Sunday, July 10, 2011

Prepare for IIT with Tata Docomo Tutor on Mobile

It also content to Class X, XII, IIT and Engineering students. Podcast of conference are also available on various subjects.

Tata Docomo has launched a service called Tutor on Mobile (TOM), which is a knowledge marketplace packed with premium educational content, and easy learning mechanisms.
The service gives content on educational and career related topics, and provides tutor content to Class X, XII, IIT and Engineering students, enabling students to learn on the move. Students can also take mock tests through this service.
The service has been launched in association with Voicetap Technologies (a 2 year old technology start-up founded by INSEAD and IIT alumni), and enables subject experts to broadcast their knowledge to the world by hosting Knowledge Conference Calls and make money doing so.
Tutor on Mobile (TOM) uses Voicetap's proprietary oneTAP platform to aggregate and deliver content across various mediums including IVR(interactive voice response), IVVR (interactive voice and video response), Web, WAP and SMS, so depending on users handset capability the service will be delivered according to the choice of the user.
The content provided is in the form of videos, text, images, live interactions, pod casts (voice broadcast) or even knowledge conferences, where one can join an experts session (virtual class room, both voice and video).
Talking about Voicetap's first major launch in India, Mrigank Tripathi, founder and chief executive officer, said, "With college admissions season on the brink, Voicetap team has already hosted series of Knowledge Conference Calls on Delhi University Admissions, Engineering College Admissions and Career Counseling Sessions and has a whole series planned on admissions, career and other such topics".
Gurinder Singh Sandhu, head corporate marketing, Tata Teleservices Limited, said, "The service liberates from a classroom session to a complete mobile way of learning a language and we hope our subscribers will reap the benefits of the application in the days to come."
Voicetap currently has over 60 expert partners, who have signed up for TOM to reach out to new customers. TOM will let users search for various topics on which they want to acquire knowledge.
The knowledge will be provided to users through SMS, WAP, Web, IVR and IVVR. Customers can subscribe the service by three different ways, first by sending a free SMS to 'TOM' to 5333300, secondly through SMS link for free and thirdly, through website tom.tatadocomo.com (to be used for only previews and uploading user videos).
Currently the service gives menu options through the WAP site mentioned above. And soon the service will also be available through application which will give better menu options.
The service is free for the first month as promotional plan. From the second month onwards, users have to pay Rs 15 per month for all the content including podcasts. There will be no data charges as the browsing is free. However, if one needs expert advice then that will be charged separately based on the expert he/she chooses.source

Now, book your train ticket on cellphone

Your phone can double up as a train ticket now with the Indian Railways launching ‘m-ticket’ service, which does away with the need for paper tickets and printouts. If you have internet (GPRS) activated on your mobile, all you need to do is visit a new website called indianrailway.gov.in launched on Friday, and register for the service. An SMS will bring the link of a tiny mobile application to your phone. Using GPRS (mobile internet), install the “App”, and you will never need to bother about carrying tickets for train travel anymore.
All you need to do is show the ticket examiner the ‘mobile reservation voucher’— an SMS containing your reservation information and back it up with a valid photo ID.
“With mobile phones becoming gadgets for business productivity and entertainment besides telephony, railways had to make its services available in this space,” said a railway ministry spokesman.
The website is still weeding out minor kinks involving page loading and user registration, but the railways are surging ahead with the plan for mobile devices. Travel agents and such bulk customers have been barred from using the service, as each ID can book up to eight tickets per month.
While currently the mobile application is compatible with most GSM and CDMA phones, sources said officials are deliberating specific applications for Blackberry and iPhone. Mobile ticketing is just one aspect of the website. Passengers can also book retiring rooms in advance.source

Mobile rechargers to resume work from tomorrow

Coimbatore, Jul 9 (PTI): The one-week-old strike by Mobile Recharge and Retailers Association here will end tomorrow,even as 200 association members observed a one-day fast here today, in protest against reduction of commission by major mobile service providers. In a resolution,the association said it has decided to sell recharge coupons and Easy recharge from tomorrow or just after the fast in the evening, considering the problems being faced by the public. Nearly 5,000 retailers are on strike since one week in reduction of commission charges from 3.8 to 3.3 per cent by major service operators, without any proper communication. In another resolution,it said members would stop activating SIM cards of operators like Airtel, Aircel and Vodafone until further orders. It also decided to remove signboards of these operators from their shops. source

China Mobile puts more pressure on Unicom

China Mobile Ltd said 5.6 million iPhone users had access to its wireless network by theend of Mayputting increasing pressure on China Unicom (Hong KongLtdApple Inc's officialpartner in the country.
Wang Jianzhouchairman of China Mobile Communications Corpthe parent company of the carrier,revealed the figure in an interview with Chinese newspaper China Business News in early July.
In May alonealmost 700,000 iPhone 4 users were added to China Mobile's networkto the delightof Tim Cookchief operating officer of Apple IncWang told the newspaper.
Cook paid a low-profile visit to China Mobile's headquarters in Beijing last monthand industryanalysts speculated that he might have discussed launching an iPhone to support China Mobile'sfourth generation time division long-term evolution (TD-LTEtechnology.
China Mobilewhose third-generation (3G) network technology isn't supported by the iPhonehasaggressively promoted collaboration with Apple in the upcoming 4G eraCurrentlyChina Mobile'siPhone users can only run their device on the 2G mobile network.
"The advanced 4G TD-LTE technology could be beneficial (for China Mobileto attract and maintainhigh-end mobile phone users," Wang said.
China UnicomChina's second-biggest telecom operatoris still the only carrier in China that offersApple Inc's iPhone series with a service contractHoweverthe company faced increasingchallenges from its domestic rivals.
China Telecom Corp Ltdthe smallest of the country's three telecom carriersalso plans tointroduce a Code-Division Multiple Access version of the iPhone in the Chinese market.
"It is a trendfor rival carriers to offer services based on the iPhonechief executive officer of ChinaTelecom Chang Xiaobing told Bloomberg News at the end of May. "We don't have a choice in this,and must be ready to face this environment."
China Unicom also changed its terminal strategy from solely relying on the iPhone to promotingmultiple smartphone models made by different manufacturers.
The company issued a definition of "a 3G Internet mobile phonein Maysaying those devicesshould feature a 3.5 inch screena central processing CPU of 600 MHz or moreand should havepowerful multimedia capabilities.
The ZTE Blade V880 was the first 3G Internet mobile phone model introduced by China Unicom inJuneThe price of Blade V880 is 999 yuan ($155) and the model has daily sales of 4,500 units,becoming China Unicom's second most popular 3G mobile phoneafter the iPhone 4.
China Mobile had 611 million subscribers at the end of Mayof which 32 million were 3G usersThecompany aims to attract more than 50 million 3G users by the end of the yearChina Unicom had22.1 million 3G users in Maywhile China Telecom came in third with 19.7 million.source

Safaricom’s mobile money services rakes in N1.34trn

...As MTN prepares to launch mobile money
Nigeria’s telecom operator, MTN prepares to launch mobile money services in August 2011 in a bid to re-enact the success story of Safaricom, a telecom company based in Kenya. Safaricom runs the biggest money service in Kenya called “M-Pesa,” following its transaction of a Sh727.8 billion (N1.34 trillion) last year.
BusinessDay learnt that when MTN mobile money service is launched, it is expected to cover 40 million subscribers, mostly the high number of unbanked Nigerians that it will bring into the scheme, which will make it the biggest in Africa. The launch will coincide with the take-off date for the national mobile money scheme being superintended by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Less than 20 percent (28 million) of Nigeria’s 140 million people currently operate bank accounts. The country’s 24 commercial banks reportedly have a network of less than 4,000 branches. Meanwhile, there are over 90 million active phone lines in the country, with over 95 percent of them being mobile lines.
The M-PESA service which the MTN mobile money will be fashioned after enables users to send and receive money through their mobile phones. The Central Bank of Kenya report shows that the M-Pesa service in Kenya  saw over 305 million transactions carried out in the year, according to 2010 annual bank supervision report.
The report notes that  “M-Pesa was still the most widely used method of mobile money transfer as evidenced by the 305.7 million transactions effected and valued at Sh727.8 billion in the year.
This means that on average, the service moved Sh2 billion daily. “This is huge but it’s possible…people are using a lot of mobile money now,” said Telkom Kenya’s communication manager Angela Mumo. The figure is likely to rise even further this year, according to Safaricom’s chief executive officer, Bob Collymore. “The numbers are certainly increasing,” said Collymore on phone yesterday. “Everybody is using M-Pesa.”
Person-to-Person transactions for March 2011 stood at Sh47 billion,(N80.8 billion) according to figures released during the investor briefing in March.
Since being launched in March 2007, M-Pesa’s popularity has been growing from strength to strength. For instance, the number of users grew from 6.1 million in 2009 to 9.4 million in 2010 and 13.8 million users as at March 2011. On revenue side, Safaricom made some Sh11.78 billion(N20.78 billion) from M-Pesa last year up from Sh7.56 billion( the previous year, a 56 per cent growth.
According to Safaricom’s annual report for the year ended 31 March 2011, Cumulative value of transactions from inception is Sh828 billion. M-Pesa competes with services such as Airtel Money, Orange Money and Yu-cash. “In only four years of existence of mobile phone money transfer services, four mobile operators have enrolled over 15 million customers,” the CBK report says.
According to Mumo, Orange Money transacted over Sh50 million on the first month of launch late last year but the figure could now be over half a billion. “Orange Money allows bigger transactions and that is why we want to partner with Saccos,” Mumo said.
The popularity of M-Pesa has seen the service attract international recognition. The service won the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Award at this year’s Global Mobile Awards 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. The service is also being tried in other countries. In Tanzania, where the product was launched by Vodacom, M-Pesa has 1,6m active and 7 million registered users.
The service has however failed to pick in South Africa where it was launched in August last year in partnership with Vodacom. Last month, Vodacom disclosed that it has only managed to register about 100, 000 M-Pesa users in SA so far. Vodacom said M-Pesa has fallen short of its expectations for the product. When it unveiled the product, Vodacom said it expected to sign up 10 million customers within three years. source

Airtel 3G International video calling service for India

A month after the Indian government set a deadline to put a monitoring mechanism in place for intercepting video calling on a real-time basis, Airtel has come up with its latest offering for the same. The announcement of the Airtel 3G International video calling service follows the launch of its 3G services in the north eastern belt earlier this month.
This new service claims to connect India with more than 227 countries and allows users to share important moments of their lives in real time with people abroad through 3G. Customers of the company’s 3G services can now take advantage of the Airtel internet on 3G to make international video calls and share information instantly.
Atul Bindal, President of Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel elaborated by saying, “At Airtel, it is our constant endeavor to introduce services that enrich the lives of our customers. As we take the lead in launching International Video Calling on 3G in India, this marks the beginning of a new era of next generation communication in the country – one that will help mobile customers break the barrier of boundaries and instantly connect with their personal and business network across the world. Given the high demand of video calling services seen since the launch of Airtel 3G services, we are confident that our customers will see great value from the availability of this capability for international calls as well. We invite our 3 million plus Airtel 3G customers to enjoy this exciting experience.”
To make ISD video calls, the receiver as well as the sender is required to use 3G network and possess a front facing camera in their 3G handsets. By virtue of this service, callers can interact face-to-face with their friends and relatives residing in any country where this service is applicable.
The Airtel 3G International video calling service is priced at Rs. 20 per minute for countries like UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Oman. While for Canada, Bangladesh and USA, the price is Rs. 14 per minute.source