Access Banned Torrent and Video Sites in India

The Indian governments Department of Telecom (DOT) recently notified ISPs to block several torrent and video websites such as Pirate Bay, ExtraTorrent, KickAss Torrent, Vimeo, Pastebin and more to curb piracy. ISPs like Reliance and Airtel have already started blocking those websites.

In reply to those blocks, the famous group Anonymous has attacked several Indian government websites and taken them down. While the attacks continue, several users in India are still looking to access the websites but are seeing a message “This site has been blocked as per instructions from Department of Telecom (DOT)”.

If you are someone who is looking to access those torrent and video sites in India, you can still do it through several means. As I had stated earlier you can easily access blocked websites using proxy servers, you will find several proxy servers in our earlier guide on how to access blocked website.

Additionally, you can also access those websites using services like OpenDNS and Google DNS. See our guide on How to use Google Public DNS on Windows 7 and Windows XP or use a Google DNS helper to automatically change to Google DNS. If you are in India, you can use a DNS proxy website like http://dnetproxy.appspot.com/ as well.

If you are still not able to access those torrent websites, you could always try and use the site operator in Google search to directly search those websites and view their cached copies.

If you have any other means to access those websites, please feel free to leave a comment.

Airtel Launches India’s First 4G Service In Kolkata

Last year, Airtel launched its 3G services in India. Now, within a year, the company went ahead and launched the India’s first 4G service. Tata Docomo was the first private operator to launch its 3G services in India. However, this year Airtel became the first private operator to launch its 4G services. Airtel’s 4G services are currently available only for the subscribers living in the Kolkata circle.

Airtel’s 4G (TD-LTE) network was launched by Mr. Kapil Sibal, Hon’ble Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India. With this launch, India joins the most advanced telecom markets in the world and marks the beginning of a new chapter in the country’s telecom success story.

airtel dual

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Airtel said,

“Today’s launch is a major milestone for India and Airtel. Over the past 15 years Airtel has been at the forefront of India’s telecom revolution and has set the technology trends in India by aligning with the global standards. We are delighted to now provide leadership in setting the technology standard for 4G services in India by introducing the cutting edge TD-LTE. We are confident that others will follow in this direction and participate in our pioneering effort of making TD-LTE the defacto 4G standard in India.”

Back in 2010, Airtel won BWA license spectrum in Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) circles. The operator is currently working towards rolling out the 4G LTE services in circles other than Kolkata. Airtel is also one of the founding members of the Global TD-LTE Initiative (GTI) which was launched at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011.

Airtel 4G offers rich content along with superfast access to High Definition (HD) videos, multiple chatting, instant uploading of photos and so on. Currently, 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. The company is expected to launch its 4G services in Bengaluru by the end of Q2 of 2012. Stay tuned for more updates!

Reliance to Offer 4G Services by Early 2012

The Mukesh Ambani-headed company, Reliance Industries (RIL) is all set to roll out the next generation services (or 4G) in India sometime in early 2012, and is planning to scale it up to a nationwide network by the mid of 2012.

According to a source, RIL is planning to offer 4G enabled data cards for tablets which are priced at Rs. 3,000 ($60) or lesser. It plans to provide data connectivity with speeds of 50-100 Mbps at cheaper prices compared to the current 3G services.

RIL confirmed stating that its telecom unit was “in the process of setting up a world-class broadband wireless network using state-of-the-art technologies and finalising the arrangement with leading global technology players, service providers, infrastructure providers, application developers, device manufacturers and others to help usher the 4G revolution into India”.Speed

It is also noted that RIL is in talks with Walt Disney’s Indian venture UTV Software, to acquire content for its wireless broadband services. With this, Reliance will be able to offer games, entertainment and applications which are mainly targeted towards the younger generation. However, the deal is yet to be finalized and hopefully we will see a positive reply.

The company indicated that it has completed trial tests with vendors like Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson and China’s Huawei for its broadband services and will be partnering with either one of them or might split the contract between the three.

Amabani’s strategy of tantalizing customers with low prices is very much similar to the winning strategy in 2003, where the company started selling mobile phones at a very low rate, mainly targeting the middle class people. This made RIL win more than 1 million customers in just 10 days.

Reliance took over Infotel Broadband Service Pvt. Ltd in June 2010. RIL agreed upon the terms and invested about Rs. 4,800 crore, and following the investment, RIL acquired 95% of Infotel Broadband’s equity. RIL plans to have full scale commercial operations by next year, and expects to have its network cross over 700 cities.

According to a post by Reliance Industries, 4G broadband service contracts are expected to be finalized between the October-December 2011 quarter and operators, including Reliance Infotel, are expected to start rolling out services to consumers by early 2012 when favorable operational conditions are in place, which includes design and production of latest handsets, data cards and updated networks.

TRAI Blocks All Pesky Calls/SMS From Mid-Night

TRAI seems to be adamant with its decision to enforce a restriction of 100 SMS per day per SIM for all subscribers. This decision comes after Telecom Operators lobby COAI requested to go away with 100 SMS per day restriction on grounds of fundamental rights to subscribers.

sms-spam

Telecom Operators lobby COAI Rajan S Mathews said. “All our operators are ready to implement the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to curb the menace of unsolicited calls and SMSes. However, we are concerned about the 100 SMSes per SIM a day and we will be in discussion with the regulator to sort this out”.

In order to stop the annoyance of unwanted Spam calls/SMS TRAI has no plans to rethink this decisions. Starting Mid-Night today, all operators are to follow the 100 SMS per day restrictions on its subscribers.

“In order to curb the menace of pesky calls and messages, as of now, this (limit of hundred SMS per day per SIM) will be applicable to all users. If in future some problem arises, we will see the things,” a Trai source said.

Subscribers can chose to partially as well as fully block category. If subscribers chose partially block category they can receive SMS from category chosen by them. Currently TRAI has categories — banking and financial products, real estate, education, health, consumer goods, automobiles, communication and entertainment, tourism and leisure.

To register under fully blocked category users need to send an SMS “START 0″ to 1909 without quotes. To register under partially block category users need to replace 0 with category number. For example to receive SMS from communication category users can send SMS “START 6″ to 1909.

[image]

MTS Launches Color Handset And Free MTS To MTS Calling For Just Rs.699

Most of the people in India can’t afford a Samsung Galaxy S II or the Google Nexus S. They just need a basic phone with voice calling capabilities to stay connected with their friends and families. To solve their problem, MTS, a part of the Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited (SSTL), recently launched a new color handset for just Rs.699. The specs and features of this handset was not mentioned in the press release, but it is expected to come with basic features such as Calendar, Alarm and Games.

mts logo

For Rs.699, you will not only get a color handset, but you will also get free MTS to MTS local calling with a validity of 365 days. You heard it right! You can stay connected with your friends and families for a year, without burning a hole in your pocket. This offer is currently available only in Maharashtra and Goa circle, but the company is expected to roll out this amazing offer in other telecom circles as well.

According to Sandeep Marwaha, Chief Operating Officer, Maharashtra Circle, MTS India “In our endeavor to stay a step ahead in delighting our customers, we are launching free MTS to MTS local calling. This initiative has been designed to provide our customers with the freedom of staying in constant touch with their loved ones without having to worry about talk time. I am confident that all our customers across Maharashtra & Goa will find this proposition extremely appealing.”

MTS has also launched a new data offer for the customers buying an MBlaze connection. You will just need to recharge your data account with Rs 498 to get 5GB usage for a month. The company has launched a special student offer. Students in Maharashtra and Goa circle will need to buy an MBlaze connection and get a recharge of Rs.1002 to get 10 GB of data usage for a month. You can easily get these offers in Maharashtra & Goa (except Mumbai) at 14000 retail outlets and 85 branded retail outlets.

Huge Security Hole Discovered in BSNL Internal Application Dotsoft

BSNL is India’s largest telecom provider, a game changer in the telecom industry in India and probably the  only organization that drives competition in this sector by going out of its way. The success of BSNL in India can be attributed to a number of factors, the primary one being its ties with the Government. The Government of India owns BSNL and it also forms a strategic partner for the Government of India. This makes BSNL a powerful organization when it comes to the telecom industry and as the good old saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility”.

BSNL has been hacked numerous times in the past. Last year in August, Pakistani hackers pwned BSNL India’s Punjab website and managed to get hold of user data. There was a déjà vu in July (last month) when the Pakistani Cyber Army hacked a BSNL website (again!). Now, we are seeing another security hole in a BSNL website, which can compromise numerous employee accounts inside the organization.

bsnl-hack-dotsoft

The Dotsoft application used by BSNL for its internal operations is a flawed one when it comes to security. As you can see, the application allows public access, for anyone to modify any internal user account at BSNL. The Dotsoft project page (probably) at BSNL explains it as,

Dotsoft  is in-house developed software, integrating the Commercial Activities, Telecom Billing & Accounting,  FRS and Directory Enquiry. It has been implemented  in  171  SSAs (Districts) across the country.
All the SSAs of Andhra Pradesh,  Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and  Gujarat Telecom Circles  have implemented it. Rest of SSAs is from states of  Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan,  J&K and Haryana. Many Telecom Circles like Bihar Telecom Circle,  Orissa Telecom Circle and Uttaranchal  Telecom Circle  are in various stages of finalizing the plans for implementation of Dotsoft in their SSAs.

Clearly, this application holds extreme value inside the organization as it forms a critical part of their business. Severe security vulnerability like this should be fixed immediately. Any plans to extend this application across more states, without fixing this vulnerability might put BSNL in jeopardy.

Airtel Hikes Prepaid Tariff Rates By 20% In 6 Circles

Bharti Airtel is the India’s largest telecom operator. Earlier this year, Airtel launched its 3G services in India. The company has won 3G license in Mumbai, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (West), Rajasthan, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, North East, Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka circle. Airtel subscribers in other circles will also be able to enjoy the 3G services, thanks to the Intra Circle Roaming Agreement (ICRA) with private operators such as Idea and Vodafone. This is definitely a good news, but we also have a bad news for the Airtel subscribers.

Airtel has recently hiked its prepaid tariff by 20% in 6 circles across India, including New Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh circles. Pre-paid subscribers will be charged 1.2 paisa per second instead of the usual 1 paisa per second tariff. It means that, Airtel subscribers will need to shell out Rs.0.90 per minute for local and STD calls. Airtel has also increased the rates of local and STD SMS to Rs.1 and Rs.1.5 respectively.

airtel logo

According to the reports, Bharti Airtel has hiked the price because the company has paid $10.7 billion last year to acquire the Africa business of Kuwaiti telecom operator Zain. The company has also paid $3.3 billion to buy the 3G spectrum in India. Last year, Airtel has reached a new milestone of 200 million customers. To celebrate the success, the company has also changed its logo and signature tune. Airtel currently operates in 19 countries across South Asia, Africa and the Channel Islands.

“Telecom is probably the only industry where despite increasing inflation, tariffs have been falling unabatedly. Continuously declining margins, high 3G & BWA auction prices, constrained spectrum and rural roll out aspirations leave us with little choice but to make some price corrections. We are committed to enhance value for our customers through continued investments in network, technology, customer experience and life enriching services,” the company said in a statement.

After Airtel, other private operators such as Vodafone, Tata Indicom and Tata Docomo are expected to join the bandwagon. We have a question for the Airtel subscriber out there. What are your views regarding the hike in price? Will you shift your Airtel number to other operator using the MNP or you will stay connected with Airtel? Let us know your views in the comments below.

Idea Finally Launches 3G Services In Mumbai

Idea has finally  launched  its 3G services in Mumbai. Earlier this year, Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Communications announced their 3G services. And now, Idea became the fourth private operator to launch the 3G services in Mumbai circle.  Idea is already offering 3G services in  Maharashtra, Goa, UP, Kerala,  Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Idea subscribers in Mumbai can  enjoy speeds up to 21 Mbps on their 3G smartphones.

idea 3g

Idea Cellular had won 3G license for 11 circles Maharashtra & Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (E), Uttar Pradesh (W), Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir. But the company does not have 3G license in Mumbai circle. To offer 3G services to its subscribers in Mumbai and other circle, where the company have not won 3G licence, Idea has mutually signed an Intra Circle Roaming Agreement (ICRA) with private operators such as Airtel and Vodafone.

Idea 3G is currently available only for selected customers in Mumbai. Idea offers free 100 MB of data for free with a validity of 15 days. After using the free data, Idea subscribers in Mumbai will be charged just 10 paisa per 10KB. To select 3G data plan, Idea subscribers will need to dial *800#. To deactivate 3G services, SMS DEACT3G to 12345. Check out the Idea 3G plans here.

Tata Indicom Launches New BlackBerry Data Plans Starting At Just Rs.99

Tata Teleservices recently launched three exciting and affordable BlackBerry service plans for its new Tata Indicom customers. The new plans will be available only for the first three months. Tata Indicom subscribers can enjoy BlackBerry messaging services(MaiLite), BlackBerry Internet Service and BlackBerry Enterprise Server service starting at Rs.99, Rs.199 and Rs.599 respectively. After the first three months, Tata Indicom subscribers will be charged standard monthly prices of Rs.299, Rs.399 and Rs.900 respectively.

BlackBerry Bold Touch

BlackBerry is an iconic product with an exceptional service that’s desired by users, and we want to offer greater flexibility and affordability to our existing customers while attracting new BlackBerry customers. We believe this exciting initiative will appeal to all young professionals, students and a broad spectrum of retail customers who are looking for an exceptional experience for messaging, social networking, e-mail and Internet browsing while on the move,Mr Sukanto Aich, President, Enterprise Business, Tata Teleservices Limited said.

Tata Indicom subscribers can access up to 10 supported e-mail accounts along with the popular BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) service as well as other Instant Messaging services, thanks to the MaiLite plan. The BlackBerry Internet Service plan offers access to up to 10 supported e-mail accounts, BBM, Instant Messaging services, social networking and Internet browsing. The BlackBerry Enterprise Server plan includes all of the above plus access to corporate data and tight integration with IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft Exchange or Novell GroupWise.

Airtel Launches Its 3G Services In Gujrat

Last year, Tata Docomo was the first private operator to launch its 3G services in India. And soon after that, Reliance Communications and Aircel joined the bandwagon. Early this year, private operators such as Idea, Airtel and Vodafone also launched their 3G services. Airtel first launched its 3G services in Mumbai, during March and after waiting for nearly 3 months, the company went ahead and has finally launched its 3G services in Gujrat circle.

Commenting on this much awaited launch, Mr. Shivan Bhargava, COO Gujarat, Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel said, Having successfully launched Airtel 3G services in 50 plus towns across India, we today have over 3 million customers that are enjoying the Airtel 3G advantage. As we extend the promise of Airtel 3G services to Gujarat, we are delighted to invite our mobile customers in the region to experience the power of high speed internet and enjoy a host of innovative application capabilities from their mobile devices anywhere, anytime. We believe that Airtel 3G will lead the data and internet revolution in aapnu Gujarat, bringing our customers in the state closer to an all new world of possibilities.

airtel dual logo

Airtel has won 3G license for 13 telecom circles in India Mumbai, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (West), Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, North East, Jammu & Kashmir. Airtel 3G services will be available across all major parts of Gujarat including Ahmedabad, Baroda, Rajkot, Surat, Gandhinagar, Bhavnagar, Nadiad, Anand, Bharuch, Ankleshwar, Amreli, Chikli, Dahej, Daman, Gandhidham, Godhra, Jamnagar, Junagadh, Porbander, Silvassa, Valsad, Vapi, Rajula, Diu, Una and Verawal.

Airtel has also launched the International Video Calling, which is currently available in 227 international geographies. You can make international video calls, only if your friends and relatives are on a 3G network and using a smartphone with front-facing camera. International video calls to USA, Canada, Bangladesh are charged at Rs.14/min, while calls to UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Oman are charged at Rs.20/min.

Airtel 3G comes with the Mobile TV, which allows you to watch more than 100 live channels on the go. To learn more about Airtel 3G plans, head over to this page. If you have any queries, then call 12134 from your Airtel number or SMS 3G HELP’ to 121 and you will get the required information.