Virgin Mobile India Launches GSM


Virgin Mobile, known for its get talktime for incoming callshas now announced the launch of its GSM services in India, starting with five southern cities. Virgin Mobile is already offering CDMA service in the country through Tata. It sounds like a wise decision as GSM in India huge compared to CDMA. At the end of September 09, 371 million subscribers used GSM, in contrast to 101 million subscribers using CDMA, according to TRAI.

“We are making a big change in our business by entering GSM, which is much bigger play compared to what we were earlier. Along with that kind of bigger play, some kind of ‘signal’, to show that we have entered, is also very important. And the use of ambassadors is one such step,” Prasad Narasimhan, chief marketing officer, Virgin Mobile tells afaqs!.

Virgin Mobile has roped in rather hot bollywood jodi’ Ranbir Kapoor and Genelia D’souza, who also featured together in a bollywood movie Chance Pe Dance’. Regarding the decision, Narasimhan says, “In the two, we have an extremely good fit for our brand, in not only what we are, but also what we want to be going forward in GSM — which is being the ultimate network for friends to be on. Kapoor is one of the desired guys today, and similarly, D’Souza is known as a next-door, fun-loving girl. And both of them are popular, affluent with recognized faces.”


These faces perfectly fit in for the brand as Virgin Mobile, which is also known for its whacky advertisements, had previously too targeted the youngsters. Virgin will also lower its call rates and SMS rates fueling yet another tariff war in the industry.

Vodafone Launches Per Second World Calling Cards


Calling Internationally has never been so cheap. Vodafone has now taken the plunge to launch everything per second. Vodafone now offers to per second billing offer to its prepaid and postpaid subscribers.

Kumar Ramanathan Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone Essar said, We are pleased to announce the launch of World Calling Cards with per second charging. A first in the industry, the new Vodafone World Calling Card offers customers greater convenience, good value for money and seamless connectivity with family and friends in India and abroad.

With this vouchers you can call US/Canada, Gulf, Europe, China, South East Asia, Australia/ NZ for cheap with per second billing. Also, with this voucher you can make STD calls at 1paisa/second, much cheaper than getting STD vouchers.

You can earn free talk time by sending us tips which we will publish here, read more about how you can earn free talktime at Techie Buzz.


MTNL Delhi Launches Vidyarthi Plan


MTNL Delhi, today announced the launch of new Trump Vidyarthi Plan offering Free unlimited intranet local calls and SMSes, free 3G service. This plan can be availed by all new and existing subscribers.

Plan Details:

Voucher: Rs.350/- for New subscribers and Rs.310/- for existing subscribers
Validity: 30 days
Benefits: Local calls to other networks will be charged 50 paise per minute while STD calls will be charged 75 paise per minute. Local video calls will be charged 20 paise per minute while STD video calls to be charged 75 paise per minute. It also offers Rs 106, free 100 local video calls and 100 MB GPRS/3G data usage
Circle: Delhi

11 Digit Mobile Number Might Arrive Sooner Than Expected

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, TRAI, released a new consultation paper on Efficient Utilization of Numbering Resources. The previously proposed National Numbering Plan (NNP) 2003 was planned to take care of Mobile Numbering needs for the next 30 years and for around 750 Million subscribers in India. Telecom industry in India is steadily growing much faster than expected, resulting in shortage of Numbering system to the connections.

Year Subscribers in Million















March-10529 (expected)


We already crossed 400 Million telecom subscribers in February 2009 and are expected to cross 529 Million subscribers by the end of 2010. If this trend continues to grow India may cross the 750 Million limit much sooner (by 2014) than expected. But the change in numbering would involve added costs and maybe inconvenient to the end users. TRAI and Stakeholders are now to share view points on whether to continue with the existing 10 digitnumbering plan or migrate to 11 digit for fixed as well as mobile connections. But for Long term benefit, it would be better to take some action rather than planning at the last moment.

Vodafone Introduces Advisory Service


Have you ever wondered which is the right data/call plan for you? Or the current plan satisfies your needs? Many a times, people waste money on call plans just because of ignorance about the best suited plans for them. Vodafone Essar has now launched a new advisory service’ for the prepaid and postpaid customers to help you chose the right plan.

You could simply call on 121, which is a toll free number and gain guidance on which plan to opt for as per your usage pattern. As for the prepaid subscribers, this service could help you know suitable tariff offer, right recharge & bonus vouchers and also customize current offer   as per your usage. For postpaid customers, the service can help you   know the best suited plan, bill details and new offers.

This service is not only limited to help you chose a right plan for your needs but will also help you getting more information about other Value Added Services (VAS) and promotional offers. We hope other operators follow the suit and introduce such advisory service on their network too.

Indian Telecom Weekly Roundup 1


Here I will post weekly roundup of the happenings in the Indian Telecom Industry. I will try to do this a weekly thing as much as possible in coming weeks. 

Call Rates

With Tata Docomo entering the Indian market with its per second billing scheme, it was inevitable for other telecom operators to ignore Tata Docomos success. Not only has it introduced healthy competition but also has helped in to the reduce costs of SMS, calls and other services. Aircel and Vodafone launched new voucher schemes with call rates as cheap as 10p to 50p.

3G Technology

3G auctions were to be held on 15th Jan 2010, which yet again got delayed cause of the differences between the Defence Forces and the Communications Ministry are again coming in the way of arrival of 3G. A meeting Between the Defense communication professionals and Communications Minister didn’t really bring the desired outcome. The chairman will make certain decision or another round of consultations may be held. So, expect 3G auctions to be delayed for few more weeks now.

Though, 3G auction is getting delayed endlessly, the good news is Telecom operators are preparing themselves for the 3G technology. If all the telecom operators become technically ready to accommodate 3G, they might help in bringing the new technology soon (??).

Customer Serivce

With Telecommunication industry growing at more than 100% every month, the customers never really had a better customer service experience. Tata teleservices introduced a new initiative where in user can Call and Buy Photon Plus on a toll free number 1800 420 8282 1800 420 8282. We hope they continue to provide such service even after getting the connection.

The next roundups will include more detailed analysis.

Vodafone Offers All Local and STd Calls At 50p

Since everyone is getting into the 1 paisa per second call rate bandwagon, Vodafone isn’t too behind either. Vodafone has introduced new STD vouchers. This offer perfectly suits for those who make many long distance as well as local calls.


Plan Details:

Rental: Rs.52/-
Validity: 1 year
Benefits: All Local and STD calls at just 50 paise for 365 days at a very affordable rental.
Circle: Mumbai/Maharashtra.

You can earn free talk time by sending us tips which we will publish here, read more about how you can earn free talktime at Techie Buzz.

Is Aircel Getting Ready For 3G?

As we are already aware of the fact that 3G auctions in India have experienced numerous delays, the government has yet again  given out official date for the auctions this month. This might get delayed again, but we are pretty sure that 3G auctions are going to be held very soon. You may ask, how? Well, Aircel has now offloaded its towers to GTL, an Indian communications infrastructure operator, for around $1.84bn.


GTL will take over 17,500 existing towers and will take over rights to roll out 20,000 more. We are pretty sure that this move by Aircel might be replicated by various other operators. It is good to see that operators have finally started taking few steps towards the launch of 3G network in India. Aircel has around 30 million subscribers to its base which might soon enjoy the 3G speed.

Not only has Aircel sold its towers but also is getting ready with its own app store. Infosys, India’s second-largest IT company will be developing this app store which will use its white label app store platform Flypp to power the shop front. However, it is to be soon how does this app store fairs before and after the launch of 3G.

Python For S60v5 2.0 Now Available

Nokia has pushed Python for S60 2.0 update via the built-in App update utility for Nokia 5800 and the Software Update Utility for Nokia N97/N97 Mini. Along with the Python for S60, Nokia has also pushed a sample Python app named Scribble.

Python for S60 is Nokia’s port of the Python language to the S60 smartphone platform. In addition to the standard features of the Python language, PyS60 provides access to many of the phone’s uniquely smartphone-y functions, such as camera, contacts, calendar, audio recording and playing, TCP/IP and Bluetooth communications and simple telephony.

5800N97 software updates

If you liked the sample app Scribblethat Nokia is providing with the python for S60 update, you might want to check the pyS60 application heaven. But make sure it’s compatible with s60v5 as the port api code for s60v3 and s60v5 are different, So many apps that are actually built for s60v3 won’t run on 5800/N97/N97 Mini.

And The Most Pathetic Design Award Goes To.. Motorola Backflip/ Enzo

Phandroid, recently leaked few of the Motorola Backflip / Enzo pictures. This is supposed to be AT&T’s first Android based phone. Before I give you my two cents, grab a look at the design.


The screen is back flips and so the name Motorola Backflip.


Since both sides of the phone keyboard and the screen (touchscreen) are responsive I wonder how effectively the phone can prevent damage when flipped into pockets. Touchscreen is said to be very responsive. The QWERTY keyboard too doesn’t quite convince me. From the pictures, it looks like the keys would pop out if I even touch them, forget pressing.

The camera resides on the backside of the phone, which is also occupied by the keyboard. Though, I am not a huge fan of this arrangement of the camera and the keyboard, I can see only one advantage to this No need for secondary camera for video calling. You could just flip the keyboard and there goes your camera which you can use it for video calling.


As you can see from the above picture, Motorola Backflip runs on Android 1.5 which surprises me as Verizon’s Droid is already using Android 2.0. Why would AT&T still use Android 1.5 when a better firmware is available.

AT&T customizations includes:

  • Yahoo! Search
  • AT&T Nav
  • AT&T Music
  • AT&T Mobile App store (ringtones, little games, etc…)

Apart from Google Maps, none of the Google goodies would be loaded. Like seriously? And Yahoo search? What were they thinking?


  • 528 MHz Qualcomm MSM7201A
  • 512 MB ROM
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 3.1 inch display 320 x 480 (HVGA)
  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • WiFi / Bluetooth 2.0 / GPS
  • OS Android 1.5 with Motoblur
  • GSM 850/900/1800/1900 W-CDMA 850/900/1700/1900/2100
  • Reverse flip keyboard
  • Rear directional touchpad