Future of computing technology belongs to handheld devices: Sachin Pilot

NEW DELHI: Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot said today that India is the third largest telecom user after China and the United States.

Pilot said it was clear that the future of computing technology belongs to handheld devices. The volume of users and not the technology will decide the standards in the times to come.

India offered huge opportunities in the field of content creation, the Minister said while inaugurating a one day conference on mobile web initiative in Indian languages.

The meet, which was also attended by newly appointed secretary of Department of Electronics and Information Technology J. Satyanarayan, debated and discussed the various critical aspects of providing Indian languages support over the mobile web and developing Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP) standard.

Mobile Web integrated with Voice Interface would be the next paradigm shift in computing technology. The increasing processor speed, embedded with the latest signal processing capability for voice, data and multimedia signals, makes it the preferred medium of service delivery, increasing focus on client side features.

With the advent of 4G and LTE technologies, the Internet and web access through mobile media would receive a tremendous boost. This momentum would further be accelerated if people could use their own language to communicate over the mobile.

There are 22 constitutionally recognised languages, and a large number of dialects. Therefore, the next giant leap from present user base and beyond has to be primarily driven by Mobile Web and Internet content in the local language which will be used by mostly rural population of India, from where the next surge of mobile penetration is set to grow. This would also usher in governance paradigm shift of citizen centric service delivery through m-governance platform.

Seamless Access of Indian languages over the mobile web would be possible if the specific issues for enabling mobile ecosystems are addressed quickly. This requires active involvement of all stakeholders ranging from mobile device manufacturers, service providers, research community and the users.

There is a need to create a common framework of Mobile Standards in India for seamless data interchange, the basis of which should be the Unicode, which is the industry standard for text interchange. Since many of the citizen centric services would be built on SMS / MMS/ IM based systems, due to advent of m-governance framework of the Government, common standard /best practices need to be evolved urgently taking into account the Indian languages requirement.

W3C Works with all major Mobile Standardization Bodies and works mainly in Application Interface Domain. W3C SMIL (Scalable Multimedia Integration Language) incorporated in 3GPP2, LTE and 4G- LTE Advanced standards. W3C is presently reviewing the Mobile Web Best Practices (MWBP) standard for incorporating the new computing paradigm shift and device capabilities.

W3C India is currently working on Development of Best Practices and Guidelines for Seamless Mobile Access in Indian Languages. W3C India has recently come out with three consultation papers in the areas pertaining to (i) Enabling Mobile Devices in Indian Languages (ii) Service providers perspective and (iii) Mobile Vas Content development. This daylong Conference will debate and discuss the various critical aspects of providing Indian languages support over the Mobile Web. Businesses have to succeed to bring forth more and more people, for these best practices have to be followed.

Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) along with W3C India is holding this daylong event to address issues and challenges being faced by the Digital Industry with regard to content in Indian languages being deployed over mobile web. Development, proliferation and deployment of other W3C standards will complement these efforts further and will support ICT implementations enabled with Indian languages such as Mobile technologies, Voice Browser, Web Accessibility and Web Services.

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