"Operators Should Choose Their VAS Partners Wisely"

 "Operators Should Choose Their VAS Partners Wisely"Bharti Telesoft with its services like Live TV, CMS and CRBT (caller ring back tone) is becoming increasingly aggressive not only about the Indian telecom market, but is also expanding its reach to other countries. Ramesh S. Krishnan, director, Content Solutions, Bharti Telesoft, talks about the evolving VAS landscape in India and technologies that could define the future mobile market.

How is the entire VAS landscape evolving in India?

It is the content which differentiates an operator from its rivals. In order to tap the explosive growth in the subscriber base, telecom operators are looking at different ways to expand beyond voice-based services. Operators need to be innovative in order to encourage the uptake of content. Services that are related, popular, and sometimes even not so popular, should be packaged together.

The concept of value added services (VAS) in India has undergone a real transformation. Earlier, VAS was restricted to only SMS but now with the coming up of technology convergence, the concept of VAS has diversified into various fields like audio, video, text, images and applications. Now the concept of VAS mainly revolves round music, video and text. Multi services offering will rule the VAS market.

What are the challenges faced by Bharti Telesoft as a VAS provider in India?

There are number of challenges as far as revenue sharing model is concerned. Though a number of players are coming into this space, we are aggressive about the market with our innovative solutions. The explosive growth at each point of the value chain has widened the billing gaps with revenue leakage being a key stumbling block. It is imperative for content aggregators and operators to introduce flexible and differential billing options such as subscriber, volume and session based charging, as well the ability to charge for premium content.

Bharti Telesoft’s role in the content value chain revolves round latest technology and delivery perspective. We have made our presence among almost all service providers through our services in India. The operators should choose their VAS partner wisely in their quest to get an ideal solution.

How will 3G affect the VAS market in India?

With the present spectrum infrastructure in India, operators are facing difficulty in getting proper bandwidth to provide their services. To offer services like IPTV and other video based applications, you need a much higher bandwidth. There are numerous challenges in India concering the 3G rollout and we should be prepared to tackle them. However, 3G roll out will definitely help us offer rich content.

Could you elaborate on how your Content Management System (CMS) will help the operators?

With the growing number of new content technologies and mobile applications, operators need to manage their content services portfolio that will leverage the power of multiple content types and formats. To deploy new services, maintain relationship with multiple content partners and their valued customers, they need a centralised system. To address these needs we have developed the CMS.

The CMS from Bharti Telesoft is designed specifically for the operators to centrally manage their entire content portfolio to track overall performance and optimise their resource utilisation for revenue generation. The CMS provides a one stop source of rich and varied content and the ability to customise mobile services enhancing service value for subscribers. Operators will be able to attract quality third party content providers to build a competitive and appealing product portfolio by providing enhanced quality assurance modules.

Which technology do you think will rule the mobile market in the near future?

It is true that due to new networks, high bandwidth availability, transition from circuit-switched to packet networks, upgrades and rollouts of 3G and mobile handset standards and technology supporting new formats, the concept of value added services has changed a lot. According to a report, the mobile video market will reach around $12 billion by 2011. Digital music sales have already surpassed the physical music sales. What’s more, the same content can be priced differently at different stages of the customer lifecycle. SMS or text messaging continues to dominate the industry followed by ring tones and caller ring back tones. USSD is an attractive technology for rapidly developing markets, as the majority of the population fall into the low-income bracket and do not yet belong to the mobile subscriber base.

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Updated Date: Sep 22, 2007 13:12:55 IST