Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Every Month 25 Million Users in India Spend 255 INR For Online Video Content

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With data analytics and high-speed networks rapidly developing each day, we are moving towards an era where we have everything at our fingertips. To understand this revolution better, Ankita KS from EFY had an interaction with Mr. Rahul Patel, senior vice president and general manager – connectivity of Qualcomm.

Rahul Patel, Senior Vice President, and General Manager – Connectivity, Qualcomm.
Rahul Patel, Senior Vice President, and General Manager – Connectivity, Qualcomm.

Q. How do you think content revolution is going to change the scenario of the entertainment industry in India?

A. In India, content revolution is happening on a rapid scale. The typical content that you get from the cable is getting shifted to ordered content, which you can also watch on mobiles, computers, tablets and more.  Today, we also have specific apps for each channel like Voot, Hotstar, ZEE5 and many more. A report from Kantar IMRB states that currently, there are about 25 million online video users in the country and the average amount spent in a month for paid content is Rs 255. Also, there is a prediction that India’s mobile video consumption will reach up to seven GB per month per user by 2021. This shows that the same content revolution that is happening around the world is happening in India too.

Q. What is the best way to build content?

A. The content building can be done in several ways but, for me, building them over networks is one of the best ways to do so like Netflix and Amazon Prime have done. In transferring content through over the air, delivery is the key thing because users would not care where the content is coming from. They will only care if the content is available whenever they need the same. For example, if my mother chooses to visit me in the US, she will want to catch up on the entertainment programmes that she is used to watching in India – something that is possible now with the emergence of mobile apps and online streaming options. The world has moved towards a stage where the content is going to be mobile with you and the only way to make this happen is by operating through a medium. That medium can be wired or someone else’s wireless medium or your own Wi-Fi.

Q. What are the other advantages of this content revolution?

A. The best example would be the cable or DTH service where you pay for around 200 channels out of which only 20 might be the ones that you watch. With the content revolution, you can now choose specific apps that match your requirements and likes and pay accordingly. This is a flexible model and better than the bundle package hence the monetisation schemes are not only favouring the delivery but also the benefiting the consumers.

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Q. Any example that you would like to share?

A. If you take Internet of Things (IoT) in agriculture, say an inexpensive drone, you can scan the whole farm in a matter of minutes. Now, imagine the drone is able to machine learn the right technology and fly automatically and tell you that the crops are decaying in one side of the field. So instead of the farmer going around the field to check the crops, a drone can automatically do it for him and update him the status. That is the kind of development happening today and that day is not far when a technology would be able to tell if a person sleeping in the room has an unusual heartbeat and alert the family and hospital of the same, automatically. The patient can be put under immediate care even before realising that something is wrong with him.

Q. What is the key challenge in this content revolution?

A. The key challenge is mobility across various platforms because users want content to be available for them anywhere and everywhere in the world at any point in time. So, it must be in the cloud, but it may or may not be operated wirelessly. It should also be made sure that the experience on the networking side is not compromised. At Qualcomm, we see multiple platforms working towards content, be it robotics, wearables, drones, connected camera, cars, small cells, home automation or home entertainment. We make sure that the user experience is same across all segments.

Q. What are main technologies and processing techniques involved here?

A. All the machine learning and data processed should have connectivity somewhere, this way you can move the content to a place where you can process it, do the analytics and derive potential recommendations for the next action. We have Bluetooth, Bluetooth mesh, various protocols of Wi-Fi, ZigBee, 4G, global positioning system (GPS) and all the major security algorithms. The processing techniques include audio, video and digital signal processing (DSP). In addition to proper analysing and processing, it is also about performing proper computing methods.

Q. What level of Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is involved here?

A. Here is a good example to understand this. When my son went to high school in the US, he used an iPad instead of notebooks for his study and homework. As he was always connected to the cloud, when he did his homework, his performance was immediately tracked and his next question was based on the accuracy and response time of his previous answer. If he took forever to get through the first question, his second question will be related to the concept that he missed in the first question. So, here the cloud uses analytics to tune and tailor the questions for the benefit of the students. From teachers’ point of view, they get the statistical distribution of how each student and class perform. The teacher will get a very clear view of what are the concepts that work and what needs more enforcement. Evidently, the productivity level goes even higher and on a new level, which is one of the reasons why in the US the Wi-Fi market went from being nothing for mesh Wi-Fi in 2016 to 40 percent in 2017.

Q. Could you shed more light on Qualcomm’s self-organising network?

A. One major concern is to keep the user free of tension. Users need not have to worry about the service set identifier (SSID), passwords or how to reconfigure the Wi-Fi router when they want to watch his show or do some task. The self-organising network takes care of everything. It automatically senses what is going on in the network, what the network capacity is, if the network is in the noisy channel and reconfigures itself on its own.

Q. How is Qualcomm gearing up for 5G tech?

A. For every design or technology that we to bring to the market, we have a clear roadmap. Once we have all the features ready, we focus on the cost of the implementations. There is a curve along the time axis that drives massive implementation options and like we have worked with 3G and 4G, it is not going to be much different for 5G.

Q. Is there any specific way in which you motivate your team at Qualcomm?

A. I believe that as a leader you should never assume that you have a better intelligence quotient (IQ) than anyone in your team. Such an attitude is the first mistake that de-motivates people. So, having the ability to listen to what is being said and align it with logic are the essential things required to motivate people. And, this is what I have learned over the years and it has helped me to encourage my team at Qualcomm as well.

Q. What is the vision of your business unit for the year 2020?

A. We want to remain in the position that we are currently in, develop and continue to invest in technology. One is well known about Qualcomm as a semiconductor company, but we are equal sized software company as well. We believe in directly investing in software to deliver better experiences through our platforms over the years.

Q. What will be your advice to future engineers who are working towards cutting-edge technologies?

A. Always think ahead of what is needed but be measured of what to do. You may end up building something beyond the need and as a result, fail to outdo. Be realistic and never let your ego get on your way.


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