Tag Archives: 3G

RCom starts talking about 3G, might offer download speeds of up to 21 Mbps on a HSPA+ network

31 Oct

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.

BSNL to outsource its 3G services?

5 Jul

Business Standard is reporting that BSNL is planning to outsource its 3G services as it struggles to acquire new subscribers and is reeling under a tremendous financial crisis. The government had approved the release of 3G spectrum to BSNL and MTNL as early as August 2008 to give them a head start against private carriers. The recently concluded 3G spectrum auction failed to deliver a single pan-India 3G carrier. While MTNL operates in Delhi and Mumbai, BSNL operates in the rest of the country.

According to the report, BSNL is looking at a franchisee-based model, much like Tata Teleservices’ deal with Virgin Mobile and Future Group. This could help carriers that either did not participate in the 3G auctions or did not win significant circles a good platform to kickstart their 3G services. The franchisee company would be responsible for marketing, customer acquisition and sale of 3G services. BSNL is expected to invite expression of interest by the end of this month.

Source: Business Standard

Did Apple throw AT&T under the bus cuz there is a CDMA iPhone on the way?

5 Jul

In its ‘letter regarding iPhone 4‘ Apple wrote everything but admit that there is a genuine reception issue problem with the iPhone 4. Instead, it put the blame on its sole carrier partner in the US (AT&T) by implying that users were facing dropped calls and network bars disappearing because they might be in an area with poor network reception. Judging by the number of complaints that we are reading about, it seems that would be across the country and not just some pockets.

Now why would Apple do that to its exclusive partner. Why now, after three iterations of the device have made the iPhone the most popular smartphone ever. Why now, when Apple knew since 2007 that AT&T’s network was being overwhelmed by the traffic its iPhone toting users generated and whatever the carrier did was just not enough to satiate the data guzzling smartphone?

Till now Jobs and company were content to simply smirk when people complained about AT&T. But never did they go to the extent of blaming the carrier for the poor reception quality of Apple’s “best iPhone yet.” But now they just did.

So here’s what I think: Apple is on the verge of closing a deal (or might have already inked it) with Verizon Wireless, AT&T’s closest rival that uses a competing CDMA network known for its strong reception and data throughputs. Verizon already has a robust EVDO network and is on the verge of launching an LTE network (4G) in the US.

Apple has done its bit for AT&T (and vice-versa, as it is believed that Apple first approached Verizon for the iPhone but the carrier at that time refused) and now it seems the right time to move on from their exclusive relationship. Verizon will offer Apple a new set of customers to sell the iPhone to and also offers the company a future growth path.

On Verizon, Apple could first launch an EVDO version of the iPhone later this year or early next year and tap into its millions of subscribers who just could not switch to AT&T but were dying to use an iPhone. Then, in late-2011 or early-2012, Apple can launch an LTE version and then keep adding new features just like it did with the GSM iPhone. A simple 2G version in 2007 (iPhone), a 3G version (iPhone 3G) in 2008 and progressive feature improvements in 2009 (iPhone 3GS) and 2010 (iPhone 4).

A move like that would not only give Apple a bigger addressable market in the US but also help it secure more carrier partnerships in other countries like India, where CDMA carriers are yet to get a ‘killer’ smartphone that would enable it to keep its high value customers interested in their services.

That is what I think. What do you think?

MTNL slashes ISD rates to Re 1/min for its GSM, 3G subscribers

1 Jul

Starting from today, MTNL has slashed its international calling rates for a period of 90 days with calls to some countries at Re 1 per minute. MTNL’s GSM and 3G subscribers can now make calls to USA, Canada and China at Re 1 per minute. Calls to Argentina, Bahrain, Cyprus, Jordan, South Korea, Malaysia and Sweden will be charged at Rs 3 per minute while those to Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Columbia, Indonesia, Iraq, Russia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam will be charged at Rs 5 per minute. This limited period (90 days) scheme has been launched to celebrate MTNL’s 25th anniversary.

via Economic Times

Why Apple's FaceTime will bring back video calling from the grave

9 Jun

Video calling has been around ever since 3G networks were first rolled out about six years ago. In fact, it was one of the three key features that were used to sell 3G (faster Internet and live mobile TV streaming being the other two). Ironic as it may sound, video calling never really took off as carriers struggled to provide bandwidth as the number of 3G subscribers ballooned. The experience is usually so pathetic that many handset vendors have stopped giving a front video call camera (why increase the build of material cost, even if it is just a Dollar, when users won’t use the feature?). We have a feeling that the iPhone 4 might just revive the front video calling camera.

It is only Steve Jobs for whom ‘critical’ issues like bandwidth availability don’t matter. His logic is simple: If the carrier cannot provide decent bandwidth for a video call, take the carrier out of the picture. The result is FaceTime, a Wi-Fi only iPhone 4-to-iPhone 4 video calling service. While it is restricted at the moment to only iPhone 4, we can look forward to services similar to FaceTime coming to other platforms/devices, especially Android.

However, FaceTime certainly won’t become standardised any time soon, considering that carriers are completely bypassed and they won’t make any revenues. But that again is one of the benefits of FaceTime – you won’t have to pay extra to your carrier to make a video call of questionable quality – which will make it supremely popular.

So when will 3G eventually come to India?

20 May

The auction of 3G spectrum is now over and you are already dreaming about lightning fast browsing speeds, video streaming and even video calling¬†on your phone, right? Well, hold your horses, lest you want to taste disappointment as 3G services won’t be launched anytime sooner than the last quarter of 2010!

All that has happened so far is the spectrum auction. Carriers have not yet paid for the spectrum that they have won. They have 10 days to make the entire payment but still they will receive spectrum only in September, which is the time the government hopes that it will be able to vacate paired 3G spectrum for the winners.

Even if we assume that these carriers get 3G spectrum in September,¬†they will have to build and roll-out their networks to enable the 3G network, which could take anywhere between three to six months. Given the many ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’, it is very unlikely for us, the consumers, to be able to experience 3G anytime before the end of 2010 and probably even early 2011.

Who will offer 3G services in your neighbourhood?

19 May

Now that the 3G spectrum auction has been done and dusted with, the big question is whether your existing carrier will provide 3G services in your neighbourhood or not. Fret not, we have made it easier for you to figure that out. Now keep your fingers crossed as you go through this table and hope that your carrier’s name is along the name of the state that you live in. If it isn’t there, pray that Mobile Number Portability kicks in before 3G services begin.

Circle 3G Carriers present
Delhi Airtel, RCom and Vodafone
Mumbai Airtel, RCom and Vodafone
Maharashtra Idea, Tata Teleservices and Vodafone
Gujarat Idea, Tata Teleservices and Vodafone
Andhra Pradesh Aircel, Airtel and Idea
Karnataka Aircel, Airtel and Tata Teleservices
Tamil Nadu Aircel, Airtel and Vodafone
Kolkata Aircel, RCom and Vodafone
Kerala Aircel, Idea and Tata Teleservices
Punjab Aircel, Idea, RCom and Tata Teleservices
Haryana Idea, Tata Teleservices and Vodafone
Uttar Pradesh (East) Aircel, Idea and Vodafone
Uttar Pradesh (West) Airtel, Idea and Tata Teleservices
Rajasthan Airtel, RCom and Tata Teleservices
Madhya Pradesh Idea, RCom and Tata Teleservices
West Bengal Aircel, Airtel, RCom and Vodafone
Himachal Pradesh Airtel, Idea, RCom and STel
Bihar Aircel, Airtel, RCom and STel
Orissa Aircel, RCom and STel
Assam Airtel, Aircel and RCom
North East Aircel, Airtel and RCom
Jammu & Kashmir Aircel, Airtel, Idea and RCom