Mid-week telecom buzz: ibibo launches call for free, Airtel gets DTH license, MTNL ties up with Novatium..and more

ibibo has launched Call for Free, an interesting feature which enables users to talk among themselves, without disclosing their number/identity.

call for free

A great dating concept (and can have great usage in real estate or any sort of classified as well) ! Such are the products, I expect from companies with deeeep pockets.

Bharti Airtel gets DTH licence
Bharti Airtel said it has got licence to start Direct-To-Home services in the country and announced an investment of Rs 150 crore in the first phase to launch nation-wide operations, a move that would bring in much required competition in the DTH segment.

Videocon had also applied for DTH licence. Dish TV had recently announced an investment of Rs 800 crore in the next three years to have a strong foothold in the competitive DTH space.

Dish TV, which currently has 2.25 million subscribers, is targeting a user base of 16-17 million by 2015. Tata Sky, which has one million subscribers, will invest Rs 2,000 crore in the medium term to boost value-added services.

Kotak Institutional Equities estimates the DTH subscriber base to increase to 15 million by 2012. According to market analyst Media Partners Asia, the penetration of pay TV, which includes CAS (conditional access system) and DTH, was estimated to be 46 per cent in March, and is expected to increase to 90 per cent by 2015.

DoT`s licence norms may be tougher

  • Only two or three more pan-India telecom operators to be considered
  • Net worth criterion for pan-India UASL applicants to be raised from Rs 1,380 crore to Rs 1,500 crore
  • Licence fee to be paid within a week of licence award instead of the current 90 days

Mumbai-based IndiaBulls is also expected to put in an application for a pan-India UASL and US telecom giant AT&T is actively looking for a partner to apply for one as well.

India calling: Vodafone’s strategy, unplugged
Interesting case study on how one should position an acquisition story to consumers (and still be loved)

It may be hard to believe, but the enormous communication exercise for Vodafone currently on display in India started with a simple client brief. “We were told, ‘Just go out there and tell people Hutch is now Vodafone’,”
To show the transition from Hutch to Vodafone, O&M launched a rather direct, thematic ad showing the trademark pug in a garden, moving out of a pink coloured kennel (symbolising Hutch) and making his way into a red one (the Vodafone colour). A more energetic, chirpier version of the ‘You and I’ tune associated with Hutch, plays towards the end, as the super concludes, ‘Change is good. Hutch is now Vodafone’.

MTNL ties up with Novatium to offer PC with net link for Rs 4,500
If you happen to be an MTNL customer, you will soon be able to get a PC for as low as Rs 4,500. To top it up, this PC, which MTNL will offer in partnership with Chennai-based Novatium comes bundled with an internet connection for a small monthly fee. The terminals will be connected to a centralised server in the locality by MTNL and provide it with the internet service. The PC which looks and functions like any other desktop does not have a regular CPU or any storage devices. All applications, including the storage of data of all customers are done by the centralised server in the locality.

Essar to monetise 33% stake in telecom JV
Essar Group is raising $3.59 billion (Rs 14,360 crore) against its 33 per cent stake in Vodafone-Essar, the country’s fourth-largest mobile operator.

Cable industry may move court over CAS ‘delay’
The cable industry is gearing up to take the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) to court over what it says is a “deliberate” delay in the further rollout of conditional access system (CAS) in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.
The move is significant as the ministry has announced its intention to set up another committee to evaluate the success of CAS in areas where it has been implemented. The committee is likely to submit its report by December.

Spice Telecom eyes big bucks from auction of fancy mobile numbers
In India, we don’t have yuppies, but we have deep pocketed PuPPies (i.e. Punjabi puppies!:)
After Amit Malhotra, from Ludhiana, spent jaw-dropping Rs 15 lakh for a mobile number 9780000000, Spice Telecom is set to auction its 20 odd selective phone numbers online. “The most favoured premium numbers include the Octa 5 series 9855555555, the Penta series 9914555555, and the auspicious number 9914500786.

VAS providers to push MMOG/interesting apps to your mobile
India’s mobile VAS market will grow 60 per cent to touch Rs 4,560 crore by the end of 2007. Mobile VAS can be sorted under three heads: content, utility and advertising and marketing services.

tags: Indian telecom industry, airtel DTH, DoT license, Vodafone, Novatium, Esaar, Spice Telecom, VAS, NFC, ibibo call for free

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