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News Digest: MTS, Aidem, IE 9, Windows Mobile, IndiaEducationReview, HCL, OnMobile

MTS, the mobile service brand of Sistema Shyam Tele Services Limited (SSTL), has expanded its footprint with the launch of its CDMA based mobile phone services in UP East and UP West circles. The company plans to invest over Rs 150 crore in operations in the new circles. It also plans to launch its EVDO based Mblaze high speed mobile broadband service in the two circle by Q1 2011 and post paid mobile services by Q2 2011.

Aidem Ventures has announced the appointment of M. Suku as its Executive Vice President. Prior to this, Suku was the head of Media & Alliances at the Reliance ADA Group.

– According to Microsoft’s Exploring IE blog, Internet Explorer 9 beta has crossed 20 million downloads since its launch in September. IE 8’s user share has seen a 40% increase over last year. The blog also stated that the company has invested in tools like Tracking Protection to help consumers identify and block many forms of undesired tracking of their online activity. IE 9 seems to be the new ray of hope for Microsoft which has lost browser marketshare to Mozzilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome in the last few years.

– The Windows Phone 7 mobile platform has finally arrived on Indian shores with HTC launching two new devices in the market. It has tied-up with Airtel to launch the HTC HD7 phone at Rs 29,990. It has also launched the HTC 7 Mozart in collaboration with Tata DOCOMO which is priced at Rs 26,490 and has also bundled an internet data offer along with the phone. The devices are high end phones boasting of features like HD video recording, faster processors and high resolution screens. Operator tie-ups have not taken off well in a country where users like the liberty of changing operators every now and then, especially now that MNP is knocking on our doors.

Tech@Edu has been renamed India Education Review, apparently with the mandate of covering the entire education sector. WebChutney had launched the site in May 2010 targeting audience in the education domain.

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– Tata DOCOMO, in association with mobile VAS provider IMImobile* has launched three new value added services of Chalisaas, South Movie Masala and Panchaang & Astro for its subscribers in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. All the three services come with a monthly charge of Rs 30 and access charges of 1p/sec. (Disclosure: IMI Mobile is an advertiser with MediaNama)

– Strong words from Hindu Businessline, calling Mobile VAS provider OnMobile Global a 52 week flop: OnMobile’s stock prices fell 36% over the previous year, with net profit declining in FY10. However, there seems to be a revival of sorts with company’s revenues are grew 18.3% to Rs 255.3 crore in first half of FY 11 over the same period in the previous year, with Net profits increased by 123.8% to Rs 41.4 crore.

– The Indian government has penalized new operators – Etisalat DB, Uninor, MTS, Aircel and Loop Telecom for missing their network roll-out deadlines and collected Rs 73.73 crore as penalty. More at  PTI

– The Department of Telecom (DoT) has decided that it will not implement some of the recommendations made by the Pitroda Committee on the restructuring of BSNL, citing them as infeasible. The committee had recommended laying off 1,00,000 employees and bringing in senior officials from the private sector. More at Business Standard

– HCL Infosystems has acquired a 20% equity stake in Dubai based Techmart Telecom Distribution, which is a distribution partner of Nokia, through its Singapore subsidiary HCL Investments Pte Ltd.The agreement provides an option to HCL to acquire up to 51% of equity stake in Techmart. More at VC Circle

– The Delhi High Court has dismissed MSM Discovery’s plea that challenged the termination of a distribution agreement by NDTV on grounds of lack of trust and faith in the relationship and loss of business opportunity and finance, upholding the decision of the sectoral tribunal TDSAT. NDTV channels are now being distributed by Star DEN. More at The Economic Times

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– Motorola has launched a mid-range Android powered smart phone, the Quench XT5 in the Indian market. It is priced at Rs 13,990 and is bundled with a mobile data offer from Aircel. Press Release

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