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Rediff CEO Ajit Balakrishnan On 3G Licensing, VCs In India, Indic Languages, Broadband, E-Commerce

At the end of a riveting speech at the IAMAI Digital Marketing Conference yesterday, when asked by Google India MD Shailesh Rao about the 2-3 things he would like the IAMAI to focus on, Rediff CEO Ajit Balakrishnan suggested the following: 1. A change in the revenue share for the Mobile VAS industry 2. Improvement in the broadband penetration, and 3. Solving the language problem for the Internet Balakrishnan's emphasis on VAS and revenue share is quite interesting, but you don't have to look too far beyond Rediff's new-found mobile focus to know where he is coming from. On 3G Licensing, VAS "There's absolutely no question that 5 years from now, the main acess of the internet will be mobile." Towards the end of his talk, Balakrishnan stressed upon the need to engage with the government over 3G licensing. "We have to ensure that some part of it be used for data. I worry that most will be used for voice. If that happens, all the dreams that we have of a mobile based internet will not happen. The revenue share offered must also be reasonable, else it wont make sense. If the current mobile operators build (portals) by themsleves, it won't go anywhere. They're best at playing pipes." On Government Support For Innovation, Bridging The Language Barrier "At around 50 million users you'll come across the language barriers. What do we need to do? We need some policy initiatives, we need linguisting tools, voice to text needs to be…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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