Monday, January 24, 2011

3G service to cover all circles by March 2012 -Bharti Airtel

Airtel 3G 
Bharti Airtel plans to take third-generation services to 1,500 cities across India by the end of March 2012.

The company, which has 3G licences for 13 circles, is also in talks with other service providers to roll out the services in the remaining 10 circles as part of its roaming offerings.

Atul Bindal, president for mobile services, Bharti Airtel  said, "We are in touch with other operators for 3G alliances outside our licenced zones."

But he declined to divulge the names and the partnership models. He said the company would initially launch the service in its 13 3G licence circles by March 2011.

Vineet Taneja, operation director, south, said, "We are in active discussions with various service providers in some circles and the terms of agreement are in their active closure stage.

The availability of spectrum with our partner to share is the main problem in most circles."

The company, which has operations in more than 19 countries across Asia and Africa, believes the new data services will help to stabilise its profit and average revenue per user.

"We expect ARPUs to definitely stabilise to a much greater extent than they would have otherwise done, for the very simple reason that there would be an explosion in terms of new products and services on the non-voice side," said Bindal.

The company on Monday launched 3G services in India in Bengaluru

The Karnataka  circle contributes the largest chunk of Airtel's revenue and is its largest circle by operation. With more than 15 million customers, Airtel has more than 50 per cent of the Karnataka market.

"Through 3G service and the recent roll-out of mobile number portability, we believe that a significant number of high value users and data users from our competitors will move to Airtel," said V Venkatesh, CEO, Karnataka circle, Airtel.

Asked about the security concerns on video calls, he said they had solutions to address the issues. He said, "The government has given us six months time till July and when they go for scrutiny, we will demonstrate the same."

"The entry of 3G to rural markets of Karnataka will take some time.

"It is a matter of prioritising. We are planning to take 3G experience to all our customers in 11 towns in Karnataka by the end of March 2011."source

Google launches Cloud Print wireless printing service for Android, iOS (iPhone), HTML5-compatible devices

cloudprint 300x450 cloudprint

While Google announced their cloud-based printing service in April of 2010, they today passed a huge milestone by offering the Cloud Print wireless printing service for mobile devices (as long as your desktop computer is powered on). Starting today, Android 2.1+ and iOS users can print Google Documents and Gmail right from their phone. Devices with HTML5-compatible web browsers should also be good to go with Cloud Print.
This wireless print option is not limited to Android and iOS, as any mobile device that supports HTML5 can take advantage of the feature. As it stands, the option to print from a mobile device is only available on certain Google websites (like the mobile version of Gmail), but we hope that future application updates will soon implement this. Cloud Print is currently only available to Windows PCs, but Mac and Linux versions should be on their way in the near future.
While we’re trying to go “all-digital” with our smartphones, and have physical print-outs become less important, Cloud Print is terribly convenient. Sometimes email just can’t do it all for you. Having the option to print a document while you are on your way to work and have it waiting for you when you get there may be a dream come true to many people, and giving mobile devices this option makes the service just that much more powerful.
Setting up the Cloud Print service is easy enough, and after you link the printer to your Gmail account, printing is only a couple clicks away. As you’d expect,  when viewing an email, hitting the menu option on the mobile site (Gmail, Docs) will reveal the option to print the current document, or email, that you’re currently viewing. As it develops, we can expect to see more advanced printing options become available.
So whether or not you think you’ll ever use Cloud Print, if you use the Chrome browser, you might as well set it up. You never know when you may need it.

Q3 Group Profit of Rs.243.05 Cr - Idea Cellular

Ideacellular-012411.jpg(RTTNews) - Idea Cellular Ltd., a part of the $24-billion Aditya Birla Group and India's leading GSM mobile services operator, reported net profit and revenues for the third-quarter.
Consolidated Results
The Gandhi Nagar-based company posted a third-quarter consolidated net profit of Rs.243.05 crore or Re.0.74 per share, while it was Rs.170.11 crore or Re.0.55 per share in the third-quarter of 2009.
The company said results for the current quarter and nine months were not comparable with that of corresponding period, due to the merger of Spice Communications Ltd. effective March last year, prior to which it was joint venture.
Total quarterly revenue, including other operating income, amounted to Rs.3,955.61 crore, whereas the company posted Rs.3,149.47 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.
For the nine months, the company's consolidated net profit was Rs.624.19 crore, while it was Rs.687.33 crore a year ago. Total revenue, including other operating income, amounted to Rs.11,268.50 crore, whereas the company reported Rs.9,099.28 crore for the Apr-Dec 2009 period.
Stand-alone Results
The company posted a third-quarter stand-alone net profit of Rs.221.06 crore, while it reported Rs.210.14 crore in the prior-year quarter. Total revenue, including other operating income totaled Rs.3,929.05 crore, while it was Rs.2,999.06 crore in the year-ago quarter.
Net revenue for the quarter from 'Established Service Area' was Rs.3,594.10 crore, while that of 'New Service Areas' amounted to Rs.396 crore.

The company added 7.6 million subscribers during the quarter, taking the total subscriber base to 81.8 million as at the end of December 2010.
Average revenue per user per subscriber was Rs.168, down 16 per cent from Rs.200 in the prior-year quarter, while average realized rate per minute declined 20 per cent to Re.0.41 from Re.0.51 in the year-ago quarter.
For the Apr-Dec period, the company's net profit was Rs.588.68 crore, while it was Rs.791.16 crore for Apr-Dec period last year. Total revenue, including operating income, grew 20 per cent to Rs.11,187.58 crore, whereas it posted Rs.8,656.18 crore in the corresponding period a year-ago.
The company said preparatory work for 3G roll-out was on track, and it would launch in the next few months 3G services in the 11 service areas, where it had won the 3G spectrum. It was also finalizing long-term arrangements with select quality operators for service areas, where Idea was not awarded 3G spectrum.
At the BSE, Idea Cellular closed Monday's trading at Rs.69.30, up by Re.0.70 or 1.02 per cent on a volume of 293,000 shares.

Tata unveils mobile 'sex education' service

 Tata Docomo, the GSM brand of Tata Teleservices, today launched a new service 'Sparsh', which offers information on sexual and reproductive health-related issues.

"The service is aimed at using mobile phone to build awareness about issues related to sexual and reproductive health related concerns," Tata Docomo said in a statement.

The service would be available in English, Hindi and Marathi, while other languages like Oriya, Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam will be added soon.

"Sparsh aims at creating awareness about sex education on the mobile. Majority of Indians are still conservative about openly discussing and clearing doubts about the topic", Tata Docomo Vice President New Product Development - VAS Zubin Jimmy Dubash said.

Keeping this in mind, we have introduced Sparsh, which offers the customer complete privacy in accessing this information through a simple IVR call, he added. source

3G will boost VAS earnings - Airtel

Bharti Airtel Ltd., India's largest mobile phone operator by subscribers, Monday said it expects third-generation services to help stabilize its fast-dropping average revenue per user--a key gauge of profitability--and add to earnings.
President Mobile Services at Bharti Airtel Atul Bindal, left, with operations Director Vineet Taneja at the launch of third generation services by Airtel.
Third-generation services allow multimedia capabilities on mobile networks and are likely to improve the operating performance of telecom companies as they can charge higher tariffs in a market where cut-throat competition has dented their revenue growth, margins, average revenue per user, or ARPU, and profitability.
ARPUs for Indian telecom operators have also dropped over the past couple of years as companies tapped lower revenue generating rural customers.
"We expect the ARPUs to definitely stabilize to a much greater extent than they would have been otherwise for the very simple reason that there would be an explosion in terms of new products and services on the non-voice side," Atul Mohan Bindal, president of mobile services, said at the launch of the company's 3G services in the southern state of Karnataka.
He expects the 3G offering to attract customers from rival networks, especially after mobile number portability--which lets users change operators without changing numbers--was launched in the country from Jan. 20.
"I cannot put a number to it...But I will be very surprised if it [3G] is not EPS [earnings per share] accretive," Sanjay Kapoor, chief executive of the company's operations in India and South Asia, told reporters.
Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images
A vendor used his mobile phone at a vegetable market in Hyderabad.
Brokerage Motilal Oswal estimates Bharti Airtel's ARPU in India in the quarter ended Dec. 31 to have slipped 1% sequentially, to 200 rupees ($4.4). For the financial third quarter, the company is expected to report a net profit of 15.96 billion rupees, down 3.9% from the previous quarter, on revenue of 158.23 billion rupees, up 4% sequentially, according to the average of estimates in a Dow Jones Newswires poll of 16 analysts.
The company is slated to report its third-quarter results on Feb. 2. Neither Bindal nor Kapoor said if the 3G services would boost ARPUs in the current January-March quarter.
Analysts said operators are unlikely to make any immediate profit on 3G services due to the high costs they incurred to acquire the bandwidth, including interest expenses on debt. Bharti Airtel itself won 3G radio spectrum in 13 of India's 22 telecom circles through an auction last year for 122.95 billion rupees.
The company plans to launch 3G services across all the 13 areas by the end of March. It became the third private operator after Tata Teleservices Ltd. and Reliance Communications Ltd. to launch 3G services in the world's fastest-growing telecommunications market.
Bharti Airtel reiterated that it is in advanced talks with other operators for arrangements to offer 3G services beyond the 13 areas, Mr. Bindal said, without naming the potential partners. Rivals such as Vodafone Essar Ltd., which plans to launch its 3G services during January-March, and Reliance Communications have also said they were talking to operators for similar tie-ups.
State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.--which didn't have to participate in the auction and were allocated bandwidth in 2008--launched 3G services in early 2009, but have so far received a lukewarm response.
Meanwhile, on mobile number portability, Mr. Kapoor said the service hasn't been a "game changer" in any part of the world, and won't be so in India.
"In fact, more people migrated from one operator to another because [for example] one had an iPhone and the other didn't," Mr. Kapoor said.
The company, India's largest mobile phone operator by subscribers, became the third private operator after Tata Teleservices Ltd. and Reliance Communications Ltd. in launching 3G services in the world's fastest growing telecommunications market.
The company had won 3G radio spectrum in 13 of India's 22 telecom circles through an auction last year for 122.95 billion rupees ($2.69 billion).
State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd.--which didn't have to participate in the auction and were allocated bandwidth in 2008--launched 3G services in early 2009, but have so far got a lukewarm response.
Third-generation services allow multimedia capabilities on mobile networks and are likely to improve the operating performance of telecom companies as they can charge higher tariffs in a market where cut-throat competition has hurt their profitability

BSNL presents iPad 3G Data Plans

BSNL will unveil iPad 3G Data Plans. BSNL will provide 3G Data Plans for iPad to both its Prepaid and Postpaid consumers. We have also learnt that BSNL will initially offer 3G Data Plans for iPad in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, UP (East), UP (West), Chennai and Kolkata telecom circle.
For pre paid customers it offers starter pack priced at Rs. 100, it will come alongwith Free Usage of 1GB/month for 6 months. For Prepaid consumers BSNL will provide 3 plans namely, Unlimited monthly plan, Limited monthly plan and Daily plan.For post paid customers it will charge one time activation fee of Rs. 100. There is only one plan available for Postpaid users i.e Unlimited Monthly Plan. It will be available at Rs. 999 per month with unlimited usage and no FUP.

Reliance Communications to launch 3G services in Rajasthan

Telecom service provider Reliance Communications today announced to launch 3G services in 12 cities of Rajasthan , including Jaipur within a month.

"Demonstration of 3G capabilities at Jaipur is an integral part of our vision 2015 of creating a 'Wirefree India', built upon the affordable 3G for all platform," Vinay Chandok, Hub Head-- Gujarat and Rajasthan, Reliance Communications, told reporters in a press conference.

He said the third generation (3G) services will be launched within a month in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota, Bikaner, Ajmer, Udaipur, Sri Ganganagar, Bhiwadi, Alwar, Pilani, Pali and Bhilwara.

Chandok said the range of services to be offered includes video calling, mobile TV, video streaming.

All the applications will be accessed at superfast speeds ubiquitously on a variety of mobile and personal computing devices, for which the company will make available different customised plans for different users. source

3G debut in KK for Airtel

After announcing that it would launch 3G services in January 2011, Airtel on Monday said it was launching 3G in Karnataka to begin with.

The company said it was now targeting a rollout of 3G services across the rest of its 13 3G licence circles by March, thereby acknowledging it was running behind on the rollout. Rival Vodafone too is unlikely to launch its 3G services before middle of February.

Announcing this, Sanjay Kapoor, CEO - Bharti airtel Ltd (India & South Asia) said, "It is indeed the start of a new era when 3G services in India roll out on Airtel's network. World over 'Data traffic' on the back of high speed internet and use of social networking has already exceeded the 'Voice traffic'. India is ushering in the domain -- though later than most of the world -- but no doubt we will catch up at a much faster speed."

Airtel's 3G services, delivered on high speed HSPA network, will bring in a new era of enriching services in entertainment, utility, commerce and health -- all now on the customer's mobile phone.

The Airtel internet on 3G will let users enjoy multimedia services, high speed mobile broadband and internet access with the ability to view videos on mobile phone, make video calls, watch live TV, access high speed internet and enjoy live streaming.

With the mobile industry across the world expecting to connect 2.4 billion people to the internet over the next five years, the launch of its 3G services is seen as a key milestone in Bharti Airtel's vision to play a leading role in delivering the power of the mobile internet to an increasing number of people in India.

Airtel plans to offer time-based and flexi 3G plans depending upon user requirements. source