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An update on development of a vernacular based MVAS standard in India.

An update on development of a vernacular based MVAS standard in India.

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  • 1. Vernacular SMS and MVASA tool for mass communication in near future
    Exploring Opportunities and Challenges in India
  • 2. Mobile: Socio-economic impact in India
    Impact of Increase in Mobile Penetration on Growth in GD
    1st order of impact of increase in mobile penetration on growth in GDP (impact of voice primarily by allowing people to connect / talk)
    VAS and off-deck usage will bring in 2nd order of impact on GDP growth
  • 3. VAS: Taking delivery thru mobile further
    Universal Reach / Inclusive Growth
    Enterprise / SME / Rural / Poor urban areas
    Leapfrogging the PC
    Low cost access medium for entertainment, information
    Utility of Content and Services
    Commerce, Rural applications, Local Content
    Driving Innovation
    Localization, Voice based VAS
  • 4. The future of MVASA INR 121,000 crore industry over the next 5 years
    VAS as % of total telecom revenue in India remains lower as compared
    to other markets today; However it is expected to contribute INR 35,400
    crores in 2013
  • 5. Off deck mobile VAS
    Key Growth drivers for Off deck Mobile VAS
    Evolving ecosystem, continued push by D2C players and emergence
    of alternate billing channels will be the key growth drivers for
    off-deck mobile VAS in India
  • 6. The importance of SMS
    A2P SMS remains the most effective and timely way to reach out to people (for business, social organizations & govt.) & is therefore critical from a social and economic perspective
  • 7. SMS: Evolution of an effective mass communication media
    Often overlooked, this A2P SMS is a very powerful mass market
    medium. With 400 mn expected subs and 5 A2P SMS/day this
    corresponds to 2 Billion pieces of information delivered per day
  • 8. Reach of Indian Languages
    10 Million Indians study Hindi every year. Similar numbers for others.
    Top 10 Indian newspapers are regional
    Top TV channels are vernacular. Star TV converted 100% to Hindi
    In urban India, only 37% of the literate population knows English;
    the number drops to 17% in rural areas
    10 out of top 30 most-widely used languages worldwide are Indian
    8 out of top 50 best-selling newspapers in the world are published in an
    Indian language
    Compared to only 3 English language papers from India in the list
    Despite these impressive statistics, not a single Indian language makes to the list to most-widely used languages in the mobile/Internet world
  • 9. SMS Usage in India
    SMS continues to be most popular non-voice service but usage levels are still low compared to other countries
  • 10. Explaining the Gap
    One of the contributing factors towards high SMS usage in Philippines and China is pricing
    In Philippines, SMS started as a free service!
    Voice calls are cheaper in India but SMS pricing levels are relatively higher
    Another important factor is the use of standards-based solutions for local language SMS
    In Philippines, local languages use Roman script, so 7-bit default GSM alphabet can be used
    The inherent efficiency of Chinese language mitigates the inefficiency of 2- byte UCS-2 encoding
    Both countries have lower English-literacy levels compared to India
    Local language SMS is used heavily
  • 11. The Challenges
    Establish a standard in the eco-system
    Telecom Operators
    Device Manufacturers
    Application Providers
  • 12. The Challenges
    To evolve a core system of Indic MVAS/SMS to be implemented uniformly across vendors and service providers
    Font rendering to make the fonts standard across all handsets
    Key pad design challenge
    How do legacy handsets which donot have this Indic feature be included in them
    Regulatory Aspects
  • 13. The Challenges
    To evolve a core system of Indic MVAS/SMS to be implemented uniformly across vendors and service providers
    Font rendering to make the fonts standard across all handsets
    Key pad design challenge
    How do legacy handsets which donot have this Indic feature be included in them
    Regulatory Aspects
  • 14. Existing Coding schemes for messaging
    GSM Alphabet – Supports languages that use Latin character set
    UCS-2 – Supports all major languages of the world
    User-defined – Any arbitrary character set can be defined
  • 15. Encoding Indian Languages in UCS-2
    Users who want to send an SMS in an Indian language are faced with two disadvantages from the encoding point of view
    Complexity of Indic scripts results in relatively high number of characters per word on the average
    With UCS-2 encoding, only 70 characters are allowed per message
    The net result is that only a few words can go in a single SMS
  • 16. Current Scenario
    SMS in several Indic languages is currently supported by operators
    Based on proprietary picture-messaging based solutions since UCS-2 is inefficient and/or not supported
    Picture-enabled handsets needed to display SMS
  • 17. Indic SMS Challenges
    Indic SMS challenges
    Standards-based solution at the same cost as English SMS
    Inter-operability across operators and devices
  • 18. Requirements
    Basic requirement
    Standards-based solution with the same level of encoding efficiency as the 7-bit GSM alphabet
    Additional requirements
    All 22 official languages must be supported
    Support for bi-lingual messaging (Indic + English)
    Optional requirement
    Enable easy transliteration between Indian languages
  • 19. Support for National Languages
    Two methods have been specified for including National Language characters in a short message
    Single shift mechanism
    ‘Escape’ character is used to signal that the next character is encoded using a National Language Shift Table
    Locking shift mechanism
    All the characters are encoded using a National Language Locking Shift Table
    In both cases, the language being used is indicated by an identifier added in the message payload
  • 20. Work till date
    Indian language tables developed
    Based on the 3GPP templates for 7-bit locking and single shift tables
    Using the character sets for Indic languages defined by Unicode Consortium
    Tables for 10 languages/scripts have been defined
    Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu
    As the same script is sometimes used by more than one language, the 10 tables can support all the 22 official languages of India
  • 21. Indic Locking Shift Tables
    Locking Shift Table of an Indic language consists of
    Control characters pre-defined in the template (4)
    The lower case English alphabet (26)
    The numbers 0-9 (10)
    A small subset of special characters commonly used in SMS (8)
    The commonly used characters of that language (80, at most)
    Non-Indic characters appear in the same positions as in the GSM table
    This ensures that even if a handset does not have the locking table, at least the English part of a bi-lingual SMS can be decoded
    Similar sounding characters of different languages are put in the same positions (not always possible because of differences in character sets)
    Enables easy transliteration
  • 22. Indic Single Shift Tables
    Single Shift Table of an Indic language consists of
    Control characters pre-defined in the template (4)
    The upper case English alphabet (26)
    Remaining special characters from default GSM alphabet (31)
    Characters of the Indic language which do not appear in its locking shift table (67, at most)
  • 23. Key Benefits in New Encoding Scheme
    An SMS written in any of the 22 official Indian languages can have up to 154 characters
    Nearly as many as in an English SMS!
    English words can be included in the message without extra overhead
    Transliteration from one language to another is very simple
    Compatibility with Unicode character sets for Indian languages
    Possibility to augment the character sets using free spaces available in the single shift tables
  • 24. The Challenges
    To evolve a core system of Indic MVAS/SMS to be implemented uniformly across vendors and service providers
    Font rendering to make the fonts standard across all handsets
    Key pad design challenge
    How do legacy handsets which donot have this Indic feature be included in them
    Regulatory Aspects
  • 25. English is “NOT” an Indic Script
  • 26. Understanding Unicode for “Indian languages”
  • 27. Language over script
  • 28. Language over script
    Unicode script code pages are almost exhaustive for a “script”
    Support for a language is significantly simpler
    3GPP Indic Language Tables also adopt the simplicity
    “LANGUAGE” is different from a “SCRIPT”
  • 29. The Challenges
    To evolve a core system of Indic MVAS/SMS to be implemented uniformly across vendors and service providers
    Font rendering to make the fonts standard across all handsets
    Key pad design challenge
    How do legacy handsets which donot have this Indic feature be included in them
    Regulatory Aspects
  • 30. The text entry Challenge: The English Bias
  • 31. Indianization of the key pad
  • 32. Incomplete solutions!
  • 33. Closing the Loop
    IntroducingStatistical Techniques to Language SMS
    Faster than ENGLISH keypad
    Best predictive efficiency
    Least effort in key movements
    Least number of key taps ( > 3 taps per character is unacceptable)
    Most Intuitive
    Wins 97% of the times
  • 34. The Challenges
    To evolve a core system of Indic MVAS/SMS to be implemented uniformly across vendors and service providers
    Making SMS services cost effective. Presently India is high on the SMS versus Call costings. Penetration will be a factor of pricing.
    Font rendering to make the fonts standard across all handsets
    Key pad design challenge
    How do legacy handsets which donot have this Indic feature be included in them
    Regulatory Aspects
  • 35. Issue : Backward Compatibility with Legacy Devices
    A handset that supports the new 7bit Indic encoding sends an Indic language SMS to a legacy device
  • 36. Solution C
    Conversion from 7bit Indic to UCS2 and visa versa
    A Silent Conversion application is required
    A Mechanism by which received messages are converted to UCS2
    Multiple concatenated messaged can be handled.
  • 37. Solution P: Conversion before delivery
    Recipient phone does not support UCS2
    Received Message can be converted to picture message
    Solution1: Before delivering to the Recipient
    Solution2: SIM can send it for Conversion
  • 38. Solution P: Conversion after delivery
  • 39. The Challenges
    To evolve a core system of Indic MVAS/SMS to be implemented uniformly across vendors and service providers
    Making SMS services cost effective. Presently India is high on the SMS versus Call costings. Penetration will be a factor of pricing.
    Font rendering to make the fonts standard across all handsets
    Key pad design challenge
    How do legacy handsets which donot have this Indic feature be included in them
    Regulatory Aspects
  • 40. Regulatory Aspects
    The standard only defines a method for representing Indian language characters in short messages using 7-bit codes
    Handset vendors may or may not choose to implement it
    A vendor may decide to support only a subset of the Indian languages for which 7-bit tables have been defined
    Furthermore, the 3GPP specification (TS 23.038) states that:
    Encoding of a message using the national locking shift mechanism is not intended to be implemented until a formal request is issued by the relevant national regulatory body
    Regulatory intervention is required to mandate the support for 7-bit Encoding and other necessary features required for Indic SMS
  • 41. Thanks
    Credits
    Dr. NadeemAkhtar (CeWIT)
    Biju R Balagopal (ComViva Technologies)
    Sharad Sharma (NASSCOM)
    SwaranLata (TDIL)
    VikasPhogat (SagemOrga)
    VivekananadaPani (Reverie Technologies)