Tag Archives: Airtel

Airtel set to launch 3G services in India next week?

20 Nov

Airtel today rolled out its television advertising campaign for its new branding that also doubles up as its advertising for its upcoming 3G services. We have also been getting reports from our readers who are getting 3G signals on their handsets in Delhi. Of course, they have been unable to access 3G services in the absence of a valid Access Point Name (APN) that is required to connect to any data service. One of our sources tells us that Airtel will launch its 3G services as early as next week. Next week or not, Airtel is gearing up for a launch any day now.

Airtel likely to showcase new branding tomorrow

17 Nov

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.

RCom latest to form an alliance with Nokia, to offer Ovi Life Tools service along with other freebies

23 Aug

As anticipated, Reliance Communications (RCom) is the latest carrier to offer Ovi Life Tools service on its network after forming an alliance with Nokia like its rival carriers- Bharti Airtel and Tata DoCoMo. The subscription charges for education and entertainment services are Rs 30 per month and for the agriculture service, the subscription charges are Rs 60 per month. Apart from these monthly subscription models, users can also opt for single requests ‘the pay-per-use’ which will cost a user Rs 3 per request.

The good news doesn’t ends here; RCom will also offer 2 GB of free data usage per month for six months to its subscribers who use Nokia OMU handset (Ovi Music Unlimited including Nokia 5530, Nokia 5800, Nokia X6 16 GB, Nokia X6 8 GB and Nokia 5235). And for the Nokia GPRS-enabled handsets, the carrier will provide 200 MB of free data usage per month per for six months besides giving up to 1,800 free on-net minutes bundled with Nokia 1800 with six-months validity.

RCom subscribers can also purchase Reliance broadband datacards at an exclusive price of Rs 1,999 along with the purchase of any Nokia OMU handset.

Nokia's Ovi Life Tools service now available on Airtel’s network

17 Aug

Airtel has joined hands with Nokia to offer Ovi Life Tools service to its subscribers in India. Airtel users can now make the most out of this service even without GPRS connectivity on their basic or low-end handsets. The service provide agricultural benefits to the rural class by offering weather updates, crop advisory; educational benefits like offerings on learning english, general knowledge, exam preparation modules covering State and Central Boards and other entertainment facilities like wallpapers, ringtones, RBT, games, jokes and news etc. Nokia’s Ovi Life Tools service is available for Airtel users starting at Rs 10 per pack.

Airtel gets control of airtel.com domain from 21-year-old kid

28 Jul

Airtel, India’s largest private GSM carrier, has finally got control of airtel.com domain name. Until now, airtel.in was the official homepage for Airtel. Earlier, Vodafone controlled airtel.com, which represented Airtel Movil of Spain, a carrier in which Vodafone had acquired a majority stake in 2000.

However, the domain airtel.com was put up for auction sometime earlier this year and 21-year-old Ramandeep Singh had won the bid. In February, Singh sent out a Tweet that read: “I have secured airtel.com for your company. airtel.com looks better than airtel.in. Please contact me on [telephone number given] very soon.” (Emphasis mine.)

This Tweet alerted Airtel’s battery of lawers who not only pursued Singh but the registrar of the domain name USA Webhost Inc. The domain airtel.com was finally transferred to Airtel on July 9, via a WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Centre order. The case proceedings make for an interesting read with comments like these:

“I was very sorry for this. I was not the owner of this domain then please forgive me. I am only 21 and new to internet and I don’t know about Trademarks. I am sorry. I will not do this again.”

“I already sorrow for this. I am only 21 and new to internet domains. I don’t even know about TM domains and airtel such a huge company wants to fight with a child. I am saying that I am sorry.”

“Sir, I am sorry for my done. But you are making me ill. Please forgive me.”

Check out the proceedings here.

A quick update. We have been receiving lots of Tweets regarding this story. While some say our story seems to be biased in favour of the 21-year-old Ramandeep Singh. It is simply not the case. (Some think that the word ‘snatches’ is not justified in the headline. Point taken.)

We have no doubt that Singh was basically a (wannabe?) domain squatter, considering that he had just won the bid and had not paid the registrar to acquire the domain name, yet.

The question we’d like to raise: Why was Airtel unaware that the domain airtel.com had been put up for sale? It came to know about it only after Singh approached the company via Twitter with this Tweet: “I have secured airtel.com for your company. airtel.com looks better than airtel.in. Please contact me on [telephone number given] very soon.”

Facebook Mobile goes free for Airtel users

5 Jul

In a move that we think could add a whole new dimension to mobile social networking, Airtel has announced that its subscribers can access the mobile website of Facebook on their handsets without paying a penny until Augist 31. And this ain’t some half-baked proposition to let you access a few features or a few pages, but the full monty itself. Readeth the release that has just landed in our mailboxes: Airtel customers who are Facebook users will be able to post status updates, comment and write on walls, message others, and also be able to view or upload photos – all without any data charges!” And that is not all, users will be able to access the Facebook Mobile site not just in English but also in Hindi, and in five other Indian languages (Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam), by July 15 – evidently the first time this has ever happened anywhere.

Henri Moissinac, Head of Mobile Business, Facebook, was justifiably delighted.  “Today, more than 100 million Facebook users around the world access the site through their mobile devices,” he said. “As mobile connectivity in India continues to grow, Airtel’s free offering of our full mobile site enables millions of people – whether they’re currently using Facebook or setting up their profiles for the first time – to connect with their Facebook friends wherever they are.” Shireesh Joshi, Chief Marketing Officer- Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel, was no less pleased. “We are pleased to bring an industry-leading offer to our 130 million plus customers by announcing this long-term partnership with Facebook – the popular social media service,” he said. “Our mobile customers will also be the first in the world to enjoy Facebook on their Airtel mobile in five vernacular languages”

Airtel users with GPRS connections can log in free of cost to http://m.facebook.com, while those who have never used the mobile Internet can SMS ‘Facebook’ to 54321 to get connected. Mobile Facebook users have reason to celebrate. Now we are waiting for the service provider who will let us tweet free of cost.

India adds 16.9 million mobile subscribers in May

29 Jun

According to TRAI’s report for telecom subscriber growth in May, India has added 16.9 million new mobile subscribers in May. With a wireless subscriber base of 617 million and the wireline subscriber base of 36 million, the total telecom subscriber base of India has crossed 653 million.

Airtel has added 3 million new subscribers in May followed by RCom and Vodafone, which added 2.8 million and 2.5 million new subscribers, respectively. While 10 out of 11 carriers have made net additions, Uninor has lost a few subscribers. Check out the subscriber additions of each carrier in the table below:

Carriers       May additions Wireless subscriber base
         (in millions)          (in millions)
         Aircel               1.6                40.07
         Airtel               3.0              133.6
         BSNL               1.05               71.6
         Idea               1.4               66.7
         MTNL               0.03                5.1
         Sistema               0.4                4.6
         RCom               2.8            107.9
         Stel               0.1                1.2
     Tata Teleservices               2.3              70.2
        Uninor           -0.008               5.0
       Vodafone              2.5            106.3

IMImobile's Cell Shakti targets rural India VAS market

24 Jun

IMImobile, a leading provider of technology to major carriers in India has announced launched Cell Shakti, a specialised mobile VAS for rural India. The concept of this new application by IMImobile is very similar to Nokia Life Tools. Just like Nokia Life Tools, Cell Shakti aims at empowering the rural population with valuable information through voice-based services which include information about weather, healthcare, education, basic law and order apart from the latest rates from local markets. These voice based services can also be customised on demand in regional languages.

Airtel Subscribers can call 52345006 to subscribe to Cell Shakti. Users can also listen to the live updates in Telugu on their handsets by dialling 52345006. The subscription charges for this service are Re 1 per day.

Airtel's App Central clocks 13 million app downloads in 4 months!

22 Jun

Just four months after its launch, Airtel’s application store, App Central, has registered 13 million downloads, according to a release issued by India’s largest carrier. The online application store is registering 1.2 app downloads every second and today has a repository of over 70,000 apps, making it the largest carrier app store in India.

App Central had registered a million downloads in 12 days and did about 2.5 million downloads in its first month. Airtel had announced its app store on February 10 at MWC as one of the many carriers that backed an Ericsson-backed initiative to prevent carriers from becoming dumb pipes while handset manufacturers and operating system developers raked in the moolah by selling apps.

Developers can price their apps in any one of the 15 pre-defined price points from Re 1 to Rs 199, with an option for duration-based subscription plans ranging from daily, weekly and monthly subscriptions. Airtel retains 70 per cent of the revenue generated and passes on the remaining 30 per cent to the developer.

The system detects a user’s phone make and model and shows only those apps that would work on it so that the see doesn’t download an app that would later not work on his phone. Users can also see their purchase history and can redownload the apps they paid for in case they switch phones. Airtel subscribers can access App Central by sending APP as a text message to 54321.

Videocon and RCom announce unlimited Internet plans

16 Jun

Videocon mobile services and RCom have announced unlimited GPRS plans for their GSM subscribers. The former has launched unlimited GPRS plan for its subscribers in Mumbai, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Punjab. The ‘Unlimited Internet’ plan will cost Videocon subscribers Rs 96 and the pack will remain valid for a month. Download charges are not mentioned by the carrier as yet but like we know there will be fair usage cap.

RCom has announced MobileNet plan which will offer unlimited internet access to its prepaid and postpaid GSM subscribers. Users will get 2.5GB of free usage with the monthly pack and post usage of the free benefits, the download charges would cost RCom users 10 paise per 10 KB.

The operator will offer MobileNet plan in four variants which will be available at different prices:

Daily plan @ Rs 5

Weekly plan @ Rs 29

Fortnight plan @ Rs 51

Monthly paln @ Rs 99

Time for us to remind you which other carriers are offering unlimited GPRS plans  –  Aircel, Airtel, Tata DoCoMo and Uninor.