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Telecom

TRAI Feels An Unified Telecom License Will Benefit All. We Say Maybe
2012-04-17 12:42:00
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended the Indian Govt. that all branches of mobile communications be brought under 1 license. TRAI feels the present entry fee is too steep & feels that charging Rs. 15 Crores (US$ 3 Million) instead of, roughly, Rs 1,658 Crores (US$ 321 Million) would be a sensible. However, unlike the present system, these licenses won’t come bundled with Spectrum or Airwaves. Companies will have to bid for them in open auctions. Presently, a GSM license valid for entire India comes bundled with 4.4MHz of Spectrum, whereas for CDMA its 2.5MHz & companies have to bid for additional Spectrum. Instead, in the new regime, the Govt. will charge just Rs. 15 Crores to consider valid to work in India & all the spectrum can be purchased through auctions. Earlier this year we had reported about Govt’s attempts to curb shady deals . However, the seeds were sown last year when Govt. decided to do away with the concept of roamin...
By: WATblog
Loop Telecom Shuts Operations Across India, Except Mumbai
2012-04-10 11:30:00
Loop Telecom seems to be prepping for a nation-wide shutter-down except Mumbai. Following Supreme Court’s ruling, Loop Telecom seems to be getting ready to pull out wherever its license was cancelled. It will however, continue to operate in Mumbai as operations is held by BPL Mobile. The apex court in a monumental decision had decided to wipe the slate clean in case of the 2G Spectrum allocation & had cancelled all the 122 License awarded. The scam tainted 2G Spectrum has so far claimed two victims. Earlier Etisalat DB had confirmed its exit & cited the same reason of cancellation of licenses. Apparently, S Tel was the first victim of the axe & had closed its operations. However, companies like Uninor seem to have defied the odds & have confirmed their participation in the upcoming fresh auctions. In a country with such a vast potential for mobile telephony, such a old technology still has serious implications. Meanwhile, companies are gearing up to offer the late...
By: WATblog
RHCO signs with largest telecom supplier
2012-04-03 20:16:00
Readen Holding Corp. (PINKSHEETS: RHCO) Announced Signing a Contract With one of the Largest Telecom Prepaid Suppliers in the World; Lebara Group (www.lebara.com) Apr 3, 2012 8:58:00 AM HILVERSUM, THE NETHERLANDS -- (Marketwire) -- 04/03/12 -- READEN HOLDING CORP (PINKSHEETS: RHCO) Announced today that MOHO telecom ltd a 100% subsidiary of Readen holding corp signed a contract with on off the largest telecom prepaid suppliers in the world; Lebara Group (www.lebara.com) Starting may 2012 the two companies will work together by placing sales cabinets in the 720 locations of the so called "Lebara blue stores" in the Netherlands. In each of the stores Moho Telecom will place a presentation cabinet what includes 26 models of mobile phone handsets supplied by Moho telecom. The cabinets will be placed on a rack jobbing system they will be fully serviced and supplied by the MOHO logistics-, and sales operation. Each cabinet will contain from the start 20 single and dual simm D5 Mobile br...
No Need For Separate Exit Policy For Telecom Operators, Says TRAI
2012-03-28 08:43:00
TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) expressed its views on Monday on exit policy for telecom operators. It said that there is no need for separate exit policy for the operators. Also, the entree fee paid by the operators should remain non-refundable.                   TRAI was thinking about formulating separate policies for different types of license. It had floated a pre-consultation paper in January. But it has changed its views in wake of the Supreme Court (SC) verdict on 2G licenses awarded in 2008 as well as after talking with various stakeholders. In the 2G verdict of February 2, SC had cancelled 122 telecom licenses of nine operators. Most of these licenses were owned by newly entered companies in the sector. The cancellation of licenses has forced few of these operators to look at exit options. STel is a case in point. But operators like Uninor have reitarated that they have a long term view and will stay committed...
By: WATblog
Vodafone Brings Worldspace Radio To 18 Indian Telecom Circles
2012-03-20 12:15:00
Vodafone has brought satellite radio to its customers with the launch of their new value added service for its customers in 18 Indian Circles. Now you can enjoy great satellite radio on your mobile phone for a very nominal price. Vodafone has made available 10 exclusive radio stations which will have more than 1,00,000 lakh songs. The content is very Indian specific and the channels includes many regional flavors. The satellite radio service also has a music trivia feature which will satisfy your curiosity of the Indian Music greats. The service costs Rs. 30/month and includes 300 minutes of free usage. Vodafone’s product page also points out that the service is not live in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Here is the lowdown on the 10 exclusive channels on the service: Farishta – Best of Bollywood! Falak – The greatest ghazals! Sonar – The best Bengali music ever! Umang – All the flavours of Gujarat! Surabhi – The best of Marathi music! Tunak – The grea...
By: WATblog
Arriva?Futura Francesca?lo spot Telecom per il web
2012-02-23 17:20:00
    Viral video by ebuzzing       Il suggestivo cortometraggio che vedete qui sopra non altro che il nuovo spot diTelecom Italia che si chiama “Futura Francesca” ed un film realizzato grazie alle sette storie vincitrici … Continue reading →
Korea Telecom quiere que YouTube pague por utilizar sus redes
2012-02-23 14:55:00
Desde hace aos, los operadores de telecomunicaciones ms importantes del mundo estn presionando a sus respectivos gobiernos para que modifiquen las legislaciones y les permitan cobrar una serie de tasas a las pginas y servicios webs que generan ms trfico por utilizar sus redes. Esta pretensin choca frontalmente contra el principio de neutralidad de red, que establece que los contenidos que...
India Hopes To Make A Fresh Start With New Telecom Policy
2012-02-17 09:13:00
Indian government  announced a uniform telecom license-fee under the New Telecom Policy (NTP). In an attempt to weed out the scam tainted image of the Telecom sector, Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal provided access to higher Spectrum of up to 10 MHz to all service providers. The spectrum allocation works in a reverse way. Hence, now the operators will be able to offer service in the lower & efficient 8 MHz Spectrum too. Sadly, Delhi & Mumbai still have the 10 MHz limit. Furthermore, healthy competition is encouraged through open auctions to acquire additional frequency beyond the prescribed limit in the open market. The Govt. though has set an upper limit of 25% of the bandwidth available in the region. This restriction seems aimed at promoting competition by preventing the monopolization of the market through heavy fund allocation. So, how did the Govt. tackle the tricky service agreements that they were accusing Airtel & Vodafone earlier? Telecom Companies...
By: WATblog
Indian Telecom bodies slowly getting ready to auction 700 Mhz soon.
2012-02-06 14:19:00
After years of lamentable broadband speeds and assorted other challenges in setting up a data transmission infrastructure in India, relief may just be around the corner for us! The Government may soon initiate the process of auctioning the 700 Mhz spectrum band for broadband use. Yes, you heard that right! We may have 4G very soon (The auction may start by May or later, so it depends) The Department of Telecom (DoT) has asked various internal units like the Policy Group and the Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) wing to help and evaluate the proposal for sale of the spectrum band. TRAI will also be involved as an advisory on the new policy and will recommend the auction parameters. DoT will also be looking at some additional spectrum which will be vacated by the Defence Department and Department of Space. Everything looks good to go except for a small problem. The Information & Broadcasting Ministry is opposed to this. They are saying that the band is currently required ...
By: WATblog
Google Nexus in Philippines To be Launch by Smart Telecom?
2012-01-12 10:19:00
There are lots of techie guys in the Philippines waiting for the official launch of the Google Nexus in Philippines. It is good to know that sources of unbox.ph says that Google Nexus will soon be launch in Philippines by Smart Telecom. Google Nexus is also not available in Saudi Arabia, where I am living.  ...
Make & Track Complaints To Your Telecom Provider Soon
2012-01-10 12:55:00
The Telecom Regulation Authority of India (TRAI) has been on the offensive in the past year or so, in an effort to ensure a better customer experience for the Indian Public. After cracking down on unsolicited calls with the DND Facility, they tackled the issue of spam SMSes with their restrictions on Unlimited SMS Plans. Now, they have made an effort to fix another major problem faced by customers: Complaint Management. Here is a link to the original TRAI Directive. All of us have been faced with an unknown deduction, a bill payment not recognized or an SMS Plan not activated. When the regular customer care is unable to help us, we are forced to file complaints. These complaints are usually filed away and very hard to keep track off. The TRAI has come out with a new directive that states, “Every  service provider shall, within  forty-five days of coming into  force of these regulations, establish a ‘Web Based Complaint Monitoring System’ to enable the consumers to...
By: WATblog
TELECOM ACT DEMISE
2012-01-06 15:38:00
Just last month, communications giant, Verizon, signed a $3.6 billion dollar deal with "competitors" Comcast, Time Warner, and Bright House Networks. Experts argue that the alliance unofficially spells out the end of the United States' Telecom Act of 1996--a congressional bill that promised consumers fair and competitive tele-communications services. And now a second part of that multi-billion dollar deal is speculated to draw out how each company will actually stay out of one another's way and possibly sell each other's services to overlapping customers--in other words, a cleverly disguised monopoly, as the New York Times reports:
TRAI Fines Telecom Companies Rs. 6L For Unwarranted Calls
2011-12-20 06:36:00
No one can say that the folks over at The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) haven’t been doing their job. After getting serious about cracking down on unwarranted SMSes to consumers, they first initiated a 100 SMS/day maximum limit for numbers. This was later pushed up to 200 SMSes a day on festive dates. They then turned to operators with the TRAI Customer Preference Regulations, 2010, which came into force on September 27, 2011 and made sure they don’t allow unwarranted calls to reach consumers. Now they have fined operators  a total of Rs. 6 lac for unwarranted calls to their customers. We know this from a recent Rajya Sabha declaration, through Minister of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora’s written reply to a question on this issue. Mr. Deora said, “Prior to coming into force of this regulation, on an average 47,454 complaints were received a month (March 2010 to March 2011). However, the total number of complaints lodged by telecom c...
By: WATblog
Motorola XT928 Android Smartphone For China Telecom Gets Official
2011-12-06 15:28:00
Those who living in China will able to buy the Motorola XT928 Android smartphone from China Telecom, where it will features a 4.6-inch 1280720 HD touchscreen, a 13 Megapixel camera... Read more »
Telecom Head Honchos In Consensus Over ‘Key Areas’
2011-12-05 13:42:00
In India’s cut-throat Telecom Sector, operators have to be on top of their game. Severe competition with over 10 service providers and some of the lowest prices in the world have made it a tough market to stay in. Even giants like Vodafone have had a hard time earning money and still being in a net loss. With 3G services being launched last year and Mobile Number Portability too hitting Indian shores, competition was hiked up to a new level. In such a scenario, it is only natural that there will be intense rivalry between competing providers like Reliance, Airtel and Vodafone. In such a time, Bharti’s Sunil Mittal, the ADAG group’s Anil Ambani, the Aditya Birla Group’s Kumar Mangalam Birla, Tata’s Ishaat Hussain and Vodafone’s Vittorio Colao came together to form a consensus on key issues affecting the industry as a whole. They met PM Manmohan Singh, the Finance and Communications Ministers to talk about various issues. Some of the matters they a...
By: WATblog
New Telecom Policy To Ease Tensions: Say Bye Bye To Roaming
2011-11-23 07:37:00
Telecom companies have a reason to smile. A New Telecom Policy (NTP) expected to be launched early next year will introduce a pan-India mobile permit, doing away with the existing system of having 22-individual region-specific permits. Thus, the concept of roaming will disappear. Though this policy will resolve the controversy surrounding 3G roaming deals that mobile phone companies have signed amongst themselves, what will happen to these agreements which the Government of India declared as “illegal” is not known. Just last week, TRAI & other departments had said that 3G roaming deals among mobile phone companies violated license rules. Subsequently Airtel lashed out & its offices along-with Vodafone’s got raided. Coincidence? In an amazing display of unity, the heads of three top mobile phone operators -Sunil Mittal, Chairman & Group CEO, Airtel; Vittorio Colao, Group CEO, Vodafone; and Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group (Idea Cellular)- have ask...
By: WATblog
National Emergency Alert System: Where?s The Telecom?
2011-11-09 19:47:00
Image via Wikipedia Today (November 9th), at 2PM EST and 11AM PST there’s a test of the National Emergency Alert System. Here’s what FEMA has to say about the test. ?It will be transmitted via television and radio stations within the U.S., including Alaska, Hawaii, the territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and (Read More...)
Telecom Tales: 2 Lakh New GSM Subscribers For Each Day Of September 2011
2011-10-20 13:50:00
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has released statistics on the GSM Subscriber Base for the month of September 2011. India’s Telecom Sector has been seeing extraordinary growth month by month, and this month was no different.  Here are some interesting and relevant statistics from the Report: As of September 2011, there are a total of 618.28 million GSM Subscribers Out of these, 6.52 Million new subscribers were in September 2011 This comes to a stunning 2 Lakh new subscribers per day! Biggest Winner in number of new subscribers: Uninor with 1.92 Million Market Leader: Bharti Airtel with 172.79 million subscribers Uninor coming in first place will come as a surprise for many, as conventionally it was the larger operators who were amassing new subscribers the fastest. Idea too got an impressive 1.72 Million new subscribers. Compared to them, Telecom Giants Airtel and Vodafone added 0.935 and million and 0.848 million new subscribers respectively. You ca...
By: WATblog
Telecom Policy 2011 Draft Announced; No Roaming Charges, Broadband Limit Do
2011-10-11 10:59:00
Yesterday, Kapil Sibal, Minister for Telecommunications and IT released the draft of the National Telecommunications Policy – 2011. In it are some lofty aims. For instance, by 2020, 100% tele-density is aimed at. Also, by 2015, they aim to provide ‘affordable and reliable broadband’ by 2015. In the new Telecom Policy, the One Nation, One License Policy was brought up. By this, there will be no difference between Local and STD Calls. This also means that there will be no roaming charges while in India. Also, they admitted that MNP is currently not complete, as people cannot keep their number while moving to a different Circle. This too is aimed to be allowed. Mr. Kapil Sibal said, “We will seek TRAI recommendations on license framework under the new Telecom Policy 2011. State operators BSNL and MTNL will continue to play important role in penetration. Mission is to have special coverage of remote and rural areas. The New spectrum act will look into spectrum prici...
By: WATblog
BSNL Brings Out New App Store, Late In Comparison To Other Private Telecom
2011-09-27 12:37:00
Finally, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has launched its very own applications store called ‘BSNL app store‘. All the other private telecom operators have their own version of the app store, but BSNL is quite late in this regard. The news was in the pipeline for months now and the recently launched app store houses over 4,500 apps available to all BSNL mobile customers across India, both 2G and 3G, having GPRS facility.  BSNL will empower its customers to choose from a plethora of categories including entertainment, news, finance, sports, themes, utilities among other things. What’s interesting is that a lot of India specific apps will also be provided. Both free and paid apps are available for download. Once customers download the app, the required amount is automatically deducted from their talk-time (in case of pre-paid customers) or added to the monthly bill (in case of post-paid customers). Some of the apps are attractively priced below Rs. 10. BSNL states...
By: WATblog
Airtel, Vodafone Gain Market Share In The Indian Telecom Sector
2011-07-19 07:37:00
2011 has been an extremely eventful year in the Indian Telecom Sector. Two factors have come into play that have forced most operators to pull up their socks and innovate. Firstly, Mobile Number Portability or MNP has ensured that no provider can get away with exploitative plans because customers are free to switch without giving up their number. Secondly, the launch of 3G in India had operators scrambling for key licenses to offer 3G services. They then had to successfully deploy the services over the areas. Then they had to sign agreements between themselves to share their 3G spectrum. The efforts of the operators can be seen in this month’s Cellular Operators Association of India  (COAI) Report on the state of the Indian Telecom Sector which can be downloaded from here. [Compilation Courtsey: www.pluggd.in] As you can see, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone top the list with 28.26% and 23.63% Market Shares. Vodafone, however, grew at a faster rate, with an increase of 1.50...
By: WATblog
TRAI To Telecom Providers: Own Up About Real 3G Coverage Areas
2011-07-06 14:21:00
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a notice to all service providers to mention the 3G coverage areas in their respective advertisements so that the users can access the services without any problem of coverage area. They have come to this decision after some ugly disputes that have taken place in the past month. We had written about an errant Vodafone user who wasn’t given adequate information about 3G coverage by the company. This had resulted in an ugly battle over Facebook and even led to a defamation notice. Eventually, because of a lot of bad press, Vodafone apologized to the user and dropped all chargers. It looks like the TRAI has taken steps to ensure customers are given all the necessary information. We welcome the move as service providers need to constantly be kept in check. It also shows that while 3G may have a great future, with some projections saying it will touch 50 million users in 2012, they need to work on basics like wider c...
By: WATblog
Great News Fellow T-Mobile Customers: Welcome Back To AT&T!
2011-03-21 01:47:00
AT&T To Purchase T-Mobile… Unfettered, Monopolistic Capitalism “WINNNINNNNG“! Gotta love it. Three months ago, I was introduced to “cellphone shock” by AT&T, my previous carrier. Logging into my account to pay my bill online, my normally RIDICULOUSLY high... This is only a comment summary. Visit http://guntotingliberal.com to view the lastest content complete with some of the most outrageous original photoshops in the political blogosphere!
Recap 2010 : The Great Telecom Saga(s)!
2010-12-28 14:00:00
This year, the Telecom industry gave us more twists and turns than the ever thickening plots of 2 Christopher Nolan and Stanley Kubrick films combined! I’m not sure how that would work, but basically there were a lot. Many more than we would care for, yet had to keep up because the direct affect it has on our lives. 3 stories played out simultaneously and separately as the year began. But as the year went on, the plots began interweaving. And even as the year ended, neither story has unravelled itself completely making sure we’re hooked and waiting for the sequel – 2011. Mobile Number Portability was ‘carried’ over from last year. Early in the year, 3G Auctions and MNP were given deadlines of February and March respectively. But any relief was short lived. And we should have guessed it would all go wrong again when MNP was given an April Fool’s deadline. And it was postponed again to the end of June, causing Rajiv to christen it Mobile Number Post...
By: WATblog
Telecom Products
2010-10-28 05:50:00
Find top quality products and the best deals for your business with Telecom Products e-Magazine. Published monthly, each issue contains new product ideas, industry news, product trends and product listings from verified Telecom Products suppliers in China and Asia.Products covered include:Broadcasting, Telecommunication Equipment & ServicesInternet CommunicationsSatellite CommunicationsTelephonesWireles-s CommunicationsAnd moreGive yourself a competitive edge with verified, top quality manufacturers from China and throughout Asia. Subscribe free to Telecom Products e-Magazine now.Request Free!
Govt Proposes New Verification Rules For Telecom – Boost Or Bane?
2010-10-19 05:54:00
The Government has proposed a new verification model that will require telecom operators to mail SIM cards and a personal identification number (PIN) separately to customers seeking a new mobile connection. This is similar to the model that is adopted by Banks to deliver Credit/Debit cards PIN to their customers.  Under the new proposal, mobile phone companies will have to re-verify the documents of the 700-million mobile connections in the country. The proposal also demands the cancellation of mobile-connections of those customers who have changed their addresses but failed to report the operator about the same. What is more ludicrous is that if the new rules are implemented, consumers across the country will not be able to furnish electricity bills, caste/domicile certificates, photo-IDs attested by MPs/MLAs and Group A officers and student IDs from recognized institutions to buy new cell phone connections. This proposal has left the Telcos baffled who have now decided to approa...
By: WATblog
Telenor – Indian Telecom Sector This Decade’s Dot Com Bubble?
2010-09-06 12:43:00
India’s highly lucrative telecom sector has started testing operators in a serious way. Norwegian company, Telenor is having to face investor flak in a big way with regard to its Indian operations. The cost of entering Indian markets summed up to almost US$ 2.08 billion which includes the US$ 1.3 billion worth of stake in Uninor acquired from Unitech. The entry was rosy with Uninor being everything that a financially streamlined venture should be. The rates were cheap to attract customers in the highly cost-sensitive market, operating costs were minimized by leasing tower access from other companies and outsourcing back-office functions as reported. Nine months into operations and Telenor bled a US$ 556 million in operating losses. This, would ordinarily, not be a point of concern since the industry is high investment and it takes time to break even but the massive changes that the sector has witnessed in the last 2 years, mostly in the last 12 months, has made it pretty worrisom...
By: WATblog
Airtel Continues To Reign The Indian Telecom Scene, Albeit Fall Of Profits
2010-08-13 07:05:00
A recent survey by the journal ‘Voice and Data’ has concluded that Airtel still rules the roost in the Indian Telcommunication scenario. The survey was based upon the results obtained over the fiscal ending March. The telecom Major posted revenues of Rs. 38, 800 crore showing a growth of about 5% over the previous year. But the last quarter has not been a very happy story for Bharati. The markets were expecting the story not to be very rosy because of the delayed annoucement of results. The Deal for Acquisition of Zain closing June has accounted for a net loss of 69.7 crore in Bharti Airtel’s Balance sheets. The telecom service provider posted a 32 per cent decline in consolidated net profit to Rs 1,682 crore for the April-June quarter due to foreign exchange losses and reduced margins on account of massive cuts in service rates over, although the period does not include the financials of the highly covered Acquisation. The quarter also saw the company acquiring 3G...
By: WATblog
Olive Telecom Foresees Hike in Revenues
2010-08-12 06:11:00
Olive Telecom which could be perceived as a potential competitor of Apple iPhone is considered India’s leading Convergence Solutions Device Developer. The company is expected to generate high returns in terms of revenue from its operations in India. At least 40% of its revenues are anticipated from our country. This owing to the launch of smart phones such as the 3G tablet, OlivePad VT-100 which is set to hit the markets by the month end with the speculation of 100,000 of these units to be sold worldwide. Olive’s intention is to release 2 to 3 new devices every month. The entry of the telecom major into the mobile handset market was delayed with a large number of mobile phone players already having made a mark in this sector. Yet, the seven month old firm has cracked deals with 28 carriers worldwide and has so far sold 20 million devices with plans of selling 10 million handsets more this year. Most or all of its smart phone devices are run on Google’s Android operating syste...
By: WATblog
Mergers On The Cards In Indian Telecom Sector
2010-07-13 12:05:00
From an international point of view, when you think about India, one of the things that strike you is quality products and services at cheap prices. One of the pristine examples is the current scenario of the telecom sector in the country. With call rates touching rock bottom due to the increased competition in this already saturated sector, the future is grim if it continues in the same way as it is now. Due to this reason, things are going to change in the near future. We have around 14 operators sweating it out in an epic battle to woo customers by providing the cheapest calling rates in the world and gain market share. The statistics are very tempting – a staggering 16 to 20 million subscribers are being added every month. Behemoth figures like every 55 Indians have a mobile phone out of 100 have been reached compared to only 3 per 100 in the year 2000. Recently, the 3 G auctions were held for all the 22 circles in India and it fetched a whooping Rs. 67710 crore, almost do...
By: WATblog
Tata DoCoMo’s Middle East Offer: Another 1st in Indian Telecom Indust
2010-06-30 16:27:00
Tata DoCoMo, the GSM brand of Tata Teleservices Ltd has just completed 1 year of its operations in India. It started its operations from the Tamil Nadu and Chennai circle and to commemorate its first anniversary it announced an aggressive prepaid voucher for all existing and potential subscribers. This voucher would enable all prepaid subscribers to make calls to the Gulf region at an attractive rate of just 12 paise per second. This voucher will be applicable for UAE, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain and Kuwait. Given the recent diaspora of Indians to the gulf region, this new voucher will surely be a blessing for people who have family members or relatives working in the gulf region. It is worth mentioning here that this attractive voucher comes just days after Tata DoCoMo introduced “Live Chat” platform which offers real time query and resolving the customer’s issue. Tata DoCoMo forayed into Indian Telecom market by offering ‘Pay Per Second‘ Tariff to its subscrib...
By: WATblog
Broadband Wireless Auctions Close – Brings Mukesh Ambani Into Telecom
2010-06-14 10:37:00
India finally closed the long and exciting Broadband Wireless Auction on Friday. After 16 days and 117 rounds of auction in which 11 companies fought tooth and nail for a share of the ‘most happening ‘ spectrum, the Government has accrued Rs 38,543 crore from selling three slots of airwaves. The total revenue from the 3G auction and the BWA amounts to a whooping Rs 1.06 lakh crore. This is 10 times higher than Rs 9,000 crore earned from the first-come-first-served (FCFS) allocation of 2G spectrum for 122 licenses in 2008. The private sector’s contribution to the total is Rs 76,663.91 crore, while Rs 29,598.35 crore will come from BSNL and MTNL. The auction has thrown up surprising ultimate winners. Of the 11 companies bidding, only 6 companies have managed to acquire spectrum circles and 4 of those are new entrants to the Indian market. More over only Infotel has managed to acquire a license in all the 22 circles offered for Rs 12,847 crore. A summary of the final results...
By: WATblog
Indian telecom industry ? bracing up for phase 2
2010-06-08 10:49:00
For long, the Indian telecom industry has been an object of study globally for the path breaking and innovative operational & business models that they introduced to the world. While the success of the Indian telecom companies in building an industry with enviable profitablity despite operating in the world’s cheapest ARPU market has evoked wonder, ...
Telecom Round Up: 3G Prices Cross 10K Crore, Highest GSM Growth In Orissa
2010-05-05 12:40:00
The mobile space seems to be hotting up as the 3G auctions crossed another landmark and GSM growth numbers reported seemed very encouraging. Here is a lowdown on both these fronts: 3G Auction crosses 10,000 crore mark The 3G auction bids crossed at important landmark. The bids moved up to Rs 10,748 crore after 21 days of bidding and 122 rounds since April 9th. Mumbai still leads the bids at Rs 1,816 crore followed by Delhi at Rs 1,755 crore. These pricing are being termed as pretty high by many analysts and there is still a couple more phases of the bidding to be complete. The Government at current bid value could gross as much as Rs 42,992 crore assuming that all the available slots are taken. Orissa Clocks Highest Growth for GSM Subscribers The GSM penetration is driving deep into India and the clear sign is when C Circle states like register the highest growth among all the telecom circles in the country. According to a Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) report th...
By: WATblog
Telecom Roundup: RCom – GetJar, Bharti WorldSim & Uninor Prepaid
2010-04-28 05:52:00
The telecom scene is getting hotter day by day in India with both the 3G auctions reaching dizzying heights and also the telecom subscriber base for wireless subscribers inching towards the 600 million mark. Its no surprise then that operators are launching new products, tying up and gearing up for this growth. Here are 3 such stories: RCom Ties Up With GetJar Reliance Communications (RCom) has made a serious move into the mobile apps space by signing an agreement with US-based GetJar. Apparently this tie up will help RCom to launch its own app store. We have covered the app store initiatives by Airtel and other operators before. Though this particular initiative comes a little late in the day for RCom its still a big announcement as the entity they are tying up with is the world’s largest cross-platform app store, with over a half billion downloads across 50,000+ mobile applications in 200 odd countries.Globally GetJar has partnered with the likes of Sony Ericsson, Sprint, Opera...
By: WATblog
Telecom Roundup: RCom Voice Portal & Videocon Stake Sale
2010-04-22 07:03:00
The action in the telecom space seems to be heating up each day as more launches take place and investments start pouring in. Here is a whats hot offlate in the telecom arena. RCom Launches Children Stories Voice Portal Reliance Communications has launched children’s stories on its voice portal. For accessing these stories Mobile users need to dial 51234234. The charges for this portal are Rs 3/min. The portal is available in several languages like English, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu, Gujarati and Punjabi. We are not sure both on the use case and the longetivity of this product. Also at 3 rs per minute it turns out to  be an expensive deal incase the story is too long. Why wouldnt kids just read a story instead or watch cartoons? Maybe we are being overtly negative but we are open to comments on how this could work. Videocon Looking To Sell 26% Stake in Mobile Business Videocon forayed into telecom space and set an ambitious target of coverin...
By: WATblog
Telecom Roundup: BSNL’s IPO Plans Put On Hold, Day 5 3G Spectrum Pric
2010-04-16 08:27:00
BSNL’s IPO Plans Put On Hold The Department of Telecom has put forward a proposal to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd of not listing it in the markets till the restructuring of the company is completed as a part of the 15-point restructuring plan suggested by a committee headed by Mr. Sam Pitroda in order to turn around the fortunes of the public sector unit BSNL. According to a news release the Department of Telecom (DoT) has recommended that an initial public offering (IPO) for BSNL should be put on hold till fundamental changes recommended by the Pitroda panel are implemented. This  includes restructuring the company’s board and absorption of Indian Telecom Service officers in BSNL.  DoT feels that this would in all increase BSNL’s enterprise value and divesting at such a stage might increase revenues for the government. Day 5 3G Spectrum Price Goes Up By Rs.249cr We had brought to you some stats from the end of Day 2 at the 3G auction some time back. The auctio...
By: WATblog
Telecom Round Up: BSNL Introduces 3G Video Streaming, 3G Bidding – D
2010-04-12 07:54:00
BSNL Introduces 3G Video Streaming As usual Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is again on it’s track of overwhelming it’s subscribers by providing them with cutting-edge technology at the earliest. BSNL has plans of introducing a video streaming platform for it’s 3G customers in Orissa using which subscribers (customers) can access different live television channels like  DD (national), DD (Oriya) and B4U initially by making a video call. BSNL plans to expanded this list of channels by including other channels like OTV, ETV (Oriya) and Kamayab among others. The tariffs of this new service are however yet to be decided by BSNL. 3G Bidding – Day 2 Review After all the pre-3G auction drama, the heat seems to have reduced now. Not much increase in bidding prices was seen on the second day of the 3G auctions. The auctions started with an overall bidding price of INR 3500 crores for the three circles and at the end of Day 1, the total bid price figure...
By: WATblog
Telecom Round-up: Bharti Inks Zain Deal, Tele-Subscriber Base Touches 600M
2010-04-01 12:48:00
Bharti Inks Zain Deal Last week we told you about Bharti securing funds for the Zain acquisition. And now we have reports that Bharti has finally acquired Kuwait based Zain Telecom’s African assets at an enterprise value of $10.7 billion. And with this acquisition, Bharti Airtel becomes the fifth largest wireless and mobile solutions provider in the world, with a subscriber base of about 179 million spread across 18 countries. Zain Africa alone has a huge mobile operations base in 15 countries with over 42 million customers. Tele-Subscriber Base Touches 600M March saw a steady growth in the number of telephone subscribers in India which is said to have  increased by 3.22 percent from a figure of 581.97 million in January to a massive 600.69 million at the end of February. We have reported to you a similar telecom growth story in which the GSM user base went up by 13.7M in January. Seems like the Telecom sector in India is shining big time! Let us look at some more stats...
By: WATblog
Telecom RoundUp: MTNL Doubles Broadband Speeds, Law Ministry’s Green
2010-02-17 12:31:00
MTNL Doubles Broadband Speeds State run Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has given it’s customers another reason to be happy. It has increased the download speed in it’s unlimited broadband plans and has launched the VDSL (very high bit-rate digital subscriber line) broadband service. According to a news report MTNL says the download speeds for ‘unlimited plans’ of 256Kbps, 384Kbps and 512 Kbps have been doubled. The VDSL service will provide upto 20Mbps and upload speeds up to 6 Mbps within a distance of one km from the exchange equipment. More details here. Law Ministry’s Green Signal To 3G Auction The Law Ministry has finally paved the way for the Government to start the auction of 3G spectrum by giving its approval to the Notice Inviting Application (NIA) that outlines the policy for allocating the air waves. We have already told you a lot about the 3G Auction Drama in India and how the auction is not seeming to start even remotely! But finall...
By: WATblog
Telecom Roundup: Essar Eyes African Telecom, 3G Auction Postponed
2010-02-02 05:22:00
Essar Eyes African Telecom It seems that Africa has become a de facto ground for any Indian Telecom company that is planning to invest abroad and why should it not be? African nations are undergoing a development phase and major changes and naturally become a sweet spot for the investment in various avenues. The average mobile penetration for the continent is 37 per cent, expected to rise to 61 per cent by 2012 which again attracts the Telecom Industries.  We have already told you about MTNL’s plans of entering Nigeria and Airtel’s ventures in Africa. And now Essar has joined the race too. According to a news report The Essar Group The Essar Group has prepared a telecom blueprint for Africa under which it would invest $2 billion to get 20 million customers and more, spanning six to seven countries in the region and also is in talks with the South African government to set up a power plant. With so many Indian players entering the African Telecom Atmosphere confli...
By: WATblog
Telecom RoundUp: MTNL To Go International, BSNL 3G In TN, 3G Bidders To Pay
2010-01-28 07:06:00
MTNL to go International With appointment of MTNL’s new chairman and managing director Kuldip Singh, it’s plans of entering overseas markets have been revived. MTNL now plans to enter Africa by acquiring a new licence or buying an operator. MTNL had already earmarked an amount of Rs. 500 crore for overseas acquisitions last year and it had also prequalified for Nigera Telecommunications Ltd (Nitel) for which a bid will be submitted on February 15 – an official confirmed. For the proposed bid of Nitel, MTNL has to face a lot of competition which includes the Nigerian arms of South Africa’s MTN Group and Emirates Telecommunications Corp (Etisalat), a group involving Spain’s Telefonica atnd local firm Globacom. MTNL already has operations in Mauritius and Nepal. Not so long ago we also told you about Airtel going to Bangladesh and Africa! BSNL brings 3G to Tamil Nadu From now consumers in Tamil Nadu will be able to enjoy the fruits of 3G! Thanks to BSNL. The 3G se...
By: WATblog
Telecom Tie-ups: MTS ties up with Utiba for E-Recharge ; BSNL partners NFL
2010-01-13 12:05:00
Telecom tie-ups and partnership updates are the flavor of the season specially looking at service roll out of new players and frequency of VAS introductions. In latest, MTS has announced their tie-up with Utiba to facilitate better E-recharge facility to its subscribers. MTS the newest telecom entrant owned by SSTL (Sistema Shyam TeleServices) feels third party e-recharge services are inadequate to meet the requirements of present subscriber base. Its tie-up with Utiba will allow its subscribers to top-up their mobile connection with any amount they wish to avail. According to Mr. Vsevolod Rozanov, President and Chief Executive officer, SSTL said, “we want to create a strong customer propositions for our services based on cutting edge technology and business processes.India has a large pre-paid base and an Electronic top-up platform will play a significant role.” MTS evens aims to provide basic set-up for future m-commerce play as Utiba can also handle financial service...
By: WATblog
Future Group Wants To Be Future Of Telecom Too – Plans Telecom Foray
2010-01-08 10:10:00
With every passing day the telecom space becomes more and more crowded. Even though the regulators are making it difficult for newer players to enter this space more and more large corporates in India have set their eyes on the telecom space. One such group is the Future group which is in the news lately for foraying into the telecom servives bandwagon. “We should be ready with the telecom services within the next six to eight weeks,” stated Mr Kishore Biyani, Chairman of the Future Group. Given the spectrum crunch its expected that Mr.Kishore Biyani shall be content with taking the franchisee route to providing telecom services. The only player currently in the Indian market using this route is Virgin mobile which is a franchisee for Tata Teleservices for CDMA services and recently was also shortlisted as a player for MTNL 3G services. It seems like the Future group too shall go this route and using its marketing and retail muscle to penetrate the already crowded telec...
By: WATblog
Telecom Tariff Wars Hit A New Low!
2009-12-17 06:01:00
It seems the war for gaining subscriptions is overpowering better sense from prevailing in the telecom space. India is already one of the cheapest markets when it comes to calling rates but that doesn’t mean we can’t hit a new low can it? Well if the recent initiatives by both new and old operators are to be looked at then its probably is the best time to buy a new sim card and pay in paisa for everything. Dont believe me? Have a look at the spurt of recent offers by telecom operators below: It all started with tata docomo launching pay per second pulse rates and it kind of set the cat among the pigeons in the telecom space. What has followed it a rate cut and lower pulse billing across the board: The domino effect made IDEA, RCom, Vodafone, MTNL and Airtel offer per second billing. Now if that wasn’t if enough MTS which is a new player cut the 1 paisa per second to half a paise per second! Imagine what if i use just 1 second a month? How do i get half a paise? Is...
By: WATblog
Reliance To Divest U.S Business Units – FLAG Telecom & YIPES
2009-12-14 13:20:00
Reliance seems to be on its way to divest a major chunk of its US business units which it built up in a series of acquisition. ET reports that Reliance Communication will offload its two major business units namely FLAG Telecom and YIPES in US to raise some $ 3 billion in cash. FLAG Telecom (stands for Fiber-optic Loop Around the Globe) was acquired by RCom for $211 Million in 2003 and managed by its subsidiary Reliance Globalcom. Flag Telecom owns and operate major undersea cable (some 50,000 km of undersea fibre optic network) utilized for broadband operations across the world. Earlier we heard rumors of Google clinching a data deal and even taking a part stake in beleaguered firm acquired by RCom. Yipes on the other side serves corporate clientele in U.S including some stock exchanges. YIPES also has fibre optic coverage in major US cities along with some international presence in Hong Kong and Tokyo. It was acquired for $300 Million not so long ago in 2007. Japan...
By: WATblog
Future Of Telecom In India – Premium Vs Rural Customer Segmentation
2009-12-09 10:04:00
At the recently held IAMAI Panel I posed a question to the Mobile VAS panel moderated by Manoj Dawane of Mauj Telecom. My question was.. ‘Do they see telecom operators offering services as per customer segments in the future i.e. premium services for premium customers?’ The answer was a unanimous ‘YES’ from the panel which also included Lloyd Mathias of Tata Teleservices and Krishna Durbha of Reliance Communications. Now before you start wondering what the hell customer segmentation means for telecom operator and how it would be implemented let me try and give a similar example from another industry. Telecom Services Could Follow Credit Card Service Model Of Customer Segmentation? Imagine if all banks offer the same credit cards with the same credit limit and the same set of discounts and services and the same service level as well. I mean no silver, gold or platinum cards concept just a plain vanilla credit card. Imagine as a customer that pays them on t...
By: WATblog
Just Rs.19 To Change Your Telecom Operator AND Still Retain Your Number! &n
2009-11-23 15:32:00
We have done an extensive coverage of MNP (Mobile number portability here on WATBlog and also covered the rumored charges of Rs.300 for shifting from one operator to another. We have also discussed the limitations of MNP. Well TRAI has put all these rumors to rest by announcing that MNP would come into effect by 31st of December this year and the charges for shifting from one operator to another is pegged at a meager 19 rupees. Now this should surely make the operators sit up and take notice as the dynamics between operators could change as this could bring a shift from the incumbents to the entrants in the telecom space. The guidelines for who can opt for mobile number portability was clearly laid down by TRAI and we covered the same as well in this earlier post. Now TRAI has announced that the operators cannot charge the consumer more than Rs.19 to shift his number from one operator to another. TRAI has announced that MNP would be implemented in category A circles by 31st Decembe...
By: WATblog
India’s Telecom Space – A Case Of Lofty Targets & Inflated
2009-11-12 07:58:00
There are targets and then there are targets! Some targets make you smile and some targets make you wonder. Now dont get me wrong.. I may be sarcastic and a cynic sometimes but by and large I feel very bullish about the Telecom space in India. But it pains me when I see a larger than life picture being painted about the space. It pains me when I see Internet penetration numbers being inflated and multiple numbers floating in the market only to add to the confusion. Infact offlate a lot of people have been stating that the 500 million odd mobile subscribers are infact inflated due to dual sims and unutilized sim cards. Now it seems even 3G is starting to have lofty targets and claims. BSNL Punjab Telecom Circle Chief General Manager P K Paliwal has said “I think acceptance will increase exponentially when the services are available across the state.We expect to add 95,000 3G customers by March 2010.” Now this consider this: BSNL has been able to garner only 5000 3G subscribers s...
By: WATblog
… And Thus Deflates The Great Indian Telecom Bubble!
2009-11-10 14:23:00
Two years ago, in 2007, I remember, it were the happier times of the Indian Telecom Industry. Everyone wanted to be a part of this. This sector rose as the flag bearer of the rising Indian economy which had so much in it. IT for the first time in years started taking a back seat. The whole sector offered opportunities like never before, and every ship was hoping to rise once it came in contact with this tide. This provided opportunities for the new comers, they saw this as the best time to dip their fingers. Everyone who got involved, or got entry, thought he had the license to become the next Sunil Bharti Mittal. Two years down the line, everyone is bleeding, and bleeding bad. The Incumbents, the newcomers, The incapable regulator, all having their own issues to resolve. The bubble is finally broken after the ruthless policies of the policy makers. And I’m sure, even as I’m writing, there’s something really worth noticing going on in this sector, to make headline...
By: WATblog
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