for higher computing power increases and we would see more and more of dual and quad core processors, demand for graphics performance is also slated to increase.
2. Cloud based, Version and Platform independent technologies such as Microsoft’s Silverlight will play also feature in major roles in future cloud-based developments.
3. What this means for device manufacturers and content hosts is that the companies without a solid mobile strategy are “in deep turd.”
4. The only spanner in the wheel is that the ongoing patent wars between tablet and smartphone manufacturers may be a dampener to the growth projections for mobile computing even while immediate impact of the patent wars on mobile computing eco-system will not be too high .

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