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

MTNL Launches Push-Mail Service In Association With Bharat Berry

Remember Bharat Berry? It was launched by a Jaipur based company to offer consumers with push e-mail services when there were talks about Govt.’s proposed permanent ban on Blackberry’s messaging and voice services in India. We have already told you about Bharat Berry when it was initially launched.

Now, MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.) has partnered with Bharat Berry to provide it’s customers in Delhi and Mumbai with various services such as Push Mail, Calendar and Contacts Sync. These services can be availed by any MTNL subscriber irrespective of the handsets they use. The basic requirements for Bharat Berry are that the handset should be java enabled and should have support for GPRS. Handsets supported include many from Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, LG, BlackBerry & HTC.

Packages & Pricing

Users can opt for either of e-mail or contact/calender sync services which are priced at Rs 50 each per month. However, a combo subscription for both the services is also available at Rs. 80 per month. Users can also opt for a free three month trial of Bharat Berry’s push mail services.

Private Fashion Sales Portal 99Labels.com Raise $3.5M From Info Edge

Like we have already said in the past, e-commerce is really a hot entity in India right now. Info Edge India – the founders of India’s most successful job portal Naukri.com has invested $3.5 Million (close to 15.75 Crore Indian Ruppees) in 99Labels.com – an online private fashion sales portal.

99labels specialises in event based online sales for a limited time period which includes fashion-wear, accessories, jewelry, lifestyle products, furniture and much more and prices are upto 90% off label prices. This is some thing with websites like fashionandyou.com have been already doing.

99labels plans to use these funds in order to increase the their international brand offerings and use innovative ways to create awareness amongst consumers – both online and offline. Ishita Swarup, CEO, 99Labels.com said that they are really excited about this new alliance and look forward to a productive, innovative and supportive partnership with Infoedge.

India Ranks 21st Among 25 Developing Nations On The Broadband Connectivity Scorecard

The broadband internet connection scenario in India is deteriorating gradually. If you are finding hard to believe this then you do not have any other option than believing this. India ranks very poorly on the list of 25 developing nations which were the part of a new global report as compiled and published by Nokia Siemens Networks.

Here are a few noteworthy points from the report:

  • India’s broadband penetration rate, which is measured as number of subscribers per 100 households is around one eighth of the rate that has been achieved in China.
  • India does not perform well even when it comes to Mobile internet penetration and lies behind even the Latin American countries when it comes to Mobile internet.
  • India has a score of 1.25 on the Broadband Connectivity Scorecard whereas Malaysia and Chile have have got a score of 6 which almost 4 times that of India’s score.
  • The four countries which India ranks ahead of are Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Kenya respectively.

Akamai Technologies, an internet company that addresses problems associated with the Internet such as performance, security and scalability has found out in a separate report that there has been a 9.1% overall decrease in internet connection speeds. By the end of 2010, almost 35 per cent of all internet connections in India metered an average speed of 256 kbps.

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Reliance Communications Launches Mobile Banking In Association With SBI

Mobile banking in India is slowly catching up as various service providers are tie-ing up different banks in order to provide banking services to their customers right on their finger tips. Reliance communications also announced the launch of it’s mobile banking services for its GSM subscribers.

This mobile banking service is in collaboration with the State Bank of India(SBI) which means as of now only those customers having an active banking account with State Bank of India will be able to use the mobile banking facility on Reliance. These facilities include account balance enquiry, mini statement, fund transfer, cheque book issuance, mobile recharge and bill payment at any time just by using a mobile phone.

The best part is customers are not required to download any specific application in order to access the banking services on their phones. However, users be required to register for the services with SBI, after which the services will be commenced by the bank. All users have to do is just dial *595# on their phone which will show simple menu choices on the screen and users are required to key in their choices.

CCAvenue Payment Gateway Hacked By SQL Injection

Reports have started pouring in that CCAvenue, India’s largest payment gateway has been hacked and all the administrator passwords of various merchants using CCAvenue has been stolen in the process. The method of hack which was used in this is sadi to be SQL Injection. Such incidents are not at all expected from a company which happens to be the basis of lot of online e-commerce businesses.

The hackers have managed to lay their hands on all administrative passwords at CCAvenue, list of various databases and some information on tables within the databases. This was revealed by a portal called Hackerregiment which received an e-mail from a hacker with the screenshots suggesting that all administrator passwords at CCAvenue may have been leaked.

However, the CEO of CCAvenue has a different story to tell. He says that netbanking and non-credit cards related transactions form to be more than 85-90% of the overall transactions on CCAvenue. During these transactions, CCAvenue does not store any such important information on their servers and merely acts as a redirector.

Shemaroo Launches Free Bollywood Movies On Youtube

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get to watch all your favorite Bollywood (hindi) movies online for free? Well, I don’t think anyone will say no to this. However if you think that we are going to tell you about illegal ways of watching Hindi movies online then this post is not for you.

Bollywood films distributor – Shemaroo has taken a unique initiative to put good hindi movies online including golden oldies and latest flicks so that users can easily see their favorite movies without much hassle. In order to make this happen, Shemaroo has created an exclusive video channel on Youtube called Shemaroo Movies. The channel has full length videos of various Bollywood films which users can view for free.

Currently the channel has around 20 titles ans Shemaroo has plans of expanding it gradually with more movies. The best part about it is that they have the right mix of current blockbusters as well as all time classic movies. Short 5 – 6 second in video advertisements which play at regular intervals while watching the movies is how Shemaroo is planning to generate revenue from these online movies.

One concern which I had while viewing movies on the Channel is that, it is very easy to download videos from Youtube using already available online video download tools. These might prompt certain users to download the movies from the Shemaroo channel (meant for viewing online). So, in a way is this not promoting video piracy? Do let us know about your thoughts in the comments section below.

Cricket Fuels 50% Mobile Downloads In India: BuzzCity Report

Cricket is no doubt one of the most hyped happenings throughout in India. Not only a lot of businesses in India thrive around the sport but a lot of them (whose business is not related to sports) use Cricket as means of garnering users and new customers. Mobile Advertisement Network BuzzCity has come up with their quarterly report which again proves that India is one of the fastest mobile markets.

According to the report published by BuzzCity, India topped the ad-impressions table with an increase of 44% in the ad-impressions volume in Q1, 2011 as compared to that in Q4, 2010. This shows how more and more Indian users are jumping to mobile web content via various applications and internet.

India also topped the Game / Mobile App downloads rankings table with almost 15 Million apps / games download for mobile phones. This is a whopping 26% growth as compared to the last quarter. Most of the mobile apps and games that were downloaded were Cricket centric and 50% of game downloads in India were related to cricket. Advertisers and
developers have taken this advantage and launched various cricket-themed applications, games and marketing campaigns and have tasted success!

JantaKhoj Launches Online Background Checks For Domestic Help & Drivers In India

JantaKhoj.com – India’s first complete people search engine has launched a new service in association with BabaJob.com that has an indirect potential of reducing crime rates in the cities. BabaJob is already a famous job portal which lets professionals and executives find bottom-of-the-pyramid informal sector workers like maids, cooks, drivers without any hassle.

Now, this association between BabaJob and Jantakhoj will enable credible domestic help and driver background verifications online using which users availing services of Babajob can find out criminal record, reference, employment, address, driving license and education verification before hiring new maids, cooks or drivers. Lots of crimes such as theft and murders are committed in cities as a result of hiring con-men who do not have proper background verifications.

Babajob ultimately relies on candidates to self-report their information on their site. The reason of partnering with JantaKhoj is the specific expertise in verifications in the informal sector and the reach of JantaKhoj that extends throughout India. The partnership will help current users of Babajob do more thorough background checks before hiring domestic help or drivers assuring them peace of mind.

via WATPR

FirstCry.com Raises $4 Million: Kid e-Commerce Hot In India?

E-Commerce is definitely one of the hottest avenues today in the Indian Internet Market. Well, another new niche seems to have joined the already hot e-commerce sector in India. It’s the e-commerce in the Kids section. A lot of websites are coming up in India which aim to be one stop online shop for all your baby’s needs like toys, kindergarten education, care etc.

FirstCry.com is one such website based out of Pune which has more than 4000 products listed on their website from over 300 brands. The age group which this website plans to cater is for 0-14 year olds.Well, the company behind FirstCry.com recently announced that they have raised $4 Million in it’s first round of funding from SAIF Partners. The company plans to use these funds to ramp up it’s operations and hire new strength.

Off, we have seen a lot of websites which are catering to purchasing baby products online such as balgopal.com and babyoye.com. According to the India head of SAIF Partners there is a lot of demand for kids and babycare goods in India and anyone launching a babycare goods portal can expect 300-400 transactions per day in first six months.

Nokia’s Ovi Pushmail Banned In India

The Department of Telecom (DoT) in India has pulled the plug on Nokia’s Push e-mail service and has asked various telecom service providers to deny or disable user access to Nokia’s pushmail or the powermail Ovi service until Nokia comes up with a legal monitoring system for various defence and security agencies.

This decision comes amidst the Government’s decision to ban all Blackberry services in India. According to the Ministry of Home affairs’ communication to the Department of Telecom, the deptt. is requested to advice the Telecom Service Providers not to launch Nokia’s proposed pushmail/powermail service without putting in place monitoring facilities to the satisfaction of the LEAs.

This news definitely comes as a shock to Nokia as it may lose major user base given the fact that nearly 50 per cent of Nokia’s E Series business phones which are sold in India get activated primarily for e-mails. Nokia’s ovi Pushmail service allows mobile users to manage multiple email accounts on Yahoo!, Gmail, Rediff to Sify at once.