Archive for May, 2009

MVNOs in India…

Soon quiet a few Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) will be seen operating in Indian telecom space as Telecom Regulatory Authority has given go ahead to some companies for the same.

However, I wonder how will the telecom infrastructure bear the stress as already there are call drops, network congestions, and slow connectivity experienced by consumers. I think, it should be postponed until atleast 3G networks are adopted and get stable in operations..

Please share your views and throw light on this issue.

May 31st, 2009

Movies on Mobile Phones, a new tactics by manufacturers for increasing mobile sales

Mobile manufacturers world-wide are finding it difficult to cope with the decreasing margins. Thus, they are taking up new ideas to get in newer features on the phone. For this, Samsung and Sony have already started offering movie download service to it’s consumers on some new models. Sony will allow it’s consumers to download 60 movies annually with a choice of 15 movies at a time. Movies can be side-loaded i.e. first on computer and then on to mobiles. This will make consumers independent to choose any data plan. Rumors are also there that iPhone is pondering over launch of this service too, soon.

CellStrat conducted it’s Annual Mobile Media Executive Survey according to which also, more than 50% top executives in India would like to watch movie trailors for free first before opting to watch full movie feature on mobiles.

More statistics about habits and views of top Indian and MNC companies in India on mobile media are given in the report which is now out and available for purchase.

May 29th, 2009

iPhone giveaways for students!

Yes. It seems that number of students who bunk classes have become so high that universities are not left with any option but to track it’s students. In order to do this, a prestigious Japanese university is giving away hundreds of iPhones, in part to use its GPS to nab students who skip class.

(Source: Wireless Week)

May 29th, 2009

Connectivity for the poor

Today, I heard from some people that a device has come into Indian market which does not have a screen but works like a mobile phone. It costs just about Rs.400 (about US $8). Works perfectly fine and is being used by the poor people in India for basic calling feature. I feel, if same is promoted in correct manner, every child and each and every person of a billion odd people in India can get connected to the world. Simply amazing…

May 28th, 2009

“Location, Location, Location,” once a property developer’s Mantra now targeted by Mobile Marketing Companies

(Excerpts from Mobile-Financial Services)

Consumers are catching on to mobile coupons. In fact, redemption can be 10 times that of their paper cousins. Nowadays, marketers are able to identify where consumers are and push mobile coupons to them.
Thanks to several new mobile marketing platforms.

All these new apps offer easy redemption at point of sale, pay-for-performance fees and real-time campaign tracking.
The apps automatically retrieve coupons via GPS negating the need for consumers to browse for offers, memorize SMS shortcodes or play with zip codes. Redemption is also simple.

May 26th, 2009

Alcatel-Lucent Jumps Into Mobile Advertising

(Excerpts from InformationWeek)

First Nokia launched advertising services and now Alcatel-Lucent is launching a product that will enable carriers to deliver advertisements to its customers, based on their location.

 
The company is teaming with the mobile ad company 1020 Placecast to offer a hosted end-to-end solution for mobile operators to provide proximity marketing. For example, if a customer signs up to receive information about Starbucks, the user could be sent an SMS or MMS ad when he or she is near one. Additionally, the system can be set up so each individual store can send a different promotional message depending on what sales they have or what is in stock.

The service utilizes Alcatel-Lucent’s Geographic Messaging Services Platform to determine where the customer is, and it can produce results that are accurate up to a few meters, depending on the sensors in the device. The service complies with the standard privacy laws and the marketing features are opt in for end users, the company said.

“This offering enables carriers, and the brands they support, to create a highly relevant and personalized experience for mobile users while also delivering immediate return on investment,” said Gani Nayak, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s rich communication business, in a statement. “It combines Alcatel-Lucent’s best-in-class geo-fencing technology with Placecast’s leading location-based ad platform to launch large-scale, proximity-based mobile marketing campaigns.”

It’s unclear if the demand for location-based ads on mobile phones is very strong, but the market is expected to generate up to $10 billion by 2013. Alcatel-Lucent said its system is the only one that’s scalable enough to keep up with millions of customers if and when consumers show more interest in proximity marketing.

May 23rd, 2009

Amarnath Yatra registrations and Mobile Phone…do you see the connectivity???

Amazing but true. Popular Amarnath Yatra registrations in India are being done by Jammu & Kashmir Bank.
For this purpose, mobile banking and payments have been enabled for use by devotees for ease in registrations.

May 22nd, 2009

Most Organised City in India, Opportunity Hotbed for Credit Card & Mobile Payment Solution Vendors

I have visited this city quiet a few times recently. Every time I come here, I forget to carry enough cash as a matter of habit to sustain for a week or two, but also habitually always carry some credit cards.
However, when I am in market, I am always told by shop owners that credit cards are not accepted as they don’t have charging machines. ‘Amazing’ is the word that comes out always at that moment.
I see all my cash (what ever little, I am carrying) disappear in no time. Fortunately enough, I am always carrying a debit card too which comes as a savior when I am in such cash less situations.

Although to an extent, I agree that when people here are rich enough to have big fat wallets, why they should bother to take credit cards. But I also believe strongly that when one can easily carry 1-2 cards and reduce the weight of his or her wallet, why should one not have a credit card.
I fail to understand as to what Indian and foreign banks are doing to tap these rich customers. I hope they are able to educate and tap this huge market fast enough so many mobile service vendors can provide
their part of wireless services too.

May 21st, 2009

Airtel to increase rural India penetration with VAS

Bharti Airtel,  the mobile service provider that has been focusing on the rural markets to add volumes in the subscriber base, will now extend value-added services (VAS) to them. Currently, about 55% of Airtel’s 100-million customer base is from the rural areas and the company expects this share to reach 65% very shortly, bringing renewed focus on VAS for the rural customers.

According to Bharti’s chief marketing officer (CMO) – Mr. Raghunath Mandawa,  Currently, about 10% of their revenues come from the VAS. Now, he says, he expects this pie to go up with their rural area focus. I think, one of the major reasons for this is ever-decreasing ARPU in urban areas of India.

Music and SMS constitute significant part of Bharti’s Rs 3500-crore VAS revenue but it sees a huge opportunity in mobile commerce and data. “Besides entertainment and mobile-commerce, Mr.Mandawa expects the data usage to be high in the rural markets.”  Bharti wants to bring the trust factor by introducing initiatives that can empower their rural customer base. The company also plans to work on banking solutions and target the 80% unbanked population in India, with options like money transfer, that will include the rural areas. I feel if they are able to built trust in minds of rural people for their services, no other company will be able to make inroads in rural areas, as deep as Airtel has made.

The company had recently introduced ‘Krish Labh’ services that provide commodity prices for Mandis within proximity of 100 kms to the farmers. Last year, it launched the IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd (IKSL) that is set to offer products and services, specifically designed for farmers.

May 20th, 2009

Vopium brings cheap, high quality calls to the G1 and HTC Magic™

Vopium is a carrier-grade mobile telephony service designed to offer affordable and reliable international calls from any mobile handset. By using the Vopium application on their mobile to make calls from their home country, consumers and businesses alike can save up to 90% on international mobile and land-line calls. Unlike more restrictive mobile VoIP solutions, Vopium supports hundreds of handsets across Java, Symbian, RIM, Windows Mobile and iPhone. Vopium uses intelligent routing and connection technology which automatically and seamlessly delivers the lowest cost connection for any international call. Vopium has offices in London, Copenhagen, Luxembourg and Pakistan. Vopium was recently awarded the Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award. Vopium is listed on NYSE Euronext (MVLOP). To learn more, visit www.vopium.com .

Vopium: The Key Facts

-         Vopium is compatible with more than 500 handsets across Java, Symbian, BlackBerry RIM, and Windows Mobile, as  well as offering complete applications for the iPhone App StoreSM , BlackBerry App World and Android Market

-         Vopium is free to download at www.vopium.com

-         Vopium re-routes international calls as a local call to a Vopium gateway and then via global traffic carriers as ordinary voice traffic in order to ensure voice quality

-         All new users are given 30 minutes of talk time and 30 international SMS for free

-         Calling internationally with Vopium can result in up to 90 percent savings versus traditional carrier rates; for an overview of current pricing, visit: http://vopium.com/tariff

-         Calls made through Vopium are always routed using the cheapest method while preserving the highest quality

-         Vopium Wi-Fi users can call each other around the world for free

-         Vopium users keep their own mobile number and SIM card, and maintain their numeric identity when making calls

-         When a user calls from their home country, a local rate may be applied by their operator

-         When calling from abroad a roaming charge will be applied by the subscriber’s operator

-     Wi-Fi calls made with Vopium will not incur additional charges from a subscriber’s operator

 

I have tried using many services in India. However never could succeed fruitfully. I hope this application also comes and becomes functional in India…

May 18th, 2009

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