Friday, January 16, 2009

Imagining Value Addition from 3 G Networks

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

It is anticipated that India will soon conduct 3 G auctions. Although the dates for these auctions have been moved, it is certain sooner or later they will happen. There is continued debate with the regulators on how many 3 G licenses should be auctioned, and how much should be the floor price and competition and other issues. It is very likely that these issues will be resolved and in some form or fashion the auctions will go on. When the auctions are successfully completed and new networks come to life, the users can look forward to added features and functionality with 3 G.

With the expectation of some great new ways to use these new networks, here are some predictions and services that can become real.

Video chat is probably one of the exciting features that can become a viable and inexpensive option with 3 G networks. It will be a great way to see folks while we chat, and perhaps a good value added feature to push on the new network. With the incoming calls into India expanding by the day, and if the cost of incoming traffic is free to the users in India, you can bet on the video use to grow exponentially.

Movies on the mobile can become a value added feature that perhaps will allow the bored commuters to subscribe and enjoy. Imagine the super rich of Mumbai or Delhi or any other major metro in India being driven around in the traffic. They sure would love to get news and entertainment on the go, and even perhaps a movie they would like to watch on demand.

The great Indian roads certainly can be more accessible with GPS and directions from the mobile. The complexity of new development and old time infrastructure makes life for new drivers very difficult due to the poorly marketed roads. Even experienced drivers have great difficulty with navigation. 3 G can certainly get voice activated directions as you go and make life simpler for drivers. It will be a great idea to have directions on the go in multiple languages.

Perhaps one of the favorite wishes is to get help with the kitchen. A live demonstration of cooking on the phone so your daughter in the far away land can watch you and follow in creating amazing dishes for friends. Several amazing things can happen by simply linking phone to a home computer for recipe management. Instead of calling mom in India everything you need help, 3 G can store and retrieve information on a need basis.

It may be possible to replace the use of Yahoo Messenger for showing off what the new baby is doing to folks in India. There will be no more hanging around the yahoo messenger and pointing the cam towards the action, as the 3 G phone can go where ever to show off. With the price per minute of telephony low enough, it will be a great way to start showing off the snow, beaches, people, parties and whatever we can to folks in India. Oh my God, the possibilities of sharing personal space is endless, provided we don’t go over board.

While making a wish list of things to do from a 3 G network, there are amazing ways to expand the business and support infrastructure to support the networks. Mapping, video, GPS, storage, voice and data retrieval, shopping, file storage and many such simple and economical solutions can be implemented to meet personal and professional needs of the users.

3 G should move the heavy duty users on to the new networks and free up the congestion of the existing GSM and CDMA networks. This has dual benefit as the new users in both networks will no longer experience the congestion that has become a way of life in crowded areas.

These networks will foster a new generation of developers who will cater to the value addition needed while creating more telecom jobs, more companies in mobile applications, and more internet to mobile connectivity. 3 G surely should bring new energy into the great Indian telecom market.

Whatever the price they will command in an auction, 3 G promises more users for the Indian mobile market. Here is to hoping that these auctions will bring a lot of money to the Indian Treasury and also great deal of value addition to the users. It will be another fantastic year for mobile markets in India, with great value in services with the highest quality.

January 14th 2009
Vasu Reddy
Optus Technologies, Inc.

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