Category Archives: Indian Telecom and Broadband

All the latest Indian telecom and Broadband news. Telecom and Broadband news from across India, with news, views, reviews, cell phone plans and more.

Airtel Launches 4G Services In Bengaluru

Last month, Airtel launched the much-awaited 4G service in India. Airtel became the India’s first private operator to launch its 4G services. Until now, the much talked about 4G services was available only for the Airtel subscribers living in the Kolkata circle. However, the company went ahead and finally launched the lightning fast 4G services in Bengaluru circle. Airtel’s 4G network in Bengaluru was launched by Mr. D. V. Sadananda Gowda, Hon’ble Chief Minister of the state of Karnataka.

airtel logo

Mr. Sanjay Kapoor, CEO – India & South Asia, Bharti airtel said,

“As seen the world over, the total data usage is exploding and is doubling each year to grow to nearly 3.6 hexabytes by 2014. With the launch of 4G, India will move from being a follower in technology to matching the world in this domain. Leading from the front, Airtel is now the only operator that gives citizens of the Information Technology capital of Bengaluru, access to entire spectrum of broadband services including 2G, 3G and now 4G – thereby giving the customers never seen before data experience”.

In 2010, Airtel had successfully bid for BWA license spectrum in Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) circles. The company has launched its 4G LTE services in Kolkata and Bengaluru and is currently working towards rolling out the 4G network in remaining licence circles. Last year, Airtel became one of the founding members of the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) which was launched at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011.

Airtel offers 3 different 4G plans starting at Rs.999 for 6 GB of free data, going up to Rs.1,999 for 18 GB of free data usage. However, the company has launched a new plan for heavy data users, which offer 30 GB of data for Rs.2,999 per month. Airtel has also announced the new Smartbytes for 4G, which allows the customers to continue enjoying the 4G experience even after exhausting their monthly data limits using the add-on packs. As part of the introductory offer by Airtel, customers subscribing to 4G services will now be given a cashback for dongle on Rs 1,999 and Rs 2,999 plans.

Private Indian ISP Blocks The Pirate Bay, Vimeo, Pastebin–No Reason Given

For a couple of days now a very reliable mobile internet device service operator in India has been playing Big Brother by censoring the world’s most resilient public torrent tracker – the Pirate Bay. Now speculation about this operator’s reliability to do things like these when a movie is about to be released by the parent company’s entertainment division has reached fever pitch, however there is no conclusive evidence connecting these two temporal facts together, and thus I am not in any position to comment on that.

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Alright, enough with the euphemistic name calling; it seems Reliance have decided to go up and block The Pirate Bay, Vimeo and Pastebin. Not only did they block these sites, they also managed to put up a large and highly friendly “This site has been blocked as per instructions from the Department of Telecom (DoT)” sign which is rather odd because no other ISP in India has blocked The Pirate Bay – especially the state run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on which I am currently writing this piece.

Speculation is ripe on the fact that Reliance Entertainment is the distributor of an upcoming big budget movie Dangerous Ishhq which might be possibly will definitely be pirated and put up on various public/private trackers. To check the rate of this astoundingly high loss of revenue, Reliance may have taken up this false censor. However, what imagined evils propagate through Vimeo or Pastebin, I will never know.

The easiest way to counter this would be to access the sites via a Proxy or a VPN. However, if the ISP decides to be rather silly and only remove a DNS entry for these sites from their DNS servers, you can easily get access back to the servers by using a different DNS service, such as Google’s free DNS: 8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4

Nokia Asha 202 Launched In India For Rs.4,149

Earlier this year, Nokia announced the new Nokia Asha 202 and Nokia Asha 203 Touch and Type phones at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 in Barcelona. Today, Nokia finally launched the Nokia Asha 202 dual-SIM phone in India. This entry-level handset allows you to access your Facebook and Twitter networks from the pre-loaded social application.

Mr. Viral Oza, Director Marketing, Nokia India said,

“The introduction of Asha 202 takes us another step closer to connecting the next billion people to the internet. We are constantly innovating and finding newer ways to feed the ever increasing appetite for digital consumption for young consumers. Towards this, Nokia Asha 202 is the first mobile phone to come bundled with data offers from five leading operators of the country. Nokia Asha 202 is the new face of smarter feature phones that comes packed with compelling, innovative services and entertainment options.”

nokia asha 202

Nokia Asha 202 features a 2.4 inch QVGA, resistive touchscreen display, Symbian S40 OS, dual-SIM (GSM + GSM), 2 megapixel camera, social networking apps, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, 10 MB internal memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, MicroUSB, dedicated SIM manager and much more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, music player, enhanced stereo FM radio, up to 16.5 days of stand-by time, up to 5 hours of talk-time, and a 1020 mAh battery. This handset measures 114.8 mm x 49.8 mm x 13.85 mm and weighs just 90g. The Nokia Asha 202 comes in four exciting colors – black and gold, silver white, dark grey and dark red.

The Nokia Asha 202 is packed with exciting features such as EA games pack and Nimbuzz chat client for young and social consumers. It is the first 40 device to offer exclusive EA games in India. As a 60-day promotion at Nokia Store, the consumers can get 40 EA games pack worth Rs.4,000 for free. The offer includes popular and classic titles like Tetris, Need for Speed, The Run and Bejeweled.

The Nokia Asha 202 comes with a price tag of just Rs.4,149. Nokia has also tied up with five leading operators – Aircel, Airtel, Reliance, Tata Docomo and Vodafone to offer 100 MB of data per month for six months.

HTC Desire S Price Drops To Rs.15,990 In India

Last year, HTC launched the amazing HTC Desire S smartphone. It is the successor of the highly popular HTC Desire smartphone. This device was announced and showcased at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 in Barcelona. HTC Desire S was launched in India with a price tag of Rs.27,990. However, the price was later reduced to just Rs.20,990.

With the launch of HTC One X and HTC One V, the company further reduced the price of the HTC Desire S. Saholic, a popular online retailer is currently selling this device at a reduced price of just Rs.15,990. You heard it right! If you are planning to buy one, then check out the complete specs below.

HTC Desire S

HTC Desire S features a 3.7 inch touchscreen display with 480 x 800 pixels resolution, 1 GHz processor, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS, HTC Sense, 5 megapixel camera with auto focus and LED flash, HD (720p) video recording, 3G Connectivity, Google Play Store and much more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, micro-USB, Internal GPS antenna, Bluetooth 2.1 with FTP/OPP, Wi-Fi connectivity, G-Sensor, Digital compass, Proximity Sensor, 1.1 GB internal storage, 768 MB RAM, microSD card slot, up to 590 mins talk-time, up to 455 hours stand-by time and a 1450 mAh battery. This handset measures 115 mm x 59.8 mm x 11.63 mm and weighs just 130 grams.

The HTC Desire S currently runs on the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. However, the much-awaited Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update is on its way. This handset will compete with the Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus, Motorola Defy Plus and LG Optimus Sol in India. To get this handset, head over to this page at Saholic.

Airtel Launches Online Store for Mobiles and Telecom Services

Bharti Airtel, India’s leading integrated telecommunications company, has launched airtel shop – a one stop destination for mobile handsets, digital TV, and broadband connections at http://shop.airtel.com.

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While selling mobile handsets might be a way to push integrated data packs and subscription plans from Airtel, the online store enters a crowded ecommerce market in India with cutthroat competition over pricing and experience. The store also offers broadband and digitalTV connections – a trivial addition to complete the catalog since there would rarely be returning customers for the same.

The store offers handsets from seven brands as of now-Nokia, HTC, Apple, Sony, LG, Samsung, and BlackBerry. I randomly checked prices of few latest phones on airtel shop and flipkart.com and found them to be very competitive, and in several cases lesser at the time of writing. At this moment, airtel shop also offers additional benefits to online customers over walk-in customers on retail counters:

  • Upto 33% off on mobile devices with exclusive Airtel plans
  • Rs 500 cashback on new broadband connections
  • Rs 250 cashback on new digitalTV connections

shop.airtel.com

While the idea of an integrated store for telecom products and services sounds interesting, this clearly looks like a quick and dirty job. It is also a bummer that a store from Airtel doesn’t sell the obvious mobile phone connections and other value-added services apart from 3G connections.

The interface has been borrowed by the Airtel homepage at http://airtel.in and the store is managed by Infibeam, a leading ecommerce store in India. The site clearly states that since Airtel doesn’t sell or deliver mobile phones, the ones ordered on the site are made available and delivered by NSI Infinium Global Pvt. Ltd., an Airtel partner.

Tata Docomo Offers 20 Hours Of Unlimited Calling With New RCV

Tata Docomo is already known for launching some exciting calling and data plans. Now, the company went a step ahead and launched a new Recharge Voucher (RCV) which offers 20 hours of unlimited calling per day. You heard it right! The new recharge launched by Tata Docomo allows you to call any local Tata Docomo GSM, Tata Docomo CDMA, Virgin and T24 network for 20 hrs everyday.

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This amazing recharge voucher is priced at just Rs.123. It comes with a validity of 30 days. You can call your friends without any limits from 10 PM to 6 PM. On the other hand, you will be charged just 1 paisa/ 6 seconds for calls between 6 PM to 10 PM. This RCV is available for both Tata Docomo CDMA and GSM prepaid subscribers.

Mr A P Sriram, Chief Operating Officer, Karnataka Circle, Tata Teleservices Limited said,

“We are excited to launch this unique easy-on-pocket product for our valued prepay customers. By providing free calling benefit for 20 hours in a day, this product will help our customers to always stay connected with their near and dear ones and we are quite certain that it will be well received by all our customers.”

If you have any queries, feel free to ask us in the comments section below.

Sony Rolls Out The Android 4.0 Update For Xperia Arc S, Neo V And Ray In India

Sony has already announced that all the Xperia smartphones launched in 2011 will be updated to the latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System. However, there was a long delay due to some unknown reasons. Last week, we posted that Sony finally started rolling out the much-awaited Android 4.0 update for the popular Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V and Xperia Ray in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway.

Sony has also promised that the company will roll out the Android 4.0 update for Xperia smartphones in other countries over the next 4-6 weeks. Xperia smartphone users in India has a reason to cheer. Sony has finally started rolling out the Android 4.0 update for the Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo v and Xperia Ray smartphones in India.

xperia ray

The latest update comes with improved performance, Face Unlock, re-sizable widgets, improved web browser, new widgets, new dialer, new task switcher, improved lock screen, data Consumption monitor, quick response for incoming calls, group calendar, group Phonebook, voice search, take screenshot without any app and much more.

Sadly, this update is not available via OTA (Over-The-Air). You will need to manually update your device using the PC Companion suite. After updating the device, flash support will be disabled, but this can be easily fixed by downloading the latest Adobe Flash player from the Google Play Store.

Other Xperia smartphones such as the Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, Xperia neo, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Pro, Xperia Active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will get the Android 4.0 update before the end of Q2 of 2012. Stay tuned for more updates!

Nokia Asha 302 Already Available In India For Rs.6285

Do you still remember the Nokia Asha 302 phone? Yes, we are talking about the same QWERTY smartphone which was announced along with the Nokia PureView 808 and Nokia Lumia 610 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 in Barcelona. This handset comes with a 2.4 QVGA display as well as a 1 GHz processor.

The Nokia Asha 302 is company’s first Series 40 phone to support Mail for Exchange, which lets the user to access their emails, contacts, and calendar on an exchange server. Nokia has not yet officially launched this device in India. However, popular online retailers such as Flipkart and LetsBuy have already started selling this device in India. Check out the complete specs of this budget QWERTY phone below.

nokia asha 302

Nokia Asha 302 features a 2.4 QVGA display, sporting a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels, Symbian S40 OS, 1 GHz processor, full QWERTY keyboard, 3.2 megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom, 3G Connectivity, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Nokia Browser and so on.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, music player, enhanced stereo FM radio, Social Networking apps, Mail For Exchange, Bluetooth 2.1 with enhanced data rates (EDR), 140 MB internal memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, MicroUSB, up to 29 days of stand-by time, up to 9 hours of talk-time, and a 1430 mAh battery.

The Nokia Asha 302 is currently available only in 3 colors – Dark Grey, White, Plum Red. The Mid Blue and Golden Light colors are expected to join the bandwagon soon after the launch. The Nokia Asha 302 comes with a price-tag of Rs.6,285. To get this device, head over to this page at Flikart or LetsBuy.

Huawei Honor Launched In India For Rs.19,990

Back in September, Huawei announced the powerful Huawei Honor smartphone. It was the company’s most powerful Android smartphone until the launch of Huawei Ascend D at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012. This handset was expected to release during the Q4 of 2011 in India. However, the launch of this device got delayed due to some unknown reasons.

After waiting for nearly 7 months, Huawei finally launched the powerful Huawei Honor smartphone in India. This handset runs on the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. However, the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update is on its way. Huawei Honor comes with an exclusive Huawei user interface with a dynamic weather widget. It is currently one of the most powerful Android smartphone in the sub-20k category.

huawei honor

Huawei Honor features a 4 inch FWVGA capacitive touch screen display, 1.4 Ghz processor, Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) OS, Huawei user-interface, 8 megapixels auto focus camera, 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, 3G HSPA+, WiFi 802.11b/g/n and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, FM radio, Micro USB 2.0 port, 512 MB RAM, 4GB ROM, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Assisted GPS support, DLNA-certified, G-sensor, proximity sensor, light sensor, Google play Store and a 1900 mAh battery.

The Huawei Honor comes with a price-tag of just Rs.19,990 (approx $.390) in India. You can easily get this device at Reliance Digital, Croma and other multi brand outlets across India. To order this device from Flipkart, just head over to this page.

Sony Xperia S Launched In India For Rs.32,549

Sony Mobile Communications finally launched the much-awaited Sony Xperia S in India. This handset was originally announced and showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. The Sony Xperia S is the first smartphone in the new Sony Xperia NXT series. This handset currently runs on the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS. However, the company will roll out the latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System in the coming months.

P. Balaji, Managing Director, Sony Mobile Communications India, said,

“Now, as part of the Sony group, we are in an even stronger position to bring connected entertainment experiences to consumers in India. Bringing together the best of Sony’s electronics, networked services and content, the Xperia smartphone is a cornerstone to enjoy entertainment in this connected world.”

sony xperia s

Sony Xperia S features a 4.3 inch HD display, sporting a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8260 dual-core processor, Google Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) OS (upgradable to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich), 12 megapixel camera with 16x digital zoom, auto-focus, Face detection and LED Flash, Full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and so on.

Other features include a 3.5 mm audio jack, FM radio with RDS, 32 GB eMMC, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Google Play Store, Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality, GPS with aGPS, Bluetooth technology, DLNA Certified, HDMI support, Micro USB, NFC (Near Field Communication), USB 2.0, up to 25 hrs music playback time, up to 7 hrs 30 min of talk-time, up to 450 hrs of stand-by time and a 1750 mAh battery.

Sony Xperia S is also a PlayStation certified smartphone. This handset is currently available in 2 colors – Black and White. The Sony Xperia S comes with a price-tag of Rs.32,549 in India. Sony has also confirmed that the Xperia P, Xperia U and the recently announced Xperia Sola will hit the Indian market by the end of Q2 2012.