Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Now You Can Create Your Own Wi-Fi Spot with 3G

Almost all the portable gadgets we use today need to be connected to the internet. Instead of getting an individual internet connection for each of them, you can use one of them to create a personal, mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. All your other Wi-Fi enabled devices will then be able to connect to this hotspot and share the primary internet connection.
Apart from the practicality angle, there can be many uses for this. Your laptop can have high-speed internet connectivity on the move. Within your own network, you devices will be able to share data with each other. And you'll save quite a bit of cash at the end of the month if you share just one unlimited data plan with five other devices.source

Constraint In Video Telephony and High Usage of Data and Mobile Internet

A limitation in the number of 3G-enabled handsets with forward facing cameras, privacy issues and a limited bandwidth that might hinder user experience may limit the usage of video telephony as telecom companies in India progressively roll out their 3G networks and services.

Globally, the introduction of 3G services in a country has seen subscriber usage patterns tilt towards accessing the internet, either for downloads or browsing and telecom industry officials as well as analysts say the pattern is likely to be repeated in India as 3G services cover more geographies in the country. Tata Teleservices (TTSL), Reliance Communications (RCom), Bharti Airtel and Aircel have already launched their 3G services while Vodafone Essar is currently conducting subscriber trials in Delhi and Chennai and Idea Cellular is expected to announce its 3G launch later this month.

“Initial indications are that data usage will shoot up. Besides, video telephony is very device dependent,” said chief corporate affairs officer for Idea Cellular, Rajat Mukarji. While agreeing that some voice traffic from existing 2G networks will be offloaded by telcos on their 3G bandwidth, he added that may not be a hindrance in user experience for video telephony despite the 5 MHz bandwidth of 3G spectrum. “The offloading will primarily be for customers who opt for 3G networks,” he said.

Data from Indian Cellular Association (ICA) reveals that smart phone sales in the present financial year will number 10-11 million units and for 2011-12, the figure could touch 40 million. “In three to four years, there is going to be a huge acceleration in smart phone sales in India, with annual sales in excess of 50 million handsets,” said ICA’s president, Pankaj Mohindroo.

According to him, internet will be the ‘killer’ application and not video telephony, and there might not be much impact on sales of handset manufacturers that do not offer video calling feature on their devices.

That, in effect, could be a saving grace for Research In Motion (RIM) that manufactures and sells its handsets under the BlackBerry range, which enable other 3G services such as data downloads and mobile internet access but are bereft of the crucial forward facing camera feature that is necessary for enabling video calls.

“As of now, BlackBerry handsets do not come with forward facing camera. I don’t think there is an application that can build on that feature in to BlackBerry smartphone,” said a spokesperson for RIM India, who declined to divulge if the company was planning to incorporate the feature in any future models.

Moreover, as Director of Com First, Mahesh Uppal, points out, usage of video telephony might be restricted among family and close friends due to privacy issues.

“A subscriber on a call with a professional or social acquaintance may not want to share the details of his location, through a video call. That can limit its appeal,” he said.

Low broadband penetration in India is also cited as a reason why mobile internet may pick up faster than mobile video telephony.source

Broadband TV for Just Rs 99

Telecom major Bharti airtel today announced the launch of its 'airtel broadband TV', which will allow its broadband users to watch live TV on their computers for a monthly rental of Rs 99. 

With the service, airtel broadband subscribers will be able to access 28 Live TV channels including UTV Bindass, UTV Movies, Bloomberg UTV, TLC, Animal Planet, all Discovery channels, Sakshi TV, Live India and Tarang Music. 

"This initiative is part of our commitment to offer enhanced broadband experience to our customers. We will soon add more content under news, soap and infotainment categories," Bharti airtel Chief Marketing Officer Telemedia Services Girish Mehta told PTI. 

The company also plans to offer 19 Video-on-demand (VOD) channels and 12 movies channels as per the chosen subscription plan. 

The service will work on Wi-Fi networks as well, Mehta added. 

Airtel, which has about 1.3 million broadband users in India, will introduce three monthly subscription plans -- Gold Pack with all Live and VOD channels and movies for Rs 99, Night Pack (all channels and movies from 9 PM to 9AM) for Rs 49 and My Pack (any 3 chosen channels) for Rs 49. 

Asked if consumers will have to pay extra for the data usage, Mehta said, "Customers will not have to pay extra for data usage, except for users in Noida and Punjab." 

He added, "We will make sure that quality of service is maintained even in lower bandwidth (speed) plans." 

Bharti airtel provides mobile voice and data services, fixed line, broadband, IPTV and DTH services in the country. source