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 »

Flat 3% spectrum usage charge for auctions

Source: Business Standard, Aug 04, 2016

New Delhi: The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Telecom Commission’s proposal of a flat three per acent spectrum usage charge (SUC) for airwaves to be procured in future and weighted average for the remaining spectrum.

The notice inviting application is expected to be issued next week and auction will commence in September. An official statement said spectrum that will be acquired in the forthcoming auction in 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300 and 2500-MHz bands would be charged at the rate of three per cent of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) excluding the revenue from wire-line services. Read the rest of this entry »

Telecom sector braces for a revolution with the entry of virtual network operators

Source: The Economic Times, Mar 31, 2016

The Telecom Commission approved a new category of mobile phone services. The providers of these services — called virtual network operators (VNOs) — will be different from the usual telecom operators. Instead of building costly networks, they can simply pay and partner an existing mobile network operator, piggyback on that network and resell their services under their own brand.

The opportunity for VNO could open the doors for everyone from startup entrepreneurs to companies with large consumer base like mutual fund houses to ecommerce firms to retail chains. They could use the telecom networks to offer mobile, fixed line or internet services.
Read the rest of this entry »