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News Digest: CyberMedia, Sai Info & BSNL, SatNav, ITI, ShooGloo, MTS And More

CyberMedia’s Heads Take On Additional Responsibilities

The publisher of magazines such as BioSpectrum and Voice&Data has created a common team of top managers from print and circulation, production, event logistics and CIOL.com. Hoshie Ghaswalla, who was Managing Director, Global Services and President – Publishing, CyberMedia India will head sales for ICT; Rachna Garga, Vice-President, CyberMedia India, will now look after audience development, brand development for audience acquisition, production and logistics. Asim Raina, Senior Vice President, Cybermedia Services, will move to its media services division.  (via e4m) More on their profiles on the company’s website.

Related: Q1-10: CyberMedia Net Loss Reduces 56.7%; EBITDA Up But Still Negative

Sai Info Video Conferencing Partner For BSNL; Low End Laptop

Ahmedabad-based IT company Sai Infosystems India first announced its tie up with BSNL in May but is only now rolling out its video conferencing services. Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Delhi will be covered first. Called video telephony or video phone, users will be able to buy devices and use BSNL’s 3G and landline networks to make and receive video calls. Mobiles cost upwards of Rs. 10,000. Sai also offers laptops and desktops with this feature. It plans to introduce a Rs. 10,000 laptop in September. (CIOL)

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Our Take: Remember BSNL already launched video calling – it even tried offering free incoming video calls to users in June in an attempt to pick up usage, but to no avail. Now, it’s roped in Sai Info as a comprehensive video conferencing partner. But how will Sai break the hold Google (GTalk) and Skype have on Internet users? The idea of a Rs. 10,000 laptop is interesting – we would like to learn more about these low-end devices. Anybody know their specs?

Related: The $10 Laptop: A Myth

SatNav & Survey Of India Ink Deal

Sequoia Capital and Times Private Treaties backed SatNav Technologies has bagged a deal which will let it build navigation and location-based services using Survey Of India maps. “The strategic tie-up with SOI will instill more confidence in our existing clients and partners and will give us an edge over others,” said the company’s founder and CEO Amit Prasad.

Our Take: Why did the GPS firm not do this before? The Hyderabad mapping company has created its own map of the country that covers 404 cities and 16 lakh points of interest. It competes with Google Maps, Rediff Maps, MapmyIndia, Garmin and Qualcomm, which launched Quickfinder mobiles with Tata Indicom.

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Related: MapmyIndia Compatible With Garmin Devices; Global Map Retailing

ITI Plans to Bid for BSNL 3G Data Card Supply Contract

Government owned telecommunications equipment maker ITI is planning to bid for a contract to supply data cards on 3G technology to telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. The approximate value of the tender is expected to be around 650 million rupees – 700 million rupees and the last date for the tender submission is September 25. BSNL hasn’t provided any financial details of the contract but has made it clear that it can increase up to 100% and decrease up to 50% of the quantity of cards at the time of awarding the contract or within a 12-month period. [WSJ]

Sajal Gupta Takes Over as CEO of Shoogloo Affiliate Network

OMG (UK) powered affiliate marketing network Shoogloo has announced that Sajal Gupta, an online media industry veteran, has been named Chief Executive Officer. Gupta has over thirteen years of rich experience in the sphere of internet marketing and web media, and was previously GM & India Head (Business Development) of Regalix.  Shoogoo Network has merchants like Jet Airways, Indiatimes, Yatra, FnP, Videocon, Apna Circle, Travelguru and many more on board.

MTS offering ISD calls to Russia: Rs.4.99 per minute

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Sistema Shyam TeleServices and Mobile TeleSystems OJSC have announced a partnership which is offering a customer proposition that allows subscribers to save on the calls between the operators’ networks in India and Russia. MTS-India users can save up to 50% when calling on MTS-Russia and MTS-Russia subscribers can make calls to India with up to 85% discount from the regular price. The cost of making calls to “MTS Russia” network for ‘MTS India” subscribers is reduced to just Rs.4.99 per minute. Obviously, it helps if both the companies have the same parent company. [release]

BSNL-MTNL merger only after BSNL listing: Government

The merger between the State-owned telecom companies, MTNL and BSNL will be decided after the listing of BSNL. MTNL is a New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) listed company and is also listed on Indian bourses. The merger has been on the agenda of the government and was discussed many times with the board of the companies but a concrete decision was not reached. [Business Standard]

Our Take: This is hardly surprising. As we’ve mentioned in the past, the BSNL listing is primarily intended to allow the market to value it against MTNL, so that a swap ratio can be defined for existing MTNL shareholders.

Airtel launches Data Card services for its prepaid customers in Delhi & NCR

Bharti Airtel announced the launch of its wireless data card for prepaid users in Delhi & NCR circle. The Card will enable instant wireless Internet connectivity for laptops and other computing devices, thereby significantly benefiting the business users, roamers and travelers. The data card is GPRS & EDGE compatible and works on Airtel networks all across the country and also when roaming internationally on GSM networks. [release]

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Our take: with EVDO based cards offering speeds of upto 3.1 mbps (or at least 15-20 kBps) alreadly available in the market, why bother with a 2G data card?

Launch of swine flu guide by In.com

A Swine flu information source has been launched by Network 18’s IN.com at www.in.com/swineflu which will provide medical information on swine flu. Detailed information is available to mobile users on WAP at m.ibnlive.com/swineflu and via SMSing ‘swine flu’ to 51818. [release]

BSNL Launches IPTV Services in Himachal

BSNL has launched IPTV in Himachal with Aksh Optifibre. At present the company has about 24,000 broadband users in Himachal. IPTV is proposed to be launched in Solan, Mandi and Dharmshala within six months. [Himachal.us]

IHR’s Visual Tourist Circuits of India

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IndiaHotelReview.com has come out with Visual Tourist Circuits which will simplify the travel queries of the travelers. IHR is primarily addressing two areas; it’s providing travelers with the distance between different places and their geographical locations as well. The visual circuits comprise of Kochi, Gujarat, Shirdi and Corbett, the four most sought after tourist destinations. A Buddhist circuit of central India, a Konkan circuit comprising places in Goa and Maharashtra and a Jammu & Kashmir hill stations and pilgrimage circuit will be coming up soon. [release]

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