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

Private Telcos May Use BSNL’s Network To Provide Broadband Access

Currently it is only BSNL that provides broadband internet facilities in rural areas of India. However, things are going to change soon. In order to make broadband internet available to millions of subscribers, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has suggested that BSNL’s   last-mile copper lines could be unbundled to private operators.

BSNL has a huge and extensive copper network that caters to 30 million subscribers and this can be ramped up to support millions of more customers. Since BSNL’s fixed line subscribers are gradually declining, unbundling the last-mile local loop in the copper lines will allow private operators to use BSNL’s nationwide fixed line network for offering broadband services to more customers.

Doing this has two benefits. First is, it will bring in additional revenue for BSNL and the Second benefit is that more new consumers can now expect to use fast broadband internet connection. The DoT has also suggested that the excess capacity should be provided to the private players only after BSNL’s own requirement is met.

Hong Kong Wants More Indian IT Firms To Set Shop In Their Country

Not only is US aware of India’s IT expertise and ability. Even countries in the western part of the world are aware of it. In a recent interview with Simon Galpin, director-general of InvestHK, he said that Hong Kong feels it has strong economic ties with India and wants more Indian IT companies to start business in Hong Kong.

More than 1,500 Indian companies are already doing business in Hong Kong and this number is expected to go up. The Indian economy is expanding gradually and markets like Hong Kong can provide Indian businesses a conducive environment. However the major Indian companies doing business in Hong Kong include Indian Banks, airlines and other enterprises. This is one of the main reasons why Hong Kong wants more Indian IT countries in Hong Kong.

via TOI, Image via SpicyIP

Encrypted SIM Cards Coming Soon To India For Safer Communication

India is witnessing a huge growth in mobile banking and net banking on the mobile phone. In order to make sure the consumers are protected from mis-happenings while using these modern media of transactions, the Govt. of India has allowed the use of proxy SIM cards carrying digital certificates for mobile phones. This allows secure communication over SMSes and email and these digital certificates provide another layer of authentication on mobile communication.

According to the Controller of Certifying Authority of India, Mr. N Vijayaditya the govt. is recommending the  certification  of proxy SIM cards with digital certificates. These are very easy to use and can be inserted on top of regular SIM cards. Use of these digital certificates can make mobile banking and mobile transactions secure.

via Tech2

“BharatBerry” Launched To Counter BlackBerry Services In India

So what, if the Indian Government finally decides to shut down BlackBerry services in the country. Rajasthan based Data Infosys has launched a solution for all blackberry users. Titled “BharatBerry”, this product is a mobile communication service that works with all blackberry phones and provides more advance push mail with over the air (OTA) backup of your Contact, Task, Calendar and notes.

BharatBerry also provides Sync to your outlook. The Bharat Berry software can be purchased online and available for downloaded from the website www.bharatberry.com. For enabling access to all services including e-mails, users will be charged Rs.100 per month, while to ensure access and synchronisation of calendar and contacts the user will have to pay Rs.50 per month. BharatBerry is an Indian compliant Product made in India keeping in consideration all necessary India laws.

The Bharat Berry service on a BlackBerry handset ensures that you remain connected to your email, calendar and contacts through the servers hosted in India, Bharat Berry works through a mix of its very advanced email server known as XGeNPlus, and open source technologies. BharatBerry’s servers are hosted in India, hence there is no compliance issue. The software will be targeted on BlackBerry handsets and by next month. BharatBerry is also supported on all major mobile handsets based on Symbian, Android, Windows Mobile and J2ME, which will cover all major mobile handset providers like Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, etc.

Vodafone To Set Up Global R&D Centre in India

Lot of big companies around the world leverage Indian IT expertise to give their businesses a lead over others. UK-based mobile operator Vodafone is now planning to set up a global applications research and development (R & D) centre in India in order to leverage on the expertise in India.

Mr Marten Pieters, the Managing Director of Vodafone Essar said that Vodafone is already in the process of setting up an application centre in India. India being such a big centre for IT, technology and application development, Vodafone is looking forward to leverage this not only for their Indian operations, but also for the rest of the world.

Opening this R&D Center in India will open new opportunities for development firms and generate more jobs. Also experienced programmers from different avenues will have a good chance to change their service line and do something new.

Indian Businesses Are The Highest Users Of Web 2.0: Survey

A global survey was conducted by a research firm Vanson Bourne and US-based Purdue University’s CERIAS research group covering 17 developed and emerging nations. It was found in this survey that these 17 developed and emerging countries are the ones who use Web 2.0 the most for businesses. Even a better finding was that India is at the top of these 17   nations where Web 2.0 is used by businesses.

According to a McAfee director, Mr. Ambarish Deshpande in India, market pressure is a big driver for firms to adopt web 2.0 in their businesses. Around 78 per cent of McAfee’s respondents from India cited interaction with customers and partners as the primary reason for adoption of Web 2.0. However, incremental benefits at low costs is also another reason that has lead 75 per cent of Indian firms to use web 2.0.

Other reasons for taking to these web 2.0 services such as Twitter , YouTube and Facebook include ease in performing IT functions, public relations, sales, marketing and customer service. It was also found that businesses in emerging economies like India and Brazil lead when it comes to adoption of web 2.0, while those in the US, UK, Australia and Canada are not so active on web 2.0.

via The Economic Times

Hyderabad To Host WWW Conference, 2011

The World Wide Web (WWW) conference for the year 2011 (WWW2011) will be held at Hyderabad from March 28 to April 1, 2011. This conference is held anually is attended by thinkers and most influential people on the web in order to take stock of the new developments and trends shaping the web.

The theme for 2011’s WWW conference is ‘Web for all‘ which is aimed at promoting the all-inclusive aspect of the Web. The event will hosted by the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore, in association with International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad and IIT Bombay. Here is a quick look at the registration charges in case you are interested to visit this conference.

Online registration for the conference can be done from eregnow.com/?www2011.

Tihar Jail Launches Website To Showcase Jail Inmates’ Productive Work

Who said criminals do not reform? The Tihar Jail administration recently launched a website – TiharTJ.nic.in in order to showcase the various consumer goods produced by the jail inmates and to promote the ‘TJ’ brand online. The products manufactured by the Tihar Jail inmates are spread over a vast range consisting of bakery, handloom & textile, apparel, furniture, mustard oil, paintings, paper products and other miscellaneous products.

The Jail authority has also included information about where these products can be purchased and the administration is also looking at plans of selling the products online. These products are marketed under a brand called ‘TJ’.

iDuple: Another Indian Internet Tablet – 5 Sec. Boot Time, 50GB Cloud Storage

We have already told you about a lot of Internet tablets from India. Here is iDuple for you – yet another Indian tablet PC but this one is with a difference! This tablet from iDuple basically has one app – just a web browser. It does not have a hard drive and the tablet boots in just 5 seconds.

So does the lack of a hard drive mean you can’t install apps, store files, and perform other activities that you do on a PC? No, because the iDuple tablet is designed in such a away that when you turn it on, the tablet remotely connects you to a server that runs a virtual operating system.This mean you will be requiring an always-on internet connection just for turning on the tablet.

Actually the OS, your storage and your apps – everything is in the cloud. This way the tablet won’t require a lot of storage or a fast processor to handle resource-intensive applications as they’re   run by a remote server. This is a valid reason for the price of the tablet to be on the lower side. However you do need a pretty good internet connection for using the tablet. Users also get 50GB of cloud-based storage space for their files. You can take a look of the virtual OS that is being run on the tablet, here: iduple.com/webtop.

Sony Playstation Store Goes Live In India, Officially!

The wait for all Sony Playstation lovers and aficionados is finally over. Sony has now officially launched the Playstation store in India. You can download full games for your Sony Playstation starting from Rs 225 for the Sony PS3 and Rs 170 onwards for the PSP (Playstation Portable) and the PSP Go. The games which you purchase from the Playstation store can be used on 5 other activated Playstation consoles.

The subscription service for the Playstation store – called the PlayStationPlus gives the users access to premium content, discounts, services and early access to beta trials and demos, free games and downloads. The annual subscription charges are Rs. 2850 and with this subscription users can avail content worth approximately Rs. 14, 000 absolutely free. There is also a 90 day subscription package for a sum of Rs. 885 in which the user can avail content worth approximately Rs. 6500 free.

Image via GamersHerald

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.

Image courtesy

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.

Image Courtesy

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.