6C’s to drive India’s data growth: N Ravi Shanker

Asking the industry to get ready for the second round of data explosion in India, N Ravi Shanker, additional Secretary & administrator USO Fund said that the country needs to gear up to distill and manage the growing data sets for providing better customer and citizen experience and service.

Speaking at a Hitachi Social Innovation Forum, Shanker who is also the CMD of Bharat Broadband Network, said that going forward ‘6Cs’ will drive the data growth in India. These include connectivity, local language content, cost of device, competitive tariff, computer literacy and last but not the least convergence of all service sectors and participants, including the government sector. He was delivering the Keynote address on “Getting ready for data traffic explosion”.

“It is important to note that while the Broadband penetration in India at present is less than 2 percent, more so in the rural areas, the government of India has chalked out plans of connecting the villages through the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN), which would ensure broadband connectivity with adequate bandwidth,” Shanker said adding that this will open up a huge floodgate of data that if managed well can create a lot of opportunity for everyone.

Talking about the other ‘C’ or content he said that though majority of present day content is anglo-centric, it is the local language content that will trigger a whole set of activities and drive data growth in the rural India. He also reiterated that the cost of access devices and the tariff for broadband usage needs to be dropped to make data use affordable.

“We have seen the example of how drop in voice tariff has triggered an exponential growth in the user base and I am sure the data tariff can be brought down further to push volume growth in data usage,” he stated adding that availability of high speed network will also open up opportunity of video led content.

“Text is very boring and the availability of high speed network will also open up opportunity of video led content. It could be video for entertainment but it could also be good quality online education facility or content in the K to 12 segment. This can help solve the problem of shortage of quality teachers,” Shanker said.

He further pointed out that telemedicine was another such need and the availability of bandwidth can help provide the best of the medical consultation to all. “Why should people come all the way for basic treatments if doctors can reach them at the villages? This will help provide medical facility to the remotest corner of the country,” Shanker stressed.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Itaru Mimura, senior director, Telecommunication & Networks Systems Division at Hitachi touched upon the challenges faced by the service providers in dealing with the data traffic explosion. Stressing on the need for Traffic Management System (TMS) he said that the Indian market may soon witness the problem of growing capex versus that of saturating revenues.

“Failure and QoF degradation due to extensive traffic flowing through smartphones and handheld devices will make planning difficult, more so because of the third party control on applications. The subscriber will no longer depend on the service provider for increasing service and application needs and the third-party involvement will make it difficult for service providers to manage this deluge of data traffic. We have seen this in Japan and I can predict that India is headed the same path,” he said emphatically.

Explaining the benefits of TMS, Mimura further said that the technology not just provides real time analysis and control of unforeseen traffic, it overrides the existing network, analyses the DPI and controls all devices of network to make the network more reliable.

The session also saw some of the telecom sector veterans deliberate on the strategies and technologies for making their networks ready for managing the data traffic explosion better. The key speakers included Anil Tandan, group CTO, Idea Cellular; Dr Shin Miyakawa, director, NTT Communications; Alpna J Doshi, CIO, Reliance group; Mr Ashwani K Khillan, CTO, MTS India; Mr Sameer Dave, CTO, Aircel; Mr Sanjeev Bobby Sarin, CEO, O-Zone; Rakesh Jain, CTO, Uninor and DM Ezhil Buddhan, GM (Broadband Networks), BSNL.

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