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Reaching the "aam aadmi" through MVAS

November 2012 Edition
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Posted on -Thursday, November 22, 2012    By VARINDIA Correspondent
  Reaching the  

Rajesh Razdan 
Co-founder & Director 
mCarbon

mCarbon is a mobile Value Added Services (VAS) innovator delivering context-aware offerings that enable communication service providers and the broader ecosystem to create and deliver smarter and valuable services. The Indian value-added services industry is a curious case in the entire Indian telecom space. Once the Indian mobile subscriber base touched the tipping point, with broader coverage and reduced prices, telcos started focussing on getting more out of their users. Now with the increasing maturity of consumers on the network, their expectation from their network providers is constantly evolving from basic voice to quality and value of services. 

mCarbon's offerings

Since the beginning of mCarbon's journey, commitment to technology and innovation continued to be at the core of its strategy. Understanding the core telco network, user engagement scenarios like type of device/ phone, consumption pattern, discovery of services allowed them to create unique offerings around consumer usage and retention and hence reinforcing customer loyalty. The product portfolio encompasses blended services around voice, SMS and data and on device apps that derive the business intelligence from the network and make the product more relevant to the end-user. 

Among the most notable ones that mCarbon did in the past one year was the launch of hugely successful gifting platform for Airtel, where a customer is empowered to gift or transfer things like talk time, various packs like SMS, data, major services like CRBT, music, etc. with the press of a few buttons on the phone. The service has seen a total of 75 million subscribers using the platform at least once, apart from major unique customers transacting every day. The platform has itself extended to other neighbouring Airtel properties as across other services in Airtel as well. On an average, 2.5 million customers come to the platform every day.

The service has been launched as part of an integrated customer community platform mNet from mCarbon, where it promises to use various types of network analytics and usage on the network to enhance virility of the services and hence drive revenues from increased usage. 

Lastly, few patents have been filed on some network marketing products (where telcos core network is used) where various Value Adds on a basic call management are being implemented as we speak.

The win-win module

Revenue sharing model has been one of the most talked-about models of risk and reward being shared by the telcos and the solution providers. Indian telcos, in particular, have pioneered it for many years now and mCarbon also supports the model. 

Rajesh Razdan, Co-founder & Director, mCarbon, shares, "We do have a mix of both commercial models that is sharing the revenue and risk and also many times it is based on usage of pay as you go or a one-time licence-based model which is nothing, but you pay as you consume the licences. Depending upon the business dynamics and the model around it, we fine tune it according to the situation. The revenue share model, however, does bring a certain speed in the decision making and puts the onus of innovation also on the product supplier rather than the Telco alone which is win-win for the customer."

Role of 3G/4G in VAS offerings

At a broad level, new technology-based rollouts – be it full-fledged 3G or eventually a 4G – do play the role of an enabler in defining the user experience and consumption of some of the services, it also is imperative for a lot of technology VAS companies to bring together service intelligence into the outside ecosystem so that end-user experience can be made harmonious. mCarbon's Mobile Social and Content delivery platform is developed central to this promise on a vast and growing number of consumer devices, exponentially increasing the demand for data services. Rajesh says, "We believe that the network enhancement including data analytics in particular will not only redefine how customers use the data services but also give huge opportunities for telcos to bring down the cost of data and bill the user as per her choice and consumption pattern which is hugely helpful."

VAS for metros and rural areas

Urban population is computer and internet empowered. It is the humble mobile phone which is bridging the digital divide for the rural part of the country, hence making it a perfect medium for delivering a variety of services and for sharing information with the"aam aadmi" through MVAS. The appetite for Indian rural consumers has increased multifold with increasing Internet penetration and availability of several public services like health and family welfare facilities, education, banking and farming-related activities. The vast rural hinterland of India is beckoning and the sheer numbers make it impossible to ignore. These demographic shifts have also created the need for leaders who can keep pace with change and identify with and predict future demand. Rajesh further adds, "We completely believe that a segmentation of services is needed for both the submarkets and, as technology provider, we have built the right hooks to provide service to the rural base. Language-based innovation (whether visual or basic voice-based) would be one of the key catalysts in driving rural demand apart from the right pricing model." 

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