Archive | December, 2009

Spice Digital joins hands with MTNL to bring 3G VAS products in the Indian telecom arena

31 Dec

After the launch of MTNL’s 3G network, Spice Digital has tied up with MTNL to introduce 3G VAS services in New Delhi. This launch makes Spice Digital the first VAS provider in the country to introduce 3G VAS products in the Indian telecom market.

 

Spice Digital will set up an extensive variety of VAS products on the MTNL network. Services such as Video on Demand, Live Aarti, Video Conferencing, Video Fun, Video Handy Cam and Video Greeting would be vividly available on demand. 
 

Video on Demand: Users would be able to choose from a wide variety of categories in the MTNL video library. The service will be available on both pay per usage and subscription models.

To subscribe to this service, a user needs to dial 5630011 chargeable at Rs 30 per month and the browsing charges will cost 30 paise per minute.

 

Live Aarti: This service allows devotional users to connect and watch Live Aartis from various religious locations. The current offering includes Live Aarti from Tirupati Balalji. To subscribe to this service, a user needs to dial 5630033 chargeable at Rs 30 per month and 30 paise per minute would be the browsing charges.

 

Video Handy Cam: This service is based on user generated content which allows users to create and record their own videos against the account created with subscriber’s mobile number. A user can view the latest recorded video and finally confirm to add that video into his personal library.

Users can also put their videos in the public library which will be in turn accessible to the entire set to subscribers for viewing. But prior to public access of a particular video, administrative moderation will play an important role. After authentication by the monitoring team, the video shall be available for public access. To subscribe to this service, users need to dial 5630022 chargeable at Rs 30 per month and the browsing charges will cost 30 paise per minute.

 

Video Fun: This service allows a user to record his/her own voice and insert it in a pre-existing video clip. To begin with the process, a user needs to select a particular video from the existing list and finally use that for modulation. This allows users to generate “user customized video clips” with their own voice or video overlapped on the existing video clips. To subscribe to this service, a user needs to dial 5630055 chargeable at Rs 30 per month.

 

Video Greetings:  With this service, a user can schedule any of the video greetings to be forwarded to the other party at predefined timestamp. It has a small library with video clips of occasional and regional celebrations. To subscribe to this service, users can dial 5630044 chargeable at Rs 30 per month.

Vodafone brings unlimited SMS offer in Mumbai for both its prepaid and postpaid users

30 Dec

After RCom launched its ‘unlimited SMS’s for Re 1 per day’ offer nearly a month back, Vodafone Essar launched an unlimited SMS plan for prepaid customers in Karnataka a week ago.

 

And now, Vodafone Essar has launched a similar plan in Mumbai. The unlimited SMS offer is applicable for both prepaid and postpaid users. Vodafone prepaid customers need to buy a bonus card of Rs 89 with which they will get to send 500 local or national SMS daily for free.

However, the first SMS of the day shall be chargeable at Re 1. The validity of the bonus card is 30 days. To avail the offer, prepaid users simply need to send a message ‘ACT SMS 89’ to 111.

 

Vodafone postpaid subscribers can also subscribe to this offer which will be chargeable in the monthly billing cycle for Rs 149.  The offer will provide them with 15,000 SMS which can be sent anywhere across India totally free of cost. To subscribe to this offer, postpaid users need to send a message ‘ACT SMS 149’ to 111.

Samsung launches two CDMA phones in India – Mpower Muzic 219 and Duos 259

29 Dec

Seems like CDMA phones are pouring in. After launching the Corby Speed on CDMA platform, Samsung has further launched two more CDMA devices – Mpower Muzik 219 and Duos 259. With these new launches, there are in all 9 devices in Samsung’s CDMA portfolio.

 

The Mpower Muzik 219 will come with dual speakers, music player, Bluetooth, menu options in various languages such as Hindi, English, Tamil, Telegu and Bengali.


The device promises FM recording, VGA camera with video recording and expandable memory up to 2 GB with a microSD card. The MPower Muzik 219 would be available at Rs 3,599.

 

Samsung Duos 259 is a device which runs on both GSM and CDMA platforms. It comprises of a 1.3 MP camera with video recording, FM Radio with recording, MP3 player, GPRS, Bluetooth and memory expandable up to 8GB with a microSD card.  The Samsung Duos 259 is priced at Rs 8,350.

 

Amateur engineer develops a cellphone-based solution for detecting fake currency

29 Dec

Approximately Rs 1,69,000 crores is the estimated amount of  counterfeit currency which is unsuspectingly circulating in the Indian financial system. Neha N of Vidya Vikas Institute of Engineering & Technology, Mysore designed a “cellphone based intelligent counterfeit teller” and her proposed scheme won a competition organised by Schneider Electric India.

Schneider Electric India, a global specialist in energy management, organized a unique contest called ‘Innovation Challenge’ (IC) for the undergraduate engineering minds of India to bring up innovative solutions for efficient utilisation of energy. The winning idea is an innovative solution to detect fake currency through mobile phones.

The counterfeit teller works using the UV-visible and infrared sources, low power sensor chip and the cellphone processor for detecting fake currency. Consequently, the cellphone acts as a sensor when put in the detection mode. Similar concepts of image processing, signal processing and pattern recognition are used for checking the authenticity of currency as per the RBI standards. If the device detects fake currency, the display of the cellphone screen will show a warning along with an audible warning alert.


Moreover, since the proposed scheme works on phone battery and uses low power consumption techniques for processing, it consumes approximately 45 percent lower energy when compared with the currently available stand alone counterfeit detection units which mostly work on AC supply.

Uninor launches services in Orissa

23 Dec

After making a successful launch in seven circles on December 3, 2009, Uninor has added one more circle to its kitty – Orissa. The list of circles where Uninor managed to spread its GSM network in just a month’s time now includes- Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Prdesh, UP East, UP West and Bihar.

 

From today onwards, a Uninor connection would be available in Orissa at more than 13,762 outlets. As always, Uninor is offering two tariff plans – a base plan called talklonger@29p and a subscription plan called callmore@29p.

 

The Talklonger@29p plan is designed for customers who make longer calls. The plan offers local calls at 29 paise per minute and STD calls at 49 paise per minute, with a call set up fee of 39 paise that is charged only once when a call is activated.

 

Whereas the Callmore@29p plan is designed for customers who make calls more often. This plan offers local calls at 29 paise per minute and STD calls at 49 paise per minute, with a daily rental of Rs. 2.00.

Olive Telecommunication to launch its 'convergence' devices in India tomorrow

21 Dec

Olive Telecommunication, an associate company of the Haier Group, is set to launch in India its range of what the company’s PR likes to call ‘converged devices’. Earlier in September, Olive had announced a deal with Tata Teleservices to sell its Qualcomm-powered smartbook with a built-in EvDO modem. The smartbook is yet to be launched in India.

Apart from smartbooks, Olive also has a range of GSM and CDMA phones, which we assume are re-branded Haier phones. It is still unclear which devices will be unveiled tomorrow.

We’d be on a look out for the two Android phones (the one pictured here is the V-W1). Keep tuned in for more details and follow us on Twitter @cellpassion for live coverage of the press conference tomorrow.

LG Mini GD880 gets semi-official

18 Dec

Remember the LG Mini GD880 that we told ya about earlier this week? Well, look who has just given it a stamp of authenticity. Yeah, our trustworthy friends from the Wi-Fi Alliance!

Just to recap, the LG Mini is headed for a Europe launch, where it is expected to retail at about Euro 350 unlocked. The tag will certainly be much lower when any carrier picks it up. Go here to check out its specs. Just one thing, now we can say with confidence that it will have Wi-Fi.

Movil: Yet another vendor vying for the Indian handset market pie

18 Dec

It’s official now, we have lost count on the number of handset vendors operating in India. The last time we did a census, there were somewhere between 65 to 70 of them. The latest to enter this space will be Movil, which will showcase its range of CDMA and GSM phones on December 22.

Brought in India by a company called Bling Telecom, Movil is headed by Rajiv Khanna, who had earlier introduced Fly Mobile in India. It’d be interesting to see what new they bring to the table in this already over-crowded market. But with as many as 15 million new subscribers added every month and over 10 million phones sold in the same period, we don’t see many complaining about a new player. What remains to be seen is whether retailers have enough shelf space…

Tata DoCoMo brings ‘CREATE Merchandise Contest’ for wannabe designers

18 Dec

Aspiring designers now have the chance to showcase their skills with a new contest from Tata Docomo. The contest is called ‘CREATE Merchandise Contest’ and is beginning today. Designers will be given four categories to design – T-shirts, key-chains, mouse pads and mugs.

 

The CREATE Merchandise contest will run till December 25, 2009 and up to five winning entries will be awarded with a cash prize of Rs 25,000. Also, the runners-up prizes will also be given to the contestants in the form of custom made merchandise.


Click here to find out how to participate in the CREATE Merchandise contest.

Smartphones to account for 64 pc of the profits for handset industry: Informa Telecoms & Media

17 Dec

Smartphones are the fastest growing and the most profitable segment of the mobile handset industry, according to a forecast by Informa Telecoms & Media. The market research outfit predicts that smartphones are likely to grow by 36 percent in 2010.

 

Though the smartphones would account for 27 percent of the total number of handsets sold in 2010 but the profits generated by smartphones would be as high as 64 percent of the total profits produced by the mobile handset industry.

 

The Average Selling Price (ASP) of a smartphone is usually high as compared to other devices. High ASP’s has led to the growing profitability of the smartphone industry which in turn has attracted many incumbents such as Nokia, Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson to join the league. Existing players such as RIM, Apple and HTC are still leading the smartphone industry though many new players have arrived. Informa Telecoms & Media expects the market share of these four challengers to shoot to 35 percent of all smartphones sold in 2009 from 24 percent in 2007.

 

Nokia and Microsoft are overhauling their operating systems with an aim of capturing a challenging position in the global smartphone industry. Recently Samsung launched its Bada OS in an effort to make every ordinary device a smartphone. Google’s Android, which is getting popular day-by-day, seems to be a lifesaver for other incumbents. In the coming period, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Samsung are soon to launch smartphones based on Android with a clear aim of innovating their smartphone portfolio.