Vodafone is in the process of setting up a development center in India focusing on data services in emerging markets, MediaNama has learned from reliable industry sources. The center will be based out of Bangalore, and cater to Vodafone operations in India, Asia and Africa. Pratapa Bernard, former Head of Products (Data Unit) for Onmobile Global has already come on board to lead the initiative, we’ve heard from multiple sources, and is scouting for people to hire. At the time of filing this report, Bernard was not reachable for comment. We’re still awaiting a confirmation or denial from Vodafone.

Interesting to see Vodafone set up a separate development center for data services: the company had won spectrum in 9 circles during India’s 3G auction, including the prized circles of Delhi and Mumbai, as well as Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata, Haryana, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh (East). It is shelling out Rs. 11,617.86 million for spectrum in these circles.

Question is – what kind of data services are we likely to see, once 3G is launched? We’re not really expecting anything special: perhaps video streaming, IVVR’s, gaming portals, multiplayer gaming…any surprises in store?

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