India’s one of the first Windows Mobile 6.5 equipped phones have arrived, courtesy HTC and RCom. The Touch2 brings the new OS experience laden with an intuitive TouchFLO user interface and internet surfing RCom’s GSM network. Although HTC will sell Touch2 as an unlocked device, users buying from RCom can enjoy free data usage of 200MB per month for the first six months.
Samsung today announced its first Android-powered phone in India dubbed as the Galaxy (I7500). Measuring just 11.9mm thick, the phone packs a vivid 3.2-inch AMOLED touchscreen display along with full 7.2Mbps HSDPA, Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth, 5 megapixel camera, 8GB internal memory, microSD slot (up to 32GB) and a nice 1500mAh battery. The phone also comes pre-installed with Google services like Search, YouTube, Gmail, Maps and Android Market that will allow users to download new apps on to the phone.
Samsung also announced an exclusive offer for Tata Docomo users. For the first six months, Tata Docomo users will be eligible for a 500MB data access per month (and if you exhaust it before the month, there’s always an unlimited pack to the rescue).
The phone will sell for Rs. 28,990.
Tata Docomo sent some shivers to the ‘established’ GSM operators when they launched 1paisa per second calling and now they’re trying to attempt the same by announcing diet-sms that charges 1paisa per character excluding the spaces. Sounds too good to be true, right? In fact, it is but there are a few things to note before you jump with joy.
If Tata DoCoMo’s 1paise/sec is a boon for heavy callers, they’ve come out with another offer to please avid texters. Launched in Kerala, the SMS offer will allow users to enjoy 100 local and national SMS everyday for free. The only catch here, which we think is a reasonable one is that the user needs to send a message to a local or national number that will be charged at 60 paise and Rs. 1.20 respectively. The offer is applicable to pre-paid users and will be valid till November 25.
We Say: Tata DoCoMo is trying every ploy to take on the competition and needless to say, such a scheme will enable them to add more connections. Let’s hope they roll this offer in other circles too.
UPDATE: The website is live. Check the link below.
This just in. NTT DOCOMO who owns a 26 percent stake in Tata Teleservices have announced a name and branding of Tata’s GSM service. It will be known as Tata DOCOMO and will launch its services in southern India this month. They also have a website which will apparently be accessible after 1PM IST.
Do you need a proof to know that Indian telecom is heavily shielded against recession? Month after month, GSM operators have added millions of subscribers and its 8.93 million for the month of April. The report includes major GSM players except Reliance who is said to report the figures separately. The total count now stands at 297.7 million GSM users in India and if we take Reliance into account we may be very close to the iconic 300m landmark.
Another good news is that India’s leading operator, Airtel added 2.81m users during the same tenure taking their subscriber base to 96.74m. Will they cross 100m in May or June? Start your petty bets.
This shouldn’t be surprising, right? In an analysis done by TRAI, Airtel has emerged as the most congested GSM network for the period of Oct-Dec. During this period, Airtel had 14 POIs (Point of Intersection) with congestion followed by Vodafone who had 12 and Reliance Communications and Idea with 11 each.
Note: POI signifies the ease with which a customer of one network is able to communicate with a customer of another network. This parameter also reflects as to how effective is the interconnection between two networks. TRAI has set a benchmark of less than 0.5 percent, which means out of 200 calls between two operators, there should be a single call facing a congestion problem.
Rcom seems to be on a roll, with largest number of users added in Jan and Feb compared to any other operator in the country. Last month the count stood at 3.3mn, which is higher than what others managed to rope in. RCom believes that the results are a clear sign of the operators increasing dominance in the Indian Telecom market.
We Say: Though these figures represent GSM as well as CDMA users, the numbers are expected to increase in the coming months. We are of the view that this is the beginning of RCom’s continuous attempt to strengthen its foothold in the market.
Reliance is positioning itself as a 3G ready service provider. Go to its site and you are welcomed by an ad, which boasts about its sim cards being 3G ready. This is not all, as it has self acclaimed its own plans to be the best one being offered currently.
Given below is a gist of the call and SMS charges:
- Local calls and SMS: Re.1
- STD Calls: Rs.1.5
- Incoming calls (roaming): Re.1
- National SMS: Rs.1.5
All this comes with a sim card that is 3G ready and will allow you to make the best of it, only if it launched. With regards to the top-up options on offer, you can opt for a Rs.10 recharge, which gives you talktime of Rs.6.9 to Rs. 100 recharge with talktime of Rs.87.
The economic slowdown hasn’t affected the Indian telecom industry much, quite evident by the above mentioned numbers. Against 7.62 million users being added in November, December witnessed a healthy growth in these numbers – with 8.12 million users being added. This converts into a growth rate of 3.25%, which is marginally lower than the same clocked in the previous month – 3.32%. Here are the specifics of how each operator contributed to this growth:
- Airtel: 2.7 million
- Vodafone: 2 million
- Idea: 1 million
- BPL Mobile: 65 thousand
- BSNL:8 lakh
At the end of December, the strength of the total user base (GSM) stands at 258 million, with Bharti Airtel leading the market with its 33.22% market share. The operator is followed by Vodafone at 23.63% share of the GSM market. The month saw all operators clocking positive growth, with the exception of BPL which saw its additions go into the red.