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News Roundup: 3G; Airtel-5M Delhi; BSNL Tunisia, NSN; Google Content, Blackberry; Infratel; Honda Ads

3G Auction Price Doubled In Delhi, Mumbai Cities

India’s Department of Telecom has doubled the reserve price for 3G spectrum auction – to Rs. 3540 crores in Delhi and Mumbai, reports CXO Today. MediaNama has been unable to locate the relevant order at the DoT’s website, so we don’t know the exact details yet. There’s been talk of doubling of the serve price for the auction. Frankly, the government should stop delaying the 3G auction – it helps no one. EVDO services are live across metro cities anyway, and 3G is about greater bandwidth, and not much else.

BSNL Shelves Tunisia Plans, Shortlists Consultants For Overseas M&A

BSNL has dropped its plans to bid for telecom licence in Tunisia, contrary to what it earlier stated, saying that there won’t be enough returns on the investment. It is still interested in the African region though. (PTI) For its overseas foray, BSNL has shortlisted the following consultants: BT (India) Pvt Ltd,  Diamond Management & Technology Consultants Private Limited, Ernst & Young Pvt Ltd,  KPMG,  Mckinsey & Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt Ltd, PRTM Management Consultants India Pvt Ltd and Value Partners Consultants Pvt Ltd

Bharti Airtel Claims 5 Million Subscribers In Delhi

Bharti Airtel has claimed to cross 5 million subscribers in Delhi, the highest for any operator in any metro circle. They added the last million subscribers in 13 months, and can now lay claim to having more customers than the population of Singapore, Norway and UAE. Delhi has a mobile penetration of almost 100 percent. ED: telecom operators tend to use the terms subscribers and connections interchangably.

Reliance Infratel Plans To Dilute 10-15 Percent Stake

Reliance Infratel is planning to dilute 10-15 percent stake in a private placement of shares in a PE firm to raise about Rs, 5,000 crore (close to $1 billion). It had raised Rs 1,400 crore in a previous private placement of shares and has diluted 5% stake to a host of overseas investors. (Hindu Businessline)

Google Launches Blackberry App For India; Refuses To Bing Porn

Google Mobile App for BlackBerry is now available in India, with My Location and voice search. To install the app visit m.google.co.in on your BlackBerry browser. Downloading and using is free while the mobile provider’s regular data charges will apply. If MyLocation is available, the application gives local business suggestions while text is being keyed in (for example, Cafe Coffe Day, while keying in cofee), and offer to connect with the Cafe (screenshot). There are voice features as well, allowing users to just speak “cricket scores” into the Blackberry for updates (screenshot). Indian languages aren’t enabled, but users need to select Indian English from the options menu. Screenshots:

Google India MD Shailesh Rao has said that Googlewill not censor content on its network, saying the company will not play the role of an editor. It would remove any content that is objected to (reported) within 10min-24 hours.  (Hindu)

Honda Siel To Spend 3-4% Of Advertising Budget For Jazz On Digital, In India

Honda Siel Cars is spending only 3-4% of its total advertising budget for the Honda Jazz on Digital Marketing. At present they’re running lead generation campaigns via advertising networks. The campaign has been conceptualised by Meridian, Ogilvy’s second agency. Anita Sharma, GM (Marketing Communications), Honda Siel Cars India, said that they received 1800 test drive requests within two days of launching the campaign on May 10. (afaqs)

NSN Objects To BSNL Tender

Nokia-Siemens Network has alleged that BSNL’s recent 93-million GSM lines tender, amounting to around Rs 32,000 crore, was conducted in a non-transparent manner. BSNL has referred the case to a two-member integration panel approved by the Central Vigilance Commissioner. Bids submitted by Ericsson and Huawei were chosen, while offers from Nokia Siemens, ZTE and Alcatel Lucent were rejected. (Hindu)

Sequoia Capital Opens Delhi Office

Sequoia Capital which currently has currently has offices in Mumbai and Bangalore, as well as operations in the US, China and Israel opens a new office in New Delhi. Earlier this year, one of Sequoia Capital China’s founding partners, Zhang Fan, resigned from the venture firm. (AltAssets)

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