Cellular News
Date: 18/5/2000    
Ericsson Communications Ltd. launched its first dual band WAP enabled mobile phone - Ericsson R 320. It is a high performance dual band ( GSM 900/1800) phone which is first such phone launched in India by Ericsson.
Date: 17/5/2000    
Bharti Cellular Limited has tied up with Ericsson to offer its subscribers internet access using GPRS technology. The service will be launched early next year. Bharti would introduce internet access in another two months even without GPRS for which trials are on.However internet on mobile will be more affordable and widespread once GPRS is introduced.    

GPRS technology speeds up access to the internet from mobile phones. At the moment some cellular operators are offering internet access but the speed is only 9.6 Kbps, although with GPRS this increases to 64 Kbps. Currently internet access via cellular phones involves paying  normal airtime rates of Rs. 4 per minute i.e.. Rs. 240 per hour. GPRS allows billing systems to be installed which enables subscribers to pay only according to the amount of data which they send. Being logged on to the net would not mean paying extra. 
Date: 17/5/2000    
Sebi - The Securities and exchange Board of India is finalising the second stage of Internet trading reforms in the market which include developing standards for use of Wireless Application Protocol ( WAP) for Net trading as well as allowing online redemption and repurchase of mutual fund units and subscribing to public issue through the internet. 
Date: 16/5/2000    
Telecom Commission wants 49% cap on FDI ( Foreign Direct Investment) to stay in the telecom service sector as against the proposal to allow 100% FDI. The domestic telecom players like Reliance, BPL, Escotel, HFCL and Bharti Telecom also oppose to allow a controlling stake to foreign companies. While the foreign telecom operators like AT&T, Enron and British Telecom want 100% FDI in this sector.    

The supporters of 100% FDI argue that the sector needs huge investments, to the tune of $60 billion in next five years which domestic industry can't provide. Domestic players say that despite 49% cap India.

Date: 15/5/2000    
The Lok Sabha was told today that The Government will take final decision on the quantum of revenue share to be charged from cellular companies after obtaining recommendations of TRAI. Meanwhile, The Government has decided to fix 15% of gross revenue of the licensee as provisional license fee.
Date: 15/5/2000    
TRAI - The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's report on cellular services, its terms and conditions and entry of the third operator and other issues are expected to be finalised by mid-June. The regulator is expected to begin work on the Universal Service Obligation in July.The discussions covered many issues such as revenue sharing, tariffs, bank guaranties etc.  
Date: 11/5/2000    
Samsung Electronics India Pvt. Ltd. will be investing $10 million to market infotech peripherals and telecom products in the country. The company has targeted a turnover of Rs.800 crore for this year. Samsung launched nine products in the IT peripheral segment and two GSM phones. For its cellular handsets, the company is looking at  a four-fold growth this year by targeting 80,000 units sales target against 20,000 last year.  
According to a report released by Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) the total subscriber base grew by 88% in 1999-2000 to touch 1.88 million till April 1st 2000.Some of the statistics are as follows.    
Total Subscribers in India 18.84 lakh
AirTel 1.84 lakh
Essar Cellphone 1.48 lakh
3.32 lakh
BPL mobile 1.73 lakh
Hutchison Max 1.46 lakh
3.19 lakh
Kolkata 90,000
RPG 29,000
Skycell 25,000
Category A circles    
Gujrat 1.46 lakh
Karnataka 1.27 lakh
Category B circles    
Kerela 1.06 lakh
Uttar Pradesh 1.13 lakh
National Panasonic India, marketing company of Matsushita, the largest electronics company in the world has finalised plan to double its turnover. Matsushita is adding three new lines of business - cellular phones, 15-inch CTVs and Set-top boxes, which is going to contribute to the growth of its indian business.Matsushita plans to enter the cellphone market by the year end. Panasonic cellphones are no.1 in Japan and the company plan to popularise the same in India through the organised channel. At least two models would be launched in the beginning.  
DoT probe will not delay the launch of MTNL's GSM-based cellular services in Delhi and Mumbai. DoT is probing MTNL's purchase of infrastructure equipment from Lucent.MTNL has plans to launch the cellular services commercially by August. The soft launch will be in July.It is likely to take cut-price route to attract customers.  
To handle the competition posed by Hutchison and MTNL, Bharti Cellular will invest Rs. 80 crones over next 24 months to strengthen its brands, AirTel and Magic, and upgrade its systems by investing Rs. 15 crore in an intelligent network from Ericsson, which will improve its voice quality and billing systems, and increase capacity. It is also going to emphasize on Value Added Services to have an edge over competition.  
Essar Cellphone is soon going to be Orange. Hutchison which is running its global mobile brand 'Orange' in Mumbai will soon be launching it in Delhi. Hutchison has already bought into Sterling Cellular, Essar's Delhi mobile operations.  
Date: 12/4/2000    
Philips India Ltd. is planning to increase its cellular business in India. To start with it is looking forward to the launch of 'Xenium' model later this year. The subsidiary of Netherland based Royal Philips Electronics, which has a significant presence in the global cellphone market, would now focus on indian market following changes in government policies and tremendous increase in market demand.  
Date: 5/4/2000    
Communications Minister, Ram Vilas Paswan said in a press meet yesterday that the Department of Telecom Services (DTS) will be entering the Cellular Services segment and will aggressively compete  with private operators in all the states soon.  
Date: 2/4/2000    
According to the latest figures compiled by COAI the total No. of cellphone subscribers in India is close to 1.85 million. The subscriber base grew by 70,000 per month since July 1999, highest the industry has ever recorded.  
Date: 31/3/2000    
Department of Telecommunications (DoT) sent notices to the the banks marking a lien on the guarantees of the private operators in view of the expiry of bank guarantees on 31st March. DoTs decision has taken in its stride all the major players including Birla AT&T, Tata Teleservices, Bharti, Hughes, Escotel, Fascel, Modicom and HFCL sparing only two Reliance and Shyam Telecom who managed to extend their bank guarantees. Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has expressed concern over the manner in which DoT has sought to once again undermine the confidence of the cellular industry in the on going reform process.  
Date: 13/3/2000    
AitTel offers a facility to send and receive e-mail on your cellular phone. This is a new Value Added Service which is free till 31st March.  
Date: 13/3/2000    
Nokia launched a new handset model Nokia 8210 which is the lightest Nokia phone ever at 79 grams.It has seven Xpress-on colour covers and 4 games.

Date: 8/3/2000
MobileBankingTM ( ESSAR Cellphone + HDFC Bank )    
First time in Delhi. This service provides direct access to your HDFC Bank account from your mobile phone.You can check your balance, request for a cheque book, stop payment and in the time to come you will be able to issue cheques, pay bills and transfer funds from where ever you are.

Date: 2/3/2000
Motorola launched a new handset model v2088. Size 130x40x24.5 mm, 116 gms, with  Li- Ion 600 mAh battery having standby time upto 150 hrs.

Date: 1/3/2000
Budget - Effective custom duty on cellphones reduced from 49% to 28%. Cellphone prices likely to go down.