Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Vodafone and Connected Farming in India

After reading several very tragic reports about large numbers of Indian farmers committing suicide. I was intrigued to come across Vodafone's 'Connected Farming in India' report. This report alleges that the mobile services summarised below could enhance 
earnings by an average of US$128 a year for almost two-thirds of Indian farmers, achieving
a material positive impact in communities where the average farming household lives on 
less than $4 a day and many farmers struggle to feed and educate their families.

ndia is one of the world’s largest food producers with more than 200 million people currently estimated to work in agriculture, around 100 million of them farmers and the remainder working as agricultural labourers. In India, around 62% of farmers own less than one hectare of land, significantly increasing their exposure to the effects of crop failure, pests, disease and volatile market pricing.

Vodafone and Accenture Strategy have identified six mobile services with the potential to transform Indian farmers’ lives and livelihoods.

Agricultural information services providing early warning of weather events, information on the best times to harvest and advice on crop techniques to enhance yields. These services could increase an estimated 60 million Indian farmers’ annual incomes by an average of US$89 a year in 2020.

Receipt services to provide greater transparency in daily commodity supply chains, allowing farmers to raise their incomes by improving efficiency and eliminating fraud.

Payments and loans enabling farmers to access simple and secure financial products and services using mobile money payment systems such as Vodafone’s M-Pesa, launched in India in April 2013. Access to highly cost-effective micro-finance and quick and transparent electronic payment systems could provide an annual benefit of US$690 for some farmers in 2020, representing a 39% increase in their average farming income.

Field audit enabling auditors monitoring quality, sustainability and certification requirements to move away from paper records and adopt instead electronic reporting via tablets and mobile data, greatly enhancing efficiency and potentially increasing annual average income by US$612 for some farmers.

Local supply chain enabling small-scale producers to transact with local co-operatives through simple but robust information services and mobile money systems. These could boost some farmers’ annual incomes by US$271 in 2020; a 50% increase on current farming incomes.

Smartphone-enabled services to provide deeper functionality and richer sources of information than is possible using basic SMS and voicemail services. While smartphone penetration is currently low in rural areas in emerging market economies, average device prices continue to fall year-on-year. Advanced and affordable mobile services could lead to an increase in average annual farming incomes of US$675 for more than four million farmers in 2020.

For more information: link to the report. 

Friday, 7 August 2015

Indonesia’s operators and ISP make progress with LTE

As of June 2011, the number of mobile phone subscriptions in Indonesia was recorded to be 220 million which corresponds to a penetration rate of 92% over an estimated population of around 237.6 million.

At the end of 2012, The three main operators owned 221 million of the then 278 million mobile subscribers in Indonesia.
  • Telkomsel is undeniably the largest operator, and its user base of 123 million makes it the 7th largest mobile company in the world. 
  • Indosat with 55 million subscribers 
  • XL Axiata with 42 million subscribers
  • 3 (known as Tri in Indonesia), which has 20 million subscribers.

As of December 2014, all three of the biggest telcos, along with ISP Bolt! launched their 4G LTE networks commercially in the country. In order to be able to use the 4G connections in Indonesia, you must use 4G-ready smartphones. To connect to 4G network from operators, users in Indonesia must first exchange the SIM cards in respective service centers, and then subscribe to specific data plans. For Bolt, you can either connect to its 4G modem via a 4G smartphone, or directly use Bolt SIM cards which are only compatible with Bolt’s own smartphones.

Bolt! at the beginning of 2015 it claimed to be the first operator of 4G LTE  to have more than one million customers in Indonesia .
Based on the presentation (embedded below) they are using two carriers and they move users between the frequencies using inter-frequency handover to which ever one is less congested. This process is done automatically as a part of Mobility Load Balancing (MLB) which is a feature of Self-Optimising Network (SON).