Partnership to strike between telecom service providers and anti-virus software vendors

With slow down in PC sales and exponential growth in smartphone market in India deals are expected between telecom service providers and anti-virus software. Vendors like Symantec Corp and Kaspersky Lab are tying up with smartphone makers and telecom service providers in India to shore up sagging sales.

These companies are now looking to bundle their products with smartphone software or push a subscription-based model through telecom companies.

Russia’s Kaspersky Lab is in talks with a “leading smartphone maker” to provide Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, and is also discussing a subscription services-based model with a leading domestic telecom company, said its MD, south Asia, Altaf Halde.

Similarly, Symantec, the maker of Norton anti-virus software, is in talks with several smartphone makers and telecom companies. “If you look at smartphone proliferation, and the bad guys attacking those smartphones, just by those sheer numbers…we can now price really specific to the market, if we price through a telecom service provider who can just put it on to the cellphone bill,” said Fran Rosch Executive VP, Norton. The company expects “low double actions and payments,” said Karthik Ananth, director at market research firm Zinnov. He said that while anti-virus products come bundled with some higher end devices, the trend could become more prevalent going forward.

According to Zinnov, the anti-virus market in India has remained flat at about 8-10% growth in the last two years. While Ananth agrees that partnerships are the way forward for anti-virus companies, they still face some challenges, including lack of regulatory clarity on taxation for an anti-virus subscription model.

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