September 2008

Services with Changing Technological Landscape

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“India is still a growing market in terms of mobile content/application and consumption/ adoption. However, the consumers have so far reacted very  positively to the availability of a host mobile content. The Indian consumers want  high quality compelling products with a high value for money quotient. Keeping  this and the rapidly evolving technological landscape in mind, we as a company  will continue to launch products / services that provide exciting new ways for the consumers to entertain, engage and inform themselves,” says Ray K. Tsuchiyama,  Marketing Director, Marketing International, Global Emerging Markets, NUANCE  Mobile and Consumer Services/Tegic Communications, in an email interaction to  Sandeep Budki of egov magazine .

In India, as voice Average Revenue per Users are falling drastically, service  providers are looking at value added services (VAS) for increasing their revenues. Comment.

The next phase of growth will come from services like m-Commerce and mobile  entertainment. The telecom market is perhaps the fastest evolving sector on all counts. There  are two key trends that I see will dominate telecom services over the next few years — Digital  Media Convergence: delivery of digital media will happen through multiple channels —  mobile, digital subscriber line, direct-to-home (DTH), Internet Protocol over TV (IPTV), 3G,  high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA), using common back end and service delivery  platforms. Mobile phones are becoming more than a communication tool and it will emerge as  the ubiquitous entertainment and communication device for the Indian consumers.

What do you feel about the current VAS scenario in India?

The Mobile VAS market in India is estimated to grow to US $2 billion in 2008, as per industry  reports. Currently, mobile VAS in India accounts for 10% of the operator’s revenue, which is  expected to reach 18% by 2010. The key growth drivers for VAS services are wireless network  rollout, inexpensive handsets and affordability to go mobile. The youth segment will also  continue to drive the market; particularly in the entertainment MVAS which include  services like Music, Gaming etc. Currently, the youth segments are the key drivers of VAS led  services. Going forward the Indian mobile market will foresee a growth in the services,  which includes – like mobile entertainment, m-Commerce, voice led services especially for the  rural customers. Also when the Indian operators are ready to launch 3G services then services  like Mobile TV, Video Voice Calls will fast gain acceptance among the Indian mobile customers.

Localisation of content is your focus area in India for offering
VAS services. What are your offerings in India?

As a company our focus for the Indian market has always been to localize content/products  and services. Nuance has developed and introduced T9 dictionary in nine Indian languages- Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam. T9 also  offers its services in Hinglish- a mixed language of Hindi and English popularised by  India’s urban youth, which has been a huge success.

The T9 software offers advanced word completion functionality,  wherein one has to just press  a few keys to pull up the desired word. Further there is a provision of stem locking, which  highlights the fi rst few characters of a word and trims down the word choice list, helping  users to identify letters and complete the intended word. Our endeavour remains to extend  the T9 functionality to more vernacular languages, to encourage users to adopt texting as the preferred medium of communication.

How would application offered by your company help in
e-Governance?

In June this year, we announced the availability of 9 new Indian languages for speech  recognition in the contact centre. The launch of these new languages will enable government  bodies and enterprises to offer a more enriched user experience, where consumers will be able  to conduct self-service transactions in the language of their choice. The new languages now  available, in addition to Hindi and Indian English, are –Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil,  Kannada, Telegu, Bengali, Gujrati, Oriya, and Punjabi. We are hopeful that with such voice  applications available from Nuance Communications, it will largely aid the government to fortify in its initiatives for rural up-liftment.

What are the applications/ services which are in the pipeline that your company plans to launch in India.

Going by the current market scenario, India is still a growing market in terms of mobile  content/ application consumption/ adoption. The evolution is still at a nascent stage.  However, the consumers have so far reacted very positively to the availability of a host  mobile content. Also, one should understand that the Indian consumer is a very discerning one.

They want high quality compelling products with a high value for money quotient. Keeping  this and the rapidly evolving technological landscape in mind, we as a company will continue to launch products/services that provide exciting new ways for the consumers to entertain,  engage and inform themselves – provide utility based services / application.

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