Govt approves BSNL’s plan to spin off mobile tower business

Source: LiveMint.com, Sept 13, 2017

New Delhi: The union cabinet approved a proposal to separate Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s (BSNL) mobile tower assets into a new unit, a move that will potentially generate revenues and improve finances of the state-run telecom firm.

“This approval authorizes BSNL to monetize its telecom tower infrastructure,” the government said in a statement on Tuesday.

BSNL owns more than 66,000 mobile towers in India, almost 15% of the around 442,000 mobile towers in the country.

“An independent, dedicated tower company of BSNL with a focused approach will lead to increasing of external tenancies (or number of companies using a tower) and consequentially higher revenue for the new company,” the government said. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Telecom Policy may ensure Internet access for 1.3 billion Indians

Source: The Economic Times, Sept 11, 2017

NEW DELHI: The New Telecom Policy, expected by March 2018, will focus on providing affordable internet access to 1.3 billion Indians and facilitate domestic manufacturing to curb dependence on imports. Telecom minister Manoj Sinha told ETthe call drop situation has improved and competition will ensure quality services at affordable rates. “Internet to all will be the basic principle and to give a boost to telecom manufacturing would be a key factor of the new telecom policy,” Sinha said.

The government’s ambitious Digital India umbrella programme, with an initial outlay of Rs 1.13 lakh crore, hinges on data connectivity and aims to bring 100% tele-density, high-speed internet highways and delivery of citizencentric services electronically. The new telecom policy will address sector issues and make them future-proof with the onset of disruptive technologies such as fifthgeneration (5G) and artificial intelligence (AI). Read the rest of this entry »

Facebook Express Wi-Fi launched in India; now available via 700 hotspots in Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Meghalaya

download (9).jpgSource :Financial Express 5 May 2017

Two years after testing its pilot project, Facebook on Thursday launched its “Express Wi-Fi” commercially in India. Express Wi-Fi, that is a part of Facebook global initiative to expand internet connectivity, is now commercially available via 700 hotspots spread across four states of Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Meghalaya.

Apart from India, the programme is currently active in Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Facebook is currently working with a number of local Internet Service Providers and 500 local entrepreneurs to spread net connectivity.

Read the rest of this entry »

India’s smartphone user base topped 300 million in 2016

Source: The Economic Times, Jan 25, 2017

aKolkata: India’s smartphone user base topped 300 million in 2016 with the market growing by 18% led by theChinese brands such as Vivo, Oppo, Lenovo and Xiaomi, says a latest study by Counterpoint’s Research. This is as compared to the global smartphone market which grew by a modest 3%.

The researcher said in the crucial October-December quarter, the Chinese brands contributed to 46% of the total smartphone market with no Indian brand figuring amongst the top 5 smartphone brands for the first time ever. This the company attributed to demonetization and the rapid expansion of the Chinese players that continue to expand their presence throughout India, riding on aggressive portfolio strategies and substantial marketing spends. Read the rest of this entry »

Trai’s digital push: Recommendation on public wifi in 25 days

Source: Business Standard, Jan 09, 2017

New Delhi: Terming the availability and affordability of broadband as a “prerequisite” for growth of adigital transactions, regulator TRAI on Monday said it will finalise in 20-25 days its views on ‘public wifi networks’.

Public wifi networks would offer data connectivity at just 10 per cent of the prevailing data rates.

“We will give our recommendations in 20-25 days. The issue of wifi proliferation is an important one. The basic objective of Digital India is to encourage digital transactions of all kinds … It is therefore important for people to have broadband availability and affordability,” TRAI Chairman R S Sharma said on sidelines of an open house on ‘Proliferation of Broadband through Public Wi-Fi Networks’. Read the rest of this entry »

Maharashtra to invest Rs 5,000 crore for broadband in each village

Source: Financial Express, Oct. 12, 2016

Mumbai: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said Maharashtra will be investing over Rs 5,000 acrore for taking high-speed Internet connectivity to each of the 29,000 villages in the state by 2018.

“By 2018, we want to take fiber to each and every village. Once connectivity is established, we can use it for lot of applications ranging from education to healthcare to government services,” Fadnavis said at an event here.

A project of this size will cost “not less than Rs 5,000 crore”, the Chief Minister added. Read the rest of this entry »

Largest spectrum sale opens September 29

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 09, 2016

NEW DELHI: The Centre expects to net a minimum Rs 5.56 lakh crore from India’s largest auction of a2G, 3G and 4G airwaves that starts September 29, but the lack of a compelling reason like expiry of bandwidth and the expensive starting price of 700 MHz spectrum could hurt demand, leaving the government short of its target.

The telecom department (DoT) on Monday released the Notice Inviting Application (NIA), or the legally binding document for the auctions, which will likely see Vodafone India and Idea Cellular bidding more aggressively to close the 4G spectrum holding gap with No.1 telco Bharti Airtel and Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm. Read the rest of this entry »