5 Dec 2006

Session II

Chair : Stephane Boyera

Scribe : Arun Tanksali


Need and Relevance of Mobile Based Information Services in Emerging Markets - India by Gnanapriya C and P. Gupta (Infosys)


Gnanapriya C

-        Infosys intro; work on mobile access networks for OEMs; research wing in mobile apps area

-        Urban-rural disparity; 70% rural in India; 55% literacy rate

-        Some govt initiatives as well taken



-        No killer app overtaking SMS

-        Mobile as access medium for sharing info – info as well as doing business

-        More people should get enabled by information

-        To help enterprises to reach out to less accessible areas where physical presence may not make sense


P. Gupta

- take away the notion of connectedness or otherwise from the end user – fundamental problem

- context sensitivity is missing in today’s applications

- Infosys’s solutions leveraging mobility

            Insurance for rural India

o      hire a person per village; enable the person; extend enterprise to all rural areas


mobile real time data for dairy professionals




Msg: believe that there is opp with mobility; go beyond just “interesting”




Nandini, Sun

All of our dev is in Java. Came looking to ask for fonts etc. Most people in dev countries seem to be illiterate; how can we help?


A: Local lang support is necessary; if economic angle is there, people will find a way to use English or other languages. Local lang can significantly increase impact of mobile web; in some cases, like dairy app, icons were used to help overcome barriers


Prashant, mobiSiteGalore

Illiterates are not those who can read/write local languages. How can tech help?



People know numbers; visual cues and teaching can help overcome “tech” illiteracy; people are able to pickup; that’s what we have been experiencing


Shukla, CDAC

Connectivity is an issue; but big issue is local lang; ICICI bank opened local lang ATMs; without local lang support vision will not go further; what kind of keyboards, fonts are required for local lang support? Availability of fonts on mobile devices low – want to know from you what Infosys is doing in this?


A: Point right. Problem can’t be dealt technically and innovatively; local lang will manifold improve things; but many other areas;


Shukla, CDAC

Microfinance – if putting a person who knows English put in a village; to avoid dependency of villagers on this person and create a new problem; local lang to mitigate this problem.


A: Let’s not make this a showstopper; how can we spread connectivity; technology


Vijay kumar, CDAC

Increasing phenomena of content being added in local language, Wiki’s. these are people’s initiatives; driven by people; user centricity required; user has to decide best method – voice input, prediction; localization utmost important


A: agreed


Ken Banks, kiwanja.net

Most people in room agree mobile device is a good device; but wheres Mobile Web; many apps presented are local device apps – not running through browser


A: Browser will be key; but thick clients can be efficient and provide info in a more usable manner; its still web – but still mobile web with browser1, browser2


Vinay, Motorola

Correct subscribed adds to to 5m/month instead of 3. problem with mobile web is hyperlinked version of HTML, CSS is shoved down mobile phone’s throat. Boundary cases of CSS are a major problem to solve. AJAX, Web2 can be opportunities;


A: Lets create the XML markup language and define best way of rendering on mobile devices; installing clients on mobile devices; we have j2me based solution


Nandini, Sun

W3C is addressing it via CDF with mobile specific elements


Guido, Nokia

Web for mobile users is much better to avoid creating second web; we want mobile web. Concerned about need for new technologies; web is very scalable; most of these can help reduce footprint; be very careful of mobile specific syntaxes and technologies; should have extremely good reasons –


Stephane, W3C

Keep the topic for afternoon session; getting late



The Mobile Web in Developing Countries by Ravi Jain (Google)


Speaker : Prasenjit Phukan, Raghunath



Anush, student

Most mobile users in India are voice users; small # of people use for downloads; 2 Rs per SMS is expensive. Rather ask someone for info than use mobile


A: Categorize consumers into different groups; prices are not too much of a problem; pricing needs to get rationalized – some classes need to come down to free; big players need to convince operators to charge based on value of data; will be willing to pay 6 Rs to put up a car for sale, but to look for a school; how to convince operators about value. Not enough India specific content to browse – not much reason to browse. If there is value for info, people will also pay; content is imp – finding it in the right time, manner important


Vijay Kumar, CDAC

Web sites made for mobile exist; focus on citizen services for mobile rather than general sites; look for neighbouring pharmacies etc


A: e-gov services like getting land record; agree with Nok don’t emphasize on Mobile Web; SMS, WAP and custom apps can all be steps to obtain mobile oriented info; we have a few in mind to go after;  want to improve quality of info


Shukla, CDAC

Apps need to be localized for states; not just language, but logically. Alternate words – like “dar”, “kimat” on a search for “mulya” needs to happen


Vijay Kumar, CDAC

Search engines need to more correctly classify info


A:  mobile provides info which can be additionally used for such things


Guido, Nokia

I don’t want to give my ph. no.


A: That’s true – trusted sites can be perhaps allowed; cell-tower info etc can be provided


Ken Banks, kiwanja.net

Will Goog’s mobile experience take it to a site ir-respective of how good or bad it is or will it convert


A: we do some transcoding today – try to fit content to mobile device today; content aggregators like Goog will have to play a role; content developers also need to take some responsibility; companies like Goog will have to take initial step though; better sites will lead to more traffic, etc. another problem with Indian content is that a lot of it is not in Unicode




Developing Community Mobility Applications by T.B. Dinesh

Stephane, W3C:

Standards against indigenous improvisations. What do you mean that standards are not that important?


A: Standards are highways; improvisations are like country roads. Just came from WiFi mesh network – WiFi’s a standard; but reflashing the mesh maybe an improvisation

Makes sense?


Stephane, W3C

In some way. Improvisations are like applications because each community understands what they need; hardest part is to facilitate implementation of applications; stds are there to help improvisations


Prasenjit, Google:

Communities building solutions for their problems; how do you do this on mobile. More complex because of players in value chain – operators etc


2) SIM toolkit can be used to build applications; that should be doable with operator help


A: See the case of a community that cannot be connected to the web; or has very low bandwidth. You will have a server set up there; because its setup there the bandwidth there is great. The internet is the bottleneck; communicate locally to the server using mobile;


Stephane, W3C

Stopping here; handing over mic to Ken Banks


Dinesh: A topic for breakout session could be “What would happen if mobile networks were free like the Internet”