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3G Roll-Out Will Give a Boost to VAS Market By Sharon Lobo, Jan 14, 2010 1342 hrs IST Tags

: Pushpendra Mankad, Comverse, VAS Market

Could you give us an overview of Comverse's operations in India? For over 25 years, Comverse has provided a wide variety of industry leading solutions for operators with subscriber bases of all sizes - from tier-1 carriers and operator groups with global reach to emerging Greenfield operators and ISPs. These goals have been achieved with a superior solution portfolio, high-quality professional services and an extensive network of local support, including 90 offices in over 40 countries. We are a leading provider of software and systems, enabling value-added services for voice, messaging, mobile Internet and mobile advertising; converged billing and active customer management; and IP communications. Our extensive customer base spans more than 130 countries and covers over 500 communication service providers, serving more than 2 billion subscribers. In India, Comverse occupies a large share of the billing market. Comverse has successfully implemented its unified billing and order management systems across majority of mobile operators in India. Comverse billing solutions have enabled seamless migration of customers from numerous billing systems onto one unified platform. Further, we have a strong presence in Asia Pacific and have installed billing systems at 45 leading telco operators with over 70 active installations in the region. We currently support over 500M active subscribers worldwide. Since its launch last year, Comverse ONE Billing & Active Customer Management Solution has established itself as the leading converged Business Support System (BSS) solution in the telecom marketplace, receiving top ratings from industry analyst firms Yankee Group, Gartner and Frost & Sullivan. What are the various solutions you provide to Indian telecom operators? Comverse's portfolio comprises three major solutions - Comverse ONE Billing & Active Customer Management, Comverse HUB Value Added Services & Comverse Netcentrex IP Communications. Comverse HUB Value Added Services comprises Voice, Messaging, Mobile Internet and Mobile Advertising - all developed and designed with one goal in mind: to maximize the operator's business performance. It helps to grow market share and ARPU by leveraging the operator's customer information to create the best customer experience and focus on new revenue drivers.

ordering and billing capabilities around one single data model. Other than this. can help the Indian operators to grow their business. payment type or touchpoint. facilitating a personalized.Comverse ONE Billing & Active Customer Management solution transforms BSS (business support system) into a strategic asset for growth enablement. This is where Comverse HUB Value Added Services. With the onset of 3G and India's 400 million mobile phone users. it will bring on the take-off of more advanced VAS such as Mobile Internet/Data. we believe that mobile internet and data will be the first major opportunity for 3G operators to grow ARPU. The high speed applications will open up a lot of possibilities of innovative VAS enabling diverse infotainment service opportunities. customer management.g. Delivery of rich media content and services coupled with a great user experience can be expected. However. with 3G rolling out soon. This applies to fixed. The VAS market has grown by around 60% year on year and is estimated to touch INR 251 billion in FY 2009-10. giving operators a new revenue source. competitive differentiation and operational efficiency. manages and enhance mobile Internet traffic. The VAS market encompasses many trends including mass downloads of Bollywood movies and music. Comverse ONE aligns sales. regardless of the customer's choice of service.After 3G enrollment. The MIG platform controls. so that all share one complete and real-time view of the customer. and today we handle more than one third of US mobile Internet traffic. It will thus make mobile internet a significant growth engine for the operators.\India's telecom market is a highgrowth one and there is intense competition amongst various operators. Comverse Netcentrex IP Communications provide IP-based voice. VAS market will certainly get a huge boost. Tell us more about the trends in the Indian mobile VAS market? The Indian mobile connection market continues to be dominated by prepaid subscribers. video and messaging solutions that enable communication service providers with a broadband strategy to deliver fixed and mobile services to the consumer and enterprise markets. marketing. Comverse Mobile Internet Gateway (MIG) is the Smart Pipe core for operators. Comverse ONE puts the customer in the center for delivery of a consistently high-quality experience. cable and WiMAX operators). flexible data plans. ISPs. integrated and mobile operators. as well as alternative service providers (e. This trend is expected to increase in future. Comverse MIG enables operators to leverage their unique assets into revenue generators such as mobile advertising and smart. enhanced user experience alongside a comprehensive set of traffic management and control tools. We have deployed the MIG for more than 60 operators worldwide. Data services may experience a surge in adoption and usage. The Comverse HUB Mobile Internet Gateway (MIG) is an advanced multi-service gateway platform for managing mobile data and enhancing the mobile internet experience. as VAS services grows exponentially. rural VAS is something that is catching grip. With . which are all field-proven solutions.

VAS is very important today. The popular VASs today comprises primarily of SMS and contents such as ringtones and CRBT. and India is expected to remain the world's second largest wireless market after China in terms of mobile connections. however. a few of the telecom players have already taken the initiative for rural VAS. tariffs of voice calls have been gradually declining over the years. Thomson Reuters now plans to extend this mobile service to nine more states. However. Airtel.5 percent from 2009-2013 to exceed US$30 billion. For most telecom operators. some believe this dominance is softening and new entrants like devotional. Bollywood and cricket have long been the growth drivers of MVAS. Revenues from calls are diminishing. The content is available in local languages such as Marathi and Punjabi.79 SGD per month). The India mobile subscriber base is set to exceed 771 million connections by 2013. This fall in ARPU will continue unless operators look at alternative revenue streams like value added services (VAS). This growth is poised to continue through the forecast period.the increased competition. industry experts believe that consumers being educated on VAS would lead to the real big growth in the mobile industry. Therefore there are very . six or 12 months at a price of Rs 60 per month (1. the market leader. Astrology. Therefore operators would be looking at value added services in order to increase their ROI's. The 3G roll-out will also give a boost to the VAS. will they opt for VAS solution providers that are more affordable? What is going to be Comverse's strategy to remain competitive in this space? The Indian telecom scenario has indicated very low tariffs for subscribers. fashion and regional content are catching up fast Total mobile services revenue in India is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12. To offset lower revenues. Mobile operators are now offering lower tariffs.3 percent in the same period from 452 million in 2009. Thomson Reuters has been updating over 1 lakh farmers in the country with the latest market trends. That said. according to Gartner. some of the operators have already realized this. growing at a CAGR of 14. Inc. they are now turning to value-added services as a way to boost revenue and margins. The subscription can be bought for a period of three. Prepaid connections accounted for more than 93 percent of all mobile connections in 2008 and it is expected to grow to more than 96 percent of the connection base by 2013. To cash on the rural VAS market. surpassing 741 million versus 312 million in 2008. and crop information via its SMS-based service. is already testing its rural VAS in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. weather forecast.

With our track record and experience. the mobile VAS market in India is set to grow at 16. As India is a fundamentally prepaid market. and today handles more than a third of US mobile Internet traffic. Could you give a few examples of how Indian telecom operators have benefited from Comverse's solution? Comverse continues to be the dominant billing vendor in rapidly-growing India. revenue. Comverse Global Services offer the cumulative knowledge. It enables operators to customize marketing and promotional campaigns to encourage service usage among its subscribers. Operators have emphasized their dependency and are looking at VAS as a savior.6 percent each year until 2015. Comverse ONE provides better time to market with operational cost . postpaid or hybrid. as well as creates and delivers any service over any network. and support 18 of the world's 25 largest telecom providers. Comverse Mobile Internet Gateway (MIG) has been deployed for more than 60 operators worldwide. To be successful. such as prepaid.few chances that the operators will slash prices. regardless of touch point. VAS is going to act as a differentiator for these operators. Our strategy is to stay committed to be the global partner-of-choice in providing productized solutions and services that make the operators' networks smarter to unleash the maximum value for their customers. we believe we are well-positioned for competition: There are more than 500 communication and content service providers in over 130 countries who use Comverse solutions to serve more than two billion subscribers. Also there has been no decline in consumption among VAS consumers. operators should look for VAS solution providers that have a track record in deploying innovative services that drive usage and therefore. skills and expertise of Comverse professionals who use best practices and established methodologies to successfully launch and maintain Comverse solutions in various markets and operational environments. In fact. Comverse's real-time solution is wellreceived by local operators Comverse ONE Real-Time Billing is part of the Comverse ONE Converged Billing & Active Customer Management BSS Solution and gives operators the ability to offer a broad set of new subscriber services through advanced real-time rating and charging. according to Frost & Sullivan. Comverse ONE is a truly converged BSS solution that supports any type of payment. Comverse ONE differentiates the operator from other telecom providers by offering flexible billing models and a 360-degree view of the customer. Comverse ONE Billing & Active Customer Management solutions serve 500 million subscribers worldwide.

We are confident that given our strong local presence. Vodafone & Aircel have deployed Comverse Billing & VAS solutions for voice. a smooth migration path is available. highly efficient open architecture. Reliance. When an operator is ready to move to a fully converged system. now and when it is ready for converged services. proven track record in India. and to accelerate and maintain its subscriber growth. messaging etc. Comverse ONE's market leading in-network prepaid capabilities can be enhanced with customer management capabilities-including self-service. . based on a single software code built around a single data model and one product catalog. we can give Indian operators the robust BSS it requires for a fast.efficiencies due to its unified. effective launch. and powerful product. Some prominent Indian operators such as Bharti.