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

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  • 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 nadeem@cewit.org.in 24 September, 2009 Mobile VAS Summit 2009