Mobile music industry growing dramatically

Submitted by Karthik on 22 April, 2006 - 19:52
India's mobile music industry will apparently soon overtake its conventional counterpart, with projected sales for 2006 set at INR 7.2 billion.
Airtel has a subscriber base of 20m, out of which 6m use mobile music services. During the last financial year, the company registered about 50m downloads. This year, music downloads are slated to go up as the company adds more subscribers.
For instance almost all operators have launched an "Easy Music" service that allows subscribers to walk into a mobile phone outlet, choose their favorite music from a huge catalogue of music in as many as 20 languages and download onto their mobile phones -- or even other digital devices like iPod -- for as little as 15 cents each for a Hindi song or 30 cents for an international song.

Google foundation supports Indian literacy project

Submitted by Karthik on 19 April, 2006 - 21:18

The Google foundation has chosen to support PlanetRead, a non-profit organisation that promotes literacy in India and elsewhere through the use of SLS.

The SLS method leverages the reach of TV and a "national passion for songs" of Hindi cinema as well as folk and devotional music.

Existing TV song programmes are subtitled in the same language as the audio. As villagers read along the lyrics they hum - and without realising it themselves - their literacy skills are growing.

Bridging the divide?

Submitted by Karthik on 19 April, 2006 - 16:39

ET has an interesting article overviewing the impact of various technology initiatives in rural India including the following gem:

Started under the governement's Grameen Sanchar Sevak scheme, a postman totes mobile phone along with letters. Postmen carry WLL (wireless in local loop) phones while delivering mail. Residents can use the phone to make calls, both local and STD for certian charge. The service is targeted at people who do not own a telephone.

HP launches a 'gesture keyboard' for Indic languages

Submitted by Karthik on 19 April, 2006 - 16:23

HP's "gesture keyboard" -- a digitized pen and pad packaged with handwriting-recognition software -- allows people to quickly jot down words in Hindi script on the digitized pad that transmits them to a desktop computer screen. Indians can use it to type a report, chat on instant messengers or search the Web. The new system could prove more convenient than tediously typing combinations of characters from the Indian script-based languages that, if assigned their own computer keys, would require a keyboard with close to 1,000 buttons.

India's Online Games Market To Top $200 Million By 2010

Submitted by Karthik on 19 April, 2006 - 10:28

Gamasutra is covering a report by Pearl Research that forecasts the Indian gaming market to be worth USD 200 million by 2010.

In addition, there were more than 100,000 Internet cafes in India in 2005. Internet cafes can derive 30% to 40% of revenues from users playing games. Games are a “sticky” activity, thus users tend to spend more time and money at Internet cafes that offer games, according to the report. The latest trend is the opening of gaming-oriented cafes such as Sify’s Gamedromes to satisfy the growing demand for games. Internet cafes with broadband connections and fast PCs are increasingly replacing many of India’s outdated Internet cafes that use dial-up.

India looks to WiMAX for Broadband

Submitted by Karthik on 17 January, 2006 - 02:25

Light Reading is carrying a succinct article on why telco majors in India believe WiMAX will be the one. The article also outlines the reasons why the Indian broadband industry is where it is today, along with a few choice quotes like the following:

"It's absolutely abysmal compared to other countries with equal per capita GDP," says Ravi Bhagavan, vice president at consultancy Galileo Global Advisors, noting that the government's broadband policy target was to have 3 million subscribers by the end of 2005. "Talk about aiming at the sky and shooting the fact I think they hit the trunk."

Reliance and VSNL stuck in a rut?

Submitted by Karthik on 16 January, 2006 - 14:16

The Hindu Business Line has a write-up, albeit with no conclusive answers, on why VSNL and Reliance - both companies backed by the two largest business families in the country - are yet/unable to make their big push into the broadband sector.

Reliance Infocomm has barely any retail broadband customers. Its metro-ethernet plan involved bringing fibre right to the buildings; the company has wired up thousands of buildings across the country.

DoT seeks release of spectrum from Department of Space for WiMAX

Submitted by Karthik on 16 January, 2006 - 12:05

The DoT is seeking the release of allocated spectrum for use in WiMAX networks. The spectra in question are currently being used by the Department of Space for satellite comunications.

"Some spectrum on 2.3-2.5 Ghz band have been made available to the operators going for Wimax roll-out. We have to coordinate with department of space for releasing spectrum 3.3-3.8 Ghz as well as 2.5-2.7 Ghz band so that we can give it to Wimax operators. But it will take time," DoT sources said.

India's RIAA rears its head

Submitted by Karthik on 12 January, 2006 - 23:57

The IMI has threatened to:

take "appropriate civil and criminal action" against over 600 websites and 30 Indian Internet service providers (ISPs) — including the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) — for "not preventing" the unauthorised downloading of online music.

Besides addressing music downloads, the IMI is also trying to take action against websites offering pirated ring-tones.


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