Redmi Note launches in India for ₹8,999; also available as a 4G variant

In a media event today, Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note and the Redmi Note 4G (in partnership with Airtel) in India. The 5.5-inch smartphone comes in a 4G version (in partnership with Airtel) and a dual SIM 3G variant. Continue reading Redmi Note launches in India for ₹8,999; also available as a 4G variant

Nokia Asha 501 Announced; Comes With The New Asha Platform

Nokia recently announced the first device in the new Asha family of smartphones. The Nokia Asha 501 is also the first handset to run on the new Asha platform. The design of this handset is quite similar to the Nokia’s Lumia range of smartphone. Most of the popular applications are already available or in development for the Nokia Asha platform, including CNN, eBuddy, ESPN, Facebook, Foursquare, Line, LinkedIn, Nimbuzz, The Weather Channel, Twitter, WeChat and much more.

The Nokia Asha 501 allows you to access everything you like with a simple swipe and a choice of two main screens: Home and Fastlane. Home is basically the traditional app drawer, while the new Fastlane allows you to view recently accessed contacts, social networks and other important apps. It also provides a record of how the phone is used by displaying a glimpse of our past, present and future activity.

Neil Mawston, executive director, Global Wireless Practice, Strategy Analytics, said,
“Nokia has surpassed expectations of what’s achievable in the sub-100 USD phone category with a new Asha handset that is unlike any other, with design cues from Lumia and a mix of features, services and affordability that is valued by price-conscious buyers. This is a welcome addition to the market and a refreshing option for consumers looking to upgrade from feature phones.”

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Nokia Asha 501 features a 3 inch QVGA display, sporting a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels, Nokia Asha platform, 2 megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom, Nokia Xpress Browser, Nokia Life+, 128 MB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 4 GB MicroSD card included, GPRS/EDGE, Wi-Fi Connectivity, 2.0 mm charger connector, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, Micro USB, 3.5 mm headset jack, Micro USB connector, Slam feature, up to 48 days of stand-by time, up to 17 hours of talk-time and a 1200 mAh battery.

This handset measures 99.2 x 58 x 12.1 mm and weighs just 98 grams. The Nokia Asha 210 will be available in Red, Yellow, Black, White, Cyan and Green colors. Airtel subscribers in India and Africa will be able to enjoy unlimited, data-free access to Facebook from their Nokia Asha 501 smartphone. This handset will be available in both single SIM and dual SIM variants. The Nokia Asha 501 will go on sale from next month for just $99 excluding taxes.

Airtel Launches 40Mbps Broadband Services In Hyderabad

Bharti Airtel finally launched its 40 Mbps broadband services in Hyderabad, India. Bharti Airtel is the first operator in the city to launch broadband services on VDSL (Very-high-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line) technology. VDSL is said to be the newest and most advanced standard of Broadband wireline communications. Airtel is currently offering two plans for its subscribers who wish to experience the 40 Mbps high-speed internet.

The first plan is called as “Ultrasonic 3299″ and it offers 100 GB of data usage as well as 1000 free voice minutes. It comes with a monthly price of Rs.3299. The second plan is called as “Ultrasonic 3999″ and it offers 200 GB of data usage along with 2000 free voice minutes. The Ultrasonic 3999 plan is available for a monthly price of Rs.3999.

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Both the plans offers a speed of 40 Mpbs and the speed will be reduced to just 512 kbps as soon as you reach the monthly limit. Airtel also offers additional free Value Added Services (VAS) like Parallel Ringing, PC Secure (Anti-Virus software), Unlimited Gaming through Games on Demand, LearnNext and much more. To use these services, Airtel subscribers will need to purchase the Beetel’s VDSL Wi-Fi modem priced at Rs 3,099.

Sharlin Thayil, CEO – Andhra Pradesh, Bharti Airtel, said,
“We are delighted to introduce 40 Mbps speed – the fastest wireline broadband service on next generation VDSL technology. The all new Ultrasonic 40Mbps plans on Airtel offers the fastest Broadband speed available for customers and will allow data savvy customers to upgrade from the now prevalent 16Mbps speeds they have enjoyed thus far. This plan will allow customers the convenience to download movies in a few minutes, upload photos and videos instantly and lots more.”

Airtel Launches 4G Services In Pune

We have good news for the folks living in Pune. Earlier this year, Airtel rolled out its 4G services in Kolkata followed by Bengaluru. Now, Airtel went a step ahead and launched the much-awaited 4G services in Pune. Airtel is also the first company in Maharashtra to bring the 4G experience for its customers. Currently, Airtel 4G services are exclusively available for the post-paid customers, however the company has promised that pre-paid subscribers will be able to join the bandwagon in the coming days.

Mr. K Srinivas, President – Consumer Business, Bharti Airtel said,
“Today, we are excited to launch Maharashtra’s first 4G experience for Airtel customers in Pune. The response received by Airtel 4G services in Kolkata and Bengaluru has been compelling – thus reinforcing our long term focus on delivering technologies to fulfil the needs of India’s rapidly growing data evolution story. With both home and office users opting for 4G services, it is heartening to see early adopters of this technology acknowledge the experience that Airtel 4G delivers – for everything from streaming videos and downloading music, to accessing business applications, email and rich multimedia content. We are optimistic about the traction that 4G will see in months to come and look forward to rolling out our services in other circles soon”.

In 2010, Airtel had successfully bid for BWA license spectrum in Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) circles. Additionally, Airtel acquired 49 percent interest in Qualcomm AP’s India entities that hold BWA licenses in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala. The company has already launched its 4G LTE services in Kolkata, Bengaluru and Maharashtra (Pune) and is currently working towards rolling out the 4G network in remaining licence circles.

Airtel customers in Pune can check the availability of Airtel 4G services in their area online through the Google Maps interface and buy the services online. Airtel’s 4G services allows the users to access High Definition (HD) videos, multiple chatting, instant uploading of photos, rich content and much more. The postpaid plans in Pune are similar to the plans available in Kolkata and Bengaluru circles. 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.

Gangs of Wasseypur – First Film in India to Premiere Music on Mobile First

A fancy stage, celebrity guests, and guests from media. Well, that is a typical setting for the music premiere of a movie’s original soundtrack in India. Not any more for some of them.

Presented by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and produced by Anurag Kashyap, the forthcoming film – Gangs of Wasseypur, has earned the interesting distinction of being the first film in India to premier the film’s soundtrack on mobile platform before the album’s physical release. Gangs of Wasseypur has garnered unprecedented buzz from international media and has been selected for the prestigious “Directors’ Fortnight” at the 65th Festival De Cannes.

Airtel and Hungama Mobile collaborated in this interesting change to marketing and distributing entertainment with an intention to tap into the growing tribe of mobile music listeners and generate ancillary revenues from mobile downloads, ringtones, and caller-tones.

Airtel mobile subscribers got 10 days of exclusive access to music from the forthcoming movie via Hello Tunes and Airtel Radio. Hungama Mobile, a part of Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., is the largest aggregator, developer, publisher and distributor of Bollywood and South-Asian entertainment content in the world. It powers close to 75% of all mobile entertainment content in India.

Airtel Launches New Affordable Tariff Plans For 3G Customers

Last year, Airtel finally launched the much-awaited 3G services in India. The company has won 3G license for 13 telecom circles in India including Mumbai, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (West), Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, North East, Jammu & Kashmir. The 3G plans announced by Airtel and other operators were costly and not affordable of most of us. Soon after the launch of 4G services in India, Airtel went ahead and slashed 3G data plan rates by up to 70%.

Earlier, the subscribers would have to shell out Rs.201, Rs.450 and Rs.750 for 250 MB, 600 MB and 2 GB of data respectively. Now, the customers will have to pay just Rs.100, Rs.250 and Rs.450 for 300 MB, 1GB and 2GB of data respectively. Airtel has also launched a new 3G plan for heavy data subscribers, which allows then to download 10 GB of data for just Rs.1500. The new Airtel 3G packs are now available for both pre-paid and post-paid customers across circles using phones as well as dongles. Check out the complete tariff below.

airtel 3g smartbytes

airtel 3g smartbytes

airtel 3g smartbytes

These 3G data plans comes with a validity of 30 days. However, Airtel pre-paid customers can opt for a weekly data plan, which gives you 150 MB of data for just Rs.45 with a validity of 7 days. Airtel has also announced the new Smartbytes for 3G, which allows the customers to continue enjoying the 3G experience even after exhausting their monthly data limits using the add-on packs. Sadly, the Smartbytes is currently available only for the post-paid customers.

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.

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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.

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.

HTC One V Launched In India For Rs.18,299

Back in February, HTC announced the new HTC One range of smartphones. The HTC One X, HTC One S and HTC One V are the first three members of the HTC One family. The HTC One X and One S are high-end smartphones, while the HTC One V is a mid-range phone. These handsets runs on the latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System.

Along with the HTC One X, the company also launched the HTC One V in India. If you are looking for an Android 4.0 powered smartphone, without burning a hole in your pocket, then you should definitely for for the HTC One V. This handset comes with a 3.7 inch touchscreen display as well as a 1 GHz processor. If you are planning to buy this device, then check out the complete specs below.

“We are much focused on creating an invaluable camera and audio experience that is user-friendly, so customers will love using it and we believe that the HTC One series will deliver this like never before,” said Faisal Siddiqui, Country Manager of HTC India.

htc one v

HTC One V features a 3.7 inch touchscreen display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, 1 GHz processor, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, HTC Sense 4 UI, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, HD (720p) video recording and playback, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, 3G Connectivity and so on.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, 512 MB RAM, 4 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB internal memory, Beats Audio, Bluetooth 4.0, 25 GB DropBox cloud storage, A-GPS and a 1500 mAh battery. This handset measures 120.3mm x 59.7mm x 9.24mm and weighs just 115 grams.

The HTC One V is currently available only in Jupiter Rock color. Airtel subscribers will get 500 MB of data for 3 months, 100 full songs download and 200 minutes of Mobile TV with the purchase of this handset. The HTC One V comes with a price-tag of Rs.19,999, but you can easily get this device at a best buy price of Rs.18,299.