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News Digest: Google-Tata, Infy, BSNL, Wynn, IRCTC, Ogilvy, Tata, 3G

Google Inks Deal With Tata Communications For Apps

Google Apps, the companys portfolio of online services, will be offered by Tata Communications to potential customers across India. Google Apps consists of services like email, instant messaging, calendar functionality, video and office presentation tools under Google Docs, and competes with similar offerings from the likes of Microsoft and Zoho. The key thing about the partnership will be the offer of localized pricing, billing and support. Google already has a partnership with Airtel for offering Apps to Airtel’s broadband subscribers. [Release]

Infosys To Announce Social Media Policy For Employees

Infosys Technologies plans to introduce a social media policy that restrict the sharing of company information on social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter and Orkut. There have apparently been instances of sensitive company information related to projects published on Facebook, and their new management system called iRace was criticised by employees on social networking sites. More at Business Standard

Panel To Decide New BSNL Chairman

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A panel including cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar, Shantanu Consul, secretary, department of personnel and training, PJ Thomas, secretary, DoT, DPS Seth, former member, Trai, A Paulraj, WiMAX expert and professor emeritus, Stanford University, and Deepak Prakeh, chairman, HDFC will look into the appointment of a new Chairman and a new Managing Director for BSNL. Kuldeep Goyal’s term ends on July 31st 2010. More at Financial Express

Handset Co Wynn Telecom to Invest Rs. 500 In India

Wynn Telecom will invest Rs 500 crore in the Indian market by the end of financial year 2012, Rs. 100 crore of which will be in the 2010-11 fiscal. The investment will be used for distribution, product development, opening tech development centres and handset manufacturing centres in India and China, as well as acquiring VAS and UI companies. [Business Standard]

IRCTC Bars Web Agents From Booking Tickets Between 8AM to 9AM

IRCTC has formally announced the bar on web agents booking tickets between 8AM to 9AM via its site IRCTC.co.in and through their franchise network which allow booking of tickets online. More on the IRCTC online Ticketing issue.

Ogilvy India promotes Kunal Jeswani as country head, OgilvyOne

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Kunal Jeswani has been appointed Country Head, OgilvyOne and Neo@Ogilvy. OgilvyOne is the direct and digital marketing arm of the Ogilvy network, while Neo@Ogilvy is the digital media planning and buying arm of OgilvyOne. Jeswani was previously head of planning (new media) OgilvyAction and OgilvyOne. More at Afaqs.

India Considers Restriction Of Import Of Mobile Phones In India

Looks like low-end handset market is making more noise than it should: Telecom minister A. Raja has asked the government to consider restriction on mobile phone imports. At present, handset manfacturers like Micromax, Lava, Lemon, Spice etc are sourcing handsets from China and selling them in India. India is keen on pushing for manufacturing of handsets in India itself. [MoneyControl]

Tata Teleservices Exits COAI

Tata Teleservices has exited the Cellular Operators Association of India, which primarily represents the interests of GSM operators in the country. This isn’t surprising since Tata Teleservices has primarily been a CDMA operator, represented by the AUSPI, even though it now has GSM operations as well. All hasn’t been hunky dory within the COAI anyway – Reliance Communications doesn’t share its GSM data with them anyway. Mint rightly points out three lobbying segments – the incumbent GSM operators, the new telcos and the CDMA operators that now offer GSM services. Each has its own agenda to push.

3G Services Will Cost Between Rs. 700-900

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Sunil Bharti Mittal has said that given the cost of 3G spectrum, 3G services in India will be expensive, and cost between Rs. 700-900. [Economic Times]

Our take: We’re not surprised, but as we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s not likely that it will be more expensive than existing EVDO services. While the services will be launched at Rs. 700-900, we believe competition will push prices down. Demand for EVDO services at these prices has been limited, and telecom operators like Airtel will have to lower costs to achieve scale.

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