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Mobile Number Portability finally coming to India on Oct 31

12 Aug

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) – a service that will allow subscribers to change carriers while retaining their numbers – is finally set for an October 31 roll-out after a couple of false starts. According to the Hindustan Times, the Department of Telecommunications has asked all carriers to test interoperability with each other by September 1. Any service provider that fails to do so won’t be given permission to launch any new commercial service after September 1.

Unlike the past, when MNP was set to be rolled-out in phases, this time it will be a nationwide roll-out on October 31. Seems like prayers of new carriers have finally been answered.

SOURCE: Hindustan Times

Exclusive: Indian government to enforce SAR rating regulations for phones sold in the country

29 Jul

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) of the Indian government is set to enforce a regulation regarding Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) ratings of cellphones sold in India, according to a notification sent to all handset vendors in the country. The regulation will apply to phones whether they are imported or manufactured in India.

DoT has decided to adopt the International Commission on Non-Iodizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines in the telcom sector (both handsets and carrier base stations) for “limiting exposure to time varying electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields.” The document, which is in CellPassion’s possession, states that cellphones manufactured in India or imported to India should comply with basic restrictions in terms of SAR value limited to 2W/kg localised for head and trunk in the frequency range of 10 MHz to 10 GHz.

Further, handsets imported to India will have to bear self-certification from the handset manufacturer that they meet the required standards. We learn that the regulation has not been enforced, yet.

What is SAR? SAR rating, in simple terms, denotes the amount of radiation that is absorbed by the human tissue while using a mobile phone. It is calculated by the amount of energy absorbed by a unit mass of tissue.

3G auctions in India likely to commence on February 12

5 Jan

The auction of spectrum for mobile phone companies to offer third-generation (3G) services is set to be delayed and is likely commence on February 12 instead of January 14. The entire auction process is now expected to be finished by March 5.
A notice inviting applicants (NIA) will be issued by January 10 which will depict the exact availability of 3G spectrum in each telecom circle and the government is expecting to raise around Rs 35,000 crore in the current fiscal from the auction. The govenment has been in the process of auctioning 3G spectrum since two years.

DoT plans national implementation of MNP by March 31

5 Jan

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has now decided to extend the time limit of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) implementation in the country to March 31, 2010. As per the prior commitments of the DoT, MNP was to be implemented in the country by December 31, 2009 in metros and circle A areas. But unlike before, this time DoT promises for a nation-wide launch of MNP.
The launch was delayed as the government found that some operators were still not ready to finish the procedures before which MNP could not be implemented. The procedures require service providers to carry out technical augmentation and upgradation of their existing networks, carrying out required installation and verification tests, establishing links with other operators and conducting inter-operator tests.

Indian government sets the ball rolling for 3G networks

1 Aug

After years of keeping things on hold the Indian government today announced the policy for rolling out 3G networks in the country. According to this policy, foreign players will be allowed to bid in auctions for 3G spectrum, provided they fulfil all conditions required for a Universal Access Service License. Depending on spectrum availability, there will be 10 slots available of which three will be reserved for CDMA carriers. Coming to the spectrum bands, CDMA carriers can bid for spectrum in the 450 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz while GSM carriers will bid for 2100 MHz band. Moreover, each carrier can bid for only one slot of 2 X 5 MHz.

Major points outlined in the 3G policy

Spectrum shall be auctioned in blocks of 2X5 MHz in the 2100 MHz band.

The number of blocks to be auctioned may vary from five to 10 depending on availability of spectrum in the circle.

Spectrum shall be auctioned in the 450 MHz, 800 MHz (for EvDO) and 1900 MHz (when available). CDMA carriers can bid for one block of 2X1.25 MHz in the 800 MHz band. The price will be equivalent to the highest winning bid in the 2100 MHz band prorated to a per 2X1.25 MHz price.

Reserve Price for spectrum (for a 2X5 MHz block)

Mumbai, Delhi and category A – Rs 160 crore
Kolkata and category B – Rs 80 crore
Category C – Rs 30 crore

Fate of BlackBerry in India remains a mystery

11 Apr

Officials from DoT, Research In Motion (RIM) and other representatives from the industry met yesterday to iron out the issues the government’s security agencies are facing against RIM’s BlackBerry services. However, it seems that they couldn’t come out with a solution that would enable security agencies to intercept mails sent via the BlackBerry service.

The government had threatened carriers of shutting down the service in case a solution to intercept mails is not put into place. The shutdown, if implemented, will affect some 400,000 BlackBerry subscribers in India.

RIM asked to set up servers in India

1 Apr

The BlackBerry saga continues in India, where the Department of Telecom is understood to have asked Research In Motion (RIM) to set its servers in India. The country’s security agencies are unable to monitor e-mails sent from one BlackBerry to another as it doesn’t pass through any Indian server. According to various news reports, the four carriers that offer this service have approved the plan, while RIM is said to have asked for some more time.