Huawei is trying hard to convince the Indian government that its telecom gear does not pose a security threat to India. And as a part of it’s efforts in doing so, Huawei pans to establish a state-of-the-art cyber security centre in India where Indian law enforcement agencies and technical experts from the telecom department and home ministry can test their end-to-end core equipment, hardware and software solutions sold to local mobile phone companies.
Huawei also said that various national security agencies will also be allowed to look for malware, spyware, trapdoors and even assess to see if Huawei’s gear can be remotely managed. Huawei has recently set up a similar center in UK and feels this model could be replicated in India too.
According to a Huawei India spokesperson:
We have not discussed this yet with the Indian government as it is a very new initiative from Huawei to comprehensively address the security issue at an international level, which includes India. We will surely look at ways of trying to incorporate the positives from our new UK initiative and try to localise them for India.
Earlier today, the CBI website was hacked by Pakistani Cyber Army in retaliation against the hack by Indian Cyber Army on 35 Pakistani government websites. However, it looks like the CBI website is currently not functioning and has been taken down.
The Pakistani Cyber Army had intimated us through email about the CBI website being hacked along with 270 other smaller Indian websites. The CBI website was the only government website to be hacked and there were no other causalities.
It is not clear whether the CBI website was taken down intentionally or whether their servers had issues because of the heavy traffic they got because of the CBI website being hacked news.
We will keep you updated on how things progresses so stay tuned for it.
We have already told you about the RIM (Blackberry) – Govt. Of India episode where RIM was asked to allow Indian security agencies to access encrypted Blackberry messenger and e-mail data, to which RIM was constantly opposing the Govt.’s demand. Now it seems that other telecom players have already started feeling the heat.
Nokia announced on Thursday that it would install a mail and chat server in India which will enable law enforcement agencies to intercept email, messenger services and other data sent through Nokia devices. Nokia says that this move will keep it safe in the country as it has conformed with all requirements suggested by the law enforcement agencies, by allowing them access.
Well the strange part is on one hand the Indian Home Ministry is yet to receive a response from RIM (Blackberry) for a similar request and on the other hand Nokia has already taken the required steps without even being asked to. Here is an official statement from Nokia:
We have installed Nokia Messaging servers, which includes authentication and enterprise servers, in India on November 5. Nokia is fully committed to protecting its users’ privacy and maintaining their trust, while at the same time fulfilling its public responsibility and legal obligations.”
Apple has quietly started shipping it’s most celebrated tablet device – iPad to India. And if you still thought Apple iPad is yet to be available officially in India, better check again! Many Apple’s franchisees in India have just started selling iPads. However there is a catch to it – you have to buy the iPads in bulk.
The Economic Times did it’s own follow ups and found out that an Apple reseller at Delhi’s Connaught Place has already supplied bulk orders to corporates like HCL, IndiaBulls, Protiviti and Bajaj Hindustan. The price currently quoted is Rs 33,000 for a 16GB model and Rs 54,000 for a 64GB 3G model. This includes with warranty and the pay invoice. The dealer also said that they supplied 25 pieces to IndiaBulls. In order to place the bulk order, you have to give the dealer a two days notice period and an advance payment.
The fact that Apple resellers in India are currently selling the iPads to corporate customers and that too in bulk became more concrete when The Economic Times got in touch with another store at Noida’s Sector 18 which initially said that iPads haven’t been launched in India. But when the same store was approached later as a corporate customer the store said they will source the iPads from Hong Kong through an importer.
Although India may be a among the top countries where software piracy is on the rise but a recent Microsoft study has revealed that a majority of Indians buy genuine software. A global study conducted by software major Microsoft recently points us to the fact that more than 86 per cent of Indian customers purchase genuine software even though they retail at sky-high prices.
Microsoft had conducted this survey on over 38,000 people in 20 countries. According to the results of this survey, data loss and identity theft are the top-most concerns of the Indian consumers. Microsoft also said that more than 6000 Indian customers have reported incidents of pirated or illegal software to Microsoft India in the last two years.
Among other statistics, over 50 per cent consumers feel issues such as stolen password and lost data are more likely to happen with counterfeit software and as many as 75 per cent of Indian consumers feel that genuine software was more secure and stable.
eMudhra has launched a one of it’s kind personal finance management tool “eMudhra MyMoney” in India. MyMoney helps consumers to make informed decisions based on one’s financial activities without a need for sharing any confidential information such as username and password of consumer’s bank accounts unlike other personal finance tools out there. MyMoney uses Microsoft Silverlight to provide a rich user experience.
MyMoney’s has a gaming environment which makes tracking finances fun, fast and friendly, no more boring graphs and charts. Here are few salient features of the tool:
- Helps user track money without asking for personally Identifiable Information.
- Life Style management tools enable users make informed financial decisions.
- Helps users to understand their net-worth anytime/ anywhere and provides users with regular tips.
- Allows users to track their finances offline and helps users achieve financial discipline by helping users budget their spending and alerts them to take corrective action for all over budget spends.
According to Mr. Ravi Jaggannathan (MD & CEO, eMudhra) when it comes to consumer technology, the user experience matters a lot. He also says that Microsoft Silverlight has helped them deliver a rich, intuitive and secured environment to users. Well what I think is by using Silverlight to base a web app simply cuts off one segment of users who are on platforms that do not have official Microsoft Silverlight support!
We have already told you about the Instant Mobile Payment Service which is going to be rolled out to seven Indian banks – IMPS are State Bank of India, Bank of India, Union Bank of India, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank , Axis Bank and YES Bank and 22 more banks are in the pipeline. Here are a few important things which you must know about the Instant Mobile Payment Service (IMPS) in India.
- Customers need to register with their banks for IMPS. The banks will issue the customers a unique seven digit mobile money identifier (MMID) and mobile banking personal identification number (MPIN).
- To send a mobile payment you have to key in the receiver’s mobile number, his/her MMID, the amount to be sent and the MPIN. Once the money is sent, you will get a SMS confirmation.
- A customer can link multiple bank accounts to his / her mobile phone with the help of IMPS. The service ensures that only people who are registered will receive money. This avoids erroneous transfers to a large extent.
- IMPS has certain transfer limits. Users can transfer a maximum of Rs 5,000 per transaction and upto a maximum value of Rs 25,000 per month, per customer.
- IMPS Service Charges: IMPS is currently being offered free of charge to customers up to March 31, 2011. Customers will be required to pay only SMS charges. The switching fee for banks for routing IMPS transactions through the National Financial Switch has been reduced to Rs 0.25 per transaction (which is Rs 0.50 for ATM transactions).
Twitter and other social networks have become so famous in India now that even handset makers in the country list their handset’s ability to talk to these social networks – a feature! On similar lines, Reliance Communications (RCom) has tied up with Twitter to make the microblogging website available to users via SMS.
RCom has also launched a social voice blogging service in an association with Bubble Motion, which will make it easy for users to become a follower of famous Indian celebs and stay up to date with text and voice updates directly from their favourite celebrities. RCoM is bringing in a number of famous Indian celebrities including leading Bollywood stars and singers who will launch this first-of-its-kind voice-based mobile blogging service in India.
In order to add a Twitter account to their mobile, customers have to send an SMS to the Twitter short code 53000 to sign up with the service. After getting registered, customers can start following their celebrities and catching up with friends. The service is currently available for free of charge till November 30.
Microsoft has launched the Microsoft Kinect for Xbox 360 in India. Kinect which is a controller free gaming system allows users to play games using motions which is detected by the Sensor.
Kinect has been a huge success across with Microsoft selling over 1 million units in 10 days. Microsoft Kinect sensor standalone will sell for an estimated price of 9,990 along with "Kinect Adventures". The Xbox 360 4GB console with Kinect sensor and Kinect Adventureswill be available at an estimated retail price of 22,990.
Microsoft will be selling Kinect at 150 large retail stores in 7 top cities in India including Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Pune.
For more information about Kinect, visit our earlier post to know What is Kinect or read the Microsoft Press release here.
Mobile advertising network InMobi has come up with some very useful metrics and reports that will definitely help mobile content providers to think about better strategies to monetise their mobile content. InMobi conducted a market research in association with comScore and the results of which are very surprising. The report reveals that over 72% of Indian consumers are comfortable with mobile advertising and over 50% of the users are ready to receive personalised advertisements.
This piece of data will in particular stun advertisers who are generally picky about including mobile advertising in their market strategies as well as budgets. The report of the research results also point to the untapped potential of the entire mobile space which is mainly consumer driven. In terms of volume of impressions for mobile advertisements, India leads the Asian region with over 6 billion impression served for Mobile advertisements. Next in line is Indonesia.
Among other things Nokia still dominates both the OS and manufacturer market share in India. Nokia’s OS platforms alone account for 65% of the OS share of ad impressions that were taken into consideration for the survey / report. Samsung stands second in the region with 17% of the market share. This survey was conducted by interviewing over 3,500 consumers in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and Australia on grounds of overall comfort with mobile ads, perceived benefits and willingness to have ads.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) recently conducted a survey about the internet usage among the indian youngsters and has found out some good statistics which can help rising internet startups in India to understand their consumers in a better way. According to the survey 85 per cent of the Indian youth uses Google as their only search engine and are also active on social networks.
The survey has been titled as The Web 2.0 Generation Survey 2010. It also reveals that more than 70 per cent of the Indian youth spend approximately more than 30 minutes daily on the internet. This survey was conducted by TCS by polling over 10,000 school going children in the age group of 12-18 across 11 cities in India.
According to Ajoy Mukherjee (VP, Global HR) of TCS nearly half of India’s total population has a age of below 20 and has been classified under the youth category, creating a group of over 459 million. This happens to be more than the population of USA. He also said that this survey will not only help TCS to find the best students but will also guide them to better communication with the youth. More survey results can be found here.
Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific plans to provide content from all it’s five channels Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Turbo, and Discovery Science to it’s Indian viewers on the mobile platform. And for this Discovery has tied up with Apalya Technologies – a firm that provides mobile TV service.
This tie-up to broadcast Discovery channels on mobile TV by leveraging new technologies will help it’s five channels create additional touch points for it’s current and prospective viewers. The viewers will now be able to catchup with their favourite programmes even while on the move.
Users who want to see these pro-grammes on their mobile devices will need an always on internet connection like GPRS or 3G and have to download a mobile TV application first. The content is paid and will be offered by almost all service providers such as Idea, Vodafone, Airtel, Aircel, BSNL, MTNL, Reliance, Docomo & Tata Indicom. Customers can choose from pay as you go plans ranging from Rs.7 per day to Rs.150 per month.
Of late, I have been finding ways to monetize unsold inventory and have been looking for some decent Ad networks in India. That is when I landed up on Komli (http://www.komli.com) which is a premium ad network for Indian users.
Komli provides both a CPM based network as well as performance based network for Indian traffic. They have allowed me to fill in inventory which was unused and make money from it, which I wasn’t making earlier.
In the past couple of weeks that I have been using them, the revenue is pretty decent and on par with several US CPM publisher network like Technorati Media and ValueClick. The ads are usually targeted towards Indian users and most of the times are relevant. Overall, my experience with Komli has been pretty nice and I would recommend it to users.
Komli pays on a Net45 basis, which means that they will pay you 45 days after the month ends if your net publisher earnings is INR 800 ($25) or more. Though I haven’t received my payments since it has been hardly a month since I joined, I am impressed with this network.
Other than that, Komli uses Yield manager (Right Media) from Yahoo as a backend market place. Reporting is pretty similar if you have used networks such as Technorati Media. In addition to web based reports, you can also setup Komli to email you reports on a regular basis.
Have any of you used Komli? What has your experience been with it? Do share your experiences in the comments.
Google has opened an all new help centre at Hyderabad, India where Google’s support team will provide assistance to Google AdWords customers in person. This help center aims primarily at helping customers in four regional languages — Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. Google already has a similar help centre at Delhi where experts from Google help AdWords customers in Hindi and English. Google India also plans to set-up more such help centres for providing assistance in languages such as Gujarati, Bengali, Marathi and Oriya.
Google India also has more plans to educate small and medium enterprises about the benefits of online presence and using the web to generate business leads. Some of Google’s plans include:
- Conduct around 100 workshops and seminars across 25 cities in the country.
- Provide a free of cost programme, called Google Engage, which will offer training and support for businesses regarding Google AdWords and other Google products.
According to Sridhar Seshadri – India Head of Google’s Online Sales and Operations:
India has about 35 million small and medium enterprises out of which only one million have an online presence. We at Google want to help all the SMEs in the country and get them benefited by using our AdWords programme,
Facebook Places, a service from Facebook that lets you tell your friends on Facebook about your current location has gone Live in India. This service was earlier available to just US, UK and Japan. Although it will take some more time before it get eventually rolled out to all Facebook users in India.
All employees of Facebook in India have been able to use Facebook Places right from the day of it’s inception and now other Facebook users will also be able to use it finally. Facebook Places works in a similar manner to that of Foursquare, your current location is automatically determined and you are shown a list of nearby places. If you can’t see your place listed, then you can add it right from your phone.
The Places application is available in India only on the Facebook apps for Android, BlackBerry and iPhone. Although there is another option to access Facebook Places via touch.facebook.com but that is not available in India as of yet.
Image & Tip via DI
PS: I can access Facebook Places via my BB but it is still not available on my Android phone.