TelecomTalk keeps a regular track of the Indian Telecom grapevine. So here’s a weekly round-up of the news that created buzz in Indian telecom Industry for the week of 4th May, 2013 – 11th May, 2013
A) Get Ready to Pay More as Reliance Hikes Call Rates; Cuts Down on Freebies and Discounts
In order to improve profits, Reliance Communications, controlled by billionaire Anil Ambani hiked its mobile call rates for pre-paid customers by 20 – 30 percent. The new tariff is to be applied on all existing and new customers with immediate effect. Under the Commitment Plans 21 and 45, the call rates have been increased from 1paise per second earlier to 1.2 paise per second. However the company has also reduced benefits under its promotional and concessional Plans. The Commitment Plan 48 will now offer 160 local on-net minutes compared to 500 mins earlier whereas the commitment Plan 46 will offer 140 minutes Local on- net as against 200 mins earlier.
B) Nokia Unveils the Nokia Asha 501; to be available in the country from June for approx Rs. 5,350
The Finnish handset maker introduced its new ‘Asha 501’, an affordable touch screen smartphone that runs on the new Asha platform. Available in a choice of six striking colors, the Nokia Asha 501 is available in single or EasySwap Dual SIM models with Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity in both the models. It supports upto 17 hours of TalkTime with a standby time of up to 48 days in case of single SIM and upto 26 days for Dual SIM handsets. Priced at around $99 (approx 5,350), it will be available in the Indian markets from next month.
C) DoT calls for merger of BSNL and MTNL
After being kept on hold for a long time, DoT revives its plan to merge the two public sector telecom entities, BSNL and MTNL. Considering the not so good revenue figures of the two companies for the year 2012-2013, DoT has asked BSNL and MTNL to gear up for the merger. This would let the two firms to offer common plans for their customers and thus compete with its private counter parts. BSNL offers fixed line, mobile, broadband and Internet services in 20 circles other than Delhi and Mumbai, which is covered by MTNL.
D) Vodafone to Knock HC’s Door for its License Extension in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata
Vodafone has finally decided to challenge DoT’s decision to reject its applications for extension of licenses in the three metro circles. Earlier in December 2012, the telecom operator filed extension applications of its licenses which are due to expire in November 2014. However, the DoT rejected Vodafone’s application and asked the mobile operator to bid for fresh airwaves at an auction due this year. As a result Vodafone is constrained to take the legal recourse as this matter can potentially cause grave inconvenience to millions of customers in these 3 circles
E) LG to Intro LTE-TD Smartphone
Not just the BWA players but the device makers are also seen gearing up for the launch of 4G/LTE in India. Experts believe that the main hindrance in the massive adoption of 4G services in India is the non-availability of cost-effective 4G/LTE devices. As a result, by the end of this year we may see many affordable devices in the market.
While India’s only LTE-TD player Airtel recently announced to offer 4G services via Huawei’ Ascend P1, LG Electronics is also planning to roll out a smartphone supporting LTE-TD. Even the Aakash maker Canadian Data wind is said to be working with an American operator to launch their first 4G tablet supporting FDD LTE.
Did we miss anything ? Do you wish to include any news that you think was important ? Please let us know in the comments below and we will update the same .
Chhavi is a social media enthusiast and telecom technologies admirer. Based out of New Delhi, she is a corporate communication and marketing professional by day and writer by night. If she is not busy with Telecom, you can find her reading management books.