RCom may allow users to create own music tones


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Reliance Communications (RCom) is in talks with Hyderabad-based Altruist Technologies to create an open source network to allow its 105 million wireless subscribers (GSM and CDMA networks) to create their own content for mobile devices.

Initially, RCom users will be able to create their own caller tunes and ringtones by uploading the content through RCom’s web interface.

The technology developed by Altruist will enable the customer content to be edited, linked and activated on the user’s mobile connection. RCom sees major utilisation of this technology to expand its caller tune and ringtone catalogue. It currently acquires its musical content through licensing agreements with various content providers in India and abroad. It has a vast music library, with over 350,000 caller tunes and ringtones. This alliance will allow RCom to acquire user-generated mobile content on a large scale without investing in content acquisition costs.

When asked, an RCom spokesperson confirmed the company was finalising an alliance with Altruist but declined to give details. RCom, confirmed sources from within the company, is expected to save nearly 15 per cent in content acquisition costs on an annualised basis and expects over 100,000 customers to use this service every month.

By the end of the current financial year, the company expects over a million users across its CDMA and GSM networks, where the critical adoption would come from Tier-II and Tier-III towns, with a revenue upside of over Rs 250 crore over the next five years.

Altruist will create a technological bandwidth to be deployed across GSM and CDMA networks and will be integrated with RCom’s pan-India telecom backbone. Sources said Altruist raced ahead of China’s Huawei Technologies, believed to also be in the contest for this alliance. Analysts estimate the alliance to be valued at around Rs 300 crore.

This move, analysts believe, is in line with RCom’s overall business strategy to create unique and innovative services. Over the past few months, the company has offered value-added services such as SMS-based novels, mobile commerce transactions through a strategic tie-up with Atom Technologies, live streaming of cricket matches on mobiles, Antakshari services on mobiles and a blue-collar job search service.