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Nokia takes on iTunes with Ovi.com

By Kushan Mitra        Print Edition: Sept 23, 2007

What is it? Ovi is going to be Nokia's mother brand for distributing multimedia content including music. The word is Finnish for "door".

Is it Nokia's answer to iTunes? Well, sort of. Ovi also has games as part of Nokia's revamped N-Gage launch and allows mobile phone users to upload their images as part of a web-based social image sharing service.

Wow, so when will it be launched? Ovi was just announced by Nokia at London and the services will only start around November for the European market. No clear date has been announced for India as yet.

Air tickets to go the E-way

What? Come June 1, 2008, all paper airline tickets (that come in the form of a booklet) will be phased out and electronic tickets will become the norm. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents over 240 airlines worldwide, recently set a May 31, 2008 deadline for full conversion to e-ticketing and issued its last order for paper tickets.

Why? According to IATA figures, the cost of a paper ticket, at $10 (Rs 410), is 10 times that of an e-ticket ($1 or Rs 41) and that a full conversion to e-tickets will save airlines $3 billion (Rs 12,300 crore) annually.

What is the trend? As of July 2007, 84 per cent of tickets issued worldwide were e-tickets, and IATA expects that figure to be 96.5 per cent by June 1, 2008. The US is currently the world leader in e-ticket penetration at 95 per cent followed closely by China.

What is the scene in India? E-ticket penetration in India is a little less than the Asia-Pacific average of 77 per cent. Indian carriers like JetLite, SpiceJet, Kingfisher Airlines, IndiGo Airlines and GoAir already operate through e-tickets. Other airlines operate at least partly through e-tickets.

By Bibek Bhattacharya

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