Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
  • Like
  • Save
Ce WiT Represented at The Mobile VAS SUMMIT 2009 by Vitue Insight
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.


Now you can save presentations on your phone or tablet

Available for both IPhone and Android

Text the download link to your phone

Standard text messaging rates apply

Ce WiT Represented at The Mobile VAS SUMMIT 2009 by Vitue Insight



Published in Technology , Business
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Be the first to comment
    Be the first to like this
No Downloads


Total Views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds



Embeds 0

No embeds

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

    No notes for slide


  • 1. CEWiT INDIA Indic SMS Support in 3GPP Standard Dr. Nadeem Akhtar Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology Workshop on Indian Language SMS September 23, 2009
  • 2. CEWiT INDIA CEWiT – An Introduction  Government of India (DIT) initiative - started in 2004  A Public-Private Partnership - Academia/Industry/Government  Vision:  Enable India to become a true leader in wireless technology and make it an engine of its economic growth  Mission:  To develop indigenous next generation wireless technologies and products  Actively participate in global wireless research and standardization  Strong emphasis on contributing to 4G standards and developing IPR  The Broadband Wireless Consortium of India (BWCI) was launched in 2007 to provide a national forum for broadband wireless  CEWiT is co-ordinating BWCI activities 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 3. CEWiT INDIA SMS Usage in India  SMS continues to be most popular non-voice service but usage levels are still low compared to other countries SMS Usage (2008) 800 Messages sent per user per month 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 India China Philippines Sources: 1. Philippines & China: Mobile Messaging Futures 2009-2013, Portio Research 2. India: The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators October– December 2008, TRAI 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 4. CEWiT INDIA 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  Both countries have lower English-literacy levels compared to India which means that local language SMS is used heavily  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 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 5. CEWiT INDIA Reach of Indian Languages  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 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 6. CEWiT INDIA Indic SMS: Key Elements Text Entry Encoding Decoding Display Transmission Sender Receiver 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 7. CEWiT INDIA SMS in Indian Languages  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  Handsets with Indian language keypads are available  Variation in keypad layouts across vendors/devices  Lack of memory-efficient display solutions  CEWiT has worked extensively on the encoding issue over the last 18 months 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 8. CEWiT INDIA Encoding Schemes  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 GSM Alphabet (7 bits) 160 characters User-defined (8 bits) 140 characters UCS-2 (16 bits) 70 characters Message Size 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 9. CEWiT INDIA 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 a few words can go in a single SMS 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 10. CEWiT INDIA Encoding 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 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 11. CEWiT INDIA 3GPP Standards  3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) is the premier body when it comes to global mobile telephony standards  Maintains the GSM standards  Defined the 3G-WCDMA standard (now evolved to HSPA)  Currently finalising the specification of Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard; work has already started on LTE-Advanced  Technical specification of various services such as SMS, CBS, USSD etc is also done by 3GPP  3GPP amended the SMS standards in 2008 to accommodate a request from Turkey to support the full Turkish alphabet  Introduced 7-bit ‘National Language’ tables 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 12. CEWiT INDIA 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 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 13. CEWiT INDIA CEWiT Proposal  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  In addition to Indic characters, each table also includes the English alphabet and the numbers 0-9 plus special characters (punctuation marks etc) 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 14. CEWiT INDIA Key Benefits of 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 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 15. CEWiT INDIA Standardisation Process  CEWiT submitted a Change Request (CR) to 3GPP Core Networks and Terminals Working Group 1 (CT1) in Feb 2009  Due to concerns regarding impact on legacy devices, no decision was taken to allow further discussion  The matter was referred to the Systems and Architecture Working Group 1 (SA1) and was discussed during its meeting in May 2009  SA1 concurred with our view that the proposal does not violate guidelines regarding National Language tables  The CR was discussed again at a CT1 meeting in June 09 and the proposal was accepted  The final approval was given by the CT plenary last week  Indian language tables will be included in the next revision of TS 23.038 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 16. CEWiT INDIA Example  Scenario: A handset that supports the new encoding scheme sends an Indic language SMS to a legacy device Handset that supports new encoding  Outcome: The output on legacy handset is mostly gibberish except for English words in the original message 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 17. CEWiT INDIA Support for Legacy Devices  Existing handsets will not be able to decode messages encoded using the new 7-bit tables  Solution(s) for ensuring backward compatibility are needed  Message encoded in 7-bit at the sending side can either be converted to UCS-2 encoding or transformed into a picture  Terminal-based solution  User application  SIM application  Network-based solution  Conversion in network based either on prior knowledge of terminal capabilities or in response to a trigger from the receiving device/user 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 18. CEWiT INDIA Keypad Layout  Having an efficient encoding scheme for is not enough  The user interface is also of critical importance  Unlike the English keypad which has been standardised by ITU/ETSI, no similar effort has been done for Indian keypad layouts  Each handset vendor has designed its own layouts  Current Indian language keypads show variation in  Number of characters on each key  Choice of characters placed on different keys  Position of characters on a specific key  Height and width of characters displayed on the keypad  Some form of harmonisation of keypad layouts is needed 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 19. CEWiT INDIA 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  Regulatory intervention is required to mandate the support for 7-bit Encoding and other necessary features required for Indic SMS 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009
  • 20. CEWiT INDIA Next Steps  Build a national consensus on how to leverage this opportunity and maximise its impact for the benefit of all stakeholders  Mechanisms to handle legacy devices  Harmonisation of keypad layouts and other user interface features  Case for regulatory intervention  Roadmap for implementation and roll-out  Special Interest Group is being formed to address these issues  Active participation of all the stakeholders is crucial  If you are interested in this SIG, drop me a line at 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009