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Mukesh Ambani Unveils Jio Plans & Launch Date, Intends to Change the Telecom Industry Structure in India

jio logo

Jio – the much hyped about network from Mukesh Ambani and his son is all set to change the structure of the telecom industry in India. At the 42nd Annual General Meeting of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani unveiled the launch dates and the tariff plans for Jio and declared a war on the current telecommunication companies in India.

Jio plans to start its services from September 5th 2016 and a commercial launch on December 31st 2016 (which means all users can enjoy their services for free until the commercial launch). Here are their tariff plans:

jio tariffs 2016

Some key points:

Free Voice

Mukesh Ambani believes that telcos should either charge for voice or data (not both). Based on this principle, Jio will only be charging its customers for the data. Voice calls – local, long distance and roaming to any network in India will be absolutely free. This is first of its kind tariff structure and is surely going to shake the market. Jio was originally planned to be a data only network. The VoLTE capabilities were added later and are still being fine tuned and improved. It is a scalable and future ready network capable of supporting future network standards. The idea behind this tariff plan is simple – Come for the voice, stay for the data. Even if the voice calls in the network aren’t as good now as they can potentially be, they are free – thereby eliminating customer frustration in the initial phase of the launch.

Devices

Jio already has a range of LYF branded devices tested and ready to be used on the network. They have handsets available from ? 2999 to enable almost everyone to come and join the network.

App ecosystem

Jio is building a really strong ecosystem of apps ranging from entertainment, finance, media and instant messengers. Currently, app ecosystems are owned and governed by your handset’s OS (Apple’s App store vs. Google Play). The idea behind building such a strong collection of apps is to break free from the ties with your handset platform. Jio’s apps work seamlessly on both iOS and Android.

Data

As Jio is a data first network, they have made broadband really affordable for everyone. The average data tariff on the Jio network will be ? 50 per GB as opposed to ? 250 per GB on other networks.  This is going to start a mobile broadband revolution in India. Jio leverages 4G LTE data network offering data services capable of reaching 100 Mbps.

Overall, Jio’s vision looks very promising and should help India get to the top 10 in the world for mobile internet access. It is going to be very cost effective for the customers to switch to Jio, enjoy free voice calls and get introduced to the endless possibilities of life with mobile broadband.

[via ET]

Radius Infratel to Make 1Gbps Broadband Internet a Reality in India by 2013

radius logo

Radius Infratel has announced that it is working towards making 1Gbps broadband internet a reality in India by 2013. Radius plans to launch such high speed residential broadband plans in the Delhi NCR region to start with and will soon expand its network to other cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai and Chandigarh.

Radius has already started laying down its infrastructure in apartment complexes in the Noida area. They have partnered with builder like DLF, Unitech, Emaar MGF, Ansal, Mantri, Vipul, ATS, Omaxe, Vipul, M3M, Paramount and Prateek for fibre optic network. No word on pricing yet.

Airtel is also offering FTTH plans in India in the NCR region. However, their coverage is limited to very few areas in the region.

[via Pluggd.in]

Indian Cellular Carriers Offering Nano SIMs

nano sim

A couple of cellular operators like Vodafone, Airtel & MTNL are already offering nano sim cards in the Mumbai circle. This hints at the imminent launch of the iPhone 5 in India. Apple has already reduced the prices of iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 in India twice already and is apparently beefing up its supply in the country for a rumored launch on 26th October 2012.

The nano sim cards are available to all consumers free of cost under the sim exchange program where the customers have to bring their normal sim cards and the operators will give them a nano sim in exchange.

All eyes are on Apple for the launch of the iPhone 5 in India. With Samsung gaining more and more smartphone market share, Apple has to gear up and offer its phones at competitive price points in order to gain a respectable market share in India.

[TelecomTalk via BGR India]

Airtel rolls out its 4G LTE network in Pune

airtel 4G LTE

After successful roll out in Bangalore and Kolkata, airtel has launched it 4G LTE network in Pune. Currently, the services are only available for postpaid consumers, however, prepaid plans should follow soon.

Airtel also launched India’s first 4G phone in collaboration with Huawei – Ascend P1 LTE which features Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.5Ghz dual core processor, 1GB RAM, 4.3” display, and an 8 megapixel camera. The price of the phone is yet to be announced.

[via Pluggd.in]

National Telecom Policy 2012 gets Government Nod

national telecom policy india 2012

The National Telecom Policy 2012 for reforming the Indian telecom space has been approved by the union cabinet. The policy aims to:

  • Achieve Mobile Number Portability (MNP) across telecom circles. Currently, it is only possible to port your number within the same circle.
  • Achieve free roaming throughout the country.
  • Redefine broadband to a minimum of 2 Mbps connection.
  • Introduce unified licensing and decouple spectrum from licensing.
  • Support VoIP, cloud computing and next generation networks including IPv6.
  • Increase rural tele density from the current 39% to 70% by 2017 and 100 % by 2020.
  • Encourage domestic manufacturing and resale of services.

Pretty good news for all of us as every one of us is going to benefit in some or the other way. Lets hope the new policy is implemented as soon as possible.

In related news, TRAI has a new, better & cleaner website.

How to Access Blocked Torrents Sites on Airtel Broadband

I recently shifted back to Airtel broadband partly due to incompetence of BSNL engineers to fix the frequent disconnection issue with my connection, and partly because Airtel is now offering much cheaper high speed 8 Mbps and 16 Mbps plans.

The first thing I noticed after the move was that airtel has blocked a lot of torrent websites in compliance with some court order. While I am still not sure why those orders are not applicable on state owned BSNL broadband and Airtel 3G for that matter, I did not want to argue with airtel about this. So I started looking for alternatives. I found a couple of them, out of which the following two are my most preferred ones:

1. Coral Content Distribution Network:

Just append whatever blocked URL you want to access with .nyud.net and the site will be served via the Coral CDN. For example, if you want to open torrentz.eu, point your browser to torrentz.eu.nyud.net instead. This is the simplest and in my opinion the most convenient way to bypass the aforesaid idiosyncrasy.

2. Tor:

Download & install Tor from https://www.torproject.org/. Start Tor and it will open up your default browser with Tor enabled, which you can use to open any site anonymously. Tor is also an effective way to maintain privacy while browsing.

While the above two workarounds will fix most of your issues, there will still be a few nagging bits left. For example, I use Reeder on my macbook to catch up on my Google reader feeds. Many articles have embedded vimeo videos which are blocked. Unfortunately, we will have to wait until they revoke the absurd order to fix such issues. Until then, use the above two alternatives and enjoy!

Tata Docomo Launches Service to Let Customer Activate/Deactivate Value Added Services via Twitter

tata docomo logo

Tata Docomo has launched an innovative way for activating & deactivating value added services via twitter. Here are the steps one needs to perform in order to use the service:

  • Tweet #reg <Mobile Number> to @tatadocomo
  • You will receive a pin code for verification through SMS
  • Tweet #code <Pincode> to @tatadocomo
  • Tata Docomo will retweet confirming registration
  • For activating value added services, tweet #act# <Service><value> to @tatadocomo
  • You will get a tweet back confirming activation of the service.

[via BGR India]

Reliance & Idea Reduce their 3G Tariffs

reliance mobile logoidea logo

Following Airtel’s move, both Reliance & Idea have reduced their 3G tariffs by 70%. As always, in the Indian market, one player has to buckle up and do something competitive and everyone follows. The revised tariffs from both the providers rival that from Airtel.

Reliance’s revised 3G tariff:

3G Data Usage Billed amounts (Rs)
Up to 1000 MB 250
Greater than 1000 MB, up to 6000 MB 250 + 20p/MB for usage above 1000 MB
Greater than 6000 MB (Speed throttled) 1250

Idea’s revised 3G tariff:

3G Data Usage Billed amounts (Rs)
300 MB 100
1 GB 250
1.5 GB 350
2 GB 450
3 GB 599
Unlimited (Speed throttled after 6 GB) 950

Airtel Launches Affordable High Speed 8 Mbps and 16 Mbps Broadband Plans

After reducing 3G tariffs, Airtel has launched new affordable high speed 8Mbps and 16Mbps plans in areas where such plans are available (owing to some network infrastructure requirement, these plans are not available in all localities in all cities – call airtel’s customer care to find out if they are available in your area). The new plans are as follows:

Plan Type
8 Mbps
Name rapid 30 GB rapid 75 GB rapid 150 GB
Monthly Rental (in INR) 1699 1999 2399
Speed 8 Mbps 8 Mbps 8 Mbps
FUP Quota 30 GB 75 GB 150 GB
Speed Post FUP Quota 256 Kbps 256 Kbps 256 Kbps
Plan Code FLBPL990472 FLBL990473 FLBL990465

 

Plan Type
16 Mbps
Name electric 30 GB electric 75 GB electric 150 GB
Monthly Rental (in INR) 2199 2499 2899
Speed 16 Mbps 16 Mbps 16 Mbps
FUP Quota 30 GB 75 GB 150 GB
Speed Post FUP Quota 256 Kbps 256 Kbps 256 Kbps
Plan Code FLBPL990480 FLBL990481 FLBL990482

Pretty neat pricing in my opinion. This will certainly give a stiff competition to BSNL and many other private players. These new plans are not yet available on Airtel’s website. So please check with one of their sales representatives.

Airtel Slashes its 3G Data Tariffs

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In an unprecedented move, Airtel has slashed it 3G data tariffs across India. The new plans look much more economical than the predecessors and Airtel is also offering its Smartbytes solution on its 3G network now. Smartbytes solution allows users to buy additional data quota if they run out of the free quota in a bill period. The new 3G plans are as follows:

Prepaid
MRP (Rs) Quota Validity
45 150 MB 7 Days
100 300 MB 30 Days
250 1 GB 30 Days
450 2 GB 30 Days
1500 10 GB 30 Days
 
Postpaid
MRP (Rs) Quota Validity
100 300 MB 30 Days
250 1 GB 30 Days
450 2 GB 30 Days
1500 10 GB 30 Days

Smartbytes plans are available to postpaid customers in the following denominations:

MRP (Rs) Pack benefit (Mb)
80 200
175 500
300 1024

A very good move by Airtel. The competition should follow suit.

[via Airtel.in]

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