Tag Archives: Virgin Mobile

Retail giant Future Group launches T24 GSM service with Tata Teleservices

20 Jun

Kishore Biyani’s Future Group has launched its GSM services under the brand T24 in India, with operations commencing in the state of Andhra Pradesh. In a first of its kind service, T24 is essentially running on Tata DoCoMo’s network and will offer subscribers loyalty minutes for shopping at Future Group’s retail chains like Big Bazaar, Pantaloons, EZone, Brand Factory, Home Town among others.

Tata Teleservices had announced this strategic tie-up with Future Group in February this year. The carrier offers GSM and CDMA services in India under the Tata DoCoMo and Tata Indicom brands, respectively. Tata Teleservices also has a similar tie-up with Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, which offers its services under the Virgin Mobile brand.

Virgin Mobile to launch GSM services in India

18 Jan

Virgin Mobile, the first and only MVNO in India, is set to launch its GSM services in the country, according to a CNBC TV18 report. The mobile virtual network operator already offers CDMA services by piggy-backing on Tata Teleservices’ CDMA network.

Virgin Mobile will be using Tata DoCoMo’s network for its GSM operations and the report indicates that the roll-out can take place as early as next week. This bodes good for both Tata DoCoMo and Virgin Mobile as it will help the former utilise its vacant network and the latter by giving it a chance to garner more subscribers as CDMA is a harder-sell in India. And for subscribers? Hopefully, more disruptive tariff plans. Watch out!

Virgin Mobile launches its wireless internet modem – vFlash

11 Jan

Virgin Mobile announces the launch of vFlash, its new wireless internet USB modem device which promises a speed of 3.1 mbps. The USB Modem vFlash is priced at Rs 3499 and there are various tariff options ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 1100 per month. vFlash service offers a couple of other value added services like the “On Demand Service” option and the Live TV option and both the services are chargeable. 

The ‘On Demand Service’ option lets users download from a wide range of movies, songs, music videos, mobile ringtones and wallpapers whereas vFlash TV feature is a Live TV service which lets users access 40 popular television channels so that the users are updated with the latest happenings.  

The plan initially is available on a Zero rental for first 30 days along with Zero rental on vFlash live TV for the first 30 days for all users who subscribe to it before January 31, 2010.

Indian consumer to pay just Rs 19 to change their carrier under mobile number portability regime

23 Nov

TRAI has confirmed that mobile users would be able to shift service providers through MNP from December 31, 2009 by paying a service fee of Rs 19 only. Mobile Number portability (MNP) allows subscribers to retain their current mobile numbers while shifting to a new operator.


Subscribers in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh will be allowed MNP from December 31, 2009. Subscribers in the rest of India will be able to avail this facility from March 2010. 

According to TRAI, this facility of retention of the existing mobile number despite choosing a new carrier will trigger more competition among the various service providers. Also, it will act as a catalyst to encourage operators to enhance their services.

Virgin Mobile launches phone with free unlimited song downloads!

28 Apr

Virgin Mobile has launched a new handset that gives subscribers access to over 100,000 songs for free! Yup, there are no download or subscription charges! Really!

The handset – vJazz – has a 1.3 MP shooter, FM radio, microSD card slot and a 2.0-inch. Priced at Rs 4,250, it comes bundled with a 1GB microSD card and access to vMusic, a Virgin Mobile music repository, from where users can download as many songs as they want.

But of course, the tracks are all DRM protected, which means one can only listen to them on the phone.

Virgin Mobile launched in India, another battle on the cards

3 Mar

Sir Richard Branson’s jump from the façade of the Hilton Towers in Mumbai marked the launch of the Virgin Mobile brand in India. While we were bang on in our report last week about the unveiling of Virgin Mobile in India, the brand has gone ahead and launched its entire range of services that start from handsets to pre-paid plans targeted at the youth, for which it will utilise Tata Indicom’s network.

Virgin Mobile has brought some unprecedented schemes like for every incoming call you will be credited 10 paise per minute (telemarketing calls might just become welcome). The brand also claims unparalleled customer service with a claim that the same agent will call a subscriber to resolve their issues.

So far so good, but the real drama is yet to unfold. Like we reported last week, the Cellular Operators Association of India has written a letter to the Department of Technology, questioning them about the legality of offering an MVNO service. No matter if Branson would like to treat the arrangement as a ‘brand extension’ and not an MVNO, we’re pretty sure that the COAI won’t be amused.

Denied MVNO status, Virgin to sell handsets?

28 Feb

Starting a new business in India, especially in the telecom industry is never easy. Well, everyone knows what it took Vodafone to acquire Hutchison Whampoa’s stake in Hutch Essar and the latest victim is Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin group. Here’s the story – Virgin had apparently tied up with Tata Indicom. According to the arrangement, Virgin would buy airtime from Tata and then resell it under their brand. In other words, Virgin would act as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO).

So where’s the problem, you ask? Well, there are no set guidelines or provisions for an MVNO operation in India and the press got a whiff of the deal, which it dutifully reported. As with any ‘mega deal’, the Cellular Operators Association of India – the lobbying body of GSM operators – then promptly shot a letter to the Department of Telecom’s Secretary, asking if and when the telecom policy was amended to allow MVNO and if licenses were granted and to whom. Cellpassion is in possession of the copy of the letter.

Apparently Virgin has now dropped the idea to launch its MVNO business and is planning to launch handsets for Tata Indicom. Virgin is speculated to hold a press briefing on March 2 in Mumbai, where it is expected to launch five handsets ranging from Rs 2,500 ($62.5) to Rs 5,000 ($125) in price. Jesus! Now where else can you see an MVNO hopeful ending up selling cellphones?