Technology

Smartphone based VAS to generate Rs Ten Trillion business

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MUMBAI: The wireless Value Added Services (VAS) would subsume all services that today are delivered through different devices which are expected to create over 25,000 highly scalable new businesses with a revenue potential of Rs ten lakh crores over a period of time.



While addressing the 14th VAS Asia 2013 Conference, at New Delhi on 12 July Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) member R. K. Arnold said, "To achieve this, all the stake holders involved in telecom industry will have to work together to create a low cost smartphone device and make people aware of the potential of such a device." The 14th VAS Asia 2013 conference was organised by Bharat Exhibitions.



Welcoming the delegates to the conference Bharat Exhibitions managing director Shashi Dharan said, "The issue today with TRAI is not against the industry making money, but how does it make money is surely an issue."



Today the country needs to examine the fact that less than 40 per cent of the Indian population has the connectivity and out of which about four per cent own smartphones. "Mobile data could generate revenues worth Rs 40,000 crores by 2015. To achieve these numbers we need to look at the bottom of the pyramid where Mobile VAS will be most useful and economical," said BSNL chairman & managing director Rakesh K Upadhyay.

Dependence on the Internet for day to day life is on increase, said Bharti Airtel chief of strategy, architecture and engineering Shyam P. Mardikar, while dwelling on the vast changes that were already evident in the common man‘s work due to the mobile delivering newer and newer services.

In a wide ranging presentation at the conference the Bharti Airtel executive demonstrated how the onrush new innovations were overtaking several traditional services like SMS. "Messaging applications have depleted dependence on SMS", he said.



M-Wallet, M-health services, are changing the market scenario. Text books are being replaced by wireless access to books that makes knowledge available to a much larger mass at low cost. The viability of this mode of information is making data consumption an opportunity.

"The last mile connectivity is being replaced by a first mile super highway. The challenge for the operator is to make this happen by a dense network that would have flatter architecture with dynamic and on demand capacity as against the layered one. The move is towards a network that would be closer to the user forcing the last mile to shrink."



"The challenge which needs to be addressed is to create a situation where-in cross operators platform(s) needs to develop and deploy services with ease, in local language, across operators," said OnMobile Global Ltd. co-founder & chief executive officer Mouli Raman. "The industry stakeholders need to collaborate to find the right solutions through technology."



Analysing the problems faced by the telecom service operators Cellular Operators Association of India director-general Rajan S. Mathews welcomed the latest changes that the TRAI has made in the regulations in VAS service provision. "However, we need to rethink on revenue sharing model between operators, application providers and government. If the Government wanted broadband to be universal, the operators should be offered 500 MHz of spectrum and not the small quantities now placed on auction," he said.



On the issue of refarming of spectrum use, Mathews said that the operators should be allowed to use it in the way they consider best rather than government forcing it on them as it involved huge costs that would impact service charges. He specifically pleaded for AADHAR being incorporated into the mobile to expand the services the user could obtain from them. "There is a huge opportunity in penetration of vernacular languages in the mobile smartphones specifically in speech recognition at the bottom of the pyramid level."



The possible fall in profitability for the operator as voice was substituted by data was a matter of concern, said Robi Axiata CMO Pradeep Shrivastava. Scale was the next step forward in Mobile VAS.

OnMobile, Qualcomm, Radisys, IMImobile, Tri-O-Tech Solutions, One97, Dialogic, DigiVive, Gemalto, IPgallery, Ehangcom, MediaTek, Synway, BincaTunes, DONJIN, SUPRANETCOM, DSNL, D‘Well Research, InCights Mobile, Nexge and Teracom participated in the event, making it a truly global platform to conduct business.

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