Qualcomm has announced that it will demonstrate a new peer-to-peer wireless technology, which will enable users to share data/connect at broadband speeds with each other without requiring any intermediate infrastructure. Some excerpts from the press release:
FlashLinq advances a concept known as proximal communications, whereby users can continuously connect, disconnect and communicate directly with other mobile users at broadband speeds based on their physical proximity. The technology is designed to complement traditional cellular-based services and serve as a scalable platform for new types of applications.
FlashLinq is a synchronous TDD OFDMA technology operating on dedicated licensed spectrum and is distinguished by its high discovery range (up to a kilometer), discovery capacity (thousands of nearby devices) and distributed interference management. By enabling the simultaneous discovery and communication of thousands of proximal devices, FlashLinq can effectively create a “neighborhood-area network,” where fixed and mobile peer applications can interact directly.
Qualcomm plans to collaborate with SK Telecom to trial FlashLinq in South Korea and explore potential commercial uses.
Airtel’s CEO, Sanjay Kapoor, maintained that the carrier was set to launch 3G services in India before the end of this year while speaking at the Nokia Conversations event in New Delhi. Kapoor said that the carrier was awaiting government clearances to flip on the 3G switch.
When asked about unlimited data plans, he insisted that fair usage policies are here to stay. “Unlimited data plans are not sustainable in India because of the high cost of spectrum allocation and the scarcity of spectrum. However, consumers will have the choice of affordable Internet access with sachet plans for daily or weekly access,” he told the audience of this invitation only event.
Kapoor also revealed that the carrier is looking at alternative technologies to cater to ‘hotspots’ – areas where network congestion might lead to poor service experience. Airtel is likely to go with LTE as Kapoor was present at a recent LTE demonstration by Nokia Siemens Networks at the India Telecom event held in Delhi earlier this month.
The panel, which comprised of Nokia’s D Shivakumar apart from industry analysts and Kapoor, opined that the success of 3G in India would eventually depend on the user experience and the government’s ability to provide more 3G spectrum in the future.
Reliance Communications (RCom) today announced the launch of Twitter via SMS and voice blogging services for both GSM and CDMA subscribers. To get Twitter on SMS, RCOm subscribers have to send START as a text message to 53000. The service is free till November 30.
RCom has also launched a celebrity voice blog service where subscribers will be able to hear voice blogs of their favourite celebs via the carrier’s IVR service. Currently, RCom has roped in John Abraham Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra, Sonu Nigam, and regional film stars like Riya Sen (Bengali), Ravi Kisen (Bhojpuri) and Pooja Gandhi (Kannada) among others. The service is powered by Bubble Motion and RCom expects some sports stars to join sometime next year.
As we had reported earlier this week, Aircel today launched Blyk, an opt-in mobile marketing service. Blyk offers content, contests and deals via text and multimedia messages across categories like sports, lifestyle, entertainment and others. Blyk subscribers will receive these messages and can respond to them. Some of these messages can be questions while others can be information about latest deals or events happening in the vicinity. The system profiles the consumer over a period of six to eight weeks and offers targeted messaging/advertising.
To subscribe to Blyk, Aircel subscribers have to recharge their account with a lifetime validity Rs 74 Blyk voucher that offer talktime worth Rs 20. Blyk subscribers are expected to get special deals when they recharge their account in the future.
While not naming their advertising partners, we have learnt that Blyk has about 25-30 advertisers for India in their kitty at the moment. We are told that Blyk would be available exclusively on Aircel for at least six months, if not more.
This could be the last time that we will use this Airtel logo in one of our posts. Airtel is holding a press conference tomorrow where the company’s top management is expected to be present. Last week, Economic Times reported that Airtel is spending Rs 300 crores for the new branding and it will be used across India, Africa, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Seychelles. J Walter Thompson has been hired for the rebranding exercise, according to the report.
We can also expect some word on when Airtel would kickstart its 3G services in India. We will be present at the press conference and would be Tweeting it live from there. So follow us at @cellpassion on Twitter.
Blyk, a mobile advertising platform that started out as an MVNO in the UK, is set to launch its services in India with Aircel. Blyk provides free talktime to its consumers in return for ads about products and brands that they like. Users of Blyk opt in for this advertising by indicating their likes and agree to receive a specified number of ads daily in return for free talktime. The announcement will be made on November 19 in New Delhi.
Update: Blyk might not launch an MVNO in India. Instead, it is most likely to be launched as a value added service on Aircel’s network. Subscribers to this service might get discount deals based on things they like and that’s pretty much about it.
After Tata DoCoMo, Vodafone and Airtel, it is now RCom’s turn to talk about flipping on the 3G switch. The carrier has added a section for 3G services and can be expected to make an official announcement as early as next week. The page does not talk about 3G tariffs but claims of providing up to 21 Mbps download speeds, which are consistent with an HSPA+ network. India might be one of those few countries where multiple carriers will offer HSPA+ speeds. RCom has licence to offer 3G services in 11 circles – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, North East and Jammu & Kashmir. However, like other carriers can be expected to be finalising 3G roaming agreements to provide a seamless, Pan-India 3G experience.