Friday, March 18, 2011

Tremendous Growth of Wireless Telecom

While a 2G GSM network is still preferred for voice, 3G will aid in mobile broadband connectivity and pave the way for LTE to be used for last-mile connectivity
more on - http://voicendata.ciol.com/content/service_provider/111031701.asp

Lot Of Scope For Mobile Value Added Services growth in India

India’s current Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS) industry has an estimated size of Rs.12, 200 crores. The Indian MVAS industry derives its revenues majorly from the top five to six products such as game based applications, music downloads, etc. These continue to form close to 80% of VAS revenues, and have become easily replicable. The other types of services such as governance, education, and commerce constitute only 20-25% of VAS revenues, leaving large scope for growth. A study on Indian MVAS industry by Deloitte hopes that MVAS has the potential to achieve digital empowerment which would help bridge the digital divide and foster inclusive growth in India. Such MVAS, which seek to digitally empower citizens by providing access to essential information and services, and foster inclusive growth, have been classified as Utility MVAS, by the Deloitte report.
According to Mr. Sandip Biswas, Director, Deloitte in India, “The Indian MVAS industry is estimated to grow to Rs 48,200 crores by 2015 from the current estimated size of Rs. 12,200 crores. The next wave of growth in subscriptions will come from semi-urban and rural areas. Today the penetration of mobile phones in urban areas is already ~ 100% while in rural areas it is only ~23%”.  
“Non-voice revenues currently constitute about ~10% of revenues of Indian telecom operators. A comparison with other countries indicates an average of ~23%, providing large scope for growth of MVAS in India” he added.

The reach and penetration of mobile phones can ensure the delivery of a large number of services in a cost effective, fast and seamless manner even without physical access, as is seen from such initiatives around the world.
The key drivers for Utility MVAS include: (1) Government mandate for inclusive growth (2) Increasing mobile phone, and network penetration (3) Need for differentiation among telecom operators and device manufacturers (4) Increasing consumer demand and awareness, even in non-urban areas (5) Business need of service providers such as hospitals and banks (6) Automation due to Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
While the opportunities are tremendous, given the mobile phone’s growing reach and the advancement of technology including the foray of 3G, there are plenty of challenges that face the Utility MVAS space today. These challenges result from non-fulfillment of the critical success factors for industry growth: (i) Policy Framework (ii) Support Infrastructure (iii) High Equilibrium Ecosystem. While the policy framework sets boundary and gives direction, the support infrastructure provides the critical base required for the ecosystem to be built.
Certain action needs to be taken by all players in the Utility MVAS value chain / ecosystem to meet the numerous challenges these services face and ensure the uptake of such services in India.  In order for the success of Utility MVAS, it is imperative that the government / regulatory authorities initiate by laying down a vision, and set of guidelines to provide the industry with the direction. Infact, a phase-wise implementation approach, spread across Initiation, Prioritization and Deployment could prove to be the optimal approach for India. It is only a matter of the government and the industry coming together to create a win-win situation for the industry and the consumers. source

Fund Transfer Will Cost 10 Paisa Per Transaction on Mobile

Fund transfer through the recently launched Interbank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS) will cost the customer 10 paise per transaction with effect from April 01, 2011.

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has come up with this idea. It had originally planned for charges to be 25p for each transaction. The dip in fee has however been made so as to lure more customers towards mobile phone based transactions.
It has also been declared that the charge will be applicable to the remitting bank and banks have been given the discretion to set their own charges for transactions.
Presently banks having the service include Axis Bank, Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank,State Bank of India, YES Bank, Union Bank of India, Lakshmi Vilas Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank,Federal Bank, Corporation Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Indian Bank and DCB.
Also banks in the process to incorporate this service are IDBI Bank, Syndicate Bank, Citibank, Karur Vysya Bank, Andhra Bank, Punjab National Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Canara Bank, IndusInd Bank, South Indian Bank, State Bank of Travancore and State Bank of Hyderabad. source

Google Concentrating on Mobile Payment Services

Anyone looking to confirm Google’s burgeoning interest in mobile payment systems should have a full plate of additional evidence this summer as the Internet search giant is reportedly pushing ahead with a trial run for a new mobile payment service at New York and San Francisco-based stores.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday morning that in four months the trial program Google is launching will enable shoppers to use their phones to ring up purchases in the aforementioned locations.
The company will pay for installation of thousands of special cash-register systems from VeriFone Systems Inc. (PAY) at merchant locations, said one of the people, who requested anonymity because Google’s plans haven’t been made public. The registers would accept payments from mobile phones equipped with so-called near-field-communication technology.
The news from Google follows Monday’s report that Apple is reportedly moving ahead with its fifth generation iPhone and not including NFC technology as originally anticipated. It’s a decision that could give more NFC-friendly mobile phone markers an upper hand in the burgeoning business of mobile payments, particularly Google’s Nexus S, which already sports NFC technology.
Speaking in Barcelona, Spain last month at the Mobile World Congress, Google’s chief executive officer Eric Schmidt said “NFC has been around for a long time but everything has just started to come together.” Schmidt reiterated his confidence that Google will successfully leverage the opportunities born of NFC despite current obstacles.
“My phone remembers I need new pants,” says Schmidt, “and it knows ahead of me are two stores–one offering the product at a 20 percent discount, the other offering a 30 percent discount. I enter the store with the bigger discount, the pants are ready, and out I go. You don’t think this is going to work? It should revolutionize electronic commerce and payments. We’re seeing that models around consumerism are working when they’re tied to location and advertising.”
According to Bloomberg, Google’s rumored venture in New York and San Francisco will further cement the company’s place within a “growing field of companies experimenting with NFC.”source

MVAS to get 4 times in next 4 yrs

The Rs 12,200 crore mobile value added services (MVAS) market is set to quadruple in four years to Rs 48,200 crore, said a study conducted by independent consultancy, Deloitte.

A major part of this growth will accrue from rural and semi urban areas where demand for MVAS will outstrip urban demand.

MVAS include gaming applications, music downloads, video clips, utility services such as weather forecasts, crop and seed varieties, local and wholesale vegetable market rates apart from education services. “The next wave of growth in subscriptions will come from semi-urban and rural areas. Today, penetration of mobile phones in urban areas is already around 100 per cent while in rural areas it is only 23 per cent,” said director of Deloitte in India, Sandip Biswas.

M-commerce including retail banking is expected to drive the increase in MVAS revenues.

“MVAS growth will be much higher in rural areas that have greater usage in health, education and agriculture based services. But, absolute numbers will be higher in urban areas where the tilt is towards entertainment,” said CEO of handygo, Praveen Rajpal. Handygo, a MVAS provider, has tied up with Idea Cellular offering live information on weather, livestock, mandi prices, fishery advisory, finance and health schemes in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (West) and Andhra Pradesh.

Rajpal added that agro-based and education services form the bulk of MVAS usage in rural areas, driving up to 55 to 60 per cent of MVAS revenues for the telecom industry.