Telecom Sector

Cabinet okays disbursement of pensionary benefit to MTNL employees

MTNLNew Delhi, Dec 26 : The union cabinet Thursday put an end to the long-pending pension issue of the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) by approving that all categories of erstwhile government employees who were absorbed in MTNL will be given pensionary benefits.

"This would help to resolve the long-pending MTNL pension issue. The proposal entails a recurring expenditure of approximately Rs. 500 crore per annum besides adjustments in respect of government pension liability previously discharged by MTNL. This decision would give benefit to approximately 43,000 employees of Delhi and Mumbai," an official statement here said.

Videocon Telecom to bid for 2MHz spectrum more

Videocon-TelecomNew Delhi, Dec 25 : The telecommunication arm of the $4-billion Videocon Group, Videocon Telecom will bid for additional 2 Megahertz (Mhz) spectrum at the upcoming auction, each for the Punjab and Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh telecom circles, a company statement said here Wednesday.

At present, it has 4.4 Mhz spectrum in Punjab and 5 Mhz spectrum in Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh telecom circles.

The telco is already nearing peak capacity utilization in some pockets or cities and considering long term business perspective, the option of acquiring additional spectrum promises to be more effective, the company feel.

Transition year for Indian telecom's growth story

Telephone-SubscribersNew Delhi, Dec 24 : With over 900 million telephone connections, India remained the world's second largest telecommunications market in 2013, recovering from the bumpy ride the year before, but made little progress to jump to the next generation of services.

The year under review had already equipped the government with a roadmap, following the release of the National Telecom Policy of 2012. But legacy issues, like the ongoing legal battle over allotment of airwaves, or spectrum, in 2008, kept decision-making in check.

T-Mobile has plans to pay subscribers ETF to switch networks: source

T-Mobile has plans to pay subscribers ETF to switch networks: sourceT-Mobile is reportedly planning an initiative that will pay off subscribers' early termination fees (ETF) in case they switch from a rival mobile phone carrier to T-Mobile.

The U. S. mobile phone carrier has sent out invitations to customers for an event at next month's CES, at which it will unveil Uncarrier 4.0. While the carrier didn't disclose any details about what the event would offer, a source said it would be about offering customers money to switch from their current carriers.

COAI concerned over spectrum usage charges after pre-bid meet

COAI concerned over spectrum usage charges after pre-bid meetNew Delhi, Dec 20 : Telecom operators, at a pre-bid meeting here Friday for the upcoming spectrum auctions in January, have expressed concern over anomalies resulting from the slab-wise spectrum usage charges (SUC), the Cellular Operators' Association of India said.

Sprint and Dish join forces to offer wireless broadband network

Sprint and Dish join forces to offer wireless broadband networkSprint and Dish Network, which were once in conflict over Dish's plans to launch a wireless broadband network, have now joined forces with each other to jointly develop & deploy a fixed wireless broadband service.

The two companies said in a joint statement that they would soon start testing the wireless broadband service in Corpus Christi, Texas. The service will likely become available to the masses in the region by mid of 2014.

GSM subscribers at 688 million in November: COAI

GSM subscribers at 688 million in November: COAINew Delhi, Dec 16 : The all-India total of GSM cellular subscribers stood at 688.02 million in November, data released here by Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) said Monday.

The GSM subscribers increased by 4.87 million in November 2013 -- a 0.71 percent increase over the previous month.

Telecommunications service provider Bharti Airtel has the highest number of subscribers with 196.60 million. It was followed by Vodafone, Idea Cellular and BSNL, respectively.(IANS)

Sprint mulling plan to acquire T-Mobile USA: report

Sprint mulling plan to acquire T-Mobile USA: reportU. S. wireless carrier Sprint is mulling a plan to acquire T-Mobile USA in at a price of more than $20 billion, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The reported deal would combine the current No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers by revenue. However, even the combined entity, created from their potential merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, will still be on the third spot after AT&T and Verizon. But, any such merger will still be very beneficial for Sprint as it will be in a far better position to face AT&T and Verizon.

Next 2G spectrum auction from Jan 23: DoT

spectrum-auctionNew Delhi, Dec 13 : The next 2G (second generation) spectrum auction for 1,800 megahertz (MHz) and 900 MHz will start from Jan 23 next year, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has announced.

In a notice inviting applications (NIA) for taking part in the auction, DoT Thursday night said the last date for submission of applications by companies is Jan 4. The NIA was issued within three days of the Cabinet nod on the reserve price for the 2G spectrum auction.

The cabinet panel has given the nod to an earlier decision of the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) on spectrum pricing, taken in November.

Mobile number portability requests up 2.3 mn in October: TRAI

Mobile-number-portabilityNew Delhi, Dec 13 : Mobile number portability requests increased from 102.49 million subscribers at the end of September to 104.79 million at the end of October -- a rise of 2.30 million requests within the month itself, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said Friday.

The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 899.86 million at the end of September to 904.56 million at the end of October -- thereby showing a monthly growth of 0.52 percent, according to data released by TRAI here Friday.

Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio to share infrastructure

Bharti-Airtel-Reliance-JioNew Delhi, Dec 10 : Telecom service providers Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm have concluded a comprehensive telecom infrastructure-sharing arrangement under which they will share infrastructure created by both parties, a statement by Bharti Airtel said here Tuesday.

The agreement will include optic fibre network -- inter and intra city, submarine cable networks, towers and internet broadband services and other such opportunities identified in the future.

Cabinet approves EGoM’s recommendation for lower spectrum reserve price

Cabinet approves EGoM’s recommendation for lower spectrum reserve priceThe Cabinet of the Congress-led UPA government on Monday agreed to keep the reserve/base price of 2G telecom spectrum for the upcoming auction lower than the previous auction.

On November 22, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram-headed Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) on telecom had recommended a cut of 25.8 per cent in the reserve price for one MHz of pan-Indian spectrum in the 1,800-MHz band to Rs 1,764.79 crore. The Cabinet yesterday gave its nod to the recommendation.

Bharti Airtel to invest Rs.4,000 crore in Punjab

Bharti-AirtelNew Delhi, Dec 9 : In order to expand and contribute towards the digital inclusion drive in Punjab, Bharti Airtel will invest over Rs. 4,000 crore in the next five years, a company statement said here Monday.

Airtel and the Punjab government Monday signed an agreement on the sidelines of the Progressive Punjab Investors Summit, under which Airtel will take its high speed 4G LTE services to all towns and villages across the state.

T-Mobile to improve LTE speeds

T-Mobile to improve LTE speedsTelecom giant, T-Mobile has said that it is working to improve data connection speeds on its 4G LTE network for the customers in the country.

T-Mobile had said that it will use MetroPCS's spectrum in order to beef up speeds of its own 4G LTE network. The company is now working on its plans to improve speeds after users complained of slower connections. A media report showed that the telecom carrier combined its own spectrum with MetroPCS's in North Dallas and created a 20x20 service offering faster speeds to LTE-capable devices in the area.

Survey to measure mobile radiation in UAE

Telecommunications-Regulatory-AuthorityAbu Dhabi, Dec 7 : The UAE's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has launched a survey to measure mobile radiation levels across the country.

The survey is based on the TRA's regulatory policy "Non-Ionizing Radiation Limits for Telecommunication Networks".

It will measure radiation levels for licensed telecom operators in the UAE to ensure that both the regulatory policy and the international standards are met to ensure safety of citizens.(IANS)

Spectrum auction notice in 15-20 days: Farooqui

M-F-FarooquNew Delhi, Dec 5 : The notice inviting applications (NIA) for the spectrum auctions in January 2014 is expected to come in another 15-20 days, M. F. Farooqui, secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said Thursday.

“The NIA will come in about 15-20 days' time from now,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the India Telecom 2013 organised here by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and DoT.

NIA is a legal document that lays down rules and regulations of the auction.

TRAI cuts security deposit, registration fee of telemarketers

TRAI cuts security deposit, registration fee of telemarketersNew Delhi, Dec 3 : The Telecom regulator Tuesday said it was halving registration fees and security deposit of telemarketers with the service provider in order to encourage telemarketers register with it.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued the Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference (Fourteenth Amendment) Regulations, 2013 to this effect which will come into force after 30 days.

FCC chairman pledges to promote competition

FCC chairman pledges to promote competitionTom Wheeler, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), on Monday pledged to make the telecommunications industry more competitive.

Mr. Wheeler there was a need to make sure that small wireless carriers are capable of competing in the next year's spectrum auction, adding that he was an extreme believer in the power of the marketplace.

He stressed on the need of the FCC's intervention at a time of stifled competition in the telecommunications market.

Tata Docomo launches Photon Max Wi-Fi

Tata Docomo launches Photon Max Wi-FiTata Docomo has announced the launch of Photon Max Wi-Fi, which enables users to create a Wi-Fi hotspot anytime anywhere to run Internet on up to five devices.

The Photon Max Wi-Fi, which is powered by Qualcomm Gobi with Dual processor Technology, promises faster and reliable connectivity. As per the company's claims, it will provide Internet speeds of up to 6.2 megabits per second (mbps).

Idea Cellular bags $1 mn US grant for green telecom project

Idea-CellularNew Delhi, Dec 3 : India's third largest telecom operator Idea Cellular has received a grant of over $1 million from the US Trade & Development Agency (USTDA) to fund a pilot project involving deployment of Solar Hybrid Methanol-Based Fuel Cell (SHMBFC) at telecom sites in India, the company said Tuesday.

An agreement to this effect was signed between US Ambassador to India Nancy J. Powell and Idea managing director Himanshu Kapania at the US Consulate in Mumbai, Monday evening.

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