Phone-banking services in India — bringing banking to the masses and a tidy profit

There are so few instances where services for underdeveloped areas are profitable that Vodafone’s new phone-based banking program warrants attention.

Vodafone’s Indian sector has recently formed an alliance with one of the major banks in India to create a phone-based banking system designed to boost profits for Vodafone after competition lowered their margins. Recently competition has pushed Vodafone’s cell phone rates below $.005 per minute in India, seriously damaging their profit margins. These lowered profits are the motivation behind why the cell phone giant has created this new mobile phone banking program.

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Is 3G just about speed?

3G Technology
Into the future with 3G. (source : Praval’s Photo Stream)

Earlier this month, we saw country’s first privately held 3G service from Tata Docomo. With large marketing efforts across all possible advertising medium, Tata Docomo established itself as the first private company to roll out commercial 3G services across 9 circles. This was analogous to NTT Docomo, the partners being the first company in the world to provide commercial 3G, a few years back! We’ve had promises from Airtel and Vodafone to launch 3G soon.

3G has been in India for the past several months, but owned by MTNL and BSNL, the PSU duo. Let’s not get into a debate of performance and service they offer!

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What empowers the revolution called ~ Android

It has been quite an exciting ride for Android from being seen as a very small time substitute of Apple’s iPhone to becoming the most sought after mobile operating system. There are many reasons cited which personify Android to be one of the best technological innovations that has happened in the last decade or so. It is vital that we know the chief aspects which essentially empower Android and have, over a period of time transformed it to be more popular than iPhones.

Always a competitor of iPhone!

Android since its inception is seen as a competition of Apple’s iPhone. It was not too long ago when Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Google and Apple were all on the same page and it was Apple that broke the shackles with the initiation of the iPhone in the year 2007. It was written off by Blackberry and Windows who persisted on bringing something better than the iPhone. However, one player — Google, followed iPhone’s lead and brought out its own mobile operating system — Android the very next year in 2008.

Having followed pursuit, Android has over time grown and developed to an extent wherein its applications, features, etc. are considered better off than those possessed by Apple’s iPhone.

Android

The backing of a Brand

Android is a system that is dependent on Open-Source and Linux. Though in recent times the number of Linux users has been on the rise, it is yet to make a major impact on the personal computer market. Forecasts are still made on the fact that ‘Linux will eventually replace Windows’ and many mobile operators since have put in efforts to incorporate Linux, but in vain. Android is the one that adapted Linux onto its system and has thus enhanced Linux’s growth in the mobile phone business beyond growth in both desktop and server business.

All this has been possible because of one major factor and that is the brand name of Google. Whatever scandal it may have been in or is still involved in, Google has since long achieved tremendous trust and brand loyalty from its consumers. This is a result of decades of hard and innovative work that Google has put in.

The existence of a Chaotic yet Organized Eco-System

Firms like Samsung, HTC, and Motorola represent the manufacturers’ side and the number could increase with the addition of Acer, ASUS, Lenovo, Dell, NEC, Sharp, Toshiba, and others to the team. Besides this, there exists another team – Telecom Carriers such as Verizon, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Sprint, AT&T, China Telecom, KDDI, and Telefonica. The existence of such an array of telecom carriers and manufacturers represents chaotic competition amongst themselves, albeit the competition would ultimately bring out the best Android package.

Developers love Android

The developer’s ultimate choice – Android

A recent report stated that 72% developers were of the feeling that Android is “best positioned to power a large number and variety of connected devices in the future.” Scott Schwarzhoff, vice president of Appcelerator, the company that did the survey, said, “You will see Android embedded on devices beyond the smartphone — tablets, connected TVs, conference systems like Cisco’s TelePresence, stereos, refrigerators, automobiles. How many devices could benefit from the Android operating system? The answer is : A Lot. It is the next-generation operating system.”

Android and its ruthless Novel Practices

It has been the forte of Google’s to only produce devices, software applications, products and services that are primarily innovative. Going by this philosophy Google’s Android is only expected to get more innovative and deliver novel applications, features and uses. And to sponsor this it has the backing of the above mentioned manufacturers, telecom players, developers, etc.

Going forward, there’s no reason why Android should not over-take Apple’s iPhone.

(Photo: Laihiuyeung Ryanne)

US outsourcing implodes, India looking for pastures overseas even though it ain’t that green

OutsourcingIt wasn’t a total surprise but I felt a little awkward when I read the news about a big Indian Outsourcing giant setting up a customer-service call center in Reno, Ohio (US). This is at a juncture when the western and the european world feels India and China like itches that you can’t really scratch; and when a tangent of love-hate relationship is growing organically on its own.

The Indian conglomerate Tata Group has setup a 250 seater call center to serve the online travel agency Expedia across the street from an Army Reserve center and next to a farm in Reno, Ohio. It definitely looks like ‘Outsourcing’ is imploding back to the US.

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