Category Archives: News

After pressuring DoT, Telecos get their pending spectrums

Telecom companies like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Reliance Jio, Idea Cellular Uninor etc who won spectrums in February auction were not allotted their spectrums till last day. COAI said last day that they will knock up PMO if they don’t get their spectrum bands now. This strict mode of Telecos urged DoT officials to look in the matter which today results in immediate spectrum allocation of 1800 MHz to all the winners.

“We had been allotted 1,800 MHz spectrum in all 15 circles but awaiting allocation of the more efficient 900 MHz spectrum secured in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai” a senior Bharti Airtel official said today.
While other telecos gave no reply but according to a leading media house 1800 MHz band had been allotted to all.

To be noted that Telecos are demanding these spectrum from a long time but Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are strongly demanding the 900 MHz spectrum band they won in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata as their existing licence is going to expire in coming month and they don’t want to pause their services in any such case.

According to some leaks DoT will allot 900 MHz band to telecos only when the current licence expires. But Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) is continuously asking DoT to avoid such move as it takes time to shift the bands (old to the new one) and so if bands will be allotted after the expiry of current one, services of all the customers will get interrupted in that particular circle.

Well it looks like Top Telecos will face tough time if they don’t get their spectrum on time.

Apart from that Uninor also got their 1800 MHz spectrum the won in Assam but there was no official comments on their service launch in Assam.

Porting your Number to other State will be possible soon!

If you are shifting to a new Telecom Circle (New State) in India and want to use the existing mobile number only, then its time to cherish a bit as it will soon be possible. TRAI’s Suggestion of Intra Circle MNP  was accepted by Telecom Commission last day. And now the whole matter needs a formal approval of Honorable IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. If everything goes as per the plan users can use this service of One Nation-One Number from coming March 31.

Mobile-service-providers-india

MNP facility was launched in 2011 which made it possible for customers to retain their existing Mobile number and port into other Telecom service provider’s network. But there was a restriction that this practice can be only done within one telecom circle.

According to TRAI around 13 Crore subscribers have used the MNP facility and numbers are rising with time. Many customer use MNP when they are not happy with their existing TSP (Telecom Service Provider). But when someone shifts to a different telecom circle permanently and wants to retain his old number with him, there was no facility for this. In such scenario a customer usually drop his existing number or pay high roaming charges for retaining the number and using in different circle. Situation was worse for someone who was shifting to a circle where his existing service provider was not providing service. (For Example someone with is his Uninor number shifts to Rajasthan where Uninor don’t have their service)

This suggestion from TRAI was first given to Telecom Commission a year ago but was rejected due to some issues in entry fees and MNP auction.

Previously DoT was not clear that new MNP process of National level should be given to the existing two companies only or a new auction should be invited. But now TRAI had suggested that the existing two companies (MNP Interconnection Telecom and Syniverse Technologies) must be allowed to perform this one nation one number MNP process and had also recommended that the no change or hike in entry fees, PBG and FBG (performance bank guarantee and financial bank guarantee) for these two MNP providers.

This move by Telecom Commission will surely be welcomed by everyone and hopefully from May 31 telecom users in India can port their number into any of the 22 Telecom circle in India.

 

Reliance Jio asks for more Powerful Airwaves

The upcoming Pan India 4G service provider in India, Reliance Jio asked DoT today for more Powerful Airwaves of MWB frequency. MWB is basically the frequency used to connect towers. According to a leading newspaper Reliance Jio wants MWB frequency in 6 and 7 GHz band on a “Priority” basis.

Reliance Jio

MWB or Microwave BackBone frequency are the wavelengths with frequencies varying  between 0.3 GHz to 300 GHz. Reliance Jio was previously allotted 13 GHz and 18 GHz of MWA frequency carriers. But since it is not enough suitable for providing services in rural areas where towers need to be installed at longer distances.

“We require at least two MWB frequency carriers of 28 MHz paired bandwidth each in the 22 service areas in the 6 and 7 GHz spectrum band for point-to-point microwave backhaul links,” the company said in a request to the DoT.
“These being high frequency bands, the hop lengths are typically short due to the high atmosphere loss as well as high attenuation in rains. Therefore, their usage is limited to intra metro routes or for short distance backhaul only,” the company said.

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio is making many effective efforts before launching their 4G services which would give them huge benefits in terms of Customer satisfaction. Recently Reliance Jio also got new Directors from the Ambani family itself.  With all these news coming daily level of curiosity is increasing in many telecom users and same are now eagerly waiting for the 4G launch by Reliance Jio.

Isha and Akash, Twins of 23 are new Directors of some RIL ventures

Among the three kids of Mukesh Ambani, Isha and Akash who are twins of 23 years were recently handed over a big position in RIL. Reportedly Akash and Isha were made directors of Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance retail ventures.

RIL Akash and Isha
Akash and Isha Ambai at a Reliance Event

Akash and Isha are twins and elder to the third child of Ambani, Anant. They both are graduated from abroad. Akash did his graduation from Brown University with Economics as specialization. While on the other hand Isha is specialized in Psychology with her graduation degree from Yale University. Akash from last few years, working closely on the Reliance Industries Limited’s 4G venture and Isha is having work experience from a consultancy firm McKinsey back in US.

It is also a kind of co-incidence that they are joining  the RIL at almost similar age as compared to their father Mukesh Ambani who joined at 24 in year 1981.

Role of Akash would be for important as of now as RIL is about to launch its Pan-India 4G services in India, which will be first pan India 4G launch too.

You can continue using WhatsApp for free, Enjoy.

TRAI rejected the application of the telecom companies which was requesting to put some restrictions on the Instant Messaging applications like WhatsApp, We chat, etc. This decision of TRAI gave a big relief to all the IMs addicts. Not only this, TRAI also rejected the request of Telecom companies in which they were asking control over IMs own their own.

All Telecom companies a few week earlier combinedly requested TRAI to put a certain kind of restriction on WhatsApp and other IMs as they are loosing their revenue which they use to generate from SMS and even voice services. Telecom companies said that there are many applications which are now providing the Voice calling facilities over the Data connection. This kind of practices earlier gave a huge loss in SMS based revenue and now cracking down the Voice based revenue.
In simple words Telecom Companies was asking TRAI to put a kind of extra price tag for using this plan just like what we have seen in Blackberry services earlier. For using many BlackBerry services including BBM a BB user need to recharge with a special Data plan which cost really high. Though this system is now removed in BB 10 OS.

TRAI rejected the whole matter saying that if telecom companies are facing problems in revenue they can make it up by hiking the Data tariffs. There shall be no such rule from the TRAI and neither any Telecom company is allowed to do so. One of the senior official of TRAI said that they agree that telecom companies are facing loss in SMS revenues as comparing to past few years but they have made good earnings from Data in this same period of time, so they should not ask for such practices.

Well this is no doubt a good decision from TRAI. And telecom companies instead of doing such practices, should pay attention on Internet speed, customer satisfaction and their network availability.

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Will the mobile Internet speed increase now?

Recently TRAI asked all the telecom service provider of India to ensure some points related to their Internet speed. Now telecom companies will have to provide the details of the minimum speed which users will receive after recharging with a Data pack. Not only this the companies will have to make sure that they are delivering that minimum speed for at-least 80% of the time. A major question after this decision comes to mind, Will the Mobile Internet speed increase now?

This step of TRAI is welcomed here. Till now the companies were playing fair tricks with the Indian customers. Companies like Tata Docomo were saying that they deliver the internet speed of 21 Mbps. While some were saying they deliver 14.2 Mbps and all were at least promising the speed of 7.2 Mbps. This was the scenario for both Mobile Internet and Data Card internet. I bet no one ever got the speed of 21 Mbps on their mobile or Data card in India (except 4G which is just used by a few thousand in India).

MTS which is one of the leading telecom provider in Data card market promise the speed of 9.2 Mbps with their data card. I tested myself and got 10% of the actual speed, when made a complaint to them they said you are getting the speed of 1 Mbps and that’s okay. So what a common man do now? Sit back and throw out your frustration somewhere else.

Though TRAI made a great move, now companies will set a minimum speed and will give it for 80% of the time but who will track that 80% uptime or that 20% downtime?  Moreover it  would be great if TRAI would have also made any comment on the minimum speed limit like they did for wireline broadband a few days back (TRAI made 512 Kbps as the minimum speed for Wireline Broadband).

And talking about the Downtime, according to my experience BSNL is the ISP with the highest time of downtime with their mobile Internet. They are down for 80% of the time. They also have call drops problem over their 3G network.

Moreover companies can still play fair tricks. 70% of us do not know the difference between kBps and kbps or the difference between MBps and Mbps. Companies take it as a plus point the always show their speed in Mbps and kbps.  Let me tell you the difference, the Capital ‘B’ stands for Byte and the small ‘b’ stands for bit. There are 8 bits in one byte (1 Byte = 8 bits), which mean a speed of 8 Mbps is actually a speed of 1 MBps. Lets get more clear,  A song is usually of 5 MB (5 MegaByte) which we can download with 20-25 kBps speed of a 2G connection in 3-4 minutes. That 25 kBps speed actually mean 200 kbps for the companies. In the same way the 7.2 Mbps speed is actually less than 1 MBps.

Users need to be aware on such fair tricks. TRAI may take more steps for better internet but until consumer get aware, companies will keep playing such more tricks and cheat you.

 

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Reliance Jio 4G in trouble again after CAG’s suggestion

On the one hand where Reliance Jio is working hard to launch its 4G services as soon as possible, CAG’s draft report put RIL again in trouble on other hand. Yesterday CAG drafted a report to DoT suggesting them to cancel the nationwide Broadband spectrum which was allotted to Reliance Jio (IBSPL earlier) back in 2010. This suggestion was made by saying that RIL violated the rules and allegedly rigged the auction.

For your knowledge we remind you that in 2010 when Pan India  BWA auction a company viz. Infotel Broadband services (IBSPL) won the PAN India BWA licence worth rupees of 12,847 Cr, which was 5000 times more than the net worth of company. When the action ended, Reliance Industries limited acquired the IBSPL on the same day.

The CAG said with its draft report that DoT in 2010 failed to recognize the rigging of the auction right from beginning of the BWA  auction in which a small ISP, Infotel Broadband Services (IBSPL) emerged winner of pan-India broadband spectrum by paying 5,000 times of its net worth.

When asked to RIL on this matter they said,”There is no final CAG report that we are aware of. That said we reject any suggestion whereby spectrum was acquired in any manner other than through a transparent bidding process duly supervised by Government of India.”

Summery of CAG’s Report on Reliance Jio

CAG said IBSPL was ranked 150th in the list of ISPs, submitted an earnest money deposit of Rs 252.50 crore through the covert and overt assistance of third-party / private bank, bid for Rs 12,847.77 crore (5000 times of its net worth) for pan-India spectrum and then sold the company on the day of completion of the auction

This indicated IBSPL’s collusion and sharing of the confidential information with a third-party in violation of auction conditions, said CAG.

 

 

In replay to that RIL spokesperson said,”EMD was based on specific deposit requirement for each telecom circle. Accordingly Infotel Broadband Services Pvt Ltd (IBSPL) submitted a Bank Guarantee of Rs 253 crore in format as prescribed in NIA. Since no money was deposited as EMD, the question of source of deposit does not arise.”

 

Well this is clear that both IBSPL and Reliance played a fair trick in the BWA spectrum of 2010 but its is still not looking illegal in any manner. Reliance Jio will be definitely worried right now but we will still have to wait and watch DoT’s reaction on this complete matter.

Will Airtel, Idea and Vodafone be able to continue 3G ICR ?

The 3G ICRA of Airtel, Idea and Vodafone is again in limelight. DoT is challenging that this practice is illegal and all these 3 companies should stop it right now. It was 2011 when DoT first placed ban on this 3G ICR practice of these operator but all the 3 private telecom companies challenged DoT in-front of TDSAT and after 3 years TDSAT lifted the ban and allowed 3G ICR.

Now DoT is going through all legal process and planning to put ban again over such practice. According to DoT it was restricted practice in telecom technology under old licence regime. Though this process of 3G spectrum sharing is allowed under new Unified Licence (UL). The UL holders are permitted to do such practice but Airtel, Vodafone and Idea won their 3G permits in 2010 under the Unified Access Service licence which don’t allow them to do such sharing of their spectrum.

“We have sought legal opinion on TDSAT judgement. Law officers have been appointed recently so we should get their views shortly. Our view has not changed, but further action will depend on legal opinion,” a DoT official said.

Recently Reliance also started Using 3G ICR service with a 3G ICR agreement with Aircel. They extended their service to 18 circles which were previously just in 13 circles. Thogh just in 13 circles and all total in 333 cities, still Reliance was the leading 3G telecom according to the number of customers.

On 29th April when ban was lifted from 3G ICR all the 3 leading telecos started process to resume their service and introduce their service at every possible place. This was then became a challenge for Reliance to be on top in 3G customer base. Soon or later because of these moves reliance also expanded their service.

But the upcoming thunder seems to be for Airtel, Idea  and Vodafone only as both Aircel and Reliance was nowhere mentioned by DoT in this practice. May be Reliance and Aircel are having the Unified Licence and they are allowed to do such practice.

Well still there going to be a long legal process over this action but if the DoT win and put ban over the 3G service of Airtel, Idea and Vodafone then it will be surely a big loss to all the three and their customer base will get affected.

Here is an image of excel sheet which contains that which operator is using their Own licence for 3G and which on is using 3G ICR.

3g Coverage in India

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Reliance 3G services now in 5 more circles

The largest 3G service provider of India in terms of Customer base, Reliance Communications, today announced expansion of its 3G services. Reliance will now provide its 3G services in 5 more telecom circles of India. Read the article further to see more about Reliance 3G services.

Reliance is currently offering 3G services in total 13 circles of India. But still they are having highest number of 3G using customers. Reliance was having 7.2 million 3G customers last year while Airtel was on second place with 6.4 million customers. The main reason of having such a huge customer base is less investment in 3G infrastructure and keeping low rate of the 3G data packs. Reliance invested in 333 cities in total 11,000+ sites while Airtel and Vodafone invested in more than 1200 cities and installed more than 22000 network sites. Reliance where as targeted only 1 tier and 2 tier cities Airtel and Vodaone went even in the small towns. Due to more investment in infrastructure tariffs of Airtel and Vodafone were high.

Recently when TDSAT lifted up the ban from ICR Airtel, Vodadone and IDEA mutually resumed their 3G services in all the possible circles. This step was surely giving strong competition to Reliance in the market and though Reliance now launched their 3G services in 5 more circles through ICR. Though the official name of the ICR partner has not been announced yet but it is believed that Aircel joined the hands with reliance for this services. If so it will be interesting to know that what Aircel asked in return of this service. There may be a big amount or they may be using Reliance 3G network in return in some circles.

Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and UP East will be the new circles where Reliance will be offering its 3G services. Reliance 3G services are currently available in Delhi, Rajasthan, Bihar & Jharkhand, Mumbai, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh, Kolkata, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Assam, Jammu & Kashmir and North East.

“We are delighted to launch 3G footprint across 18 service areas in India, which makes our services available in all major metros in the country, enabling us to target fast growing data market in these circles.”

“Together, these circles account for 80% incremental smartphone sales in the country,” RCom’s chief executive officer for consumer business, Gurdeep Singh, CEO of consumer business said in the statement.

Reliance in their report of Q1, 2014 said that they are currently serving 12.9 million 3G customers in India which is pretty big margin from its runner-up Airtel.

Though the plans and packs of Reliance 3G services in the 5 new circles are not yet updated but they will come soon. We will update you as soon as possible on the news further.

 

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BSNL launched ‘Bharatphone’ in 1099 INR with freebies

The state owned telecom operator of India and the 4th largest mobile telecom service provider in India, BSNL, toady launched its new device ‘Bharatphone’. BSNL also announced some freebies for its buyers.

What is special in Bharatphone?

Bharatphone is specially designed phone by BSNL which is manufactured by penta. It is designed specailly to access E-Governence services. It will be having a Java app preinstalled which will give user access to the ICT services of E-Governance.

What are the specifications of BSNL’s Bharatphone?

Technically, Bharatphone has some amazing specification according to its budget. It is developed by Penta which had already introdused many tablets in market with tieup of BSNL.

This phone will be a dual sim phone which is having a 3″ display. With a alphanumric keyboard this phone will support Java applications. Inside the back there will be a huge 1800 mAh battery for long power backup.

Talking about memory, phone will be having a 64MB RAM and a 64 MB of internal storage which is quite similar to the most of the Nokia lo budget phones.

What is the price of Bharatphone?

BSNL and penta kept price of th Bharatphone vert reasonable. The market rate of Bsnl Bharatphone will be Rs. 1099. Apart from this BSNL will also provide the user free talktime of 1200 minutes.

 

At the launch, BSNL chairman R.K. Upadhyay said with this phone user can access Internet and play Java games. Audio ans video can also be played.

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