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

UN To Blackberry: Allow Government Access To Customer Data!

Looks like the Canadian telecom major, Blackberry has lost the war against Indian authorities already. Earlier we told told you about the deadline which the Indian Govt. had set for Blackberry to allow the Govt. to access consumer data. Now we have reports that the chief of the United Nation’s telecommunications agency has urged the Blackberry manufacturer to allow law enforcement agencies access customer data

The chief of UN Telecom Agency said that governments have legitimate security concerns and all governments which are engaged in the fight against terrorism (countries like India and a few more) has the right to access customer data from BlackBerry.

RIM has already agreed to provide the Saudi government access consumer data. If it now complies with India’s demands, Blackberry may end up receiving similar demands from other countries too. And if it does not, the Indian government might disable messaging support in Blackberry devices across the country.

National Broadband Plan To Be Announced By October End

According to the Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Dr J.S. Sarma the National Braodband Plan will be announced by October end. The national Broadband plan aims to reach 100 million homes by 2014 and all homes by 2020.

Mr Sarma also said   that the Government and TRAI are trying hard to execute the national objective of reaching out broadband connectivity to every home by 2020. After the National Broadband Plan was initially announced in 2004, a target of 20 million homes by 2010 was set but barely 9-10 million connections have been achieved till date which happens to be almost 50 per cent of the targeted growth.

Various issues related to the rapid expansion of the National   Broadband Plan are also being discussed such as the right speed for rural and urban areas, right of way for optical fibrecables, last mile issues, spectrum use and allocation.

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In.com Overtakes Rediff.com In Terms Of Unique Visitors

Rediff.com has been in our lives since the Internet started penetrating in India whereas the In.com group of websites are relatively new. So the natural perception happens to be that Rediff.com is bigger than In.com in terms of unique visitors worldwide. However the latest traffic data churned out by comScore has surprised all existing perceptions.

In July 2010 the number of unique visitors received by In.com stood at 15.4million which is 2 million more than Rediff.com which had 13 million unique visitors globally in the month of July, 2010. In.com already overtook Rediff.com in March 2010 for the first time getting 15.7 million unique visitors, as compared to 13.4 unique visitors on Rediff.com. And since then In.com has not looked back and has consistently remained ahead of Rediff.com.

India To Have 237M Internet Users By 2015

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) conducted a study titled ‘Internet’s New Billion’, according to which the BRICI Countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia) will have more than 1.2 billion internet users by 2015. This number happens to well above three times the combined number of internet users in Japan and the US. Among which, India only will see the number of internet users triple. Currently it is 81 million internet users and according to the reports, this number may go upto 237 million by the year 2015.

For the BRICI countries, the combined number of internet users was 610 million in 2009. According to the reports of BCG:

Internet penetration rates in the BRICI countries will experience compound annual growth of nine to 20 per cent from 2009-2015, driven predominantly by young users who will form the digital-market eco-systems that will be in place for generations to come.

In the report India has been described as a low-maturity and high growth market and the internet penetration rate in India is expected to reach 19% by 2015, up from the current 7%. Well, the next big growth is expected from the rural market where penetration of mobile phones is far less than in urban markets.

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Kerala IT Firms Mark Nordic Countries For Future Growth

While most IT professionals and companies are busy with building links and ties with US based clients for growth and future business, the small and medium IT enterprises in Kerala are however taking a different route altogether. The Group of Technology Companies (GTECH) in Kerala has identified the 4 Nordic countries – Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland as markets for future business where potential growth of the IT companies from Kerala is possible.

The US and the UK still are the current targets for the Kerala IT industry, however due to the gradual economic slowdown in these countries there is a possibility of a cut on the IT spendings of companies located there. This makes the need to look at newer markets even greater.

So Why  The Nordic Countries?

These countries viz. Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland  face demographic challenge and cost pressures to sustain their economic growth which is in turn dependent on cutting edge technology and innovation as with any sector located in any country in this world. The Kerala IT industry could play a critical role in sustaining the competitiveness of these economies by offering cost effective and quality solutions in the  emerging sectors like clean technology, health and life sciences.

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Lava B5 – First Handset To Incorporate Indian Rupee Symbol

Lava Mobiles have definitely done a great job by introducing a dedicated key for typing in the new Indian Rupee Symbol. Earlier Lava had also launched the first ever ABCDEF style keypad phone.

Here is what the Founder & Director of Lava Mobile, Mr. S.N Rai had to say during it’s launch:

We took this as challenge to ensure that Indians can type the new rupee symbol long before than the anticipated time. Around the occasion of Independence day announcing the incorporation of  the new rupee symbol in the mobile keypad will be a tribute from Lava family to the entire nation. The currency symbol on the keypad of their mobiles will make millions of Indian proud. We are happy to be the catalysts of spreading this spirit.

Acer AspireOne 532h Netbook – With Built-in Reliance Broadband

Launched in Bangalore on Thursday, Acer’s latest netbook, Aspire One532h, comes bundled with in-built Reliance Netconnect Broadband Plus which has a capability of offering high speed connectivity of up to 3.1 Mbps across 66 Indian cities. This device is really a must-have for those who work on the move. Acer has partnered with Reliance Communications to launch this netbook which comes embedded with wireless broadband.

Acer's latest netbook, Aspire One532h

The netbook is Priced at INR 19,499   and comes with two months of complimentary usage of integrated and in-built Reliance NetConnect Broadband Plus worth INR 2,198. The netbook has good hardware and is capable of running rich media applications like video conferencing, video streaming, electronic surveillance, online multi-player games and heavy file transfers.

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Tally India Launches Job Platform For Tally Students

Tally India Job PlatformTill this date, it is still an irony that today on the one hand, millions of students pass out of colleges but many remain unemployed and on the other hand there are 8 million small medium businesses in India who continue to search for the right employee with the best talent. Tally India, a Bangalore based business software company has realised this and has launched a platform to help young graduates and freshers to connect to prospective employers.

Tally has launched a new option which enables every student subscriber to upload their resume, thus community visibility for the across to more than 2 million Tally users all over India. This new facility has been termed as Student Subscription. According to the president of Tally Solutions, Mr. Avinash Gupta:

Students subscription is an interface between industry and applicants. The student can assess his skills, learn, take mock tests as well as apply for jobs under one banner. This initiative will provide seamless availability of the right talent to the right employer as well as enable a better employment opportunity for qualified candidates.

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Vodafone Launches Solar Powered Mobile Phone

The launch of VF 247 solar powered phone is in keeping with Vodafone’s aim to increase mobile technology accessibility for millions in India. With an extended solar powered battery, the solar powered phone addresses the problem of unstable electricity supply in many rural areas. VF 247 solar powered phone charges by itself, by exposure to ambient light. Sun Boost, the special in-built hardware and software ensures that the phone charges also in a room, under normal daylight.

The new handset uses a solar powered solution to benefit users in areas with adequate sunlight and is priced at Rs. 1300 approx ($32). Given the fact that Vodafone’s rural network coverage of 65 per cent is the second highest in India, the launch of a solar charging handset will definitely make up for the unavailability of electricity in the rural areas of the country, making it really easy to charge mobile handsets.

via Digitizor

Indians Use More Notebooks (and Netbooks) Than Desktops [Report]

ITOPS – an IT Hardware study and research report in India released by MAIT – the apex body representing India’s IT hardware has come out with Computer Hardware sales figures for the year 2009 2010. The reports compare sales figures of various computer hardware and peripherals to that of the previous years.

Notebook sales graph

The graph above shows the sales figures for notebook computers (and netbooks) for the last six years. If you take into consideration the last 4 years, you can clearly see that the laptop (notebook & netbook) sales have definitely grown at a very healthy pace. While 850k notebooks were sold in 06-07, the sales numbers tripled over last 4 years to 2.5 million units. (via Trak.in)

Desktop Sales graph

The graph above shows the desktop sales. Although the laptop sales volume per year is nothing as compared to the Desktop sale volumes, but the graph clearly shows that there has been no growth in the sales of desktops from past years and the sales remain steady. (via Trak.in)

No doubt, the increase in usage of notebook has come at the expense of desktops, but it is a good sign that Indians are gradually moving into the mobile world. Notebooks are more energy efficient than desktops and prove to be more useful too!

Tough New Security Rules For Indian Telecom Operators

The DoT (Dept. of Telecommunications) in India has  laid down strict new telecom security rules which may put the onus on operators to ensure that their networks are secure from every sense. Failure to meet the new requirements can lead to carriers being 500 Million rupees and the carriers could also have their contract canceled. These rules were issued in the form of a license amendment and are intended to resolve security fears over the foreign-built networks, and in particular those from Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE.
The DoT also said that operators are completely and totally responsible for security of their networks and must conduct a security audit on each deployment of routers, switches, VoIP installation and other network gear. Operators are also expected to provide location details of mobile customers within up to 50 meters. The new rules require operators to outline their security plans to the government within 30 working days.

India To See IPv6 By 2012

Like many other countries in the world, India too is running out of IP addresses on IPv4. This problem of IP address crunch is likely to get more fierce with the upcoming rollout of 3G and broadband wireless access (BWA) services in the country.Well, we as Internet users need not worry at all. According to a new roadmap released by the Indian government, India will start using IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) – a technology that offers more IP address space than what IPv4 provides currently,   from March 2012.

All telecom and ISPs are required to be IPv6-compliant by the end of next year and offer IPv6 services thereafter, the government said in a statement issued on Wednesday by the country’s Press Information Bureau. The switching process will start with Federal and state government ministries and departments and public sector companies who will adopt these new IPv6 services by March 2012.

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Infosys Adopts Social Media Policies At Work To Curb Leaks

Early this year Infosys had introduced a new management system – ‘iRace’ aimed at remapping the technology skills of it’s employees. iRace attracted unprecedented opposition from Infosys employees on the web via public forums like Facebook and Twitter, often making personal attacks. There also have been numerous instances where two employees working on a same project have shared sensitive data on Facebook.

Now, Infosys Technologies plans to introduce a social media policy next month making it the first Indian company to introduce such a policy. These polocies will help Infosys   to take legal action against employees who leak confidential project / company information on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Orkut.

According to the senior vice-president and group head, Human Resources, at Infosys – Nandita Gurjar – “The social media policy we plan to introduce will talk about the dos and donts of an employee participating in social media. It is like a code of conduct which aims at stopping the employees from sharing confidential and sensitive company information on unprotected places like social networking sites”.

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Indiatimes Launches HiBuddy – Voice Based Social Mobile Web!

Social Media on the Web is booming and People Connect is the new mantra. And given the fact that Mobile Web consumption is on a rise these days, Indiatimes.com has just done an apt thing by launching a voice-based social networking and blogging platform called ‘HiBuddy’ (http://hibuddy.in) for mobile phone users.

HiBuddy will enables mobile phone users to create their own profile and network of friends, send voice messages and also record their voice posts or clippings to be shared with or accessed by other members. For creating a profile users need to call a number (58888199) and follow the interactive voice response (IVR) system. After this users can add friends and record voice clips.Users will receive SMS notifications for any new updates.

Initially, the platform will be made available only to users of Reliance Mobile. Later, it will be accessible with other mobile service providers as well. The downside of this service from Indiatimes is that it is not free. Users have to pay Rs 15 every month as subscription fee and Re 1 per minute as voice charges for accessing HiBuddy.

Rs.2000 Cr Goodies For Village Panchayats: Courtesy DoT

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has plans of offering a plethora of freebies to all gram panchayats. These include three broadband connections for every gram panchayat absolutely free of any charge for three years along with free installation of computers and a printer. Not only this, the DoT also plans to provide the panchayats with three telephone connections and one cable TV connection again without any charge.

All this will cost the DoT about Rs 2,000 crore. However all this money will be funded through the Universal Services Obligation fund. This move is basically aimed at helping the rural people experience and relate to benefits of broadband. The DoT is also hoping that the freebies will also soften up villagers to give unobstructed right of way to rollout the infrastructure.

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