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News Digest: Loop Mobile, Vdopia, Airtel, Vodafone, Infosys, & More

LinkedIn Inks Content Sharing Agreement With Network 18; Nayan Patel Moves To LinkedIn India

LinkedIn has set up its office in Mumbai at the Bandra Kurla Complex; Nayan Patel, who was previously director of strategic partnerships for LinkedIn in Mountain View, California, has taken on the role of director of operations for LinkedIn India. LinkedIn has also announced a co-marketing agreement with Network18 that initially includes integration of business and finance content from Moneycontrol on LinkedIn, and community-generated content from LinkedIn on CNBC-TV18. The agreement is the first media partnership announced by LinkedIn in India and is a part of the company’s strategy to growing brand awareness among professionals in the country.

Vodafone Open To Selling Airtel Stake; Plans To List Vodafone India

Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao has told the Economic Times that it is willing to sell an indirect minority stake of 4.39 percent in Bharti Airtel, saying, “No company in the world will be happy with a small minority stake in another entity. If anybody is interested in buying our stake, we are for it.” Vodafone Group also has plans to list its India subsidiary. The listing would depend on when Essar Group will exercise its put option. Essar can sell its 33 percent stake between May 2010 and the middle of 2011 to Vodafone for $5 billion.

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Infosys Launches Application Platform

Nasdaq listed Infosys Technologies Ltd has announced the launch of Flypp, a ready to launch application platform for mobile operators. The platform will allow operators to offer a variety of applications including third party applications to its users. It will also provide independent software vendors a channel to showcase and monetize proprietary applications.

ISRO Concerned Over Broadband Spectrum
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has sent a letter to TRAI highlighting the need to protect the mobile satellite and broadcasting satellite services before the spectrum band for broadband wireless access is finalized. The Department of Space (DoS) and Isro are concerned over allotment of BWA spectrum in 2535-2555 MHz and 2635-2655 MHz bands. 3.4-3.6 GHz, proposed for BWA, have been rejected by the Department of Space as well. (Read more at DNA)

Loop Mobile Offers Local And STD At 50 Paisa Per Minute

Loop Mobile (formerly BPL Mobile) has announced the launch of Simply Fifty, its new prepaid plan for its subscribers in Mumbai. The plan offers all local and STD calls to any mobile phone at 50 paisa per minute. STD calls to landlines will be charged at Re. 1 per minute. Users will have to recharge with Simply Fifty STVs that cost Rs. 25 to Rs. 110 which have lifetime validity to activate the plan. (Read more at Telecom Talk)

Vdopia Claims 900 Percent Growth In 2009

Online advertising network Vdopia has claimed that it has seen a 900 percent revenue growth in 2009 as compared to 2008. Earlier this year Vdopia had raised $4 million in Series A funding from Nexus Ventures which it plans to invest in expanding its Indian operations and introduce new products. (Read more at E4M)

Bharti Airtel Satellite Uplink Business

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Bharti Airtel has set-up Bharti Teleport to venture into the teleport business. Teleports are satellite uplink infrastructure, which broadcasters use to beam their channels to satellite for transmission. India has 500 channels and 50 percent of them use teleport services in India while others look at Singapore and Honk Kong. Bharti will start offering its services from its centre in Noida, NCR followed by Mumbai and Chennai. (Read more at The Economic Times)

DTH Operators In India Low On Subscription Revenue Turn To Ads

DTH operators in India are forced to look at alternative revenue streams as subscription revenues are low. According to Media Partners Asia Ltd, the average customer acquisition cost for DTH operators in India is as much as Rs4,600, while the return on this investment (ARPU) ranges  from Rs85 to Rs200. Advertising and value added services are what operators are betting on to improve revenues. (Read more at livemint.com)

SC Questions Governments Decision to Change 2G Deadlines.

The Supreme Court asked the Government the logic behind advancing the cut-off date for 2G allocation from September 25 to October 1 and then reversing its decision. The Court was hearing a petiton filed by the Center challenging the High Court’s directive to consider the applications of telecom operators which had applied till October 1. (Read more at The Economic Times)

Mobile Tariff Will Fall Further says Bharti Airtel

Sunil Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises which owns Bharti Airtel has said that mobile tariffs will probably fall further with the rise in competition. Airtel has asked TRAI to intervene in the ongoing price wars.   (Read more at The Economic Times)

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Digitising Manuscripts Of Srikrishna Mutt In Udupi

Digitalizing manuscripts found in the archives of Srikrishna Mutt in Udupi and elsewhere have been undertaken by Rashtreeya Sanskrit Sansthan, functioning under Mahabharata Samshodhana Pratishtana (Mahabharata Research Foundation), in association with Indian Space Research Organisation and the Department of Culture. An ultra-modern digital mobile lab titled, ‘Samanveshak’ has been set up, with the help of the Central HRD Ministry, for the purpose. (Read more at Daijiworld)

Sygic And MapmyIndia Launch  ‘MapmyIndia Sygic Mobile Maps’ For India

Sygic and MapmyIndia have tied up to launch ‘MapmyIndia Sygic Mobile Maps’ for India. The application uses MapmyIndia maps and Sygic’s software. Neither a GPRS data connection nor a cellular network is required for it to work. The application runs on GPS enabled  Windows Mobile, Symbian, Android and the iPhone platforms. The application has 401 cities across India with street-level turn-by-turn directions and information on POIs, as well as national, state or district highways. The application will cost Rs. 2490 from the MapmyIndia web shop or $79.99 from the iTunes app Store.

Ignitee Appoints R. Sreekant As General Manager

Ignitee Digital Solutions has announced the appointment of R. Sreekant as General Manager, Business Development for the northern and eastern regions. Prior to joining Ignitee, he was with Hello FM 106.4, Daily Thanthi Group- Tamil Nadu as Assistant VP for north and east regions. He has also worked with TAG Media Network, TV9, Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd, Tata Finance Amex Ltd and Thomas Cook India Ltd.

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Karbonn Mobiles Launches Five CDMA Mobile Handsets

Karbonn Mobiles has entered the CDMA mobile phones segment by launching five new handsets for the Indian market. The handsets are priced between Rs.2,000 and Rs. 6,000. The company  has also announced that it will be the title sponsor for the five matches ODI Series between India and Sri Lanka.

7Seas Technologies Launches Kraze

Games development firm, 7Seas Technologies has launched its first 3D racing game called Kraze. The game is developed to run on the PC Windows platform. The company has tied up with Comprint for publishing and distribution of Kraze in India. UK based Candella Systems Limited is the company’s partner for overseas marketing. The game is priced at Rs. 199 per CD copy for India. [release]

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