Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Cellular Upswing: Heading for a Mobile Future

A pertinent and thought provoking article with a style that is unique to the writer Raj Machan, member Cellebrum Business Development Team.

Based on a plot that appears very much plausible, the Hollywood sci-fi movie ‘I, Robot’ is a shocking eye-opener. For a moment one is lead into exploring the possibility: Will computers actually control our lives someday?

As of now, we do not have any clear answers to this one. But what we know for sure is that technology is moving forward, and it is moving at an unprecedented pace. The speed of development is something like compressing the entire industrial revolution into a span of two decades. Take cellular telephony: Essentially a phenomenon of the 90s, the technology has proliferated at such a pace that now it is hard to imagine life without the ubiquitous ‘cell’ or ‘mobile’, two words which are now as much a part of the common lexicon as food, water, jeans, tops, or for that matter the new babe in town. The constant drop in prices of cell phones is an indicator: Your swanky handset, which you purchased for Rs 20,000 this Diwali, will be available for Rs 15,000 or less in March-April 2009, if at all. Because chances are high that your precious gizmo would have been phased out by a new crop of superior models packed with new features and applications and available for less. The Indian market is already flooded with inexpensive, feature-rich (including advanced applications such as Television on Mobile) mobile phones, made in China and available for as little as Rs 5000!

The following factors are set to further cement the pre-dominance of mobile technology:

Wireless technology now lies at the core of convergence of technologies. Convergence denotes the use of a single gadget or application for accessing two or more technologies. For quite some time now, the IT sector has focused on convergence of multiple technologies deployed in the areas of Information, Communication, and Entertainment (ICE). Senior executives with telecom major Spice Group affirm that the wireless medium has an inherent advantage over its fixed counterpart and is clearly the future. The cell phone has transformed from a hardware intensive device to an intelligent software-driven platform – very much on the lines of your personal computer. You can take a picture (camera phones have now almost wiped off the good old film rolls from shop shelves), record a video clip, store, transfer and listen to your favorite songs (the runaway success of Apple’s iPhone is an indicator of the widespread acceptability of music phones), watch a movie, get the latest scores, stock prices, chat with friends, send messages, hold a conference call, play games, use it as a calculator or an organizer and of course make or receive a call if you still have the time. You could do all this out trekking in a remote area of Himachal Pradesh or waiting for your sweetheart on the bench by the lake.

Roughly the cellular equivalent of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA), the smart phone is the latest rage among the users. Figures released by Gartner pegs the worldwide market growth for PDAs and smart phones at 57 per cent in the second quarter of 2007. A typical smart phone is much advanced than a mobile phone. It can support a complete operating system such as Symbian and MS Windows and therefore can run all applications compliant with the particular OS. Much like the common PC, a smart phone provides a standardized Graphical User Interface and platform for application developers, Apart from the features available on a cell phone, a high-end, palm-sized smart phone comes loaded with a QWERTY keyboard (just like your PC), e-mail facilities, fax, word processors, and spread sheets, networking abilities, touch screen and more. A smart phone can read, print and save files in multiple formats including PDF and .doc (Word).

The proliferation of Bluetooth and IrDA makes data transfer from a smart phone easy as pie. You can use it to access the Internet, support web browsers, Intranets, and extranets via Wi-Fi.
Businesses and professionals can integrate the smart phone with their office PBX systems, thus converging the fixed line communication technologies with the wireless world. What is more, the prices of smart phones have been falling much faster than the regular cell phones (a mid-level smart phone from a top manufacturer is now available in India for Rs 18,500).

What is coming your way?
In the near future, the roll out of 3G networks, which are faster and technologically superior than the present GPRS technology, will lead to tremendous improvement in speed and quality of almost all mobile applications. We already have “TV-ready” phones. Combined with the laying out of transmission standards, the 3G technology is set to make mobile TV a practical and commercial reality. 3G networks are set to give a leg up to bandwidth heavy services like video-conferencing, movies on mobile and online gaming. Your big screen television and the music system will very much be there, but the controls are more than likely to be converged onto one gadget: the ubiquitous cell phone.
With cash-rich, innovation hungry companies like Google looking for an increasing presence in the communications arena, one can almost catch the strains of Bachmann Turner Overdrive 60s favorite: Baby, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Winners of the Asia Mobile Awards 2008 Announced in Macau

One of the flagship products powered by Cellebrum Technologies Limited "Mobile Radio" has bagged the prestigious award at Asia Mobile Awards 2008, MACAU for the operator AIRTEL!

I wish to thank everyone for having contributed in some form or the other for making it such a BIG service. Heartiest Congratulations to TEAM Cellebrum and AIRTEL.

18 November 2008, Macau
November 17th 2008, Macau: The GSMA, the global trade group for the mobile industry, tonight announced the winners of the Asia Mobile Awards 2008 in a glittering ceremony at the Mobile Asia Congress, in Macau SAR China.
It was a very special night for the South Korean mobile industry – regarded globally as a hotbed of mobile innovation - with the republic's two mobile operators KTF and SKT, manufacturer Samsung and the South Korean team of mobile games developer Gameloft, scooping a brace of coveted awards.
The awards night, hosted by actor and TV presenter Ken Chan, were announced at a gala evening at the Venetian Macao Resort Hotel in Macau, where Asia's mobile industry leaders are gathered this week for the industry's agenda-setting Mobile Asia Congress."In these economically challenging times, it can sometimes be difficult to see the positive forces but clearly technological change is a major one," said GSMA Chairman Craig Ehrlich. "Mobile communication continues to enhance the lives of people everywhere on a daily basis and make people and businesses more productive and efficient. These awards are all about recognising the leaders, pioneers and change drivers in our region that are making this happen."Additional winners included Bharti Airtel of India, Huawei of China, Nokia Singapore, Telstra Corporation of Australia and Total Access Communication of Thailand.
Judged by independent analysts, journalists and industry experts, the awards attracted entries from more than 100 companies that serve world leading Asian mobile market with a wealth of commercially available products, services, content and applications. The last year alone has seen more than 400 million new mobile connections added in the region, taking the total to more than 1.4 billion.
The winners of the Asia Mobile Awards 2008 are:
Best Mobile Game
Gameloft, Republic of Korea for ‘Asphalt4: Elite Racing HD'

Best Mobile Music, TV or Video Service
Bharti Airtel, India for ‘On-Demand Service on Airtel Live'

Best Mobile Advertising Service
Telstra Corporation, Australia for Telstra Mobile Codes

Best Mobile Enterprise Product or Service
KTF, Republic of Korea for ‘Show Care'

Best Mobile Internet ServiceSKT
Republic of Korea for ‘Gifticon'

Best Mobile Money Service
Total Access Communications, Thailand for ‘ATMSIM'

Best Mobile Broadband Handset/ Device
Huawei, China for Huawei E180 HSPA Rotable USB Stick'
Samsung Electronics, Republic of Korea for ‘Samsung Innov8 (i8510)'

The 'Green Mobile Award
Nokia, Singapore for ‘Integrated Nokia Kiosk

PS: You may have a glimpse of the TVC of the product at

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cellebrum Appoints Mohit Rampal As Chief Sales Officer

Mohit will infuse new strength and direction to build and enhance sales operations division of the organisation.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008: Cellebrum, a value-added-services and solutions provider from Spice Group, has appointed Mohit Rampal as its chief sales officer (CSO). As the CSO of Cellebrum, Mohit will be responsible for sales of Cellebrum Technologies Limited.Having worked with organisations like Avaya Global Connect, SafeNet India (previously known as Rainbow Information Technologies), Rampal brings with him a experience of over 17 years in IT networking, IT security and telecommunications’ domain. Rampal has also been instrumental in creating a brand for the USB token iKey which is used for storing digital certificates.

Rampal holds a masters in Physics from Delhi University along with a masters of Science in Systems from BITS Pilani and is also a CISSP. He is an active speaker in the area of security and has contributed many articles on security and networking.

Welcome to the Cellebrum Family Mohit; wish the very best for your tenure here!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

3G rings profit bells for VAS providers

Metro Now- New Delhi

Let your mobile do all your shopping

Cybermedia Publication, 5th November 2008

Telecom operators bank on value-added services for 3G revenues

November 5th, 2008 - 12:04 pm ICT by IANS

New Delhi, With third generation (3G) mobile services set to roll out early next year in India, service providers are banking on the value-added services (VAS) segment to ring in additional revenues, with many new features like personalised radio, mobile blogging and social networking. The VAS market, currently valued at Rs.65 billion ($1.35 billion), constitutes about 9-10 percent of the total revenues for telecom operators in India with short messaging service (SMS) alone accounting for 44 percent of that share.

With 3G services to be rolled out by next year, the VAS industry is expected to increase its share manifold, with some industry estimates pegging the figure at Rs.200 billion by 2015.

“Almost 20-25 percent of market share is occupied by ring back tones (RBT), which have 40-50 million users,” Saket Agarwal, chief operating officer of Cellebrum Technologies, an industry leader in the VAS segment, told IANS.

According to him, once the 3G services are launched, social networking, blogging on mobile and advanced use of mobile radio will become more popular.
“Very few people are now using personalised radio services as they are not aware of it. With personalisation of radio, the mobile phone can become ‘poor man’s I-pod’,” Agarwal added. The 3G services will enable mobile users to access high-speed data services such as movies on demand, mobile TV, high-speed Web access, video calls, fast music and video downloads, interactive gaming and global positioning over the Internet.

Currently, VAS includes those services that add value to standard voice calls such as ringtones, caller ring back tones (CRBT), video games, imagery, jokes and information services. According to various telecom experts, mobile phones will soon double up as a smart card, replacing plastic cards.
Remittances of funds through mobile phones is also expected to fulfill the gap in rural banking infrastructure, industry officials said, adding this would be yet another growth driver for the Indian VAS industry.

However, cost of service will be the key ingredient for growth of this industry. “Affordability is going to be a factor. Over a period of time, with lots of freebies, it will certainly be there,” said Vineesh Khaturia, president of strategy and business development with Mobisoc Technology, a mobile software leader.
Though m-commerce is still at a nascent stage, telecom players are already increasing their advertising spends to promote their VAS offerings, he said.
“The challenge, however, lies with handsets enabled with 3G to be available at lower costs. Very few consumers are now equipped with 3G enabled handsets,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, managing director of One97 Communications. For the telecom operators and VAS content providers, average revenue per user (ARPU) should reach Rs.100 and the entry level handsets should be priced at Rs.9,900 for success in this arena, Sharma said. Another VAS provider Onmobile chief executive and co-founder Arvind Rao agreed with the opinion. “3G will be an acceleration of VAS. But everything will depend on how fast 3G is rolled out and the number of cheap/affordable 3G-enabled handsets available in the market.”

Saturday, November 1, 2008

IGNOU collaborates with telecom sector to bridge gaps in education outreach

October 31, 2008

New Delhi: Taking education to the marginalised and disadvantaged people of the society through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) will soon become easier with use of mobile handsets for education delivery.

The concept is novel, when the call is democratising education. Even as a number of ICTs have been pressed into services in the country for the same goal, expert educators and mobile services providers rightly think, it is always advantageous to boost the existing ICTs with an additional line of service for education delivery at the learners' best reach.

Keeping this in view, the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and Communications & Manufacturing Association of India (CMAI) will jointly convene a round-table conference on November 4, 2008 at the SCOPE Complex at Lodhi Road, New Delhi
Experts from industries of communications technologies, telecom equipment manufacturers, government organisations and universities will discuss in the conference about various strategies which will be timely and handy for the communities of students and learners of the country.
This conference may also create new genre of thought-process conducive to fulfill the country's ongoing 11th Five-Year Plan motto, 'Education for All', at, as
IGNOU Vice Chancellor Professor V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai explains, "easily accessible, affordable and relevant to lives modes".

The IGNOU's eGyankosh, a world-class national digital repository, won the World Summit Award (WSA), popularly known as Manthan Award 2008, for best e-content development in the e-education category. The award is given every year for excellence by the WSA's India chapter, Digital Empowerment Foundation.

The citation read: "There is hardly any example of any university in India which uses all possible media tools and applications to reach out to those who want to be educated. The IGNOU is an example which uses print, radio, TV, Web/Internet to reach out to the masses. After having deployed various TV channels, EduSat, Community Radio, IGNOU is at task through eGyankosh to utilize digital media to the best of its possibility. Through these multifarious technological interventions, the IGNOU is putting maximum efforts in extending its reach beyond the borders of the country and facilitate international students. What is laudable is the IGNOU's continuous pursuit in providing higher and quality education using digital tools and technologies and reaching out to the unreached."

The IGNOU, during last two-three years, has taken a number of epochal steps to exploit the facilities of ICTs, by bringing the Edusat to the capital in its own hub. Initiatives have been taken for use IPTV, Broadband, and exiting telecom services for delivery of education.
Yet at certain points of the country or other, the reach was often faltered due to various woes, which are but natural to a plural society working in a developing economy. The reach generated by Mobile phone is hoped to become fool-proof.

The capacity building of the learners, the disadvantaged women and marginalised population will be rather easy by help of Mobile Value-Added Services (MVAS) or M-Education. If not otherwise, the MVAS can end up in becoming the largest carrier of education from the IGNOU.
The Conference, therefore, aims to address the following:

(i) Rural connectivity for capacity building of students and learners,
(ii) Identification of other cost-effective communication technologies for education delivery best suited for
distance education.

The EduSat, dedicated to IGNOU, at present has a network of 134 Satellite Internet Terminals (SITs). These are at Rashtrapati Bhawan (02), North-East Region (21), J&K Region (04), Other States (91), State Open Universities (10), Regional Committee of NCTE (05) and Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy of Administration (01).

These apart, for Rajiv Gandhi Elementary Education Network, the EduSat services are available at Hub in Jabalpur, MP, Daily two-hour long transmission through Gyan Darshan terminals, solar-powered Receive Only Terminals (ROTs), in Sidhi (MP) about 850 ROTs, and 50 ROTs each in Chhattisgarh and UP and Bihar districts.

The EduSat has become an effective opportunity for IGNOU to cover areas Gyan Darshan channels earlier could not reach. Currently Gyan Darshan, through transmission in C band on the INSAT 3C, is also available on the DTH platform of Doordarshan DD Direct Plus.

Audio-visual aids to teachers and learners' trainers for seamless education is possible through the EduSat today, with advantage of teleconferencing, e-conferencing and telephony. Gyan Vani, which heralded the ICT movement in IGNOU, has become an important value-addition now.
The Round-Table Conference with the CMAI is another, yet bolder, step to effectively reach the target learners communities. It is also a strong step to effectively fulfill the vision of democratising quality higher education in India.

Considering the Government of India's target of 500 millions of telecom network connectivity by 2010, the Indian domestic telecom outreach has grown to be the world's second after China's. Current monthly growth is eight (8) to nine (9) millions.

The CMAI is looking forward to building up on the opportunities which this New Medium of M-Education has created by providing IGNOU content of study material.
A conglomerate of mobile phone service providers, experts, manufacturers of mobile phone handsets, the CMAI has high fidelity players in mobile telephony such as ACL Wireless, Active Media, Air2Web, AOL Mobile, Cellebrum, Cellnext, HungamaMobile, IMIMobile, Indistimes Mobile, Jataayu, Mauj, Mobile365, One97, OnMobile, Phoneytunes, Roamware.
In search of new genre of communications, these organisations have reached worldwide reputation in producing advanced telephony services, such as mobile TV and video, full-motion videos, wireless teleconferencing, multi-player online games, and
commerce through mobile elephony (M-commerce).

These players have brought into service the third generation (3G) mobile phone technology superseding the 2.5G. The 3G technology is based on standards of International Telecommunication Union family which regulates international radio and telecommunications. Naturally, with the 3G as a carrier of contents, the education delivery is expected to be holistic.
When connectivity is combined with the contents of study material, access to education can become massive. The access to course content and class-room dissemination of lessons also can be developed into providing and taking of examination papers through the mobile telephony.
This scope meets the
IGNOU concept, which Professor Pillai elaborates, as, "You study at your own pace, from home, have access to the most advanced learning infrastructure and at the end of your course, have corporates waiting with dream job offers."

Says CMAI, "A new paradigm in providing M-education and thereby covering far-flung areas in the country and assist to bridge the physical distances using wireless technology, make mobile phones a great leveller in the society."
Through handsets, several contents can be easily accessed wherever are you and whenever you want. A number of tests can be immediately identified as under: Besides reaching out to the rural marginalised people, a number of competitive tests -- namely, CAT, JEE, GATE, GMAT, SAT,
TOEFL among a slew of others -- can be taken.