Telecom roundup: BlackBerry: DoT extends Deadline, India World’s Second Largest Mobile Market…and more

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India set to become world’s second largest mobile market

India’s telephone subscriber base is set to cross the 300-million mark in April, according to the TRAI.

A total of 8.49 million new telephone connections, including fixed lines, were added in February taking the total number to 290 million. The overall tele-density is 25.3 per cent at the end of February.

China has 540 million mobile users, while US stands second at 260mn users.

[Details].
How much of this growth is for real? The majority growth is happening in rural areas while VAS companies are still struggling with operators. Is Indian telecom story highly hyped (with too much of cut throat competition, VAS low uptake)?

New Telecom players to float lobby parallel to COAI

New entrants to the telecom sector and those which have got GSM licences under the dual-technology policy of the government will form an association parallel to the existing lobby, COAI, to fight for their rights and bring fair competition in the sector.

Seven companies including Videocon-promoted Data Com, Shyam Telelink, Swan Telecom and S Tel have been issued licences in January this year and have deposited the required spectrum fee with the government, but are yet to be allocated radio frequency.

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BlackBerry: DoT may extend deadline on data monitoring

The Department of Telecom may extend the deadline for operators to ensure proper monitoring of data sent through BlackBerry devices by another 15 days.

DoT had said that either the encryption code should be brought down to less than 40 bits or else Research In Motion, the Canada-based company which offers BlackBerry services, should submit a decryption key to the Government.

Security agencies had said that it could not monitor the data being sent through BlackBerry devices as it used higher encryption codes. RIM has so far refused to give the decryption codes. DoT has told the mobile operators including Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Communication to convince RIM to ensure that proper monitoring was being done.

[Details]
My Comments: The summary is that what’er happens, DoT will not upgrade it’s technology. They will bring down BlackBerry’s encryption code to less than 40 bits, and maybe, in future will also affect the e-commerce, but won’t upgrade.

TRAI does a rethink on phasing out access deficit charges

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) may be having a rethink on phasing out access deficit charges this year.

While the levy in its existing form, whereby operators pay a percentage revenue share, may be phased out, the regulator has called the telecom industry for a meeting on Tuesday to discuss an alternative model of imposing the charges to fund roll out of rural telephones.

Earlier the telecom regulator had said that ADC would end by 2008.

[Details]

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