COLUMN: The True Price of Facebook’s ‘Free Internet’ program

Facebook, the world’s biggest social network, is prompting its users to send a submission to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to save its ‘Free Basics’ program, urging them to fight the “small, vocal group” of net neutrality activists. “A small, vocal group of critics are lobbying to have Free Basics banned on the basis […]

New TRAI net neutrality paper is a breath of fresh air after the last one

The latest consultation paper by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on telecom providers charging different prices for browsing different websites — the so-called differential pricing of data — comes across as a breath of fresh air after the last one, issued under former chairman Rahul Khullar. While Khullar started with the assumption that net […]

Idea 4G launch: Registrations started for a list of over 150 cities in MP, Karnataka, Kerala, Haryana

Idea Cellular, holder of the biggest amount of 4G spectrum in the 1800 MHz band, has opened registration for its 4G service in over 150 cities across eight of 12 circles where it plans to launch the service. These eight circles are the four southern states, Punjab & Haryana in the north and Orissa and […]

From January, RCom customers may be able to use Reliance Jio 4G

Customers of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications Ltd may be able to use 4G services from next month thanks to an agreement with Reliance Jio, according to sources. Jio, as we have already reported, is scheduled to launch its services by the end of this month and the company’s subscribers will be eligible to use RCom’s […]

Jio Effect: Aircel slashes 3G rates; Will others follow?

Back in 2011, when 3G services were starting to be launched, there would be new announcements every three or four weeks from each operator on new tariff plans. Some would offer ‘free 3G’ along with voice recharge, some would offer combo plans, some heavy usage plans such as 10 GB for Rs 999 and so […]

Bharti Airtel plans to overtake Reliance Jio’s network in next 3 years

To counter the tremendous threat posed by Reliance Jio, the biggest telecom company in India Bharti Airtel has launched a massive network transformation program called Project Leap. “Aimed at perceptibly improving network quality and delivering the best customer experience, this strategic project will see an investment of Rs. 60,000 crore in the next 3 years,” […]

Reliance Jio starts testing 4G service in Kerala

Reliance Jio has started testing its network in Kerala in cities like Thrissur, according to industry sources, and is only days away from completing its infrastructure work in most places in the state. An employee of the company was able to demonstrate decent 4G speeds using a phone made by LG Electronics. The operator will give more handsets […]

Google ends the Great Online Shopping Festival in India

Google India has cancelled its three-year-old annual shopping event – the Great Online Shopping Festival, taking a step back to let the big giants like Flipkart and Amazon do their own thing. As Google pointed out, back in 2012, when it launched Great Online Shopping Festival to rival USA’s Cyber Monday, the total online shopping Industry […]

Bharti Airtel is adding over 100 3G towers per day

The latest quarterly numbers released by Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular point to an interest fact — both have increased the rate of 3G deployment by 100% or more. Bharti Airtel, for example, added 9,561 new 3G towers in India during the three months ended September, compared to only around 4,060 new towers added in […]

Spectrum trading – Aircel planning to sell its spectrum in circles like Kerala, Punjab etc?

With spectrum trading rules promulgated, all eyes are on two key players — Aircel Cellular and Tata Teleservices — wondering whether they will sell coveted 3G and 4G spectrum held with them. Operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular are known to be keen to buy spectrum from these operators. Adding fuel to speculation […]

Spectrum Trading Guidelines – Tata, Aircel, RCom to be major beneficiaries in India

The Indian government today implemented perhaps the most awaited reform in the telecom sector in recent years — spectrum trading. Trading will be allowed for all spectrum acquired through auctions or for which ‘market rates’ have been paid. Largely as expected, the norms however have hit MTS — owned by Russia’s Sistema — badly as […]

Idea, Airtel & Vodafone slash 3G rates ahead of Reliance Jio launch via promotions, Tata DoCoMo expands

Idea Cellular, Vodafone India and Bharti Airtel are known to have started offering aggressive discounts on their 3G plans to their customers via promotional offers and SMSes ahead of Reliance Jio’s launch. All three are already offering 1 GB of 3G data for Rs 149 as opposed to Rs 249 earlier. However, the discounts don’t […]

Airtel, Idea, Reliance Jio and Vodafone race to launch 4G in Kerala

Bharti Airtel is trying to address a key weakness in the lucrative market of Kerala — the lack of a 3G network — by going aggressively with its 4G roll-out. The biggest cities, Kochi and Calicut, have already got LTE services from the company, while most of the cities in the state will be covered […]

Amazon India to sell daily household items and FMCG

Amazon India today announced the launch of its Household Supplies store that offers a wide range of products including dishwashing detergents, household cleaners, laundry detergents, paper, plastic wraps as well as puja supplies. These products will be delivered to any place in India. The entry of the giant into this space could squeeze specialized online […]

NDTV Gadgets valued at Rs 325 cr; investors include Paytm

NDTV has finally announced that it has raised an unspecified amount of money by selling stake in its NDTV Gadgets portal. The investments have been made after valuing the unit at $50 mln (around Rs 325 cr). Interestingly, that amount is close to almost half of the value of the parent firm’s shares — which […]

MTS says won’t block VoIP calls, offers OpenWeb data plans

With operators like Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular asking the government to be allowed to block certain web applications that compete with their own offerings, data-centric service provider MTS has declared that it will never block any web traffic on its network. Sistema Shyam TeleServices – which runs its services under the MTS brand – […]

Airtel taps entrepreneur Manish Khera to head Airtel Money

Telecom provider Bharti Airtel said that Manish Khera, Co-founder & MD of YTS Solutions will be appointed as CEO of Airtel M Commerce Services Limited (AMSL), which offers Airtel’s flagship semi-closed wallet under the brand name ‘Airtel Money’. YTS Solutions provides solutions of financial inclusion, micro banking and branchless banking. Once appointed, Manish will be […]

Flipkart offers a helping hand to struggling traditional art

Flipkart, India’s largest online marketplace, has launched India Art House – an exclusive store offering sellers a platform to promote regional products. Housing over 10,000 hand-made and traditional handicrafts products, customers will now be able to browse and shop for skilled-crafts from specific regions of their choice, the firm said. “India Art House truly embodies […]

Airtel 4G trials launched in Shillong, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore and other towns

Bharti Airtel Limited (“Bharti Airtel”), India’s biggest telecommunications company, today launched 4G trials for its customers in Shillong. With this, Airtel 4G trials are now going in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Visakhapatnam, Mangalore, Mysore, Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Vellore, Hubli, Dharwad, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela, Tumkur, Udupi and Manipal. “Airtel 4G enables superfast internet speeds and allows […]