Reliance Jio now offering LYF telephones with limitless records, free voice minutes

Reliance Jio has started promoting its Lyf phones with its personal SIM cards enabled for normal consumers, because of this that the operator is now close to launch its tons predicted LTE offerings. ultimate 12 months, Reliance Jio allowed its employees to check its community.

The SIM playing cards include 3 months of loose limitless data and four,500 minutes of voice calls. As in keeping with a report of financial times, Jio’s SIMs are available in Reliance virtual stores and other huge retail stores in foremost cities which includes Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru aside from smaller towns.

Reliance Jio has pan India BWA (4G) license. initially, it got 4G spectrum in 2300 MHz band however later it obtained 800 and 1800 MHz band spectrums. The Mukesh Ambani-led business enterprise is predicted to begin a rate war amongst telecos. Infact, many telecos like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and idea cell are rolling out their 4G services speedy to gain the early mover benefit.

GSM Operators Add 6.3 Million Subscribers in October

The GSM mobile subscribers’ base in the country increased by 6.3 million in October to reach 739.44 million, industry body COAI said on Monday, indicating a 0.86 percent groth. The total number of GSM users stood at 733.1 million at the end of September, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said.

Country’s top operator Bharti Airtel added 2.77 million new subscribers (also the highest additions in the period) in October to take its number to 237.98 million with a market share of 32.18 percent.

Vodafone added 1.306 million users and its base increased to 189.4 million with a market share of 25.62 percent whereas Idea Cellular added 724,000 lakh new subscribers to take its base to 1.672 million with 22.62 percent share.

Aircel added 612,000 lakh subscribers while Telenor added 932,000 and their user bases stood at 84.6 million and 48.7 million respectively.

State-run MTNL added 6,342 subscribers to take its base to 3.518 million while Videocon Telecom lost 51,004 subscribers and its base reduced to 7.849 million during the reported period.

The COAI report added that the maximum subscribers in any circle were for Uttar Pradesh (East), which had 65.14 million. The circle with the most additions in October was Rajasthan, with 0.74 million.

COAI did not report GSM numbers of BSNL, Reliance Communications, and Tata Teleservices.

Vodafone, Airtel, BSNL, Idea Offer Free Data, and More

Telecom operators are leaving no stone unturned to woo consumers at Diwali, popularly known as the festival of lights in India. Soon after Vodafone announced a special Diwali offer that will offer users 100MB of free data on November 11, Idea and Bharti Airtel have also come with offers for their subscribers.

Idea Cellular has introduced its all-new Idea Freedom Packs with which the company is targeting limited subscribers including students, housewives, and new users. Under the new Idea Freedom Pack (available only for prepaid users), the company is offering up to 300MB 2G data at Rs. 100 and up to 500MB 3G data at Rs. 175. Both the packs come with a validity of 28 days.

Announcing the new packs, Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular said, “Idea Freedom packs target those consumers who want to stay digitally connected throughout the month, however at 30-40% lower costs. These packs would help us enhance convenience for prepaid customers, who have to otherwise depend on multiple sachet recharges to manage their costs and internet needs throughout the month. These packs could serve as a one stop solution for them.”

Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, has announced multiple offers catering to various subscribers. The latest pack from Airtel offers new smartphone users up to Rs. 750 for signing up for the company’s data packs. The company late last month had introduced 50 percent daily cashback offer for mobile data. Airtel subscribers under the offer received daily morning credit of 50 percent of data, be it 2G ,3G or 4G, that they consumed between 12am to 6am.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has announced two special recharge vouchers that come with reduced call rates and also offer free talk-time. The new special tariff vouchers include STV35 (Rs. 35) offering local and STD voice calls to any network at Rs. 0.20 per minute, and STV48 (Rs. 48) offering 80 free minutes on local and STD calls on any network on national roaming. The company has confirmed that the special vouchers can be only availed till November 17. Notably, the new special vouchers come with limited validity.

Apart from 100MB free data, Vodafone India for its subscribers in South has also introduced ‘One Rate, One South’ pack in five south states. The Rs. 57 pack will offer outgoing mobile calls (local, STD and while roaming) at Rs. 0.01 per second in South India. The five states which will get the offer include Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu.

Vodafone is also offering its subscribers in Mumbai the chance to win an iPhone 6s by sharing their selfies on Facebook with hashtag Vodafone Diwali (#VodafoneDiwali).

SMS-Based Investment Scams

Concerned over a spurt in investment scams perpetrated through SMSes, WhatsApp and social media, Sebi has beefed up its surveillance on such platforms and is seeking greater cooperation from the mobile and Internet service providers, as well as banks, to nail the culprits.

The market trading activities have seen a major upsurge in recent months, but this positive environment is also leading to many fundamentally weak stocks generating interest.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has enhanced surveillance on such securities so as to ensure that no unscrupulous players take genuine investors for a ride.

The modus operandi revealed by this enhanced vigil typically includes tax evasion through bogus gains or losses through stock market platform; trading on the basis of Unpublished Price Sensitive Information; and certain Indian and overseas entities engaging in fraudulent activities of manipulating GDR route.

This vigil has also unearthed a large number of cases where unregistered entities are indulging in fraudulent act of luring investors to securities market through false and unrealistic SMS claims, a senior official said.

To check this menace, Sebi has enhanced its surveillance to catch such scamsters and the number of requests to the mobile operators, internet service providers and banks have gone up significantly in the recent months.

While most of the requests are being adhered to on time, some telecom operators have been found to be lax in replying to the information requests from Sebi, the official said.

The matter would be taken up with the Telecom Ministry if the requests remain pending despite further reminders, he said while adding that banks have been relatively more cooperative.

Typically, the gullible investors are first lured by these scamsters through SMSes, WhatsApp messages and posts on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, after which they are given certain bank account numbers to deposit money.

The mobile numbers and URLs, as also the bank account numbers, become the mainstay for the investigation by Sebi, ownership details of which help the regulator reach the perpetrators of such manipulative activities.

Besides tightening its noose on the scamsters, Sebi has also enhanced its investor awareness campaign on these issues.

In a latest public notice, the capital markets regulator has cautioned the investors against trading on the basis of unsolicited tips received through SMSes, social media, websites and other public media platforms.

It also asked the public to deal with only Sebi-registered investment advisers and research analysts and warned the unregistered entities of strict action.

Sebi has already taken action against seven such entities for providing investment advice without registration.

Leading bourse BSE also said that “investors are cautioned against SMS tips to buy certain scrips suggesting increase in their market price”.

“Do not blindly follow these tips and do thorough analysis about the company before investing,” it added.

Cautioning the investors, NSE also said, “Do not trade on the basis of SMS tips”.

Government Says Performance of 16,962 Cell Towers Improved

Aiming to address the issue of call drops, the government has conducted a special audit of cell towers and said that of 34,600 cell towers operating poorly, about 16,962 have improved their performance and the rest are in progress.

Saying that the telecom department is monitoring the telecom service quality on a weekly to 10-day basis with all operators, an official statement from the Department of Telecom on Monday said: “In the entire country, a special audit was done to adjudge their performance.”

“Out of 34,600 cell towers operating poorly, about 16,962 towers have improved and the rest are in progress. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has also been requested to consider recommending incentives and disincentives for operators for call drops.”

It stated that the government has been taking proactive measures to address the issue of call drops from April this year and the telecom secretary took a meeting of all operators, directing them to improve the conditions.

Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is also monitoring the efforts.

“Some important policy decisions have been taken, whereby the Indian government buildings shall be permitted for installation of towers,” the statement said.

It said Prasad has written to the chief ministers to permit tower installation on the state government buildings also, as has been done by the Kerala government.

“Even the Department of Post has been directed to do so in a transparent manner. All these initiatives have been taken in the last three to four months,” it said.

Giving the example of the state of Bihar, the statement said: “In Bihar, in particular, in the 7th phase ofBSNL expansion, 1,150 2G BTS have been planned, out of which 620 BTS have been installed and working. Against 228 3G BTS in Bihar, 120 have been commissioned and become operational.”

Uninor Changes Name to Telenor, Expands Call Drop Refund Plan

Telecom operator Uninor Wednesday changed the brand name to Telenor, the name of its parent company, while extending call drop reimbursement offers to all calls made from its network, in a move to position itself as “the most affordable service provider” in the country.

“The brand change is a reflection of our commitment to India and our mass market consumers as we promise to offer superior value in meeting their evolving needs through affordable, easy to use and fair means. To our 3,500 employees in India, today marks an important name change,” Telenor Group Head of Asia Region Morten Karlsen Sorby said.

It has changed its tagline to ‘Ab life full paisa vasool’ from ‘Sabse Sasta’. Telenor said the company has taken a strong customer-centric approach through initiatives like compensation for call drops.

“We take responsibility for a call drop as we commit quality service to our customers. Hence, we are extending Call drop reimbursements to all calls – local, STD and ISD. Earlier, it was being offered on local calls only,” Telenor India CEO Vivek Sood said.

The Norway-based Telenor entered India through a joint venture with Unitech Wireless, which was branded as Uninor. Unitech has now completely exited from the operations and last year, the Telenor group increased its stake in the Indian entity to 100 per cent.

Earlier this month, the company had changed the name of the company from Telewings Communications Services to Telenor (India) Communications.

The Telenor group has mobile operations in 13 markets in the Nordic region, Central and Eastern Europe and in Asia.

Telenor India operates in six circles – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh East and West and ranks fourth in revenue and customer market share.

“We will continue to offer the most affordable services and deliver innovative solutions like call drop reimbursement and customised product offers. The customer wants us to be fair,” Sood said.

Telcos Oppose Trai Proposal to Compensate Users for Call Drops

Telecom operators have opposed telecom regulator Trai’s proposal to compensate users for call drops even as consumers backed it strongly.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had earlier this month floated a consultation paper seeking public comments on a proposal suggesting service providers should compensate mobile subscribers for call drops and poor quality of services.

This proposal of Trai has so far seen hundreds of individuals commenting through MyGov portal to protect their interest.

Citing the losses incurred to them due to call drops, people demanded that they should get double the cost for each lost call.

“Calls if dropped should not be charged because many times our villagers make call and it get dropped due to a lack of connectivity… they pay money without talking. It comes out to be a harassment,” a consumer commented on the proposal.

Many others complaint about absence of mobile towers around their villages. There are hundreds of comments from people seeking compensation for failure in mobile internet connection as well along with call drops.

Telecom operators, industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and Association of Unified Telcom Service Providers of India (AUSPI) have opposed the proposal to compensate consumers.

“We do not agree that calling consumers should not be charged for a call that got dropped within five second or any time later. The subscriber should be charged for the duration of the call session,” AUSPI Secretary General Ashok Sud said.

AUSPI represents mainly CDMA players like Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications and Sistema Shyam Teleservices.

COAI, which represents pure play GSM mobile companies like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Uninor etc, said, “We are of the view that consumer compensation will not resolve problem of the call drops, since the key factors resulting in the call drops such as non-availability of sites and spectrum constraints will still remain.”

Xiaomi Becomes a Mobile Operator With the Launch of Mi Mobile

Apart from launching its Mi 4c smartphone, Xiaomi introduced the new Mi Mobile service in China. The company thus marks its entry into an all new segment where it will compete against other China-based carriers.

The new MVNO (or mobile virtual network operator) service from Xiaomi will be offering consumers voice and data services and utilising China Unicom or China Telecom networks.

Under Xiaomi Mi Mobile’s pay-as-you-go plan, consumers will be charged CNY 0.10 (approximately Rs. 1.10) per voice minute, SMS, and 1MB data. The plan supports China Unicom 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. It will be available for sale via the company online store (Mi.com) starting Wednesday.

Under the second scheme, consumers will get 3GB data bundle for CNY 59 (approximately Rs. 610) per month. Under this offer, consumers will have to pay equivalent to CNY 0.02/MB (approximately Rs. 0.30) for data and CNY 0.10 (approximately Rs. 1) per voice minute, SMS or 1MB data (after exceeding 3GB data cap). It supports China Telecom 2G, 3G, and 4G networks and will be available in public beta starting October.

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The Mi Mobile SIM cards will be available as triple-cut SIM card, which means it could instantly usable with phone supporting mini, micro or nano-SIM cards.

MVNOs, which purchase network capacity from large carriers and resell mobile plans under their own branding, have failed to gain traction in China, where three state-owned giants dominate the telecoms industry.

The launch comes less than six months after Google announced it would launch an MVNO service in the United States called “Fi” that piggybacks off Sprint and T-Mobile’s networks.

The Chinese company on Tuesday also unveiled its new Mi Bluetooth Speaker with aluminium body and 1500mAh built-in battery. The new speakers have been priced at CNY 199 (approximately Rs. 2,000). The speaker also comes with microSD card support.

Over 55,000 Villages to Get Mobile Coverage by 2018, Says Official

Government will provide mobile connectivity to 55,669 uncovered villages across the country by 2018.

According to a Communications Ministry official as part of the Digital India programme, 55,669 villages that do not have mobile coverage till now will be connected during 2014-18.

The official added that mobile services to uncovered villages will be provided in a phased manner with funding from universal service obligation fund (USOF). He further said majority of the initiatives under the Digital India programme will be realised within the next three years.

“Providing high speed internet and mobile connectivity across the country, providing government services online, promoting electronic manufacturing and creating jobs for youth are some of the priorities of government under Digital India programme. All these initiatives are underway with defined timelines,” he added.

The government has laid optic fibre cable (OFC) in 23,604 gram panchayats till July to provide high speed broadband connectivity under the NOFN project. The target, though, was to roll out the network across 50,000 village panchayats by March 31. As part of the project, all the 2.5 lakh panchayats will be connected by 2016 end.

The national optical fibre network (NOFN) project was conceived in 2011 and deadline to connect all panchayats was fixed by the end of 2013 which was then deferred to September 2015 by the UPA government.

The NDA government revised the timeline for completion of the project and also changed the name toBharatNet. To expedite the work, a committee was constituted to under former IT Secretary J Satyanarayana to suggest alternatives for faster implementation.

Call Drop Problem Improving, Says Telecom Minister

Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Sunday asserted that telecom operators have been told to shape up on the issue of the growing problem of call drops and that the situation was improving.

“There is a problem about call drops, but the situation is improving,” Prasad told reporters here.

“All the telecom operators have been told to take steps to improve quality of services,” he said, adding that the department of telecommunications (DoT) had reviewed the situation on weekly basis for the past two months.

“DoT Secretary Rakesh Garg has spoken to the owners of the service providers at the highest level,” the minister said.

He said shortage of towers was the main problem for call drops and that a policy decision had been taken under which all buildings of government of India must allow installation of towers.

Post offices too had been directed to allow towers on rent at their buildings throughout the country, Prasad said.

He has also written letters to the chief ministers for installation of towers atop government buildings.

Earlier this month, Prasad, referring to telecom operators citing shutting down mobile towers due to radiation fears as well as lack of spectrum as major reasons for call drops, said the diverse complaints could not be linked together.

“The complaint against call drops and that against tower radiation cannot go together,” Prasad said answering questions at an event in Delhi organised by the Ficci-supported International Chamber of Commerce.

Telecom operators have said about 7,000 to 10,000 tower sites have been locked or shut down across major urban centres and have urged a national policy for installation of mobile towers.

The minister had a stern word for telecom operators on the issue of infrastructure and asked them to deliver “good services”.

“Spectrum has been given (with clearing of spectrum sharing and trading). Don’t now give the impression that you only want to collect customers and give no thought to good services,” he said.

“Operators should optimise their network, synchronise the network and also invest in the network,” he added.