All posts by Debjit

Debjit does some excellent analysis of the Indian technology front and digital media news in India. He is passionate about all things Microsoft but loves open source too! Get in touch with him @dkd903

Google Music Is Now Available In India

Finally we have some good news! Google Music is now available in India. However it is currently limited to only Hindi songs from Bollywood. To power Google Music in India, Google has teamed up with three online music services in India in.com, saavn and saregama. All the songs are directly streamed from these partner websites. Try Google Music now: http://www.google.co.in/music

The songs available are all full versions via free streaming. But here is no option to purchase a song as of yet which is a bit weird. But we expect an option to purchase to be available soon. Another much needed feature would be a Playlist which currently does not exist. A couple of months back, the executives of Guruji Search were arrested for launching a similar Music product.

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PurpleTalk To Fund Mobile Startups In India

PurpleTalk Inc., a California based mobile application development company plans to provide funding to mobile web based and mobile startups in India and has launched an incubator called PollenEight. The goal of PollenEight is to help aspiring entrepreneurs and engineers with their business ideas with seed (initial funding) capital. PollenEight will also provide entrepreneurs with resources and mentorship by industry experts and veterans.

Applications can be made through the website www.polleneight.com. Selection criteria for PollenEight funding involves a lot of parameters such as the team composition, size, level of interest, ambition and the technical capabilities of the team.

After funding, entrepreneurs will get to attend social events organized by PollenEight, where they will be able to demonstrate their early prototypes. This is in addition to the regular mentorship which is a part of the program. As of now, PollenEight plans to select up to eight teams or ideas at a time for funding, with two batches running annually.

Sparsh – Sex Education Program To Be Launched On Idea, Tata & Airtel

IL&FS Education and Family Planning Association of India (FPA) have joined hands to launch a mobile phone based sex education program in India. Titled Sparsh, it is world’s first sex education program to be promoted in a commercial format through leading telecom operators in India.

Sparsh is targeted for the age group 13-30 years and is available in 12 Indian regional languages like Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Urdu, Bhojpuri, Oriya and English and 6 international languages like Swahili, Portuguese, Arabic, Spanish, and Bahai. The course content consists of 12 modules comprising of various topics like puberty, menstruation, masturbation, first time sex, contraception, erectile dysfunction, etc. and content has been researched by FPA and the marketing & development has been done by IL&FS Education.

Sparsh will be made available for free for first 15 days through mobile phones using IVR and SMS. After the 15 days period the program will be available for a monthly fee on various mobile   Airtel, Tata Indicom, Tata Docomo and Idea in a short period. Currently the program is available for free on +91-22-42433531.

Airtel Gujarat Customers Can Now Submit Documents At Post Offices

Airtel has signed an all-exclusive MOU with India Posts in Gujarat that will enable all Airtel prepaid customers in the Gujarat circle to submit their documents at any one of the 8971 post offices in Gujarat. This is not only a convenience for the customers but this pact will also expedite the process of document collection and verification mandated by department of Telecom (DoT).

According the Chief Operating Officer of Bharti Airtel (Gujarat Circle) – Mr. Shivan Bhargava this new association between Airtel and India Post will help to form a powerful network across Gujarat and support DoT’s initiative of streamlining the documentation process. This association will enable the Airtel Customers to submit their form and relevant documents at a convenient near-by location.

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Tata Launches On-Demand Computing & Storage Service

Tata Communications has launched two different services in the cloud space to deliver self-service and pay-as-you-use IT application plus data centre infrastructure services which are easily accessible via the internet. The first one is an on-demand computing and storage service called InstaCompute and the second being an online collaboration and web-based office tool software called InstaOffice. Both these services are primarily meant for Indian businesses.

InstaCompute runs on compute and storage infrastructure from Dell and aims at providing a secure and elastic on-demand computing and storage resources to businesses over the network on a “go-as-you-need” basis. Computing and storage is based in India and can be paid for in Rupees or global currencies.

InstaOffice is powered by Google Apps and includes email, calendar, instant messaging, voice and video chat, as well as office document applications. InstaOffice joins the club of other InstaApps that Tata Communications already offers in India – InstaCC   for contact centres, InstaCRM – a customer relationship management software and InstaECM for content storage and management.

DoT Plans To Merge Telecom Circles, Drop In Roaming Tariffs Expected

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in India is planning for a change that will bring down roaming tariffs like anything. The DoT is considering a proposal to reduce the number of telecom circles in India from 22 to a single licence with all India coverage of a maximum of four circles.

Currently the DoT issues licence for each of the 22 circles separately. Operators are then required to install a mobile switch in each circle. This results in the operator charging customers with interconnection fees when calls are made from one circle to another. So if all the circles are merged, consumers need not pay any roaming charges.

According to a top DoT official – Keeping in view the development of technologies for catering to more traffic and more number of subscribers, we are looking at whether operators can be given the option to merge service areas. There could be either one service area covering the entire country or there could be four or five areas each, covering a specific region.

Intex Launches LCD and CRT Televisions

After making a wave in the computer peripheral market with their inexpensive but good products, Intex Technologies has now launched its LCD and CRT television range. Intex has already launched their mobile phones and other consumer electronics goods prior to this.

The initial plans are of   four LCD television products that are priced in the range of Rs 15,500 to Rs 43,000 and six CRT televisions in the range of Rs 3,900 to Rs 7,200. These prices are very competitive compared to other famous brands in the market. Intex has already launched their LCD and CRT televisions range in southern and northern region of India.

According to Vinayak Kumar Lal, general manager (marketing), Intex Technologies “Intex was undergoing a brand transition from an IT hardware company to a consumer electronics firm. Though we have been product-driven rather than marketing driven so far, we will shortly start a campaign in print and electronic media for our new products.”

RIM Gets Yet Another Deadline For Blackberry: Dec 31st

It seems that Blackberry users can now rejoice, but only for two more months as the Indian Govt. has now agreed to extend the deadline for Blackberry to comply with security related issues till December 31, 2010. So if things do not go all well, then Blackberry users might have to welcome the new year with a new kind of Blackberry – without corporate e-mail and chat!

We have already told you about the August 31 deadline, after which the deadline was extended to 31st October. And this current decision of extending the deadline to 31st December was taken after a high-level meeting between the MHA, RIM and the Department of Telecommunications.

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JantaKhoj – India’s First “People Search Engine”

After the Google revolution, we have seen many desi search engines coming up from time to time. Well here is a search engine with a difference. Titled as JantaKhoj, this search website is a people search engine for India which manually collects data from different publiclyavailable sources. This data is then compiled and put together on the web to make it easily search-able.

The main sources of data are records of various govt. departments (which the company chooses not to disclose). The website has data of over 50 million Indians on their records which include address, phone number and information about relatives and neighbors.

The company mainly provides background verification services such as matrimonial verification, domestic help verification driver verification, tenant verification and employee background verification services. The services are charged between Rs.1475 and Rs.2225 per verification service.

You can visit the website and search for your name too. In case you want your data to be removed from the website, you can see this page.

via Pi.In

Tata Docomo To Launch 3G Services This Diwali

Tata Docomo, known for bringing many firsts in the Indian Telecom industry, will now also become the first private Telecom player to launch 3g cellular services in India – this diwali. Other operators like Vodafone and Reliance are likely to announce their respective 3G services launch date soon.

Mr Deepak Gulati (President of Mobility, Tata Teleservices Ltd) said, We are all set to launch 3G services on Diwali. With this customers will have access to high speed Internet access and rich multimedia content and applications. Our partners NTT DoCoMo are leaders in 3G services and we are leveraging their expertise to bring the best to our customers.

Tata Docomo has initial plans of launching their 3G service in all the top cities of the states where Tata Docomo has presence – Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata, Haryana, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh (East). Tata Tele has also given the 3G equipment contract to Nokia Siemens and Chinese vendor Huawei.