Archive for February, 2009

Mobile video viewing on the rise in Delhi

Today I was speaking to a gentleman and he told me something which I could have never imagined.

I was asking him if he would ever prefer watching pre-loaded movies over mobile. And to my amazement, he said that these kind of activities are only done by lower class society in India. I was simply taken a back with his statement. Even the most rich class of Delhi may not know how to watch movies on their advanced mobile handsets and this person is saying, he will never do so as it is for the lower society.

He told me that until last month he had a helper who had bought a Nokia 3310 model by taking advance from him just 3 months back. His helper again approached him asking for another INR 1000 for buying 1GB memory card for putting the same in his mobile. First amazing thing is that this mobile model does ‘nt have slots for memory cards. But still, this helper said that it’s possible and got one installed with a movie pre-loaded on the same. Amazing indeed…

February 28th, 2009

German towns using SMS to control street lights

Some German towns have begun using SMS to control streetlights, resulting in energy cost savings. The system automatically turns streetlights off, and requires citizens to send an SMS to a central number to turn on specific streetlights for up to 60 minutes.

In one particular town, the system has resulted in a annual savings of over 4000 EUR (US$5300). Other cities in Germany are trialing a similar system that uses a consumer’s mobile credits to pay for the lighting. Streetlight time is priced the same as mobile minutes, so that citizens can get an hour of light for the same price as an hour of phone calls. [ via BBC News]

February 26th, 2009

BSNL’s 3G services in 12 Indian cities soon…

Union Communication and IT Minister A Raja said that BSNL’s 3G services will be started in 12 cities by the end of this month. Raja believes that the faster penetration of 3G would enable people to use the services with greater accessibility.

India’s teledensity has increased from 12.74 percent in 2006 to 34 percent in January 2009 which shows stupendous annual growth of about 50 percent. Raja pointed out that the government is aiming at 700 million telephone connection by 2012.

(Source: Silicon India)

February 25th, 2009

Now Share trading on mobile in India

Reliance Money is the first Indian financial services company to introduce mobile trading in equities and commodities.

“Any Reliance Money customer, who has an internet access through GPRS or CDMA-enabled mobile phone, can log in to the Reliance Money website using his or her existing user ID, security token number and trade in equities and commodities,” company director and chief executive Sudip Bandhopadhyay told reporters here.

The total mobile subscriber-base in India stood around 404 million in the begining of February month. Volantis, Wipro and Religare Technova would act as technology partners for the initiative, the company said.

(Source: Silicon India)

February 24th, 2009

2012: Year of the Universal Mobile Charger?!

On 18th. Feb’09, the GSMA announced that it has successfully brokered a deal with leading handset manufacturers and network operators to standardize mobile chargers by 2012 (for most, but not all cellular phones).

The primary goal of this new agreement is to cut down on the environmental impact created by trashing old chargers.

According to the AP:

The GSMA calculates a reduction in greenhouse gases from manufacturing and transporting replacement chargers of 13.6 to 21.8 million tons a year. Cast-off chargers currently generate more than 51,000 tons of waste a year, it says.

Not only will the proposed Micro-USB chargers help reduce waste, but, according to the agreement they’ll also consume (up to 50 percent) less power and provide much greater convenience (and subsequently, less headaches) for consumers. Imagine being able to leave your charger behind, knowing that most anywhere you travel you can find a compatible charger, be it a friend’s place or a random hotel on the other side of the world.

So far, 17 companies have agreed to the pact including 3 Group, AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

February 24th, 2009

Mobile Analytics and Intelligence report

Marketers world-wide will continue to invest significantly in online and increase investments in mobile marketing this year, but less than half (47%) actually use analytics to measure their campaigns, and one-fifth only have a ‘basic’ website, according to the sixth annual marketing survey from Alterian.

In India alone, there is high potential for online and mobile marketing as only a few million have internet access but in comparison, mobile penetration is increasing and has crossed 400 million mark recently. Thus, mobile internet access is increasing at a fast pace.

In view of this, we have been preparing for our CellStrat Annual India Mobile Media Survey for 2009 – a tool to provide key strategic insights with respect to the mobile as a media channel. This survey will attempt to answer questions like :

Is Mobile just a messaging device or a complete media channel ? What does Mobile Media consist of and how it works ? What are the success rates of Mobile SMS and Mobile Advertising campaigns ? etc.

The Mobile Survey intends to answer these questions for you by surveying the top innovative firms in the Indian marketplace as to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to Mobile Media. The survey is targeted to senior executives in a variety of sectors like healthcare, retail, media, entertainment, BFSI, Travel, consumer goods, communications etc.

CellStrat has partnered with Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in this survey initiative. CellStrat, along with assistance from IIM, will interview top executives in various firms (with 100 Crore+ turnover) to capture key mobile media insights and deliver these to survey respondents and other firms via our first Annual Mobile Media Market Intelligence Report.

Top executives reading this blog are invited to participate in this Survey. If you are interested in participating, please contact us through our site. Final survey and report will be available at the end of Q1, 2009.

To thank the executives who participate in the survey, CellStrat will provide the final survey report to the participants for 25% of its list price.

February 23rd, 2009

Mobile subscriptions in India crosses 400 million mark

India added 15.4 milion subscribers in January’09 alone taking the total number from 385 million in December’08 end to more then 400 million in just a month’s time.

Experts around the world are also predicting that year 2009 will be the year of mobile videos and if this comes out to be true then I feel majority of mobile video viewers will also be coming from India as internet access on mobile is rapidly rising in India.

February 20th, 2009

Mobile payments in demand

Today I visited one of the premium institutes of India. I was amazed to see and hear that though these guys and gals are heavily loaded with studies etc., they want mobile payment solution to be able to buy movie tickets from their campus it self.

5 comments February 13th, 2009

Video Streaming on Mobile in India to get a major boost soon…

Yes. You read it right…video streaming on mobile will be a norm soon in India as the latest findings say that Indian internet users are vehemently using their mobiles to keep themselves connected to Internet. Thirty-eight million Indians use their handsets to browse the web as of today. The number of people using their mobile handsets to access the web is now over four times those using a PC.

I was talking to a senior executive recently from USA and he said that opportunities in Indian market are plenty as not even 10 million  people in India have internet access and many businesses are still not on internet. So, they would like to penetrate India fast so as to cash the opportunity in time. And now with the above study, opportunity has gone over board as business are required to be taken from paper to internet and then onto mobile or should I say…directly from offline to wireless. Amazing.

The findings based on a report of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) also stated that even as net connections fell in the year 2007, the number of people accessing the web on their cellphones increased from16 million to cross the 38 million mark. This included both CDMA and GSM users logging on to the Internet to surf, check email etc, among whom the number of ‘active’ Internet users in India currently stands at 32.2 million. The average usage per week on the traditional web stood at 2.4 days. Access using Mobile web surprisingly stood slightly higher at 2.7 days per week.

We have been getting queries as to how we can help companies to stream their online videos to mobile and these company executives are more excited then I am, to access their online videos on mobile any time, any where on the go…If all goes like this, time is not far when all companies, if not all Indians will be having their own mobile videos.

February 11th, 2009

How will netbooks affect mobile marketing?

The growing popularity of netbooks – smaller, lighter and cheaper laptops with almost similar Web capabilities as big-screen versions – is set to change the world of mobile marketing and media.

Brands such as Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Asus have already launched netbooks priced between $300 and $400. Dell is expected to debut its own version, although there is no inkling that Apple may come out with its netbook.

According to Pholop Solis, ABI principal analyst for mobile broadband in Oyster Bay, NY, A netbook is easier to carry out of the home because it is smaller and lighter, and it is also easier to tote around the home. Also, some people are buying them to use for email and presentations when they travel for business so they can travel light. The popularity of netbooks is possible because of their price range – mostly between $300 and $400, so far.

ABI Research expects netbooks’ sales to more than double to about 35 million units in 2009, and for that to continue to climb in 2010. Some of these will be purchased as secondary devices to get on the Internet by consumers who would not have bought a second laptop.  Some of them will be purchased by consumers as a replacement for an older laptop instead of buying a new laptop.  Today’s netbooks resemble small laptops – they practically are except that they have processors that are less powerful. Early movers in netbook space have been Acer and Asus as two main leaders in the market.

Netbooks are increasingly being offered with mobile broadband and increasingly coming with GPS as well, these devices certainly bring opportunities around location-aware services and advertising.  They will used while walking the way smarpthones and mobile Internet devices will be used, but they certainly will be used on-the-go more often than laptops.

Mobile devices, in general, are expanding from just cellular handsets to include laptops, netbooks, mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and even mobile consumer electronics devices – things like game devices, portable media players, cameras and camcorders are gaining mobile broadband connections for data-only to increase their usefulness. 

In this context, smartphones with better browsers, netbooks, and MIDs are filling the need to be able to access the Internet from anywhere on just the right device, depending on the person’s preferences and needs. This means Internet will be consumed, via the smartphone and netbook channels in the longrun. On-the-go, various devices will fill the need to get on the Internet. However at home, nothing can fully replace the PC.

How should marketers and advertisers react to this phenomenon?
The fact that Internet access is being done more and more from anywhere means that advertisers have to take this into account. 

Location-based advertising is one part of this.  Properly done, mobile advertising can be very useful to people who are already searching for places and using services in the context of their current location and next destination.

(Excerpts from Mobile Marketer)

February 10th, 2009

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