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News Roundup: Lanka TV Digitization; Ralph Simon; Dr Batras; Banglalink; Hexolabs; Direcpay, Redbus, Airtel Lanka

Sri Lanka TV Transmission To Go Digital

Sri Lankan Television has received an approval to switch to a digital transmission mode – DVB-T. The Sri Lankan cabinet has approved an allocation of 150 million for Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and Rs. 150 million for Independent Television Network in the 2010 budget, to purchase equipment and antennas required for the switch. This means that viewers will have to also purchase receivers for digital signals. [Colombopage]

Ralph Simon joins Board of Directors at Hungama Digital Media

Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd has announced the appointment of Ralph Simon as the new member of their Board of Directors, chaired by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. Simon is the Chairman Emeritus & Founder of the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) Americas. He is currently the CEO of Mobilium, the international Strategic Advisory Group with business in Asia, India, USA, Europe and Africa.  [release]

Nikhil Pahwa adds: Simon had told me a couple of years ago that he is on Hungama’s advisory board, so he has been associated with the company for a while.

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Dr. Batra’s launches WAP Site

Dr. Batras’ Positive Health Clinic has introduced a WAP site, which includes chat based consultation between 9am and 9pm and query by email. Users can store case history and request appointments. [Release]

Nikhil Pahwa adds: You can try the site out at http://wap.drbatras.com; looks like a lead generation initiative to me: I came across a consultation form that required me to fill in a few details, and an address, and I was told that I would have to pay Rs. 6900 for the treatment, which would be sent to me by VPP. It’s 9:20, and no doctors are on the WAP site for consultation at present. It’s a barebones site with very little information available.

OnMobile Developer Network Crosses 1.1 Lakh Subscribers with Antakshari within 3 months

OnMobile Developer Network’s Antakshari, developed by Hexolabs was successfully received in the market with over 1.1lakh users accessing the application within the first 3 months of launch. OnMobile has taken an initiative to build an ecosystem “OnMobile Developer Network (ODN)” that focuses on fostering the development of innovative speech based MVAS solutions. ODN makes it easy for developers to build multi-lingual speech applications using a simple SDK. [release]

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DirecPay facilitates mPayments through PayMate

Direcpay, a service from TimesofMoney and PayMate, wireless transactions company have joined hands to provide an extended, mobile payment facility to its merchants across India. PayMate’s hybrid SMS & IVR based solution lets the user link his mobile phone to any financial instrument like Bank Accounts, Credit Cards or Pre-paid Mobile Vouchers. [release]

redBus.in launches Bus Operators Software System (BOSS)

redBus.in, Bangalore-based online bus ticketing company has launched Bus Operators Software System (BOSS) for managing and aggregating the bus inventory of independent bus operators in India. The company currently books around 3,000 bus tickets per day across India. The company is looking at distributing the software to about 50 bus operators in India by March 2010 and has an inventory of over 500 bus operators covering over 5000 routes across 15 states in India. [Travelbizmonitor]

Banglalink revenue increase

Orascom backed Bangladeshi telecom operator Banglalink reported a 29 percent increase in revenues for the first half of 2009 as compared to the same period in 2008. The earnings increased from Tk 920 crore in June 2008 to Tk 1,183 crore in June 2009. The telcos subscriber base has increased by 17 per cent to 11.04 million at the end of the first half of 2009, which was 9.45 million in the same time last year. [DailyStar]

BSNL to launch 3G services next month

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is all set to commercially roll out its much-awaited third generation telephony services in Chennai, India, by September 15. BSNL launched 3G mobile services from Chennai on February 22 and installed 25 stations (Node-Bs) in the city for the initial launch. This launch will enable a range of upgraded services including video on call, mobile broadband and mobile TV. [ExpressBuzz]

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Bharti Airtel Lanka Bundles Connection With Nokia

Bharti Airtel Lanka has announced an agreement with Nokia, wherein customers purchasing Nokia handsets can get a Airtel Handset Bundle Offer. The deal is obtainable through Softlogic, Nokia’s National Distributor in Sri Lanka, and its dealers and registered retailer’s islandwide. Airtel has crossed the 1 million customers mark. [DailyMirror.lk]

Import of mobile phones up in July: Pakistan

A customs duty cut of Rs. 250-750 helped increase the legal import of cell phones in Pakistan to $19.5 million in July 2009 as compared to $16.7 million in June. However, Imports in July 2009 were lower than $37 million imports reported in July 2008. An imposition of import duty in 2008-09 had adversely affected import of legal handsets. [Dawn]

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