DoT mandates telcos to share networks during disasters

Source:Financial Express, Jul 29, 2015

To improve communication network during disasters, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has asked telcos to share network with subscribers of other operators and also directed them to give public alerts to the users.

“It shall be mandatory to permit the intra circle roaming facilities by telecom service providers (TSPs) to customers of all other TSPs in the revenue districts affected during disasters for 15 days from the commencement or notification or announcement of disasters subject to mutually agreed commercial terms among them,” DoT said in a letter dated July 27 to the operators.

The department in April had asked the operators to implement priority call routing facilities for personnel responsible for ‘response and recovery’ during disasters.

The DoT also directed operators to transmit public alerts based on cell broadcast service or SMS service to subscribers in the affected districts during disasters and emergency.

“The content of public alerts shall be provided by concerned disaster management authorities or concerned authorised agencies of state/central government,” DoT said.

Law firms explore mergers with foreign peers for growth

Source: The Economic Times, Jul 27, 2015

NEW DELHI: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is planning another bumper auction of telecom spectrum that may even surpass record sales in March. Likely to be held early next year, this will include frequencies in the 2G, 3G and 4G bands. Spectrum in the prized 700 MHz band for 4G may also be on offer for the first time ever.

“We have written to the regulator (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Trai) seeking the reserve price of all these bands and are awaiting their response,” a senior official in DoT told ET. The auction earlier this year was the biggest ever, raising about Rs 1.10-lakh crore from the sale of 2G, 3G and 4G frequencies.

Starting prices have been sought for the 2G bands of 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, the 3G band of 2100 MHz and the 4G bands of 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz, apart from 700 MHz. Under new liberalised spectrum rules, all these bands can be used to offer any telecom services using any technology. Hence, 800 MHz and 1800 MHz can be also used for 4G, while 900 MHz can also be used to offer 3G services.

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Micromax to Enter Developed Markets; Receives Trademark Protection for 111 Countries

Business Standard:  July 21, 2015

Mumbai: Mobile handset manufacturer Micromax Informatics on Monday secured trademark protection for 111 countries, paving the way for entering new markets.

“We can now enter developed countries. They are looking for cost effective solutions,” said Vineet Taneja, chief executive officer of Micromax.

The company is working to expand beyond the six countries it sells its smartphones in.

Recently, Micromax entered Russia. Sources in the company said Micromax was eyeing South Africa, Nigeria and Indonesia.  “These three are going to be very important markets because of their young populations,” a person with knowledge of the development told Business Standard.

Micromax on Monday obtained the 1.25th million international trademark under the Madrid system, a widely accepted filing mechanism for registration of trademarks.

The firm, which had an 18 per cent share of the Indian smartphone market last year, posted 60 per cent growth in its mobile devices business.

It sells phones in India, Russia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.

“Now we expect to grow faster,” Taneja said.

“We can be successful both in developed and developing countries because Micromax provides solutions at a lower cost,” Taneja said.

Mobile Internet Users in India To Double By 2017, Says Study

Source: Livemint:  July 21, 2015

New Delhi: The number of mobile Internet users in India is projected to double and cross the 300 million mark by 2017 from 159 million users at present, a new report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and consultancy firm KPMG said on Monday.

Though India has low Internet penetration at 19% compared with other developed and developing economies that have up to 90% penetration, the country has the third-largest Internet user base in the world, with more than 300 million users, of which more than 50% are mobile-only Internet users.

“The number of mobile Internet users in India is expected to grow to 314 million by the end of 2017 with a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of around 28% for the period 2013- 2017,” according to the report authored by Akhilesh Tuteja, partner and head of the technology vertical, and Ashvin Vellody, partner, management consulting, at KPMG. “This impressive growth would drive India to become one of the leading Internet markets in the world with more than 50% of Internet user base being mobile-only Internet users.”

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Mobile number portability goes national

Mobile number portability goes nationalSource: Business Standard, Jul 03, 2015

New Delhi: With the launch of nationwide mobile number portability (MNP) on Friday, mobile users can retain their numbers despite changing states/circles across the country, without incurring any roaming charges.

Currently, MNP is only available within a state/circle.

To avail of the new facility, subscribers will have to visit a store of their telecom operator or call the customer care number concerned. Experts say only two per cent of the country’s overall mobile user base is expected to avail of the facility.

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BlackBerry taps India-based start-ups to reinvent itself

Source: LiveMint.com, Jun 25, 2015

New Delhi: Two years ago, when BlackBerry Ltd, came out with its personal assistant app Viki, much like Apple’s Siri and Google Now, it created a flutter in the industry. The app, exclusive to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, used artificial intelligence and natural language processing to learn about a user’s individual preferences and personalize search results over a period of time.

Start-up Agrima Infotech Pvt. Ltd, which developed the app, was part of a developer ecosystem that the Canadian firm had started putting together in 2012 in India. Today, the ecosystem is 35,000-strong and the Waterloo, Ontario-based company is tapping around 600 start-ups through its innovation centre Rubus Labs based in Kochi’s Startup Village, an incubator for telecom start-ups.

Telecommunication

BlackBerry plans to leverage this network as part of its global strategy to move on from a closed platform that only provided services for BlackBerry devices to a software and services provider for devices across platforms, including Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.

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DoT to deal with M&As on case-by-case basis

Source: The Economic Times, Jun 18, 2015

NEW DELHI: The telecom department will not rework rules on mergers and acquisitions but will deal with guideline-related issues on a case-by-case basis, a senior official has said, in what can be a dampener for telecom operators who have labelled the rules as unfriendly.

The official also said that the department of telecommunication (DoT) won’t auction spectrum in new bands, such as 700 MHz, unless carriers make requests for them.

“We are not revising the (M&A) rules. Let someone approach us and we will deal with it individually,” the official, who did not wish to be named, told ET. No telecom operator has approached the department with any official complaint so far, the official added.

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