Rural Mobile


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Few thoughts on the need for going rural and a look at some of the existing services & some which could be launched.

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Rural Mobile

  1. 1. Rural Mobile <br />Why is it the future & Ideas for Providing Rural Mobile Services ( VAS )<br />India<br />
  2. 2. Mobile phone : a catalyst for social inclusion<br />Point of contact<br />Predominant mode of communication<br />Reduces the digital divide<br />Accessible technology for marginalised groups<br />Relatively affordable & easy to use<br />Brings families together<br />Social networking & knowledge transfer tool<br /> ** Roxanna Samii, IFAD<br />
  3. 3. URBAN?? RURAL??<br />Towns (places with municipal corporation, municipal area committee, town committee, notified area committee or cantonment board); <br />Also, <br />all places having 5 000 or more inhabitants, <br />a density of not less than 1 000 persons per square mile or 400 per square kilometre,<br /> and at least three fourths of the adult male population employed in pursuits other than agriculture.<br />
  4. 4. India<br />Population : 1.17 billion people (estimate for July, 2009) [ 1/6 th of world population]<br /> 72.2% of the population lives in about 638,000 villages and the remaining 27.8% lives in more than 5,100 towns and over 380 urban agglomerations<br />
  5. 5. Telecom Scenario<br />Telephone subscriber base reaches 525.65 Million<br />o Wireless subscription reaches 488.40 Million<br /> o Wireline subscription declines to 37.25 Million<br />Overall Tele-density reaches 44.87<br /> The average urban teledensity in India has now crossed the 100 per cent mark as per latest figures released by the department of telecom (DoT). [ Urban accounts for 70% of total connections and 75% of the revenues of telecom operators ]<br />The teledensity in rural areas is only at 18 per cent [DoT ] <br />
  6. 6. Is the growth only in metro’s?<br />**TRAI<br />
  7. 7. Service Providers<br />Aircel<br />Airtel<br />Idea<br />Loop Mobile<br />Vodafone Essar Ltd<br />Spice<br />Tata Teleservices<br />Virgin Mobile<br />Uninor<br />MTS [ SSTL ]<br />BSNL <br /> MTNL<br />Reliance Communications<br /> Datacom, S Tel, Swan Communications, and Unitech – were awarded so-called &quot;letters of intent&quot; for licenses<br />
  8. 8. Good Market: Revenue, ARPU must be high, Right?<br />
  9. 9. Notes<br />The data is from COAI<br />This data is prior to the disruptive move by Tata Docomo of per second billing. The move saw it garnering the highest share of new mobile subscriptions.<br />The move was copied by almost all mobile operators and a further decline in revenue and ARPU is expected.<br />
  10. 10. R<br />U<br />R<br />A<br />L<br />VOICE<br />OR<br />DATA ??<br />
  11. 11.  “Kos Kos Par BadalePani Char Kos Par Bani” <br />Unevenly populated<br />Population density too low in many areas<br />Illiteracy ( lack of future data uses)<br />ROI thought to be low as low minutes of usage<br />Very basic handsets ( only voice possible)<br />Low purchasing power (recharge etc.)<br />Lack of infrastructure<br />Too regional ( language and lifestyles change every few kilometers )<br />
  12. 12. Market Dynamics<br />Despite inherent chronic deficiencies operators are forced to look towards rural areas in search for numbers<br />At 700 million inhabitants, rural market is too valuable a market to be ignored<br />New thought in management leaning towards reaching Bottom of Pyramid<br />Companies in other sectors have shown the profitability in rural areas <br />Urban India is reaching a saturation stage<br />
  13. 13. VAS: How does it come into play?<br />Voice rates at rock bottom ( 30 paise to 60 paise per minute )<br />At these low rates also tremendous competition among the players<br />Time to look at offering new value added services that will appeal to a rural consumer and make him choose & stick with chosen brand<br />All this at low affordable rates<br />
  14. 14. How mobile telephony could touch other areas<br />Transport<br />Finding cost-effective, reliable, and safe ways to transport goods and services to market .Mobile communication could be used to create and co-ordinate car sharing schemes amongst villages, and provide real-time information about public transport services and the ability to make request stops.<br />Micro-commerce<br />Mobile phones could afford mobile-based ordering systems, delivery requests, and the ability to make more reliable and advance arrangements with business partners or clients.<br />Finance<br />Mobile networks and financial services institutions could work together to test and develop new financial services in this area and address how people can transfer these credits into cash<br />** Dr. Aditya Dev Sood, The Center for Knowledge Societies (CKS)<br />
  15. 15. Contd..<br />Healthcare<br />New mobile services in this area could better connect rural communities, creating networks to share and discuss health information and advice.<br />Governance<br />Accessing information about public services remains a major challenge for many rural communities. Mobile phones provide a new platform through which rural communities will be able to access government information and services, using text, data, and audio browsing techniques.<br />Education<br />The study looks at a range of educational services that could be provided via mobiles to children in remote villages and communities, particularly where PCs or connections to the internet are not available. Mobile phones could serve as an essential means for children to become connected to one another for educational and peer-learning activities. <br />Infotainment<br />There is also an opportunity for local, peer-to-peer content to be created and distributed, affording new cultural and economic opportunities to rural communities.<br />
  16. 16. Some Cases<br /> Apilot project is being run by Tata Teleservices in collaboration with Qualcomm, the NASSCOM Foundation and MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in the coastal villages of Kerala. The mobile application provides fishermen with information on wave heights, wind velocities and location of schools of fish, using the data downloaded from the satellite that maps chlorophyll in the sea. This helps fishermen locate the places to go for fishing and escape from the brutality of the sea during high tides. This application and the service help fishermen improve their catch, thus augmenting their livelihood.<br />Grameen Phone initiative in Bangladesh: The village-based micro-enterprise and micro-credit service enabled by the low-cost cellular technology of Grameen Telecom has improved the livelihoods of women groups in the villages of Bangladesh. Such models built around a strong network of NGOs and community-based organisations such as Self Help Groups tend to accumulate social capital within these groups and are found to be more sustainable in the long run.<br />
  17. 17. Reuters Market Light (RML) provides mobile enabled information service.[Maharastra, Punjab, Haryana: Rs200/three months]<br />Three text messages- specific weather update, crop advisory information, price information of the current crop at the local mandi<br />Nokia Life Tools: a mobile based agricultural service.<br />IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Ltd ( IKSL: a joint venture with Airtel) sends five free voice messages- on mandi prices, farming techniques, weather forecast, dairy farming and animal husbandry.<br />Reports of averted potential losses by reacting to weather updates and disease information. Also led to adopting new seed varieties and cultivation practices.<br />KRIBHCO is planning to launch its own information services in collaboration with Reliance Communications<br />
  18. 18. Some Voices<br />Adoption of mobile phones by fishermen and wholesalers in Kerala is associated with a dramatic reduction in price dispersion, the complete elimination of waste and near-perfect adherence to the Law of One Price.<br /> (Prof Robert Jensen at the University of California)<br />Thousands of artisans are finding that the mobile connects them to their markets and even opens new markets for them. Airtel’s Vice-president Technology, Mr T. V. Sriram picked up the Kerala fishermen using the mobile, water melon sellers and the itinerant balloon seller as case studies.<br /> “In the rural context, it would be voice messaging, not SMS, that would be popular”  Shri K Sridhara, Member - Technology DOT, Ministry of Communications & IT<br />It is important for the industry to realize the potential of the customer of also becoming the producer, the Prosumer business model. The Prosumer will play a key role with villagers delivering services to urban areas over the mobile network .<br />
  19. 19. The model could use<br />Equitable and timely access to information<br />Sense of belonging, communities, network<br />High quality local and relevant content<br />Involvement of local entrepreneurs and grassroots services & applications<br />Building local capacity to ensure sustainability<br />Public private partnership<br />Sustainability through ownership and appropriation of local community<br />Focus on people not technology<br />Language and cultural pertinence<br /> ** IFAD<br />
  20. 20. Information : the fuel of new age<br />Market prices of crops<br />Weather patterns<br />Integration with NCDEX (national commodity exchange) already making waves in rural areas, for trade in agricultural commodities.<br />Crop disease diagnosis by photographs<br />Share transactions through mobile<br />Provision of public grievance and redressal system (like just dial )<br />Vital crop related information to farmers (seeds, pesticides, fertilizers)<br />
  21. 21. And there is always..<br />Pictures, ringtones, games to be downloaded<br />Caller tunes<br />Text messaging in local languages<br />Learning language in pictorial form<br />Information (local doctor number, police, ambulance etc.)<br />Train and bus information<br />Local festival and news alerts<br />Call centers providing information about any query in local regional language <br />
  22. 22. Summing Up<br />The focus on mobile telephony is further justified by the following facts:<br />(a) Affordability (Demand-Side): The many pricing models offer affordability and choice, even for very low-income customers (cheap handsets, micro prepayments, top-up cards).Innovative ways of mobile phone access, which allow sharing of phones through SIM cards and payments for air time through micro-prepayment, promote even more rapid adoption by the poor;<br />(b) Affordability (Supply-Side): Establishing mobile masts is a relatively inexpensive way of serving large & remote rural areas, compared to last mile cable for fixed line telephony.<br />(c) Flexibility: It is not pricing models that are flexible: usages are also. Mobiles can be used for text and voice and are two-way communications (i.e., more flexible than radio/TV).<br />(d) Low Barriers to Entry: In response to factors above, mobile has become the most easily accessible and ubiquitous communications device in rural areas. Easy availability of low priced new handsets with basic features and emergence of secondary markets for used devices, whose prices are even lower, make them within reach for even the poorest of the poor.<br />**THE ROLE OF MOBILE PHONES IN SUSTAINABLE RURAL POVERTY REDUCTION--AsheetaBhavnani, Rowena Won-WaiChiu, <br />SubramaniamJanakiram, Peter Silarszky<br />
  23. 23. Summing up (contd..)<br />Productivity gains from the operation of mobile telephony can also be substantial. Deloitte (2008) categorized the productivity benefits of mobile phones into five broad areas:<br />(a) Business Expansion: e.g., in the import/export & small trade business, mobiles are a powerful tool to estimate demand and seek out new customers<br />(b) Employment Search: This is particularly important in countries which have high unemployment rate <br />(c) Entrepreneurialism: Mobile phones reduce the cost of operating and starting up businesses. <br />(d) Mobile Banking: Mobile phones reduce the need to meet face-to-face to conduct business.<br />(e) Transaction Costs: Improvements in the information flows between buyers and sellers, allow for the exchange of information without traveling<br />
  24. 24. In Sum<br />Products and services built around PPP initiatives are likely to be self-sustainable, especially in the rural market.<br />The market dynamics will force companies to come out with new innovative practices to provide services to rural markets.<br />Successful organisations will take community based approach and will localise the content.<br />VAS will play a major role in the future in rural mobile communications.<br />
  25. 25. Questions?<br />