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http://samirshomepage.wordpress.com/2010/06/21/article-on-pocket-travel-assistant-on-mint-newspaper/...

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http://www.livemint.com/2010/06/20211105/Travelling-made-easier-with-a.html?atype=tp

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Pta story on mint newspaper Document Transcript

  • 1. www.livemint.com 21 MONDAY, JUNE 21, 2010, DELHI mint Technology Travelling made easier DIGITAL WORLD OSAMA MANZAR with a pocket Respond to this columns at feedback@livemint.com digital guide Rural development through MBILLIONTH AWARD broadband, wireless and mobiles Nominee Profile Pocket Travel Assistant T he press release issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on 10 June seeking comments from stakeholders on a less clusters could be developed in rural areas, which then connected to mobile phones can deliver information and facilitate civic services B Y P OOJA C HATURVEDI national broadband plan (NBP) has generated delivery. Globally, cellular phones are already pooja.c@livemint.com a lot of enthusiasm for more than one reason. part of huge wireless network systems. The ························· The move could mark a milestone in India’s benefit of wireless networks is not to be NEW DELHI quest for information and communication missed. It is an inexpensive and rapid way to P ocket Travel Assistant, or PTA, is a free-of-cost mo- bile phone application that technology (ICT) for digital equality, if sound thinking and real action can be achieved. The NBP could be looked at through this be connected to the Internet in countries where the telecom infrastructure is poor, as in most developing nations. Sound and fury: A wallpaper of Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay. promises to bring the world to backdrop: broadband penetration in India is Another option is establishing a wireless In- the fingertips of travellers. just 0.74%, while tele-density stands at 52.74%, ternet connection using cell phones. This may NEW REVENUE STREAM It compiles a range of infor- despite at least 100 telecom service providers not be the best long-term option, but in cer- mation about places of tourist offering broadband services. Net broadband tain situations, it can do the basic job in rural Production interest globally, including landmarks, history, culture, weather, street addresses and phone numbers. addition per month is 0.1-0.2 million, in con- trast to approximately 19 million mobile phone connections per month. Though 70% of Indians live in rural areas, areas—such as obtaining email and searching price rates of agro and commodity products. The talk of wireless power has already been discussed by this writer giving the example of houses bet big This is beefed up with local broadband facility is limited to the major cit- Mahabir Pun’s Nepal Wireless in the hills of news, maps and content such ies. Out of nine million broadband subscribers Nepal at a height of 3,650m. Another one in In- as mobile phone books to at the end of April, just 6% are in rural areas. dia could be seen in Dharamsala, called Dhar- serve as a comprehensive digi- This is attributed to lack of transmission media amsala Wireless-Mesh Community Network, tal travel guide. connectivity channels at the village level. which has been done by AirJaldi since 2005, on audio cinema “The initial motivation was to create a proof of concept mobile mash-up application of non-mobile data sources, and Availability of broadband services at afford- able tariffs is critical for the development of rural areas to provide access to vast informa- tion, facilitate civic services delivery, increase immediately after the ministry of communica- tion and information technology deregulated WiFi for outdoor use in India. The Mesh back- bone in Dharamsala already boasts of install- to make it available on mo- economic growth rate, power employment ave- ing more than 30 nodes connecting at least With a subscriber base market for audio cinema at bile,” said Samir Kumar Dash, nues and increase productivity. 2,000 computers providing upstream band- of 1.5 mn in 11 months, Rs100 crore. It will grow at the entrepreneur who has cre- The Trai move—triggered by the department width of up to 6MBPS. 10-12% month-on-month, said ated PTA. “The idea was to of telecom’s (DoT) search for broadband solu- Many options can be weighed to find a wire- experts say the number Agarwal. “Audio cinema has tions—is worth a consideration. A specific fea- less solution. Last-mile infrastructure can be may touch 4­5 mn managed to rake in a subscriber ture of this is DoT seeking Trai’s recommenda- encouraged for Internet penetration through consumers by March base of 1.5 million consumers in a matter of 11 months. We It compiles details tions on the need to review the definition of broadband connectivity in view of future wireless local loop and wireless mesh net- works. In fact, a policy such as National Wire- B Y G OURI S HAH expect this number to touch 4-5 million consumers by March.” of tourist spots to growth in Internet/broadband driven by wire- less technologies. No doubt, this calls for the less Connectivity Project can be considered to reach out to distant areas through wireless gouri.s@livemint.com Shireesh Mukund Joshi, di- provide the traveller development of a robust national broadband technology—involving identified stakeholders ························· rector of marketing and com- infrastructure to reach out to the villages. to roll out the programme. This can be then in- MUMBAI munications at Airtel, said pro- with a one­stop An option being explored is taking optical fi- tegrated with a national m-governance plat- C aught up in a traffic snarl? Waiting for some- one at an office or a ho- tel’s lobby? You may want to reach out for your mobile duction houses have to follow consumers wherever they are. “So if consumers are spending more time online and on their mobile phones, then it’s in their shop for his needs provide the traveller with a bre to 375,552 villages having a population of 500-plus. The funding could be sourced from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employ- ment Guarantee Scheme for non-skilled work and from the Universal Services Obligation form—initiating steps for basic information services in select departments and ministries towards achieving digital equality goals for ru- ral empowerment. Osama Manzar is founder and director of phone to download and enjoy best interest to be there.” one-stop solution for all his Fund for material and equipment cost. This Digital Empowerment Foundation and an audio version of your favour- His company launched its travel needs.” optical-fibre network would be linked with the chairman of the mBillionth awards. Mint is ite movie. audio cinema service branded Using PTA, travellers can backbones of various service providers and us- a partner of the mBillionth awards. Audio cinema—last heard of Airtel Talkies early this year. also directly access images or ers would then be able to get broadband with For more details of nominees, nominee when radio stations used to Mukta Arts is another pro- video clips of a particular des- types of wired and wireless solutions. profiles and the mBillionth awards, log on to play out film synopses in the duction house exploring new tination available on websites Using various mobile device networks, wire- http://blog.livemint.com/mobile-movement early 1980s—is slowly emerging media avenues to sell its mov- such as Wikipedia, Flickr and as a new revenue stream for ies. Following their theatrical YouTube. production houses. Three-hour debut, its films are released in The application uses the lo- films are being squeezed into formats such as home video, cation of the phone to provide 15-30 minute audio features, satellite, broadcast, web and users with local emergency complete with narration, dia- mobile. numbers, such as police hel- logues and songs. “You don’t want your content pline or the nearest clinic or Popular titles, from Ramesh to be overexposed. So you en- hospital. Sippy’s classic Sholay to Aamir sure that you control the num- In places where language is Khan’s 3 Idiots and Prakash ber of releases and monetize it a barrier, PTA links to the Jha’s more recent Raajneeti, are on different platforms to keep Google language translator already available. the interest going,” said Chait- page to help out with simple “Content is king, but access is anya Chinchlikar, business phrases in the local language. even more important,” said head, digital media, Mukta Arts. It has its limits. PTA does not Manish Agarwal, chief execu- The company currently has provide information about the tive of UTV New Media Ltd, 33 titles in its audio cinema li- remote villages of India unless which has tied up with mobile brary, including Karz, Khal they have a historical or geo- service providers such as Nayak, Kalicharan, Karma, graphical significance. Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone Ram Lakhan, Iqbal and Joggers’ But with the use of the Ine- Essar Ltd, Idea Cellular Ltd Park, and is looking to add to ternet rising in India, Dash is and Reliance Communica- the list. hopeful. “As the data PTA uses tions Ltd, among others, to of- Chinchlikar said although the is based on Internet data, in fer audio movies on mobile revenue from audio cinema is time more and more informa- handsets. close to negligible right now, it tion about the remotest places Agarwal’s firm is looking to had a lot of potential to grow. will be available,” he said. sell films produced by its sister “There is no recurring cost.” The application is available concern, UTV Motion Pictures, Universal Music India Pvt. for Flash Llite 3x-enabled in addition to movies from oth- Ltd purchases the entire sound- mobile phones only. Users er production houses such as track of a movie when negotia- need a GPRS/Wifi connection Mukta Arts Ltd and Reliance ting for music rights. “This is a that allows data transfer to use Big Pictures. huge opportunity for us to it. Last year, UTV New Media’s monetize such content,” said “(Being) easy to download audio cinema catalogue com- Rajat Kakar, managing director. and free of cost with no hidden prised 12 titles. This year, the Kakar said older movies, too, charges involved makes the number is likely to touch 250, will be popular in audio format, product even more usable by a with Hindi movies accounting as there was a sense of nostalgia traveller, along with its addi- for every two out of three titles. associated with the radio narra- tional features,” said Dash. Films in regional languages, tions of three decades ago. PTA was adjudged the best such as Marathi, Bhojpuri, Tel- His company has titles such application in mobile content ugu, Malayalam, Tamil and as Deewaar, Qurbani, Satte Pe category at Manthan Awards Kannada will make up the rest. Satta and Sholay in its cata- South Asia 2009, and was a That is because production logue, and has converted five- semifinalist at the 2009 Adobe houses are targeting customers six titles into audio cinema so Max Awards. in smaller cities and towns, who far. “We have over 1,000 films, Dash is also working on a have fewer entertainment op- so we have a large roster to go Hindi version of the applica- tions than those who live in through before we reach culmi- tion. metros, and thus rely on more nation point,” he said. “Suffice For more details on PTA, accessible channels such as it to say that movies with pow- compatibility information and mobile phones. erful dialogues will do very to download, go to Industry estimates peg the well.” http://www.mobilewish.com