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News Digest: Vodafone, BSNL, MTNL, 3G, Intel & More

Vodafone Joins Tariff War

Vodafone Essar has announced a nation-wide pay per second tariff. There are different plans for different circles and some have an additional deduction of 50 paise per day. The basic plan allows subscribers to make local or STD calls to other Vodafone numbers at 1p per second, and to others at 1.2p per second in 10 circles. In other circles all its will be 1p per second for all local and STD calls to all networks.  (Read more at Telecom Talk)

Avenues 2009, Mumbai: “India will miss digital revolution bus”

Ajit Balakrishnan, founder and CEO of Rediff.com said that the if the government does not take proactive measures to make broadband cheaper and easily accessible, India will miss the online digital revolution. (Read more at Rediff Business)

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Mobile – Phone Payment In India: Vodafone Group

Vittorio Colao, CEO, Vodafone Group Plc wants to introduce mobile phone payment system in India since a large part of the rural population does not have access to banking services. Mobile transfer systems will allow for customers to have an account with the operator and then transfer cash through text messages to recipients, who can collect it from the operator’s local agent. (Read more at Bloomberg.com)

Related – M-Banking: Vodafone’s M-Pesa Hits Regulatory Roadblock

50 Cities In Maharashtra To Go 3G

50 cities in Maharashtra would get 3G mobile phone services that BSNL plans to roll out starting from Pune in December, announced Aloke Kaul, CGM, BSNL, Maharashtra, at 5th 3G India 2009 Conference held in Mumbai.
BSNL and MTNL have been given 3G spectrum ahead of the auction but they would have to pay the same charges for the spectrum as would be determined by the upcoming auctions. With the price war between operators reaching new heights and and as a consequence ARPUs falling in the telecom sector, 3G services might be able to boost revenues and retain customers. (Read more at IndiaPRwire)

BSNL: 3G Launched In Agartala, Prepaid Halted In J&K

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BSNL’s 3G service was launched on Saturday in Tripura for urban areas by Mati Lal Sarkar, MP, Rajya Sabha. WiMax would be shortly launched for the rural areas. (Read more at Zeenews).

On the other hand BSNL has said that it is going to stop the pre-paid mobile services in Jammu and Kashmir, starting November, as per the policy of the government of India. The pre-paid services would be converted to postpaid connections for which two additional Customer Service Centre (CSC) would be established at Kupwara and Dalgate in Srinagar. (Read more at PTI)

SST – BSNL To Share Towers

Sistema Shyam Teleservices, has entered into a 10-year deal with BSNL to share its telecom towers and a 5-year deal to share its bandwidth across all 22 circles in the country. BSNL in the past three months has entered into similar contracts with Datacom, Aircel and Tata Teleservices. (Read more at The Economic Times)

Intel Eyes BWA In India

Chip maker Intel is in talks with Indian telecom firms like Tata Communications, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications to offer worldwide interoperability for WiMAX technology to the operator, and the possibility of taking a minority stake through Intel Capital, for the broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum to be auctioned by the government in January 2010. DoT plans to auction two blocks of BWA spectrum at a base price of Rs 1,750 crore for a pan-India licence. (Read more at Business Standard)

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Broadband Kiosks In Rural Areas

BSNL will set up 30,000 broadband kiosks in rural and remote areas in the next two years on a franchisee basis. These kiosks would provide broadband connectivity to those who have no alternative access and who have little to spend on such services. The company intends to set up a 3-tier business model to make broadband enabled services available to the rural population. (Read more at The Economic Times)

UniverCell To Expand Operations

Mobile retail chain UniverCell will be investing around Rs. 1,960 million in opening 700 stores across the country in the next two years. In Andhra Pradesh alone, 100 more stores will be opened in the following year. (Read more at Business Standard)

MTNL 3G connection for Rs. 109

MTNL has announced the launch of new 3G connections just at Rs.109 for Mumbai. Local voice and video call charges are 20p per minute on own local network and 50p per minute for other local networks across Mumbai telecom circle. The 3G SIM comes with 25 minutes of free video call and 25 MB of free data usage and also free talk time of Rs.25. All STD voice call and video calls will be charged at 75 p per minute. (Release)

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