Content consumption devices to boost mobile Vas revenues

MUMBAI: The data revenues for mobile operators are bound to grow in the years to come with media consumption devices that are technologically consumer-friendly. However, operators have to find a way to monetize this.

This was one of the points that came out during a session at Ficci Frames. The speakers were Nokia India marketing director Vineet Taneja, Intel Global content and policy manager Gary Mittelstaedt, Turner International India director - wireless and interactive content development and distribution, (South Asia) Troy Lobo, Dolby Laboratories marketing director (Mobile) Rolf Schmitz, Tata Teleservices’ Pankaj Sethi, and Comviva VP (mobile content solutions) Milind Pathak.
Sethi said his company had just launched netbooks with high speed net access. “We are seeing more net led content being consumed and not just operator generated content”.

Lobo claimed that 10 per cent of Turner India’s revenues come from digital devices. This covers net, mobile and retail. The company is planning to launch SMS based alerts for CNN later this year. It is also looking at a news application. “The challenge is to fix standards for different devices. We adopt a multiple system of content distribution.” A deal was recently struck with Tata Photon+ for Pogo and Cartoon Network. Nokia, Samsung and Sony are some of the mobile device manufacturers that Turner works with globally. 
Mittelstaedt said that at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this year, Intel had introduced the 32 nanometer product which offers more power to high end mobile devices. A point made at the session was that content for the mobile has to be contextual and relevant. It would be useful if there was a system through which someone could buy a film song for the mobile after seeing a film rather than just having a memory card. Intel also set up the App Up so that application developers have access to a broad product category.
It was felt that content publishers often do not understand the intricacies of what goes into building an app in India. There is not much expertise at the moment in terms of how one can publish TV content as widget in India. Some investment has to go into app developers. The lack of quality content is a reason for low Vas revenues at the moment.

Pathak said the depth of mobile consumption has to grow, and a buyer should be able to get Vas like music for a year along with the device. One should build apps that are exclusive. The mobile market should also be segmented according to spending and SEC. Even phones with a 2 GB camera, Facebook connectivity etc. could be considered.

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