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News Digest: Alibaba, Shine, NewsX, Amit Dey, Loop, MapMyIndia, NDTV, BizTech2.0

Handsets With Fake IMEI Numbers To Go Dead From December 1st

India’s Department of Telecom has asked telecos to stop providing services to users whose handsets do not have the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) code. The order comes into effect on December 1. The rationale, according to the Hindu is that the IMEI number helps security agencies track down users.

Frankly, this doesn’t make any sense since anyone can purchase a second hand handset from a Ghaffar Market or a similar second hand retail market. How does being able to track the IMEI number help then? There’s probably another reason for all of this – handset manufacturers who offer the IMEI number would obviously benefit if cheaper Chinese handsets that don’t are not allowed to be sold in India.

Loop Launches ePaid – Premium Prepaid Service

Loop Mobile has launched epaid: a service they’re calling ‘Premium Prepaid’. The service provides subscribers with 3 year validity, low local & STD tariffs and roaming services across 550 networks worldwide. Priced at Rs. 999 with a validity of 3 years, epaid offers pre-activated CLIP, ISD, STD, call-conference and call-forwarding. As an introductory offer, has free monthly itemized usage e-statement, online recharge and claims to have lower tariffs. Frankly, I don’t see what is premium about epaid – if you can figure it out, do leave a comment. [Techshout]

Shine Puts Up Print Jobs Online

HT Media owned job site Shine.com is undergoing a homepage redesign: we recently noticed that they’ve created a separate section highlighting job listings from print, on the web. HT execs we contacted said that they’ve had print job listings on Shine for a while now, and have only just introduced a tab highlighting the same. Since we haven’t written about the print jobs integration with the website, we thought this was worth a mention.

Alibaba India JV By The End Of The Year

Alibaba will announce its JV in India by the end of the year: [Financial Express]

Alibaba In Talks For An India JV With Infomedia18; Why Not Solo?
Alibaba Claims To Have 1 Million Members In India

NDTV In Talks With E.W. Scripps For Lifestyle Biz Partnership

NDTV is in talks with Scripps Networks Interactive, a division of US based E. W. Scripps for investment in NDTV Lifestyle Ltd, which broadcasts the channel NDTV Good Times. The company will also launch another channel in a specific lifestyle genre in India with Scripps. NBC Universal picked up 26 percent in NDTV Networks Plc in January last year. [ContentSutra]

NewsX To Go Free To Air

New channel NewsX has announced that it will be converted from a pay channel to a Free To Air channel from 10th October 2009. According to the company spokesperson, “The decision to go FTA is part of our strategy to further increase the reach of NewsX. The improvement in content, the kind of stories and specials we run has been accepted very well by the audience. Through our new distribution strategy, we would like to ensure that we are accessible to our audience across all platforms.”

It may be noted that the distribution of channel was earlier managed by INX Media which owns the last mile boxes at the cable operator’s end. With the review in its distribution strategy, NewsX will own the end-to-end value chain. (release)

Amit Dey joins Axis APM as CEO

Amit Dey, former Head (Sales & BD) for Europe and Americas for OnMobile Global, has joined Axis APM as CEO. Axis APM provides print advertising on Electricity Bills, Railyway Tickets, HPCL LPG Bills etc. Perhaps there’s something digital planned? [release]

Great Driving Challenge

Hindustan Motors Ltd organized The Great Driving Challenge competition: three select couples drove 3000 km across India, posting blogs, photos and videos of the journey. A similar contest was organized by MakeMyTrip to promote their property OkTaTaByeBye three years ago. Incidentally, OTTBB is now owned by the Tata Group, following a WIPO order. coming back to the Great Driving Challenge – wonder about what will happen to the content once the show is over. It’s a campaign, all right. [Global Voices]

MapmyIndia Launches MapMyIndia Loaded GPS Navigator

MapmyIndia has launched MapmyIndia Loaded (VX140), a sleek new navigator with with a wide, 4.3” flat screen and Bluetooth features that allow it to be paired with mobile phones to receive and make calls. The device has multimedia features, turning it into an entertainment box, playing videos, music and games, and comes with a 2GB memory card, which can be upgraded to 8GB. [release]

Biztech2.0 Partners With The CIO KLUB

Web18s portal BizTech2.0 has partnered with the CIO Klub for events, content and marketing. The CIO KLUB will set up chapters across cities, and seek to mentor members through a knowledge sharing series, interactions with experts, and meetings with business leaders – CEO / CFO and CMOs. The partnership between Web18 and the CIO KLUB involves participation of key CIO KLUB members in the content initiatives of Biztech2.com, and joint events. [release]

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