Saturday, March 23, 2013

Airtel, Vodafone and Loop license renewal request rejected by DoT

License of these operators in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata is set to expire in 2014. To continue services these players will have to bid for spectrum in these circles.

Department of Telecom (DoT) has rejected the request of renewal of license of Airtel, Vodafone and Loop mobile for Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata circles. License of these operators will expire next year. While only Vodafone has confirmed receiving the letter of rejection, it is likely that other two will get it on Monday.
Vodafone in a statement said, "Vodafone is deeply disappointed with the summary rejection of its request for extension of its licenses in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata service areas by DoT. This decision is against the interests of our several million customers in these cities/circles."
DoT has asked these operators to bid for the spectrum to extend their license instead of simply holding on to what they already have by paying a small fee. DoT has already listed the spectrum held by these operators in 900 Mhz for auctions.
Airtel, Vodafone and Loop license renewal request rejected by DoT
The spectrum identified for auction in 900 Mhz includes 8 Mhz held by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone each in Delhi circle, 8 Mhz each of Loop Mobile and Vodafone in Mumbai; and in Kolkata 6.2 Mhz spectrum of Bharti Airtel and 7.8 Mhz of Vodafone that is due for renewal in 2014.
While Airtel and Vodafone already have 3G spectrum in Delhi and Mumbai with which they will be able to continue offering the services, Vodafone also has 3G spectrum in Kolkata. Loop has no option but to bid for spectrum or else exit the market. Loop already lost license in 21 circles, through a Supreme Court order in the 2G scam.
However 3G spectrum is in 1800 MHz band while their existing 2G operations run on 900 Mhz band, which is twice as good as 1800 MHz band and if these operators choose not to bid then they will have to increase their tower density by almost double.
Vodafone has released a very emotional statement in view of this rejection which reads, "In addition, there appears to be no acknowledgment by DoT of the full and faithful operation of the license for 18 years - for being a pioneer and entering the market when there was no concept of mobile telephony in India, for investing tens of thousands of crores in setting up a state of the art network, for serving millions of subscribers and for contributing to the national tele-density objectives, for being the second largest rural mobile service provider in India. Vodafone has also been consistently contributing several crores in revenues to the national exchequer. Clearly, in DoT's opinion, these aspects are not important for determining expediency."

Videocon to offer 23 Mbps speed over LTE network

While LTE is capable of offering 100 Mbps speed, due to limited spectrum, Videocon will offer lower speed. It will offer only 9 Mbps speed in smaller cities.

Videocon, which is set to offer FD LTE services in six circles, has said that it will offer only 23 Mbps speed in larger cities and 9 Mbps speed in smaller towns and cities.
Arvind Bali, chief executive officer of Videocon mobile services, while talking to The Mobile Indian said, "We have got 5MHz spectrum in each of the six circles, of which we plan to use 3 Mhz for LTE services in large cities and rest for the 2G based voice service, this will enable us to offer speeds of up to 23 Mbps. In smaller towns however we will use only 1.4 MHz for LTE, to offer 9 Mbps speed."
While these speeds are considerable higher than current 3G speeds being offered in India, it will be substantially lower than 100 Mbps that LTE is capable of offering.
Videocon to offer 23 Mbps speed over LTE network
Arvind added, "Even at these speeds LTE will offer much better experience compared to 3G networks with much better reliability. Moreover our network will be dynamic and allocate bandwidth to 2G and LTE according to the load, so if voice traffic is higher more space will be allocated to 2G, if data is higher more bandwidth with be allocated to LTE".
Videocon has 4G spectrum in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, UP west, UP East, Bihar and Jharkhand. It has however only 2G spectrum in Punjab so it will not offer LTE services there.
When we asked if they plan to upgrade the spectrum by paying a fee to the government, Arvind said, "We already have CDMA, GSM, Wireless broadband services in Punjab and therefore can cater to requirements of consumers there. We do not want to upgrade our spectrum there as of now."
Though he did not share the LTE pricing structure, but said that we will try to remain the most value for money brand in the space.
About the LTE handsets, he said, "The technology that we are using is already in use and handsets are available in decent numbers already, almost all the high end handsets like Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Nokia Lumia 920 support the LTE that we plan to deploy. We have also asked our mobile handset division to create dongles and low priced mobile phones to support our network and that will be ready in time for our launch."
It may be noted that apart from Videocon, all the players in the 4G space are using TD LTE instead of FDD LTE technology which is being used by Videocon and most of the operators in the USA and Europe countries. So while Airtel which has LTE network in four cities of Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore and Chandigarh does not offer mobile phones right now, Videocon's FDD LTE network will be supported by all the high end phones already available in India

Friday, March 22, 2013

Videocon announces free incoming calls on roaming

Government of India is mulling free roaming facility for all starting this October.

Videocon Mobile Services has made incoming calls free while on roaming by default, so you do not have to pay any processing fee or special tariff voucher to avail it.
This offering shall be available for Videocon users with immediate effect without any hidden cost, announced the company in a press release.
Videocon announces free incoming calls on roaming
However, this facility will be available to Videocon subscribers roaming in Videocon's own network. All outgoing local and STD calls (during roaming) will be charged at Rs 1 and Rs 1.5 per minute respectively. All local and national outgoing SMSes during roaming will be charged at Rs 3.45 per SMS while Rs 5 per SMS will be levied for international SMSes. As per Videocon, for data during roaming, users have to pay 10 paisa for each 10 KB consumed.
Arvind Bali, director and chief executive officer, Videocon Mobile Services commented, "We aim at being a country free of any physical or geographical boundaries, and in pursuance of the visionary recommendations as underlined in the National Telecom Policy 2012, we reiterate our commitment towards 'One Nation - Free Roaming'. To extend the benefits of freedom of movement across our Network, we have introduced this offering where our subscribers roaming across Videocon Network will stand to benefit from free incoming calls. There are no strings attached to the proposition, no STVs/recharges required. This is yet another 'Industry first' by Videocon and we are committed to our mantra of providing something "Extra” to our customers always."
The government of India has been mulling to abolish roaming charges for a long time. Earlier, roaming charges were to be abolished from March but has now been postponed to October this year. Operators have been though vehemently opposing the same citing loss of revenues. Sometime back Aircel has announced a new pack called 'One Nation, One Rate'. The plan offers one rate for voice, SMS and data in home circle and on roaming on Aircel network which virtually means free roaming.
Bharti Airtel has also announced free roaming for its prepaid users in Delhi sometime back. Under that scheme, Airtel's prepaid users in Delhi can enjoy free incoming calls in as many as five states - Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand and West Bengal (except Kolkata).

Govt mulling single emergency number

TRAI has sought public comments on making 100 or 108 as single number for entire country just like 911 or 999 are in USA.

Government of India is finally waking up and through TRAI has started a process of setting up a single number, either 100 or 108, for all emergency situations across the country. People will be able to call this number in various emergencies like fire or medical or accidents.
At present, just the Delhi police uses numbers like 100, 1096, 1090, and multitudes of other numbers calling it woman and child helpline, anti-stalking helpline. These helplines over the years have mushroomed with each new ghastly event like the December 16th gang rape incident post which the Delhi government had set up 181 as the new helpline for women. All this means that it is virtually impossible to figure out which number to call especially when you are stressed in an emergency.
Many countries have single emergency numbers like 911 in USA, 999 in UK and 000 in Australia.
Govt mulling single emergency number
TRAI has released a consultation paper on "Universal Single Number Based Integrated Emergency Communication and Response System (IECRS)” for this purpose.
"In India, number 100 which is reserved for calling Police services is very popular. This makes 100 a suitable candidate for the choice of single number for IECRS," TRAI said.
However, 108 emergency service managed by EMRI ( Emergency Management and Research Institute) across more than ten states is becoming popular as an emergency response system, TRAI added.
TRAI has also sought comments if there should be primary or secondary access numbers in the country on the lines of other countries.
"A secondary emergency response number also exists in some countries like 112 in UK (in addition to 999), 112 in Australia (in addition to 000). Calls from this number are again routed to primary response numbers in these countries," TRAI said.
It, however, said there are challenges in its implementation particularly when there are various government departments involved in handling different types of emergencies. This is a weird comment as anywhere in the world only medical department will handle medical emergencies, fire will be handled by fire department etc. So there is nothing new in India. What is needed is a simple software, and call center that directs these calls intelligently to these departments.
TRAI has also asked if emergency number access be allowed from inactive SIMs or handsets without SIMs and how the funding requirement should be met for costs involved in implementation of IECRS. This is again in our opinion a question that is not even needed to be asked. Providing emergency services is one of the core duties of the government and therefore be funded by the government and of course it has to be offered on all phones.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Airtel 4G launched in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula

Delhi and Mumbai are expected to be the next one to get it.

Bharti Airtel has launched 4G (LTE) services in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. The service will offer data download speeds up to 100 Mbps. Airtel had already launched its 4G services in Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune.
The service will be able to support streaming of High Definition (HD) videos, and other services that work on high speed networks. However unlike Pune, where the company has announced support for voice services, in rest of the circles including Chandigarh no such announcement has been made.
Also, Airtel has launched the LTE service with only two devices - a 4G multimode Dongle and a WiFi router (CPE) both priced at Rs 4,999. It has five unlimited plans with high speed data limit post which users will get speed of 128 Kbps only. The unlimited plans start at Rs 999 for 6 GB. There are Rs 1,399, Rs 1,999, Rs 2,999 and Rs 4,799 plans as well for which you would get 9 GB, 18 GB, 30 GB and 50 GB of high speed data respectively.
Airtel 4G launched in Chandigarh
Airtel is offering discounts with all these plans. For instance, in the Rs 999 plan, you will get Rs 147 back every month for six months. Similarly, Rs 1,399 plan gives Rs 466 off for 6 months, Rs 312 is waived off every month for 12 months in the Rs 1,999 plan. In the other two plans, you will get Rs 417 off every month for 12 months.
Airtel is also offering Smartbytes, which basically allows you to buy extra high speed data quota. These are priced at Rs 600, Rs 875 and Rs 1500 offering 3 GB, 5 GB and 10 GB extra data.
The plans are not very expensive when you compare these with 3G services, and since all the plans are unlimited you will not even get a bill shock. However, currently there are no tablets or smartphones in the market which are compatible to use the 4G services, so you can only make use of the 4G network with your laptops or as a home/office broadband network.
Airtel is currently the only player to offer 4G services in the country. However once players like Reliance Industries (RIL) launches their service we will see more competition and a steep drop in 4G data tariffs.
In 2010, Airtel had successfully bid for BWA license spectrum in Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) circles. Additionally, last year, Bharti Airtel acquired 49 percent interest in Qualcomm's India entities that hold BWA licenses in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala.
The company has said that it is currently working towards rolling out state-of-the-art networks in remaining license circles. And we know from our sources that Delhi and Mumbai circles are next in line for the launch.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bengaluru's 2 main roads to get free WiFi

The Karnataka state government will soon provide free WiFi service on Mahatma Gandhi Road and Brigade Road in Bengaluru.

The Karnataka state government will soon provide free WiFi service on Mahatma Gandhi Road and Brigade Road in Bengaluru. The service is expected to start around next month which will make Bangalore the first city to have such a service, Economic Times has reported.
The idea is the brainchild of a government-appointed panel headed by Mohandas Pai, a former director at Infosys. The pilot service will be available for at least six months, after which panel will evaluate the network and announce possible expansion plans.
Bengaluru's 2 main roads to get free WiFi
"A smartphone revolution is happening in India, but connectivity is still an issue here. We wanted to provide seamless internet access to people," said Pai, who is also the chairman of the Manipal Global Education.
The decision to offer free wireless broadband access was taken last year and the recommendations of the ICT group were sent to Karnataka's chief minister in January. Bangalore-based internet service provider D-VoiS has been assigned to implement the pilot free of charge. "Once the pilot finishes, we will talk to other private ISPs and figure out a revenue-sharing model," Pai said.
However, what kind of revenue model can be generated is not clear, moreover opposition from 3G and 4G service providers is expected as the free WiFi service will impact their revenues.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Videocon Mobiles to offer 4G service from Dec 2013 onwards

Videocon Telecommunication will offer LTE or 4G services in seven circles.

Videocon Telecommunication will offer LTE or 4G services in seven circles of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, UP west, UP East, Bihar and Jharkhand from December this year.
Speaking at a press conference in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Arvind Bali, director and chief executive officer, Videocon Telecommunication said, "In this auction, we have right to offer 2G, 3G, LTE and other high-end data services to customers. We are not interested in 3G but have started working on launching 4G or LTE services in all the seven circles. We will hit the market with the service by December 2013”.
Videocon Mobiles
Videocon has selected Nokia Siemens network to roll-out the 4G network. Notably, Videocon Telecommunication is the only player in India to launch FD-LTE services in India, unlike other players who will launch 4G services using TDD LTE network.
This move by Videocon is thus important as handsets like Nokia Lumia, Apple iPhone 5, and LG Optimus G support FD-LTE, but there are no devices right now that support the TDD-LTE network which has been deployed by Airtel will also be used by RIL, Aircel and Tikona when then commence their 4G services.
FD LTE offers data speeds in excess of 100 Mbps and also offer voice services with HD(high definition) clarity. The service will also be used to offer services like video chat, mobile TV, HD TV content, digital video broadcasting etc.
Videocon has bagged only up to 5 MHZ spectrum which will be very less if the service becomes popular as data services consume a lot of bandwidth.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

MTS launches customisable dongles with 15GB data free

MTS has launched dongles with stickers for Rs 1,299.

MTS, CDMA operator with operations in 9 circles, has launched a new customisable dongle priced at Rs 1,299. User can customise the dongle using stickers which has themes like music, gaming and lifestyle.
Along with that MTS dongle offers additional benefits like free 15 GB data and value added service(VAS) over a period of six months.
MTS dongles
But, there is a catch to get free data. MTS customers need to recharge their account with Rs 248 for six months and in return during the first month they will get 4GB data free and unlimited access to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; for the next three months subscribers will get 3GB data free followed by 1GB data free in 5th and 6th month. These goodies will be in addition to regular data limit of 1GB under the Rs 248 plan.
In terms of VAS customers will get free subscription to MTS TV,MTS Music and MTS Games On Demand for two months. Data benefits will be given over a period of six months.
MTS dongles
Going forward, MTS also plans to launch an online platform where people can select the design to be put on the dongles. These dongles will be available in Delhi NCR, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
MTS recently won back spectrum in 8 circles and already had spectrum in Rajasthan, and this is the first major announcement from the CDMA operator post getting back spectrum which was canceled by Supreme court. And given the kind of offer they have come up with, it looks like they will focus on regaining their ground by some very attractive pricing.

No MNP for subscribers of Uninor, MTS & Videocon

MNP service will not be available to subscribers of operators whose licenses were canceled by the Supreme Court.

Mobile number portability service will not be available to subscribers of operators whose licenses were canceled by the Supreme Court in February last year.
However this is applicable only to circles where these operators did not win spectrum in recently held auctions, in which MTS won spectrum in 9 circles, Uninor and Videocon in 6 circles each.
Worst hit will be MTS subscribers in Mumbai, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh (East) as auction for CDMA was held only on 11th March and MTS chose not to buy spectrum in these circles, and had just started process of informing subscribers asking them to port to other networks. Every other service provider has already (more or less) completed the process of shifting their subscribers to other networks.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has issued direction to all existing telecom operators to stop accepting porting (transfer) request of mobile numbers that were allocated to telecom companies whose permits to operate stands cancelled as per Supreme Court order.
The regulator said, "All the Mobile Number Portability service providers not to process and all the Unified Access Service Providers (telecom operators) should not to entertain request for porting in respect of mobile telephone numbers belonging to the service providers."
In the direction, TRAI has asked to stop accepting porting request from Tata Teleservices (3 service area), Unitech Wireless , now Uninor (15 service area), Videocon (11 service area), Loop (13 service area), Etisalat (15 service area), S Tel (5 service area) and SSTL (10 service area) where the companies lost their licences.
The TRAI direction comes following Supreme Court order of February 2, 2012 and February 15, 2012 asking telecom operators to close their operations.
Last year, the apex court cancelled 122 2G licences but gave the operators a chance to continue operations only if they acquire fresh spectrum through auction.

Monday, March 11, 2013

MTS wins spectrum in eight circles

MTS will close operations in Mumbai, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh (East) though.

CDMA operator, MTS has won spectrum in eight circles including Delhi, Kolkata, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal. However, it has failed to gain spectrum for Mumbai, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh (East).
MTS had spectrum in 22 circles out of which 21 licenses were cancelled by the Supreme Court in February 2012; its license in Rajasthan was not canceled by Supreme Court then. Later MTS decided to close its operation in 10 circles (whose licenses it had lost by the SC ruling) including Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, North East, Orissa and Punjab.
MTS wins spectrum in eight circles
Now since it only bought spectrum in eight circles, it will have to close down operations in three more circles including Mumbai, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh (East).
In a statement, the company said, "While bidding for spectrum in the auctions, MTS India considered a range of variables including spectrum pricing, number of carrier slots available, levels of competition, future data potential in the circles etc. Based on such criteria, the company also decided not to bid for Mumbai, Maharashtra and UP East circles and would be immediately initiating the process to inform its customers in 3 circles to port out to other telecom operators of their choice".
Vsevolod Rozanov, president and chief executive officer of Sistema Shyam TeleServices (MTS parent company), "Given the range of variables we have considered and the spectrum cost for 800 MHz, it was a big challenge to arrive at a core list of 8 circles and to bid accordingly. With Rajasthan circle also a part of MTS India's footprint, we would be able to service 40% of country's population, address over 60% of data business potential, safeguard 75% of our current revenues and significantly optimize our losses. Our go forward plan includes building an even stronger MTS brand in the country by focusing on our data centric-voice enabled strategy."
The spectrum won by SSTL in eight circles is technology neutral (it can offer 2G, 3G or even 4G services using this spectrum) and would be valid for 20 years. The company would be required to pay Rs 3,639 crores for the license period. The terms include payment of 25 per cent of the final bid amount within 10 days, followed by a payment moratorium until March 2016, after which the balance amount will be paid in 10 equal annual installments. The Government of India has confirmed that SSTL will be able to set off the previous license cost of Rs 1,626 crores against the new spectrum cost.
The company also said that 15 percent of its employees are employed in the three circles where the company decided not to bid and would therefore be affected and that full efforts are being made to absorb maximum number of employees in other circles or to place some of the employees in other Companies.
MTS has a customer base of over 12.1 million, out of which 13 per cent come from the impacted circles.

Money order via mobile launching in Andhra soon

The service allows a person to deposit money in a post office and receiver will get a SMS which can be shown at local post office to withdraw money.

Department of Post and BSNL have come together to launch mobile money order service in Andhra Pradesh. India Post plans to start this service at nearly 16,000 post offices across the state by the end of June this year.
The service will allow remitter (person sending money) to deposit cash in a nearby post office; the payee (the person receiving money) will have to go to designated post office in his/her area and claim the money after disclosing the personal code sent to him/her via the SMS.
Money order via mobile
However, the service will be limited to BSNL users only, which is not a really good idea, however it is at least a beginning. According to Times of India report, minimum money order would have to be Rs 1,000. A tariff of Rs 40 would be charged for remittances up to Rs 1,500. Similarly, the remitter would have to pay Rs 70 for deposits from Rs 1,500 to Rs 5,000 and Rs 100 for Rs 5,001 to Rs 10,000. The postal department and BSNL would share the revenue equally.
The idea of the service is very old and the first pilot project was done in June 2011 only from 10 post offices each in Punjab and Bihar.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Aircel to offer free beauty tips for a month

To mark International women's day, Aircel will offer free beauty tips to its existing and new women subscribers for a month.

Aircel has introduced a special offer exclusively for women in Delhi to celebrate 'International Women's Day'. As part of this offer, Aircel's existing and new women customers will be offered Beauty Tips, free of cost for one month. The offer will be available from 8th to 14th March at Aircel stores and service outlets.
Anil Gupta, regional manager, north, Aircel, said, "Aircel is delighted to mark 'International Women's Day', which is a celebration of respect, appreciation, gratitude, compassion and love towards women. We intend to make this day more special for women and have introduced a special offer exclusively for our women customers, who can avail attractive value added service free of cost."
This offer is part of Aircel's recently launched brand campaign 'Joy of Little Extra'. Under this new brand campaign, Aircel will be launching products and services that will offer a little extra in value for its subscribers.

RIL to offer Samsung 4G smartphones for Rs 5,500

RIL is also expected to offer 4G tablets for as low as Rs 3,500.

Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries (RIL), which has pan India license for 4G network, has joined hands with Samsung to bring LTE devices for as low as Rs 5,500 report Times Of India.
"The entry-level smartphones are likely to be sold with data packages starting at as low as Rs 100," report further added.
RIL is expected to launch the test services in Delhi and Mumbai by middle of this year. However, official launch with services in more circles with be launched on 28th December (Dhirubhai Ambani's birth anniversary).
Reliance Infotel
What is well known is RIL will bulk purchase devices to reduce cost, offer low rates for data services (starting with Rs 100 plans), and also subsidise the devices and offer EMI's to help people buy and use these on their network. Reliance Industries through Reliance Infotel wants to be a volume player making the data services as widely used service.
Earlier, it was said that RIL is looking at tablets, but recently government has allowed it offer voice services also on the network on payment of Rs 1650 crore and that means now they will be looking at smartphones as the primary device that they will focus on.
According to an earlier report, Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Infotel , which is the only company with pan India BWA (4G/Broadband wireless access) spectrum, will offer LTE tablets for as low as Rs 3,500 too .
Way back in December 2010, 'The Mobile Indian' had reported about the cheap LTE tablets that Reliance planning to launch. As reported by us earlier, there would be bundled plans accompanied by these low cost subsidised tablets for as low as Rs 10 for 1 GB of data.
Now with voice services permitted on 4G network, the entire operator business will change and recent spurt in tariffs may be reversed with competition heating up like never before.
Earlier there was intense competition thanks to many new operators entering the market in 2008 but in January last year, the Supreme Court of India cancelled the licenses of these new players and most of them left the market and few like Telenor, Videocon and MTS remain limited to few circles. This meant less competition to fend resulting in hike in tariffs.
But Mukesh Ambani's entry to the scene is expected to change the scenario. RIL is backed by 20 MHz of spectrum with permission to offer high speed data (100 Mbps) and voice service for which it paid less than half the amount as compared to 3G operators who got only 5MHz spectrum. For instance, RIL paid Rs 13,000 crore for 20 MHz spectrum in all 22 circles while for just 5 MHz Bharti Airtel paid Rs 12,295 crore for spectrum in just 13 circles.
Which means that RIL will be able to offer data services at low cost without the worry of a congested network and will also because the investment is lower and can also offer voice services which contributes to about 85 percent of the revenue of existing operators. And with devices available at lower price and zero percent interest loans it won't be surprising if RIL manages to cannibalise the market.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

MTS launches special plans on Women's day

Women buying a new MTS prepaid connection will get free pepper spray.

As part of its Women's Day celebration, MTS is offering pepper spray for free with each new connection to females. It has also announced a new offer, called MTS Women MPowered, with which they will get special calling and SMS rates, calling at negative balance, safety tips and a lot more. This plan can be availed with first recharge of Rs 102 and existing subscribers can enjoy this plan by recharging with Rs 76.
MTS has put in place a special vigilance team to provide free self-defense classes to its women customers. Company has also set up a special service to make its women customers aware about safety tips and their rights. The initiative has been launched in Delhi-NCR and will be subsequently rolled out in other circles of MTS.
Leonid Musatov, chief marketing and sales officer, MTS India said, "With the incidents of crime on the rise especially against women; the challenge is to come up with innovations to create a safer environment. This Women's Day, we are doing our bit by launching MTS Women MPowered. It includes a range of special initiatives aimed at empowering our women customers. Starting with Delhi, the plan is to roll out this initiative in other circles over the next few months."
To enroll for these self defence classes and also to get women rights and safety tips, woman customers can register by dialing 678 from their MTS mobile phones.

Airtel announces free roaming for Delhi prepaid subscribers

The Airtel Delhi prepaid users will get 30 days of free incoming calls while roaming in certain circles.

Bharti Airtel has announced free roaming for its prepaid users in Delhi. Under the new scheme, Airtel's prepaid users in Delhi can enjoy free incoming calls in as many as five states - Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand and West Bengal (except Kolkata).
The Airtel Delhi prepaid users will get 30 days of free incoming calls while roaming in those circles. Earlier, they have to shell out Rs 1 for incoming calls, Rs 1 for local outgoing calls and Rs 1.5 for STD when on roaming.
Bharti Airtel
The government of India has been mulling to abolish roaming charges for a long time. Earlier, roaming charges were to be abolished from March but has now been postponed to October this year. Operators have been though vehemently opposing the same citing loss of revenues. Sometime back Aircel has announced a new pack called 'One Nation, One Rate'. The plan offers one rate for voice, SMS and data in home circle and on roaming on Aircel network which virtually means free roaming.
More operators are thus expected to revise their tariff rates or may also announce such alternative free roaming schemes soon, following Aircel and Airtel's recent announcements.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Facebook to provide free messaging to mobile users

Both Airtel and Reliance Communication users would be able to get these benefits.

Facebook has tied up with select telecom service providers in India to offer free or heavily discounted data access to its users. With this Facebook users, on Airtel and RCom network, would be able to get the benefits of this tie up while using the Facebook Messenger application.
This offer would be valid for Android and iOS devices along with other devices as well which are optimised for access of Facebook chat.
Facebook to provide free messaging
Messaging on Facebook lets people connect with friends and contacts on the go, regardless of what device they are using. Facebook messaging and chat can be accessed from more than 6,000 mobile phones via Facebook Messenger, Facebook for iOS and Android, Facebook for Every Phone, and across other devices with Facebook integration.
Service providers have themselves been trying to promote Facebook usage. For instance, Airtel allowed its prepaid users to access Facebook through the official application for up to 500 MB data free of cost while Reliance is offering unlimited Facebook access for Rs 16 per month.