Telecom service provider to cash in on gaming

By agencies   |   Friday, 14 October 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Expansion of telecom sector in India has provided new ways to service provider companies to cash in on related services. After ringtones, cool wallpapers and multi-media services (MMS), now mobile gaming seems to be the next big business.

According to research conducted by In-Stat/MDR, the Indian mobile gaming market has the potential to generate annual revenues of about $336 million by 2009. It contributes about five percent to the total global wireless market. During Last year, the estimated revenue from business stood at about $26 million.

Bharti Cellular’s Airtel, has claimed that it has marked a 500 percent increase in daily downloads for its value-added services.

According to Rajesh Rao, CEO of Dhruva Interactive, a company which provides gaming services along with developing gaming products said: “A mobile revolution is happening in India, with over 60 million mobile phones, provides a huge market for mobile gaming. Currently, there are about one lakh active game consumers, downloading at the rate of one game a month.”

The company is credited for creating internationally popular games such as Maria Sharapova Tennis and Phil Tylor Darts. These two were among the top five games on the Vodafone charts. “In India, service providers such as Airtel and Hutch have started offering these games. As a company, we want to provide high quality games for the mass market,” Rao added.

Normally the gaming provider companies enter into a revenue sharing arrangement with telecom service providers. The cost per download varies from between Rs 50 to Rs 99. However, some exclusive games such as Spiderman offered by Hutch could cost as much as Rs 150 per download.

Games based on Hollywood and Bollywood themes, cricket and other sports are popular. So while Hutch offers Spiderman, Rahul XI, Karpov Chess and Rubik Cubes to just name a few, Airtel has Batman Begins, Master Blaster Sachin, KBC-2 besides puzzles and games such as Sudoku. Besides the youth, gaming is catching on with people of all age groups. The aim is to attract not only avid, hardcore gamers but also a lot of casual gamers who are looking to spend some time playing games while traveling or waiting-for friends, Rao said.

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