Data growth in entertainment is next step in telecom industry’s evolution: Pilot

MUMBAI: With voice revenues having matured and tapered off, the next step in the evolution of the Indian telecom sector will be the focus of data with more content available through advancements in technology.

Speaking at the 12th edition of Ficci-Frames, Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology Sachin Pilot said consumers will increasingly want data-intensive content. Data through means like movie downloads will grow. This can also reach the tier three and tier four towns and villages and help spread literacy. For this to happen, the entertainment industry must partner with the local industry – the telecom operators - to create content.
He noted that the country was now at an inflection point in technology. “Through developments in science, technologies have converged. We are moving towards a digital era.”

He gave the example of optical discs and micro-processors. He said advancements in miniaturisation were the key to the growth of the sector. What was earlier a roomful of hardware equipment was now software on a computer. He said software allowed for media compression and so it is easier and faster to download material like movies.

A youngster can now make a digital movie and distribute it online. Mobile phones allow one to upload and download videos. This will dissolve the divide between producers and consumers of content, he added.

However, he noted that the challenge of Intellectual Property Rights and piracy grew with the digital medium and could prove to be a disincentive. One must look at doing things like cloud sourcing and being able to give consumers content on the fly. “As the IT industry grows, we must all work together to address challenges.” 
Stewart Beck, the Canadian High Commissioner to India and Bhutan, also referred to the importance of digital technology at the inaugural session of Ficci-Frames He noted that the digital arena is the one that will attract investments between India and Canada. “Canada offers digital media enterprises an attractive environment.” Canada is the partner country at Frames.

However, the digital environment offers challenges and content producers often struggle for an audience. Changes are happening at breakneck speed. Companies that want to take advantage of digital technology have the dual challenge of servicing their audience needs while creating business opportunities for tomorrow, he said.

He noted that eight of the top 10 video game publishers worldwide are Canadian. In terms of companies using Canada as a hub to develop software for games, Canada is the third largest market after the United States and Japan. Companies go to Canadian companies like Autodesk and Softimage for their requirements.

He said Canada in the recent past has been at an advantage as it has not suffered the effects of a downturn, primarily because of 11 years of a surplus budget. The government has been able to invest in research chairs and funding development for digital media.

He said Ontario generated $1 billion in revenue for digital media. Vancouver has publishers like Activision and Vivendi.

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