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.

Android Bonanza: Milestone, X10, Dext and Backflip Coming to India

India has one of the largest cellphone market with over 500 million active subscribers, sadly it has been largely ignored by some of the biggest mobile phone producers, other than Nokia.

However, that is going to be a thing of the past. It was recently confirmed that the iPhone 3GS will be making its debut in India through Airtel soon, the dampener though is that the iPhone 4G will be released in US in next few months.

India Android Phones

Leaving that disappointment aside, there is some really good news for fans who will be seeing some of the best Android based phones coming to Indian markets in near future.

Some of the Android handsets which will be released in the Android market include the Motorola Milestone,  Xperia X10, Motorola Backflip and the Motorola Dext. There are also some rumors that some of the best HTC Android handsets will be released in India soon.

Right now, there is no confirmation on the release date and price of these handsets, but we will definitely keep you updated when more information becomes available.

Image Credit: Android Phone Fans

Confirmed: Airtel Will Sell iPhone 3GS In India

Good news iPhone fans, the iPhone 3GS is indeed coming to India. Bharati Airtel, which recently submitted its bid in the 3G-spectrum auction, has confirmed that it will be bringing the latest iPhone to India in the coming months.

Airtel-iPhone-3gs-India

It is a real shame that Indian users have had to wait so long for the latest and the greatest iPhone. Mobile telephony is exploding in India but the infrastructure is still below par in most of the country. Forget about internet connectivity, most service providers are struggling to ensure decent call quality. Now, while the rest of the world is preparing to adopt 4G, India is gearing up to welcome 3G.

Airtel did not provide any time frame for the introduction of iPhone in India. However, if it doesn’t hurry, the iPhone 3GS will become outdated even before launch. Moreover, the lack of exclusive license also implies that they may be facing competition from the likes of Vodafone, Reliance and Aircel.

In spite of being widely acclaimed and selling like hot cakes in the US, the iPhone has failed to have any major impact in India. Outrageous pricing by the distributors pretty much ensured that the iPhone was out of reach for a significant percentage of the youth. Let us hope that the carriers will be more sensible this time around.

Dual SIM G-Fone G-588 Phone Launched In India For Rs 4799

Bright Telecom India has debuted in India by launching a new Dual SIM G-Fone series phone named G-588 which will allow users to change SIMs and use the phone on both a GSM network or a CDMA network.

gfone_g588_dual_sim_phone

The phone also has a full Qwerty keyboard, social networking integration through Nimbuzz and a 2.2 inch QVGA display, along with Bluetooth, MP3 player, FM radio, Mini and a Indian Calendar. G-588 also has a 1.3MP camera and support for a MicroSD card.

From the looks of the phone, users might relate it with a Blackberry, however, the dual SIM capabilities is definitely the biggest USP of the phone, considering that CDMA is doing good in India and many service providers have equal options for both the networks.

Bright Telecom will be selling the G-588 phone for about Rs 4,799 which is approximately around $105. Considering the price, the phone is a definite steal.

Airtel App Central Clocks Over 2.5 Million Downloads in 30 Days

Quite recently Bharti Airtel had announced the introduction of an app store called “App Central”. It has been only 30 days now since App Central has gone live, and they have already seen more than 2.5 million downloads in the past 30 days.

Airtel App Center

According to Airtel sources, 1 app is downloaded per second in the App central, with basic phones less then Rs. 5000 leading the downloads. Smaller metros like Surat, Pune and Udaipur are ahead of big cities in app downloads, and not surprisingly Social networking apps lead the downloads.

Commenting on the milestone, Atul Bindal, President-Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel said:

When we opened the doors to Airtel App Central – India’s first mobile application store- we were confident that we had a strong and relevant offer. Our customers have confidently walked in, sampled and purchased applications which have since made their mobile phones smarter and enriched their lives with added entertainment or networking or productivity. Airtel will continue to lead the mobile apps innovation in the country offering customers an experience that will reinvent what they can do with their basic phones.

Quite recently, Airtel had also launched a new business app in association with Dow Jones, to bring the Wall Street Journal India app to App central. App stores have generally been a huge opportunity to generate income for both developers and service providers, and have seen huge success in the United States with the Apple app store for and iPod Touch and the Market for Android based devices.

The success of the App stores launched in India goes on to show that more and more people are beginning to use smarter devices and are also adapting to using mobile apps rather than mobile websites to perform social networking and other activities.

Most of the other app stores launched in India by Vodafone and in future by Reliance and Aircel will see similar successes, so we expect to see a larger growth in the area in 2010 and 2011.

Vodafone Launches "Chhota Comics" For Vodafone Live Users

Vodafone has launched a new service called "Chhota Comics" which will allow their customers to access popular Indian and International comic strips from Suppandi, Chacha Chaudhary, Mickey and Donald, Akbar Birbal, Winnie the Pooh and Hanuman.

Chacha Chaudary Suppandi

Vodafone Essar Chief Marketing Officer Kumar Ramanathan said:

With the launch of "Chhota Comics" service, we aim to further enhance our customers experience by providing them with advanced features and more comic categories.

Vodafone will sell the Chotta Comics strips for Rs 2 per comic strip. Users can also purchase an entire full length comic for Rs 15. There are more than 35 popular titles under various categories which are a mix of both popular Indian comic characters and foreign comic characters.

The Chotta Comics service will be accessible to both post paid and prepaid customers through Vodafone Live. These comics will definitely make people relive their childhood days. I personally remember reading a lot of Tinkle, Chandamama and Chacha Chaudhary comics, what about you?

Tata Docomo Launches New Daily Plans For Prepaid Subscribers

Tata Docomo is India’s No.1 telecom operator in terms of new subscriber additions. Recently, they went one step ahead and launched new “Daily Plans” for their prepaid subscribers across 16 telecom circles. Daily Plans are not available for Tata Docomo’s prepaid subscribers in Mumbai and Maharashtra & Goa circle.

tata docomo daily plans

Daily plans allows you to call your friends and loved ones at a reduced call rates. These plans are available only for a day. All the packs will be deactivated on the same day at 12 midnight. You can activate daily plans directly from you handset by dialing *141#

Daily Plans:

  • Pay Rs.5 and get 30 local minutes for Tata to Tata Calling
  • Pay Rs.5 and get 10 local minutes across all Networks
  • Pay Rs.12 and get 30 local minutes across all Networks
  • Pay Rs.14 and get 30 local/National minutes
  • Pay Rs.5 and get 10MB Free Browsing
  • Pay Rs.20 and get 10 minutes to USA/Canada
  • Pay Rs.10 and get 5 minutes to USA/Canada
  • Pay Rs.20 and get 3 minutes to Gulf
  • Pay Rs.5 and get 15 minutes FREE music
  • Pay Rs.5/day and get Cricket alerts.

All the daily plans will be available till 12 midnight, except the night calling packs which will be available till 7 am of the next day. You can also activate multiple Daily Plans. This service is quite useful since there is no need to visit the retailer for activating these daily packs. You can activate it within seconds directly from your mobile phone.

Airtel And Dow Jones Launch Wall Street Journal India Mobile

Dow Jones has announced the launch of the Wall Street Journal India mobile application in association with Bharti Airtel.

dow_jones_airtel

The Wall Street Journal India Mobile can be downloaded free-of-charge by Airtel pre-paid and post-paid mobile users. However, there will be a monthly subscription fee of Rs. 99 if users choose to access premium financial market news and data along with portfolio tracking and personalization options.

Mr. Mitya New, Managing Director, Dow Jones India said:

The Wall Street Journal India Mobile application provides leading-edge functionality and content targeted at consumers in the Indian market. Our partnership with Bharti Airtel, India’s leading mobile phone operator, significantly enhances our ability to reach mobile users across India.

Raghunath Mandava, Chief Marketing Officer Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel said:

It has been Airtel’s endeavour to constantly innovate and lead the mobile content revolution in the country by delivering best in class products and services to customers and adding value to their lives on the go and wherever they go. The Wall Street Journal India Mobile application is our latest initiative that will empower our customers to make smarter decisions by accessing news and information from one of the world’s most trusted and premier providers of financial information.

The WSJ India mobile application is compatible with a large number of models of Blackberry and Nokia Smartphones and will be available on other handsets soon. Airtel mobile customers may download The Wall Street Journal India Mobile application by texting WSJ’ to 54321.

Using the WSJ India mobile application, users can keep and eye on global and local financial market news and information and other business, politics, economics, finance and management news from India and around the world. The application is part of the Airtel App Central which was launched earlier this year.

Lenovo Launches IdeaPad S10-3T Tablet In India For Rs 30,740

Even before Apple could launch the worldwide, Lenovo has given it a major run for its money by launching IdeaPad S10-3T, a new multi-touch netbook tablet in the Indian market.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T Tablet

The IdeaPad S10-3T is one of the cheapest tablet to hit India and will provide competition to the Apple iPad, HP Slate, Notion Ink’s Adam and more. IdeaPad S10-3T is a mid-range tablet which comes with a multi-touch touchscreen and pinch to zoom features which are also present in the and iPad.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T Netbook Tablet

The tablet netbook has a 10.1" screen and can be rotated 180 degrees to turn into a tablet. The device will have a Intel Atom N450 processor and will run on . The device also has a LED based 16:9 widescreen display for better media experience.

The low-end model will also come with 1GB DDR2 Ram and a minimum of 160GB hard drive. Battery life will be good with a 4 cell lithium-ion battery and the tablet will way less than 1.5KG or 3 lbs and will be 1" thin.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T comes with the DirectShare feature, which allows users to synchronize files with another notebook without having to connect to the Internet. In addition to having face recognition features which have been a part of most Lenovo laptops.

Lenovo IdeaPad S10-3T will sell for Rs 30,740 in Indian markets and will be available in Lenovo exclusive stores and other stores which sell Lenovo devices.

So will you be buying the Lenovo IdeaPad, considering that it is available for cheap and can be a good alternative for the iPad, which does not have any release plans in near future in India.

Shah Rukh Khan Uses Nokia Phone

I am not into writing articles about celebrities just because they use , however, Shah Rukh Khan did tweet that he uses a Nokia phone.

Shahrukh Khan Nokia

From a brief update on his Twitter account @iamsrk, SRK answered a question one of his followers asked and said that he uses a Nokia phone, the answer is below with my own highlights.

nokia it is for me/no shoot in spain/my kids r the best gift i would say/love u all and now i am off to sleep. see u tom…goodknight

I am not sure which user asked this, but this is definitely great considering that most celebrities use the . Though Shah Rukh Khan did not name the device he is using, I am guessing that it would be either a Nokia E72, Nokia E71 or a Nokia N81.

What do you think? Which Nokia device is Shah Rukh Khan using?

Update: Shah Rukh Khan actually uses the Nokia Communicator, whish was written in his previous update, which you can read here.

Aircel "Peek", A Qwerty Email Handset For Rs 2,999

Aircel India has taken a huge gamble by introducing a new device called "Peek" which is a Qwerty device similar to those provided by RIM’s Blackberry.

Aircel PEEK

The device which is targeted at email users, has a Qwerty keyboard and is specifically for emails. Aircel boasts that Peek is the thinnest email device ever created. Peek in itself is not a pricey device, and at Rs. 2,999 it is almost a steal, but would Indian consumers really buy a device just for emails?

Consider this, most of the smartphones available today have email capability along with video, camera, voice and more, so would users buy a device just for the sake of email?

The marketing strategy of Aircel may not be wrong, but they are basically targeting a small niche of users who want dedicated devices to check their email and not the entire package which a smartphone offers. Whether a device with only email capabilities succeeds or not is a feat we will be watching.

Specifications: Aircel Peek is available in the two colors, black and red and comes with a Qwerty keyboard. Users can currently configure only 3 email accounts, which makes no sense to me and will have PUSH email capability.

Battery life is supposedly 2-3 days, but expect it to be much lower if you are a heavy email user. To top it you can only store up-to 5000 email message right now and about 1000 contacts.

Charges: Users will have to pay an initial amount of Rs. 897 for email access for 90 days and then have to shell out a monthly charge of Rs. 299 every month to download their emails.

Verdict: This device will definitely not take off as much as Aircel expects, considering that it restricts users to only 3 email accounts and also has a charge of Rs. 299 per month which is almost equivalent to a GPRS connection price one pays on mobile smartphones. In addition to that, this device is practically useless without a Internet connection and does not even allow you to make phone calls. All in all, my prediction is that, this device will be a big failure.

If you are interested in the Aircel Peek, you can find more information and purchasing details at the Official Aircel site.

Airtel Broadband Upgrade To 2MBPS For IPL 2010 YouTube

Considering that is underway, it is more appropriate for Indian service providers to cash in on the frenzy. However, one provider is actually giving away more to users to enjoy the IPL 2010 season on their personal computers.

Airtel Broadband

Bharti Airtel India is offering free upgrades to a 2MPBS connection to enjoy the IPL frenzy. The upgrade is available specifically for youtube.com/ipl for Airtel Broadband customers so that they can enjoy live cricketing action from IPL 2010.

Current or new users of Airtel Broadband will get the free upgrade to a 2MBPS connection between March 12th and April 25th, which is the IPL 2010 season tenure.

Users will be able to watch the matches from the 3rd season of IPL on their computers in high speed, the package will include all the 60 matches from IPL 2010.

However, the upgrade is only available for the IPL channel on , the other content on YouTube will be entitled to regular broadband charges. Also, no other sites are being offered in this package.

Nevertheless, considering that IPL has gained a cult status in India and elsewhere in the world, this move is definitely a smart one from Airtel.

iPhone 3GS Coming To India?

Apple has not done well with their family of devices outside the United States, specially in India, where cheap devices from Nokia rule the roost. This is one of the reasons why Apple has not released iPhone 3GS in India yet.

iPhone 3GS India

However, according to some rumors from Fone Arena, the iPhone 3GS is most likely to make a debut in India on Monday, March 15th, 2010. The device may be available for pre-orders through Apple on 4 networks, including Vodafone, Airtel, Aircel and Reliance.

However, this is definitely a game ploy on part of Apple to offload devices to other areas where they have not been doing well, considering that the iPhone 4G will hit markets soon in the United States. iPhone 3GS has been in circulation for quite sometime now, and a late entry into India suggests my above thoughts.

To top it iPhone has had less than a lukewarm response in India, considering the high cost and lack of 3G, without which the iPhone is just another device.

Please note, this is not confirmed news and is rumored, so don’t set high expectations about this just yet, we will keep you posted when confirmed news becomes available to us.

HTC Smart To Be Soon Available In India

Do you still remember the Brew Mobile based handset announced by HTC back in January during the CES 2010? If not, then you need not to worry as the same handset might be in your hands within few days, since this device is expected to be launched in India during the end of this month. If you are planning to buy this device, I would like you to check out the amazing specs of this device below.

htc smart

HTC Smart is powered by Brew Mobile operating system and runs on a 300 MHz processor. It has a 2.8 inches TFT touchscreen display, 256MB RAM, 256MB ROM, USB, GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth, 3G Connectivity and so on.

Other feature includes a 3.15 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, audio and video player, stereo FM radio with RDS, Sense UI, Accelerometer, 16 GB expandable memory, 3.5 mm audio jack, 1100 mAh battery, upto 450 hours stand-by time and 7 hours talk-time.

Sadly, this handset does not comes with a Wi-Fi connectivity. This handset will be first launched in India and then it will be available in European markets during April. This handset is expected to be available in India with a price tag of Rs.10,000. Since Samsung Star and Samsung Corby are quite popular in India, this handset may directly compete with Samsung’s touchscreen phones due to its affordable price and excellent features.

Vodafone Launches App Store In India

Vodafone India has launched a new mobile applications store in India and has already seen thousands of downloads thanks to the low price of the applications and a large array of free applications.

Vodafone India App Store

Currently, there are more than 800 applications in the Vodafone app store categorized as Entertainment, Utility, Finance, Social Networking, Games and more. The applications are developed by a mix of Indian and International developers. 15% of the app store applications are free of cost, while a majority of the applications are priced in the range of Rs. 5 to Rs.30.

The application store is available to customers through data enabled handsets. Customers can send a message APP to 111 (toll free) and also access the store through the portal Vodafone live! by clicking a link on the home page.

In the press release, Kumar Ramanathan, Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone Essar said:

We are delighted to launch the Vodafone Mobile application store which combines an array of facilities for our customers including easy access to information, utilities and entertainment. The mobile applications are affordable and a significant step forward in the growth of mobile data and the future of Mobile internet in India.

However, this is not the first time that a mobile carrier in India has released an app store. Earlier, this year, Reliance launched their app store along with an Aircel app store and Airtel app store.

This shows that carriers in India are getting more serious about providing mobile applications to users, based on the success of the Apple app store and Ovi Store from Nokia. In the end, it is the consumer who will benefit more as they will get tons of apps and choices to choose from.

TATA DoCoMo Introduces New Rollover Plan

TATA DoCoMo is widely known for introducing path-breaking plans in India. They completely changed the face of telecom industry in India by introducing “per second billing” which allows the customer to have complete transparency in billing. The new rollover plans allows the customers to carry forward their unused talk-time and SMS packages to the next billing cycle.

The new Rollover Plan is available in four different types – RO 500, RO 799, RO 1000 and RO 1099 with a monthly rental of Rs.500, Rs.799, Rs.1,000 and Rs.1,099 respectively.

tata docomo logo

Let me explain you how this plan works. If you purchase the RO 1099 plan, you will get 1,50,000 seconds of free local calls and 72,000 seconds of free STD calls per month. If there is any unused talktime for the current month, it will be carry forwarded to the next month. This means that you won’t lose your talktime and SMS packs since you can use them for next three months.

Anil Sardana, Managing Director, Tata Teleservices Limited says,
“Today I am proud to say that we are launching yet another industry first- The Rollover Plan- exclusively for our Tata DOCOMO Enterprise Customers. Innovation in tariff alone doesn’t give any operator a runaway success – it is understanding the nuances of customer usage patterns and integrating customer needs and value propositions into our product strategy that are key to a sustainable business model. Taking the first mover advantage, we have consolidated an aggressive proposition that offers transparent tariff along with the facility of carrying forward of unused free usage for a period of 3 months – this feature will definitely benefit and interest our enterprise customers.”

The roll over benefit will be applicable for 8 consecutive cycles with each cycle comprising of 3 months. Lets hope that, they start the same service for the retail customers as well in the near future.