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Mobile India 2016 is one of the first premier events and will be the curtain raiser for the App Economy revolution in the country. It is associated with The Eighth International Conference on COMmunication Systems NETworkS (COMSNETS), the world's premier international conference on networking and communications technology innovation.
Theme: App Economy: Interplay between Telcos and OTTs
The App Economy in India has been jumpstarted by the new age start-ups, commonly referred to as “Over The Top (OTT)” players. Compass (2015) upgraded Bengaluru from #19 to #15 in its Global Start-up Ecosystem Ranking, much to the delight of all of us. The app economy and the traditional economy are overlapping to a greater extent. Apps are being integrated into many traditional activities ranging from grocery shopping to calling a cab, a trend that is rapidly spilling revenue from almost every industry in the higher revenue traditional economy into the app economy. It is expected that the spill-overs are greater in emerging countries such as India where there are substantial inefficiencies in the traditional industries. This has also caught the attention of funding agencies. While more than $4 billion was invested in start-ups in India in 2014, the meter is up to $1.5 billion in Q1 of 2015, indicative of the promise of this sector of the economy.
Simultaneously, the telecom, mobile and Internet infrastructure backbone that is required for the app economy is also gearing up. Nationwide 3G mobile service is available and year 2016 is expected to be the “Year of 4G mobile”. Mobile broadband subscriber base is touching 100 Million and continues to grow at a quarterly growth rate of more than 15%.
Hence the interplay between telcos and OTTs are very important to bolster the app economy. Meanwhile, the “Net Neutrality” debate is also peaking with the world watching our policy steps on this issue closely.
Mobile India 2016 will explore opportunities and challenges of the App Economy and the interplay between Telcos and OTTs in the following four sessions with all stakeholders in the ecosystem:
Keynote 1: Dr. Henning Schulzrinne, Levi Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University & CTO, United States Federal Communications Commission
Title: Internet in the Small: The Internet of Things
Keynote 2: Mr. Samiran Gupta, Head-India, Internet Consortium for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
Title: IANA Stewardship Transition & Implications for Developing Nations
Session 1: The start-up ecosystem and its role in the App Economy
Pre-event article authored by Dr. V. Sridhar and Dr. T.K. Srikanth on "App streaming: A paradigm shift in mobile apps" in Financial Express.
The fledgling start-up ecosystem in India is growing rapidly leveraging the strength of information and communication technologies in various areas. This has generated both direct and indirect employment and has contributed to local and national economy. Bangalore houses more start-ups than any other place in the country. However, Compass (2015) rates Bangalore very low on (i) ecosystem value (ii) funding and (iii) government and policy support.
The panelists from start-ups, venture funds, and government will discuss the problems, challenges and solutions in building a robust app economy.
Session 2: Telcos’ role in the App Economy
Pre-event article authored by Dr. V. Sridhar and S.R. Raja on "Imprisoned in the box" in Hindu Business Line.
While Telcos have been concentrating on their network deployments to improve coverage and capacity, they are being threatened with relegation to being mere bandwidth providers. The magic monetization of each byte through their networks has eluded them while they are being threatened with being marginalized to some extent by the OTTs. However, Telcos can be considered a “powerful player” in the game as they guard their forte of network infrastructure and radio spectrum. How do Telcos view their role in the app economy? What is the interplay between Telcos and OTTs in the app economy?
The panelists from mobile operators, Internet Service Providers, and start-ups will discuss the above and related issues in co-opetition.
Session 3: ICT for Innovation
Co-hosted with ITU Asia Pacific Telecommunity Foundation of India (IAFI) Bangalore chapter
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies was founded on 17 May, 1865 and 2015-16 marks the 150th Anniversary of ITU. In line with the theme for the year “ICT for innovation”, this session is devoted to ITU’s mission of connecting the entire world population. Critical to this is the telecom infrastructure including allocation and assignment of radio spectrum which is part of the role of ITU.
This session co-hosted with the ITU Asia Pacific Telecommunity Foundation of India (IAFI) Bangalore chapter, will have panelists from government, ITU, telcos, equipment makers and telecom infrastructure providers discuss developments in standardization in ICT required for the new app economy.
Session 4: Law, regulation and policy of App Economy
The app economy does not stand on its own. It is interwoven with the traditional economy and industry. Hence there are a number of issues in legality, liability, responsibility and ownership of the OTTs compared to traditional industries. While the governments all over the world are grappling with this, India has had its share with liability and licensing of app based taxi aggregation service, taxes with respect to app based e-commerce services, authentication of mobile payment services and so on.
This session will have panelists from law, social organizations, academia, government and OTTs who will discuss the nuances in law, regulation and policy in the app economy.
Schedule for the Day