Viruses and malware are not new to mobile devices, however, in a somewhat startling revelation, Panda Research blog discovered that Vodafone is distributing the Mariposa bot, Conficker and Lineage password stealing malware with HTC Magic phones.
The vulnerability was found in HTC Magic phone running the Android OS which was supplied by Vodafone Germany (based on the screenshots and German language used on the computer of the Panda AV employee). The alert was triggered by Panda Cloud AV, when the phone was plugged into the PC via USB.
Malicious code was found in the Autorun files, which automatically runs when a USB drive is connected to a PC. The malware in question was identified as Mariposa bot client, which is run by an unknown guy named "tnls". If users are infected with the virus it will automatically start contacting servers and sending data to them.
In addition to the above bot, the researcher also found traces of Conficker virus along with a password stealing malware called Lineage. There were no reports about the phone being affected by the above, but PCs without appropriate protection would definitely be vulnerable to these viruses.
It is really startling to see that both Vodafone and HTC allowed these phones to be sold without extensive testing and checks. It is not known as too how many phones are affected, however, it is a safe bet to connect your phone to your PC (with AV running), and running a quick scan on the contents of the phone.
We have contacted Vodafone and HTC for a statement, will update this post when more information becomes available.
Vodafone Essar has tied up with BookMyShow.com to to enables its mobile subscribers book movie tickets over the mobile medium through IVR or SMS channel. As an introductory offer, there will be no convenience fee till February 28, 2010. With this, M-shop service you can also make various bill payments, recharge any Vodafone prepaid connection, pay any Vodafone postpaid bill, recharge Dish TV or TATA Sky connection, shop for popular books, buy flowers, gifts and tickets using their Visa or MasterCard credit card.
Rajesh Dongre, Head Mobile Commerce, Vodafone Essar said, This initiative offers our customers the ease and convenience of booking their favourite movie tickets even as they are on the move. It is an innovative application of technology and the beauty of this service lies in its utility.
To avail this service, Vodafone subscribers need to call 53333 (toll free) or send SMS MSHOP to 53333 (no charge).
While the big names have been busy dazzling the world with the latest and greatest offerings at MWC 2010, Vodafone has unveiled, what it claims to be, the lowest-cost mobile phone on Earth. The Vodafone 150 will be available for less than $15 (Rs 700 approx.) and is targeted at developing countries. It will initially be launched in India, Turkey and eight African countries including Lesotho, Kenya and Ghana.
Mobile phone sales has been experiencing explosive growth in emerging markets like India and total mobile ownership is predicted to reach 5 billion in 2010. SMS has become a way of life even in villages located in far-flung parts of the country. Vodafone is obviously hoping to attract new customers thanks to its ludicrously low price.
While Vodafone 150 is a black and white phone supporting only voice calls and SMS, a comparatively luxurious alternative dubbed Vodafone 250 (priced at $20.00) will include color display and FM radio. Vodafone has stated that a simple payment service will also be built into these ultra-low-end phones.
We yet haven’t heard about the next 3G auction date. As a matter of fact, in a public poll many voters suggested that the government should drop the 3G auction and concentrate on bringing in the 4G technology in India, so by the next 2-3 years we could actually use 4G connection and we could cope up with the latest technology. And to think of it, by that time I am sure everyone would also be flaunting a 4G mobile device with them.
While we talk about 3G and 4G, Airtel has launched an interesting GPRS plan for prepaid customers. With a recharge of 98 INR you will now be able to get 2GB free data usage plan and with multiple recharge you can extend the limit in multiples of 2. To counter attack BSNL launched five new plans with an unlimited download plan. The coming week, I expect Vodafone, Aircel and others to join the flame. It’s always better to have options.
As if caller tune was enough irritating on wireless connections, Airtel wants to cash on its 2.9 million fixed line connections with similar service. Airtel has launched a new service called Family Namewhere you can set your Family Name as caller tune for Rs.15 one time download and Rs.30 monthly subscription. Thousands of standard’ family names are available and more would be added soon.
Last week, we saw some astonishing figures and statics. Indian operators collectively signing up 19.1 million new subscribers for wireless services in December 2009. This is the highest figure so far for new subscribers in a month. India’s mobile subscriber base now touches 525.15 million. So by March 10 we could definitely cross the predicted 529 million subscribers. With this we have achieved the overall tele-density of 47.89. Take a look at the Net addition of wireless connection in the month of December 2010 in percentage.
Apart from that, we saw the launch of three new handsets last week. RIM introduced Blackberry BOLD 9700 in the Indian market with the price tag of 31,990 INR. It will be available on Airtel, Aircel, BSNL, Idea Cellular, Loop Mobile, MTNL, Reliance, Tata and Vodafone. Acer introduced it’s first Android based phone: Acer Liquid. This touch screen handset is priced at 24,990 INR. Nokia, launched Nokia 5233 a cheaper version of it touch screen Nokia 5230, just without 3G. Nokia 5233 will be available for 7500 INR which is almost 1000 INR cheaper than Nokia 5230.
That’s all for this week. See you Next week and Enjoy the weekend.
Calling Internationally has never been so cheap. Vodafone has now taken the plunge to launch everything per second. Vodafone now offers to per second billing offer to its prepaid and postpaid subscribers.
Kumar Ramanathan Chief Marketing Officer, Vodafone Essar said, We are pleased to announce the launch of World Calling Cards with per second charging. A first in the industry, the new Vodafone World Calling Card offers customers greater convenience, good value for money and seamless connectivity with family and friends in India and abroad.
With this vouchers you can call US/Canada, Gulf, Europe, China, South East Asia, Australia/ NZ for cheap with per second billing. Also, with this voucher you can make STD calls at 1paisa/second, much cheaper than getting STD vouchers.
Have you ever wondered which is the right data/call plan for you? Or the current plan satisfies your needs? Many a times, people waste money on call plans just because of ignorance about the best suited plans for them. Vodafone Essar has now launched a new advisory service’ for the prepaid and postpaid customers to help you chose the right plan.
You could simply call on 121, which is a toll free number and gain guidance on which plan to opt for as per your usage pattern. As for the prepaid subscribers, this service could help you know suitable tariff offer, right recharge & bonus vouchers and also customize current offer as per your usage. For postpaid customers, the service can help you know the best suited plan, bill details and new offers.
This service is not only limited to help you chose a right plan for your needs but will also help you getting more information about other Value Added Services (VAS) and promotional offers. We hope other operators follow the suit and introduce such advisory service on their network too.
Here I will post weekly roundup of the happenings in the Indian Telecom Industry. I will try to do this a weekly thing as much as possible in coming weeks.
With Tata Docomo entering the Indian market with its per second billing scheme, it was inevitable for other telecom operators to ignore Tata Docomos success. Not only has it introduced healthy competition but also has helped in to the reduce costs of SMS, calls and other services. Aircel and Vodafone launched new voucher schemes with call rates as cheap as 10p to 50p.
3G auctions were to be held on 15th Jan 2010, which yet again got delayed cause of the differences between the Defence Forces and the Communications Ministry are again coming in the way of arrival of 3G. A meeting Between the Defense communication professionals and Communications Minister didn’t really bring the desired outcome. The chairman will make certain decision or another round of consultations may be held. So, expect 3G auctions to be delayed for few more weeks now.
With Telecommunication industry growing at more than 100% every month, the customers never really had a better customer service experience. Tata teleservices introduced a new initiative where in user can Call and Buy Photon Plus on a toll free number 1800 420 8282 1800 420 8282. We hope they continue to provide such service even after getting the connection.
The next roundups will include more detailed analysis.
Since everyone is getting into the 1 paisa per second call rate bandwagon, Vodafone isn’t too behind either. Vodafone has introduced new STD vouchers. This offer perfectly suits for those who make many long distance as well as local calls.
Rental: Rs.52/- Validity: 1 year Benefits: All Local and STD calls at just 50 paise for 365 days at a very affordable rental. Circle: Mumbai/Maharashtra.
The new SMS pack launched by Vodafone, the 2nd largest GSM mobile service operator in India, clearly shows that the operator has entered into a serious competition, for providing lowest possible call and SMS rates to their subscribers. The new SMS pack launched by Vodafone in Assam circle allows the user to send all local and national SMS only at 1 paisa per SMS.
Price: Rs.14/- Validity: 30 days Talktime: NIL Offer: Local and STD SMS will be charged at 1 paisa per SMS.
How To Activate?
Prepaid Subscribers: Recharge with Rs.14 bonus card from your nearest retailer or you can even recharge online.
Postpaid Subscribers: SMS “ACT 14to 111.
This offer is not applicable on blackout days and while roaming. This offer is valid only for Vodafone subscribers in Assam. Vodafone subscribers in rest of the country should not recharge with this bonus card. To know more, contact your Customer Care by dialing 111.