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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

July - 2007 - issue > Cover Feature

Opportunities in Mobile Communications

Jay Boddu
Monday, July 2, 2007
Jay Boddu
A robust growth in global mobile subscribers and revenues, along with transition to next generation cellular technologies that enable a new class of mobile services is fueling venture capital investment in mobile communications. Venture investments in Telecommunications in Q1 2007 increased 27 percent over Q4 2006 with $588 million going into 63 deals. Within the Telecom sector, Wireless Communications captured $356 million for the quarter. Similarly, significant venture capital investment in Software, Semiconductors, and Networking Equipment sectors has been focused on mobile infrastructure and applications.

In 2008-2010, there will be acceleration in adoption of three main technologies capable of broadcasting wireless data at broadband speeds: Wi-Fi, WiMAX and cellular 3G/3.5G. These technologies, simplistically stated, enable the delivery of enhanced multimedia services at high speeds, thereby enabling the mobile media tide to shift away from SMS, ring tones and wallpapers to new growth opportunities like multimedia web browsing, games, video and conferencing. These new growth opportunities, in turn, will help create a new ecosystem of companies to support these services.

Startup Opportunities
Fans of Steven Spielberg or Tom Cruise will remember “Minority Reports”, a Sci-Fi crime thriller set in 2054. In this movie, there is a scene where John Anderton, a police officer played by Tom Cruise, walks through a mall. As he walks through the mall, several video billboards spring to life with advertisements calling him out by name and selling him everything from perfumes to cars.

While this is a scene from a futuristic movie, a new emerging area called cellular location based services (LBS) will make at least a primitive variant of such advertising possible soon. The integration of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) on to cell phones will allow the identification of a subscriber’s exact coordinates, thereby enabling the targeting of various services on the basis of the subscriber’s physical location. Conceivably, after subscriber’s approval, it will soon be possible to deliver an electronic discount coupon on to a cell phone for a store the subscriber is likely to purchase from, when the subscriber walks by the store.

For such a system to become reality, several components need to be put in place. For example, a Geographical Information System (GIS) that maps the GPS coordinates onto the store location data is required. Similarly, a system that matches the subscriber’s location and his or her buying preferences is required. In addition to several technology components, a viable business model is also required.

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