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Vanita Kohli-Khandekar: Can telcos become media cos?

The arguments over VAS revenue sharing make it dificult

Can telecom companies become media players? Going by the arguments over sharing of value-added-services or VAS revenues — the first line of media revenues for telecom — it would seem difficult. According to an IMRB paper for the Internet and Mobile Association of India, VAS, or the sale of ringtones, caller tunes, wallpapers, SMSes (for contests and communication), among other non-voice services, generated Rs 7,500 crore in revenues in 2008. Of this, just about 5-15 per cent went to companies that own the copyright over the material, say a song, that you may have downloaded ...