Airtel’s Speech Recognition Based Service To Cost Rs. 2 Per Minute

Bharti Airtel has launched a new speech recognition-based service that gives it’s users access to a host of voice based services like hello tunes, news, scores all through just one number instead of calling different numbers for different services (which happens to be the current scenario).

Titled “One Number, One Voice”, this speech recognition based service can be used by subscribers by dialing 54321 from their Airtel mobile phones. Users can then all their favorite voice based services without having to remember multiple numbers. The service can distinguish between regular callers and first—time callers, thus offer them with a customised caller experience. Languages currently supported include English, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam.

This “One Number, One Voice” service has been launched by Airtel in association with Nuance Communications and has been priced at Rs. 2 per minute. Currently, it is available to Airtel customers across Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Kerala, Chandigarh and Uttar Pradesh.

via The Hindu

Meru Cabs To Provide Free Internet To Travellers In Association With MTS

We have heard about in-flight wi-fi services and internet earlier. Also there was some news about Indian Railways getting free internet connection to all passengers on all it’s express trains. However what Meru Cabs (a private cab service in the various metros of India) has announced simply sounds to be an icing on the cake. Meru Cabs has partnered with MTS Telecom to provide free internet services to all travellers using it’s cab services.

As of now the service has been launched only in New Delhi and Mumbai. However Meru Cabs plans to launch this in other major cities soon – Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

How does it Work?

If you are travelling in a Meru Cab in one of the above mentioned cities in India then all you need to do in order to get free internet service in the cab is just ask the cab driver for an MBlaze dongle.   Just plug in the data card dongle into your laptop / netbook and you will be instantly connected to the Internet with unlimited data download.

But, Will this Work?

Today most of the users in India who carry a laptop / netbook along with them have a mobile internet solution, be it the 3G or the USB internet dongles from various Internet Service Providers in India. So, when an user is already using one, installing the MTS MBlaze may be a problem on their laptops. The unlimited data plan may lure users, but then on an average travelers do not take cab rides of duration more than 1 – 1.5 hours. So, only time will tell if this initiative from MTS will really work.

Bharti To Get $5M Grant From Google For Upgrading Schools

As a part of it’s global philanthropic program, Google has announced that it will giving a grant of US$ 5 Million to Bharti Foundation in order to set up elementary education schools in India. Bharti Foundation happens to be the philanthropic unit of Bharti Enterprises Ltd which is the parent company of Bharti Airtel – One of India’s largest telecom companies.

Bharti Foundation will set up new schools and upgrade the existing schools in Northern part of India in the states: Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The schools will be named Satya Elemantary Schools. Bharti Foundation also plans to use these funds for setting up middle schools and upgrade the existing primary schools to support elementary level education.

Currently Bharti Foundation facilitates provision of basic education to poor children, especially girls, with the help of its 236 primary schools in villages and one senior secondary school. Starting from June, the foundation has plans of building 15 more primary schools and four senior secondary schools.

Wipro Launches Portal For Testing As A Service (TaaS)

Testing services have been bringing a good amount of revenue for Wipro. During 2009-10, Testing services alone accounted for   12% of Wipro’s IT services revenues. In order to tap more out of the available potential on the IT testing sector, Wipro has launched a portal for Testing as a Service (TaaS)   which will mainly cater to start-ups and small, medium businesses. With the launch of this service, Wipro feels that many new companies may now come under the Wipro fold.

The portal has 5 different services as of now and this will be increased to include 20 more services and other Wipro services by the end of this month. It has taken Wipro more than 10 months to launch this service. However, companies like Patni, HP, Cloud9 & uTest are already offering TaaS but they stick to only one TaaS offering (for e.g. cloud testing). Wipro’s TaaS service is different and covers a lot of avenues which others don’t.

Mr Gangadharaiah, SVP of Testing Services at Wipro   feels that the   TaaS portal   helps both Wipro’s   and it’s client’s employees   to share information in a better way. He also said that coaching 700 new people is a big job   and the new portal will assist in that by making all information related to Testing right at one place.

3G Update: Airtel Launching 3G In 1 Week, Karnataka Gets 3G From Tata Docomo

The 3G rollout to various parts of India has gradually begun and users all over India can now finally start experiencing fast mobile Internet speeds via 3G. Airtel has announced it’s plans of launching 3G service for it’s users in less than a week and Tata DOCOMO, after jumping onto the 3G Bandwagon quite early, has now unveiled it’s 3G services in yet another Indian state – Karnataka.

Bharti Airtel ‘s CEO Sanjay Kapoor told PTI that Airtel   will make the announcement for the commercial launch of our 3G service in next six to seven days. However he did not reveal so as to in what all circles is Airtel planning to launch this service initially. Bharti won the 3G spectrum for 13 telecom circles in India and has given contracts to Ericsson India , Nokia Siemens and Huawei to set up the necessary 3G infrastructure.

In other news, Tata Docomo increased it’s 3G presence all over India by launching it’s 3G service in three areas of Northern Karnataka, namely – Hubli, Dharwad & Belgaum. Tata Docomo’s 3G Network currently supports internet access with high speeds of 21.1 Mbps and the company plans to introduce more products and services with support of NTT DOCOMO. Raises $5M, Groupon Acquires

Looks like Internet startups are booming in India. We have two very positive news pieces today which definitely point to the fact that Indian Internet startups are not to be left behind – and is an online marketplace for used vehicles founded by Vinay Sanghi, former chief executive of Mahindra First Choice. The company (Motorexchange) just raised it’s second round of funding of $5 Million. They plan to use this capital to scale up in terms of expanding its workforce and increasing direct to consumer services. The Startup is just a year old and has been doing very good as this huge amount of funding speaks for itself.

According to Gaurav Saraf of Epiphany Ventures: is an extremely well-capitalised company and we see huge opportunity in the auto space with the Indian used vehicle market estimated to double from current levels to $40 billion in the next five years.

This was online motor vehicle exchange. Now coming to the online group buying space in India, the competition here is getting cut-throat day by day. We have now been hearing that US-based ( the big daddy of all group deal buying websites ) has acquired Kolkata-based daily deal site and the website will soon pave it’s way to becoming Groupon India. has been founded by ex-Google employees Ananya Bubna & Udayan Bubna.

India Is Now The Largest Mobile Ad Market In The APAC Region

There is no doubt that the Mobile revolution in India has come at a faster pace than the desktop / laptop revolution. Mobile devices are cheaper and thanks to the low cost mobile internet plans from operators, Mobile phones are becoming the next hot market in the Indian scenario. Research firm InMobi’s network research data shows that the volume of mobile advertisement impressions in India has grown by 22% in just three months.

Here are the important findings worth noting from the research findings:

  • The Indian mobile ad market has grown by over 1 billion impressions (+22%) in less than 3 months, making India the largest mobile ad market in the Asia Pacific region.
  • It will take a long time before smartphones land into the hands of many! The research shows that smartphones   are still nascent in the market as almost 88% of all mobile ad impressions are served only on advanced phones.
  • Nokia still leads the device race in Indian mobile market with 12 of the 15 mostly used mobile devices being manufactured by Nokia.
  • Android & iPhone OS form only a meagre .4% share of the mobile market in India.

According to James Lamberti, VP of Global Research & Marketing at InMobi:

The Indian mobile advertising market continues to show rapid growth due to the improving ad ecosystem. Major publishers are bringing their media into the mobile channel while brands are simultaneously discovering the power of mobile advertising. This healthy ecosystem along with 3G network infrastructure improvements will position India as one of the most influential mobile markets on the globe.

Quickheal To Build India-wide Database For Stolen Laptops

Quick Heal has launched a web portal –   that will help users to find the location of their lost or stolen laptops. You may be wondering that how does this service work. Well, this service totally relies on the Internet. The research team at Symantec believes that majority of the lost or stolen laptops would be, at least once, connected to the Internet and the chances for this is very high according to Symantec.

All that an user who has lost a laptop needs to do is register with and key in the physical address number (MAC) of the laptop. Some laptop vendors generally mention this number on the bill but not all do this. Users can also obtain MAC address of their laptops by other methods store it in a safe place. So, whenever a stolen or lost laptop is connected to the Internet, it’s IP address along with the location can be traced using the physical address number. However, users of Quick Heal anti-virus need not worry as the MAC Ids and other details would be automatically picked up.

The company then plans to build an extensive database of stolen or lost laptops in India using the data from and provide the cyber police of different States separate login accounts so that they can access the database for the missing computers.

Stuxnet Worm May Be Quietly Making Way Into India

Almost a couple of weeks back we told you about the possibility of Iran being infected by the Stuxnet worm after Iran’s  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad acknowledged that the Stuxnet worm could actually penetrate Iran’s nuclear facility. Well, now it looks like India is under threat from the Stuxnet worm. Internet Security Giant, Symantec has said that this Windows-specific computer worm – Stuxnet has already affected more than 10,000 Indian systems, across power units and petrochemical plants.

The actual threat to India is in the fact that the country is surrounded by hostile neighbours and tomorrow’s terror attacks could be through Stuxnet. India currently holds the third position after Iran and Indonesia among other countries which are severely affected by this computer Worm.

Shantanu Ghosh – vice-president of product operations at Symantec India has said that the Stuxnet-infected machines contact servers in Malaysia and Denmark. However he did not reveal the names of the Indian installations affected by the Stuxnet worm, in public. Symantec’s latest 2010 Critical Infrastructure Protection survey reports that almost 57% of   the companies in India are either not aware of such worms or do not have protection against the infestation of these computer worms.

Pune & Bangalore Added To Google Maps Bus Transit Info.

Google Maps has really made it easy for people who are new in a city to find out places and how to reach at their destinations. Google Maps already had transit info for Chennai, Delhi & Kolkata metro. Now two more cities – Pune & Bangalore have been added to that list.

Commuters can now find out bus routes and timings for all Vajra, Vayu Vajra and Big 10 buses that play across the Bangalore city on the Google Maps application both on desktop and mobile platforms. This service is very easy to use and helps commuters find their way around Bangalore using buses easily. Shown below is the Google Maps route from  Airport to JP Nagar via a Bus:

In addition to Bangalore, Google has also added Pune’s city bus service information to Google Maps making it the fifth Indian city to have bus transit and route information on Google Maps app for both mobile and desktop. Commuters in Pune can now easily find out bus schedules and routes for over 300 Pune Municipal corporation buses via Google Maps.