India crosses a billion telephone numbers in April

Source: Business Standard, May 14, 2015

New Delhi: The number of telephone connections in India crossed one billion at the end of April. India is behind China, which had 1.28 billion mobile subscribers and 246.94 million fixed-line subscribers at the end of February. Read the rest of this entry »

Net neutrality: TRAI gets over 10 lakh petitions to ‘keep internet free’

Source: Financial Express, Apr 24, 2015

New Delhi: Flooding telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) with their petitions, proponents of Net Neutrality have submitted more than 10 lakh petitions to ‘keep internet free’ — a day before the deadline ends for submission of comments on a consultation paper in this regard.

The TRAI has sought public comments till April 24 before making its recommendations on Net Neutrality and internet-based calling and messaging applications.

“Over one million email submissions have been sent to India’s telecom regulatory body,” said SaveTheInternet, a campaign group consisting of over 900 million volunteers.

It said in a statement that the number of responses could be even higher, as savetheinternet.in platform counts only those submissions that are copied to its email addresses. The users are allowed to edit and substitute its template before making their submissions to the TRAI.

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Reliance Industries deployment for telecom business at Rs 88,000 crore

Source: Financial Express, Apr 21, 2015

Mumbai: Reliance Industries (RIL) has so far committed Rs 88,000 crore ($14 billion) of capital to its telecom business, sources told FE. This does not include the Rs 10,077.53 crore the telecom subsidiary, Reliance Jio Infocomm, will spend for its 800-MHz and 1,800- MHz spectrum won in the recently held auctions.

An Kotak Institutional Equities report dated April 20, notes that Reliance Jio has so far deployed about Rs  52,400 crore of capital as of March 31, against Rs 37,800 crore, as of March 31, 2014. Reliance Jio  holds broadband wireless access spectrum in all the 22 telecom circles and has made significant progress in rolling out its 4G business, including physical network infrastructure, systems and processes, sales and distribution network.

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Reliance Jio to start voice, data services in five cities by June

Source: LiveMint.com, Apr 14, 2015

Mumbai: Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd will introduce its voice-plus-data mobile services in five cities by June, according to two people aware of the company’s strategy.

It could then roll it out across the country through the rest of 2015.The Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) unit has been working on its wireless broadband services since June 2010, when it acquired Infotel Broadband, which had won spectrum to launch such services across India.

Since then, there have been several reports about Reliance Jio’s strategy that is reported to encompass voice, news, entertainment, education, video, e-commerce—just about anything one can do with a handheld device with a fast Internet connection.

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Govt gets Rs 32,300 cr upfront payment from spectrum sale

TelecommunicationSource: Financial Express, Apr 12, 2015

New Delhi: The government has received a total upfront payment of over Rs 32,300 crore from telecom players against the spectrum sold during the March auction, well above the minimum outstanding due of Rs 28,835.34 crore.

Telecom major Bharti Airtel has paid the entire sum for Rajasthan and North East circles.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has received Rs 32,377.85 crore, nearly Rs 3,500 crore above the minimum due, sources told PTI.

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Chinese Handset Maker Gionee to Invest Rs 300 Crore to Set Up Manufacturing Unit in India

Chinese Handset Source: The Economic Times  April 07, 2015

Hyderabad: Chinese mobile phone maker Gionee plans to invest $50 million (about Rs 300 crore) in the next two-three years to set up a plant in India that it wants to use for exporting devices to South Asian and African countries.

“We aim to make India a manufacturing hub outside China to cater to demand in African and SAARC countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal,” Gionee’s president William Lu told ET. He added that the company will invest in setting up a research and development centre and local servers along with establishing manufacturing capability in India, the company’s biggest market after China.

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Telecos shell out Rs 11,000 crore as part of upfront payments for spectrum

TelecommunicationSource: The Economic Times, Apr 01, 2015

NEW DELHI| MUMBAI: The government has received almost Rs 11,000 crore from mobile phone operators including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio Infocomm as part of upfront payments for airwaves following the just-concluded spectrum auction, bolstering the Centre’s bid to narrow its fiscal deficit.

The payments totalling Rs 10,791 crore on Tuesday, the last day of the fiscal year, were a part of the nearly Rs 29,000 crore that the auction winners need to pay by April 8 and came after Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad cited national interest while urging the telecom operators to help the central government meet its fiscal targets.

“Payments have come in from Bharti Airtel, Idea, Reliance Jio, Vodafone and Tata. RCom (Reliance Communications) and Aircel haven’t paid so far,” a senior official said. “This should be enough to meet the fiscal target,” he added.

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