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Convergence India 2010: inaugural line-up. From LEFT : Prem Behl, Chairman Exhibitions India, Pankaj Mohindroo, National President, India Cellular Association, Rajesh Chharia, President, Internet Service Providers Association of India, Kuldip Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, MTNL, R Chandrashekhar, Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications & IT,Gurudas Kamat, Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology, Kuldeep Goyal, Chairman and Managing Director, BSNL, N K Goyal, President, CMAI, Dale Tasharski, Commercial Counsellor, U.S. Embassy, Jiang Guanxiong, Executive Vice Chairman, CCPIT, China, Rahul Sharma, VP, TEMA and Billy Shrikent, CEO, Exhibitions India Group
 
Convergence India 2010: Special Report

South Asia’s largest event on information and communications technology, the 18th Convergence India 2010 concluded recently in Delhi. Over 450 participants representing the Telecom, IT, Broadcast, Media & Entertainment, Green IT, Security & Surveillance, Cable, Satellite, IP Surveillance and Information Security sectors of 20 countries participated. The event supported by the Indian ministries of Communications & IT and Information & Broadcasting, attracted nearly 12,000 trade visitors and about 940 delegates .
We bring you a wrap up of the highlights.
The Indian telecom industry has achieved tremendous growth consolidating a subscriber base of 560 million by end 2009 “By end 2010 we are hopeful of crossing our 11th Five Year Plan target of 600 million connections – two years ahead of schedule,” said Gurudas Kamat, Indian Minister of State for Communications & IT, speaking at the event’s opening ceremony “Telecommunications have emerged as a springboard of ICT applications with economy-wide impact. A whole range of information based industry applications have come up creating new sources of employment and earning,” he added. Kamat emphasized that the need of the hour was enabling the mobile device to empower the masses through customized value added services for rural applications.

R. Chandrashekhar, Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications & IT, said “There has been a huge surge of innovation in services riding on the wave of convergence and the mobile revolution.”

The inaugural conference session positioned ICT as a tool to bridge the urban rural divide and create the spread of equitable economic development – with a round table discussion on the theme ‘Digital Convergence.. Empowering a billion lives’. Communications companies are exploring the rural markets like never before in a bid to access 2/3rd of the country’s population and maximize on the opportunities in this underpenetrated market. Animated panel discussions deliberated the issues of tariff wars and declining ARPUs in a multi operator environment and the timing for the emergence of a National Media Policy.

Other conference sessions of the day focused on the future of the wireless business for GSM and CDMA operators and the digitization of broadcast technologies in India. Leading companies such as Ericsson, NDS India, Advance Digital Broadcast participated. A conference session on “GSM & CDMA – The future of wireless business” brought spokespersons from Bharti Airtel, Telcordia Technologies, Centre for Development of Telematics (C-Dot) and the Cellular Operators’ Association of India together to discuss issues of network transformation and emerging applications against the spread of wireless networks.

Broadband blues

The second day of the event saw a conference was marked with enlightening lectures on re-defining broadband where the penetration in the country is currently only 15%.The remaining 85% serves as a ready market for wireless broadband applications which is poised to boom with the growth of wireless technologies. “Broadband connectivity is critical to economic growth,” said Ashish Sharma, Vice President, Corporate Market Development, Alvarion Ltd. He pointed out that wireless broadband applications span across verticals including Internet service, video surveillance, data monitoring & control, controlling peak power demand and more efficient reliable networks for a smart power grid, mobile police force, tele-medicine, traffic management, e-learning and passenger information systems for public transport.

As 3G and WiMAX prepare for a nationwide launch, applications providers are gearing up with innovative value added services and technologies that enable devices to offer converged services on the go to the mobile consumer. “A paradigm shift in India’s communications services revolution is underway, with voice calls becoming virtually free while new revenue streams are generated from value added services. These developments are creating opportunities for technology vendors, software and services providers across the globe,” observed Prem Behl, Chairman, Exhibitions India Group – organizers of Convergence India 2010.

'Mobitainment'
The session on VAS and Mobitainment outlined the opportunities in the emerging revenue stream. PathPartner Tech released its Android 2.0 powered mediaphone featuring high quality HD, voice call, Voice over IP, Social Media, Internet Radio, Games and other applications for a rich experience in voice, video communications, entertainment and media

The transition from analogue to digital has also set the stage for a full transformation of India’s media and pay TV market. NDS, l a eading provider of digital pay TV solutions showcased a range of tailored solutions for Indian pay-TV operators looking to make a transition to digital.

“Communications developing at a breathtaking pace is largely driven by devices which are more compact but features added capabilities. Growing competition has provided an ideal environment for technological innovations and new applications. More importantly these devices and services are becoming more affordable,” said Shyamal Ghosh, Chairman, Data Security Council of India, at the international conference on day 3 of exhibition and conference.

The day’s conference sessions discussed relevant topics against the changing backdrop of technological developments taking place in the communications sector. Sessions focusing on WiMAX and Voice over IP solutions examined the best way to accelerate the spread of affordable, wireless technologies and pave the way for 4G in India.

Going Green

Convergence India also highlighted the importance of Green ICT -- and a high profile mix from the ICT industries playing an exemplary role in mitigating carbon-footprints by adopting clean business solutions and practices having minimum impact on the environment. Pranshu Singhal, India Environmental Manager, Nokia, pointed out that unless consumers do not change their behavior, much cannot be done to enforce green ICT, as availability is dependent on the demand. “Changes in the demand side are more important than changes in the supply/production side” he said. Mr. Sridhar, India Marketing Director from Dell spoke about green IT and efforts made by Dell in maintaining its carbon neutrality by using energy efficient products. He said “39% of emission is caused from desktop and laptop and 26% from servers” hence it is imperative to deploy right kind of mechanism which adhere to global standards.

Prof. K. R. Srivasthan, Pro-Vice Chancellor, IGNOU chairing the session, presented a different perspective and approach to Green ICT. Emphasizing the implementation of digital learning he elaborated on the technical challenges faced in integrating the various individuals / centers of learning. He said the present education system barely caters to a fourth of the potential learners in the country. To serve the staggering numbers and needs, we need to engage multiple communications modes such as internet, TV, IPTV, 2G and 3G mobile services, community radio ,Wimax, WiFi, etc and exploit cloud services for an open - university system. He proposed a hybrid solution which would use hierarchy of networks including regional datacenters. This would require local entrepreneurship and content support developed in the regional language.

OVUM report
Convergence India 2010 was also a launching pad for the event’s Knowledge Partner OVUM to release an industry white paper entitled Telecoms 2020. We bring you the summary carried by Biswajeet Sinha at MyNews.in:
History might repeat itself in the telecom sector. As per the OVUM report released on the first day of convergence India 2010, some of the telecom operators might jump straight from GSM to LTE in the coming years. It may be recalled that Indian Telecom industry took a 180 degree turn after leapfrogging from analog to wireless technology.
The Ovum report says that by the year 2020, access networks in India will have greater reliance on wireless technology, with urban centers will have a wireless-led mix of 3G and 4Gnetworks. The report predicts that some operators might jumpstraight from GSM to LTE in the coming years. It also states that while urban areas will experience a rapid growth in data traffic which will put pressure on performance, rural areas will rely mostly on wireless networks by the year 2020.
Ovum predicts that small screen mobile phones will continue to dominate in India, but the same will have enhanced processing ability and functionality. The device mix will include e books, netbooks, laptops, with smartphones forming the greatest proportion.
An Ode to the Digital Citizen Ovum states that by 2020 the Indian consumers will fall into three key segments-digital citizens, digital adventurers, and digital metics. The digital citizen consumer will account for around 20% of the users in India and will be the ones who will seek safety, ease of use and predictable commitment of a relationship with the service provider. The service provider will be providing them with a whole bundle of services, which would include the device, configuration, applications, content and the connectivity. The rest of the consumers will continue to rely on the predictability of prepaid in paying for voice, broadband access, applications and content services while mostly relying on mobile services. The majority of the youth by 2020 will be forming the digital adventurers group as they would be practicing self management and configuration. The digital metrics group will be the largest out of these three, who will reply on basic low-cost devices.
The report states that leading players like Amazon, Apple and Nokia will succeed in establishing managed device platforms and a direct relationship with the digital citizen group of consumers. Global content and applicationproviders will rapidly increase their presence in India by 2020. While the packages offered by these will cater and appeal to the wealthier consumers and service-driven enterprises, by 2020 India will focus on content which will be utility-based and have a practical application and which will be digital in form. The applications will evolve to focus mainly on banking, health, payments, shopping, travel planning, energy and water management.


Link to the original MyNews.in report: http://www.mynews.in/News/Operators_Might_Jump_Straight_to_LTE,_says_Ovum_N41728.html 

April 9 2010 



From the LEFT : Mr. Prem Behl, Chairman Exhibitions India, Mr. Pankaj Mohindroo, National President, India Cellular Association,
Mr. Rajesh Chharia, President, Internet Service Providers Association of India, Shri Kuldip Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, MTNL, Shri R Chandrashekhar, Secretary, Department of Information 5 Technology, Ministry of Communications & IT,
Shri Gurudas Kamat, Hon’ble Minister of State for Communications & Information Technology, Shri Kuldeep Goyal, Chairman and Managing Director, BSNL, Mr. N K Goyal, President, CMAI, Mr. Dale Tasharski, Commercial Counsellor, U.S. Embassy, Mr. Jiang Guanxiong, Executive Vice Chairman, CCPIT, China, Mr. Rahul Sharma, VP, TEMA and Mr. Billy Shrikent, CEO, Exhibitions India Group




    


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