Cellular News
 
Date: 31/3/2002 
BTAL drops ISD tariff & gives national roaming on prepaid 
BTAL dropped ISD tariff up to 21% with effect from 1st April. It also launched national roaming on its pre-paid card in Gujarat. One can receive incoming calls and send and receive messages while roaming. 
 
Date: 31/3/2002 
SMS charges dropped in Chennai 
Both private cellular operators in  Chennai RPG Cellular and AirTel  have reduced SMS charges to Re.1 with effect from April 2. This will help to drive traffic. 
 
Date: 30/3/2002 
WAP like services without WAP phone 
Escotel mobile communications limited recently deployed a value added service delievery platform with integrated multiple technologies where subscribers will get WAP like services over any normal GSM cellphone. 
 
Date: 28/3/2002 
Looking for innovative SMS applications 
If you have no small change for soft drink vending machine you can send a SMS message to the machine which will deliever and the charge will be added to your cellular phone bill. This is used in Berlin trade fair grounds. In Finland one can buy movie ticket on cinema's WAP site using mobile phone. 
 
Date: 28/3/2002 
What should be my name? 
Hutchison Telecom is launching a new cellular brand for India very soon. According to sources it will be either 'Hutchison' or simply 'Hutch' . This new brand will be launched for Hutchison-Essar ownership circles, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chennai and Delhi. 
The company is not planning to replace its strong regional brands, 'Orange' in Mumbai, 'Command' in Kolkata and 'Celforce' in Gujarat. Birla-Tata-AT&T combine BTAL is also planning to give up its abbreviated name and adopt a completely new common brand. This will be unveiled at the launch of its operations in Delhi. 
 
Date: 26/3/2002 
BPL has largest number of roaming partners 
BPL Mobile boasts of having the largest number of roaming partners in the world at 363 telecom providers which is even more than UK's Vodafone. With this BPL subscribers will be able to roam 120 countries. More partners are contineously being added. Roaming contributes to around 15% of the company's revenue. 

 

Date: 24/3/2002 
Spice restructuring 
Spice, B.K. Modi's holding company for the group's telecom and hardware ventures may be restructured and its businesses Spice Communications, Spice Net and Xerox Modi could be merged to create a single entity. 
 
Date: 22/3/2002 
Cellular and Basic operators associations  in Supreme Court 
ABTO and COAI filed two seperate caveats in Supreme Court. ABTO didi it in light of COAI's plans to contest the recent TDSAT judgement permitting limited mobility and COAI has moved the court for maintaining status-quo on the issue of V5.2 interface. 
 
Date: 21/3/2002 
BPL-BTAL merger by second quarter 
According to BPL Innovision Business Group chairman and CEO Rajeev Chandrasekhar the merger is on track and is likely to be completed by secnd quarter f next financial year. The telecm entity formed out of this will be the largest mobile service provider in India valued at $2 billion. The circles covered will be MP, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Delhi. 
 
Date: 21/3/2002 
Philips to focus on mobile phone market in India 
One of the world's top consumer electronics company Philips will be re- focussing on mobile phone market in India and China by launching new range of mobile phones demonstrating their capability in meeting the exacting needs of mobile phone users in Asia Pacific and globally today according to Alan Sparks, senior vice-president, Philips Consumer Communications, Asia Pacific who was speaking at the regional launch of new products at Singapore. 
 
Date: 20/3/2002 
Hutchison Essar to start services in new circles 
Hutchison Essar is likely to start mobile phone services in Chennai, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh by May this year. 
 
Date: 20/3/2002 
Mr. K Ravishankar full time director 
Mr. K Ravishankar was inducted as full time director in BPL Communications which is part of BPL Innovision Business Group. He was one of the oldest members of senior management team of the company. He was group's CFO in '96 and president and COO in 2000. 
 
Date: 20/3/2002 
Competetion in Kolkata 
Bharti acquired SpiceCell in Kolkata last July and renamed it as Bharti Mobitel. At that time it was behind Command ( Hutchison) by 20,000 subscribers. But latest subscribers figures released by COAI shows Command leading by 51,582 subscribers. Also Bharti's subscriber base declined in February. This is the first cellular market where Bharti has lost subscribers after launching its AirTel and Magic brands. 
 
Date: 19/3/2002 
Gujarat cellular service providers to share infrastructure 
The competing cellular service providers in Gujarat Fascel, Birla AT&T and Bharti Cellular are devicing methods to cut down costs by sharing infrastructure. It is believed that with the entry of fourth cellular operator and WiLL getting a go-ahead, the forthcoming competetion will be driving several such tie-ups. 
 
Date: 19/3/2002 
TDSAT issued status quo on COAI's plea 
Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal TDSAT has issued a status quo on a petetion filed by COAI seeking to prohibit basic telecom service providers from using mobile switching centre for WLL services. COAI contended that to keep the mobility limited it is necessary to stop the use of equipment nat based on prescribed V5.2 standard. 
 
Date: 15/3/2002 
Internet telephony open from April 1st 
VSNL's monopoly over international voice traffic is being lifted from April 1st. With this internet telephony would also be thrown open to private participation. ISPs would be allowed to provide internet telephony without paying additional licence fee. All the recommendations of TRAI on Internet Telephony were accepted by the government today. 
 
Date: 14/3/2002 
Microsoft tie up with Deutsche Telekom 
Microsoft tied up with Deutsche Telekom to develop a software platform aimed at corporate users. After PCs, Mobile phones and other wireless devices are being targeted by software development companies. 
 
Date: 12/3/2002 
MTNL to launch PAS systems in Delhi 
Personal Access Systems ( PAS) is a kind of cordless communication services which is suited for highly congested areas where digging new copper lines is very difficult. It offers mobility within a neighbourhood. MTNL will offer the service at same price as fixed phone ie. Rs.1.20 for 3 min call in the areas like Chandni Ckowk, Okhla, East of Kailash etc. in Delhi. The phone will cost Rs.2000 approx. The technology complies with V5.2 standard. PAS offers 128 kbps data, SMS, email, location based services and Imode services.The US based company UTStar which is providing the technology to MTNL is in talks with other fixed line operators also like Reliance, Tata Teleservices, Bharti etc. This technology is widely deployed in China.    
 
Date: 11/3/2002 
Bharti registered record subscribers in Punjab 
Bharti registered record 30,000 subscribers for its cellular phone service in the first month of operations in Punjab. Its AirTel brand  has its services in 40 towns and cities in Punjab today and will be expanding to a total of 81 towns & cities by 31st March 2002.  
The company was offering attractive tariff along with 30 min of free airtime till Baisakhi. 
 
Date: 11/3/2002 
MTNL may reduce workforce by 33% 
MTNL, government owened cellular & basic telecom service provider in Delhi & Mumbai may reduce its workforce by 33% to reduce excess staff and make the company more efficient. 
 
Date: 10/3/2002 
Virus attack on cellular phones 
In Japan e-mail message sent to cellular phones contained internet link that on clicking caused phones to repeatedly dial naitional emergency number. The wireless carrier halted all emergency calls untill the bug was repaired. In Europe SMS was used to send code that crashes phones forcing the user to detach battery and login again. Cellular phone virus or trojan horse program can force a mobile phone behave abnormly and do bizarre things like the ones seen in computers. Since majority of the US is still using relatively primitive cell phone technplogy, the people were saved from such malicious events so far.  
 
Date: 9/3/2002 
Essar, Hutchison merged entity pegged at 2.2 billion dollar 
A holding firm will formed by merging the independent companies of Ruias' Essar Teleholdings and Hutchison which is pegged at 2.2 billion dollar. Essar group will have 37% stake in the merged entity. It will come out with an Initial Public Offer (IPO) early next year  diluting upto 20% of the equity. Both the groups togeather have 10 cellular circles out of which 7 would be merged in the first phase of restructuring excluding Haryana, UP(East) and Rajasthan where Essar has 100% stake. 
 
Date: 6/3/2002 
COAI's petition rejected 
COAI's petition in TDSAT to stop implementation of equipment other than V5.2 standard has been rejected on technical grounds. DoT has allowed WiLL companies to use equipment other than V5.2. It says that operators can deploy V5.2 and/or its approved or improved versions and abide by the licence agreement.According to TDSAT any technology that is in the interest of people cannot be stopped.  COAI says decision will affect investments in mobile sector. The gainers from the decision will be MTNL, Reliance Info, HFCL, Tata Tele, Hughes, Shyam Telecom.  
 
Date: 6/3/2002 
Siemens plans to invest $500m in India 
Siemens to invest $500m in India on electrical and electronics markets and infrastructure projects. It will focus on leveraging the capabilities of Indian operations, increasing hardware sourcing from India using its local manufacturing facilities and resources to cater to the export market. 
 
Date: 6/3/2002 
VoiceXpress launched in Delhi 
Hutchison Essar launched its voice messaging service VoiceXpress that allows users to to send a voice message to any phone in US or Canada at Rs. 5.95 per minute by dialling 12425. 
 
Date: 6/3/2002 
Sony Ericsson's multimedia mobile smartphone 
Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications unveils its P800 multimedia mobile smartphone that has a built in camera and internet connection. Sony Ericsson is a joint venture between Ericsson and Sony Corp. that began its operations in October last year. 
 
Date: 5/3/2002  
Cellphones cheaper  
The handset manufacturer Siemens has slashed its prices by approx. 10%. Motorola, Nokia and Samsung are expected to reduce prices within this week. The price cuts are more at the top end. The companies may discontinue some low end handsets. The lowering of duties in the latest budget is not considered sufficient by the industry since the price differential between the organised and unorganised market which was 35 to 45% is still there at about 20-30%.
  
Date: 4/3/2002
 
 
VoiceXpress to USA at Rs. 5.95  
Mumbai cellular operator Hutchison launched VoiceXpress, a voice messaging service that allows users to send voice messages to any phone in US and Canada at a cost of Rs. 5.95 per minute. The international phone calls to US otherwise costs Rs. 48 and Rs. 42 per minute on peak and non-peak hours respectively.  
 
Date: 4/3/2002 
Bharti launched its fixed line service 'Touchtel' 
Bharti launched its fixed line service 'Touchtel' for central and south Delhi which will be extended over time to other areas. It will be issuing two series of seven digit numbers starting from 85 and 86. The installation charges for a non STD connection is Rs. 3,000 to be paid in three installments. For STD, ISD same amount is to be paid upfront. Monthly rental is Rs. 250, first 75 calls are free 76-500 calls rate is Re. 1 and above that Rs.1.20 per call. This service is offering features like free voicemail, faster internet connectivity and caller line identification. It is also offering free internet connectivity for 90 days.  
 
Date: 4/3/2002  
ILD sector to open up  
International Long Distance service segement which was a monopoly of VSNL till now will open up for competetion from April 1st.  
Reliance infocom has already signed the licence. Bharti Televentures, Data Access, Pacific Net and Connecting Networks have also applied for the ILD licence. Among the latest applicants are Satyam Infoway, BPL, Aircel Ltd. and Spice.  
 
Date: 28/2/2002  
Cellular handset prices will fall due to lowering of duties  
The lowering of duties in the budget will result in 8-9% fall in cellular handset prices. Cellular phones and pagers are exempted from CVD. Although there is an increase in basic customs duty from 5% to 10% which will mean an effective lowering of duties to a level of 14.5%. The budget has also recognised the telecom service sector as industrial undertaking under Section 72 (A) of Income Tax Act which will enable the companies to carry forward their losses to new merged entities. This will benefit telecom operators who plan to merge their different entities. The reduction of duties from 15% to 5% on the import of various WLL infrastructure equipment will benefit basic telecom service providers by bringing them at par with cellular, internet and VSAT service providers.  
 
Date: 28/2/2002  
New Chief Technology Officer for Bharti  
Bharti TeleVentures Limited has appointed Norman D Price as its Chief Technology Officer. Norman worked with McCaw Communications and its affiliate companies. This appointment is the latest in the series of recent appointments of senior professionals from international projects who have come back to India to join the company.  
 
Date: 26/2/2002  
Telecom will be a thrust area for TATAs  
TATAs will be focussing on Telecom and IT. Group company Tisco may venture into telecom.This was told to investors by Group Chairman Ratan Tata at a conference organised by Merrill Lynch.  
 
Date: 25/2/2002  
Reliance Infocom first company to sign ILD licence  
Reliance Infocom signed licence for providing International Long Distance (ILD) services when this segment will be opened up for competition from April 1, 2002. The company paid a licence fee of Rs. 25 cr and submitted a bank guarantee of the same amount to DoT. Currently VSNL has a monopoly in ILD till March 31st. Reliance also has licence for National Long Distance (NLD)  services for which it has already laid a substantial fiber optic network . It has licence for basic telephony in 17 states too.  
 
Date: 25/2/2002  
BSNL to invest Rs. 14,076 cr in the next financial year  
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will be investing Rs.14,076 cr in the next fianancial year to install 65 lakh new telephone connections. Out of this 23 lakh will be fixed line connections, 24 lakh GSM based cellular connections and 17 lakh WLL  connections.BSNL is keen on tapping the rural demand apart from the urban market.  
 
Date: 21/2/2002  
BTAL to spend Rs.500 cr on Delhi cellular operations  
Birla AT&T and TATA combine which won the fourth cellular licence for Delhi plans to spend Rs. 500 cr on its Delhi operations. This includes licence fee of Rs. 170 cr. Company plans to start services by June this year when it will be unveiling a new brand also. Lintas will be looking after promotion & advertising. Nokia is providing network for BTAL's Delhi operations.  
 
Date: 19/2/2002  
NTT DoCoMo and Nissan Motors tie up  
Japan's  mobile telecom giant NTT DoCoMo tied up with Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. to combine their respective strengths to develop a system to deliever maps, weather, news & entertainment to cars. The system will be centered on DoCoMo's 3G mobile network.  
 
Date: 19/2/2002  
Microsoft, TI & Intel announce blueprints for new cellphones  
Technology companies Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., and Texas Instruments Inc announced blueprints for new cellphones and handheld computer phones using reference designs at 3GSM World Congress, Europe's largest trade show for wireless industry at Cannes. On the other hand Nokia said it would offer other mobile handset suppliers a complete design kit for making internet ready phones.  
 
Date: 18/2/2002  
Bharti's listing  
Bharti Televentures Ltd.'s IPO raised Rs. 834 crore through book building process. The shares were simultaneously listed on BSE, NSE and DSE in a record 10 working days from the close of the issue. The listing of the issue was started with a "bell ringing ceremony". The IPO opened at 22% higher than the offer price of Rs. 45 on the bourses although it ended first day below the offer price.  
 
Date: 17/2/2002  
Telecom equipment & software manufacturers using Indian centres  
Telecom equipment manufacturers like Motorola and Ericsson and telecom software companies like PraireComm, ConvergeLabs, Ubinetics, Hughes etc. are using their Indian development centres for 3G software development.  
 
Date: 4/2/2002   
SMS on landline !   
Spice Telecom introduced a new service in Punjab where cell phone subscribers can send SMS to reach landline phones. Claimed to be in-house development, through this service a subscriber sends SMS to a pre-specified number and using Text to Speech (TTS) technology application operator converts the text into speech and sends it as voice call to that number. The message could be delievered instantaneously and the system tries to resend it twice if it doesn't reach.   
 
Date: 3/2/2002   
Bharti TeleVentures Ltd. book over subscribed 2.5 times   
Bharti TeleVentures Ltd. issue opened on January 28th 2002 till 2nd Feb. for 18.5 crore equity shares representing 10% of the post issue capital of the company. The book was oversubscribed 2.5 times. The issue price is now fixed at Rs. 45 per share in consultation with the book running lead managers JM Morgan Stanley and DSP Merrill Lynch. Only 35% of the huge demand from FIIs was met. 80% of the total demand from domestic financial institutions was met. All retail investors would be allocated shares.   
 
Air India's flight info on Mobile 
Air India's Mumbai passengers, who are Orange subscribers, will be now able to access information regarding A-I's flights on their 
mobiles through Short Messaging Service (SMS) and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). Mumbai passengers seeking flight information will have to enter the text message on the mobile phone and send it to Orange (number 12323) in the Message Menu.The new arrangement also provides a facility to ascertain the status of a particular flight to be accessed through SMS by entering the flight number and city. Similarly, users of WAP-enabled mobile phones have to get the setting of the phone from their mobile service providers. After navigating to Service Menu, they can connect to site , click on Travel Menu where flight information and booking status will appear. 
 
Date: 1/2/2002   
Escotel and GAIL form biz alliance   
The cellular service provider Escotel signed an exclusive service agreement with GAILTEL, the telecom business group of GAIL (Gas Authority of India Ltd.) where it will use GAIL infrastructure. GAIL would provide bandwidth capacity to Escotel Mobile communications Ltd. in western U.P. and to Escorts Telecom Ltd. in eastern U.P. and Rajasthan exclusively for next five years and would get 5-10 crores from this deal each year. GAIL has Rs.3,200 crore investment plans for telecom business for 2002-10. It is in talks with many telecom companies like Tatas, Reliance, Birla AT&T etc. for providing similar services.   
 
Date: 31/1/2002   
Broader spectrum allocated to cellular operators   
Department of Telecommunications (DoT) today issued an order allocating a frequency spectrum of upto 10 Mhz to Delhi and Mumbai cellular service providers Essar cellphone, AirTel, Hutchison and BPL. This will enable them to add upto 20-30 lakh subscribers without compromising on the quality of service. All of these operators have around 4-5 lakh subscribers and had allocated frequency upto 6.2 MHz. Operators pay 3% of their revenue as spectrum fee to Wireless Planning Cell ( WPC). For accessing higher spectrum they will pay 1% additional fee for usage above 6.2 MHz.   
 
Date: 31/1/2002   
TRAI order put on hold   
Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) stayed the TRAI's intrim order on distribution of default STD traffic between BSNL and Bharti's IndiaOne on alternate days for mobile to mobile STD calls. This order was NOT applicable on fixed to mobile or fixed to fixed STD calls.   
 
Date: 31/1/2002   
Mittals may buy Telia's stake in Bharti Mobile   
Mittals hold 74% in Bharti Mobile Ltd. while 26% stake is with Swedish partner Telia. It is believed that Telia proposes to exit Indian telecom scene for strategic reasons and hence reviewing all investments. According to industry sources Mittals may buy all of this stake in an all-cash deal.   
 
Date: 30/1/2002   
National Roaming to cost less from 1st March   
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked cellular service providers to cut rates for national and regional roaming facility. The new rates will be effective from 1st March 2002 and the ceiling will be Rs. 3 per minute as against the current ceiling of Rs.10 per minute. Global roaming charges will remain the same. TRAI has also said that there will be no entry fee for roaming and the ceiling on monthly roaming rental will be Rs.100.   
 
Date: 30/1/2002   
TDSAT moved by BSNL against TRAI order   
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has moved Telecom Dispute Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against TRAI's order to start Bharti Telesonic's STD services. According to BSNL under present circumstances the implementation of Carrier Access Code (CAC) and Carrier Identification Code (CIC) is not feasble from all of its exchanges as it requires significant hardware & software modifications at basic / cellular operators level along with customer education on CAC programme.   
 
Date: 29/1/2002   
Recharge using ATM   
For the first time in India cellular service provider AirTel has tied up with ICICI Bank to facilitate its 'Magic' pre-paid card users who wiill now be able to recharge their cards using ICICI Bank's ATM at any time of the day.    
 
Date: 28/1/2002   
Reliance signed agreement for NLD   
Reliance signed the licence agreement for providing national long distance services. It paid a licence fee of Rs.100 crore and submitted a bank guarantee of Rs.400 crore to the government. Reliance is expected to launch its services within three months. It has already laid down ducts in major part of the country.   
 
Date: 27/1/2002   
BSNL asked TRAI to defer implementation of Bharti's STD services   
BSNL has requested TRAI to defer the implementation of Bharti Telesonic Ltd.'s NLD services giving a number of reasons supporting the issue. According to BSNL the proposed arrangement of handling the STD traffic on alternate days by the two operators is deviation from TRAI's stand in the past and 'impractical'. It also implies that an operator with limited investment and only 10-12 points of presence (POPs) is handed over 50% of the traffic. It said that the untill all the hardware and software modifications are made for the technical and billing systems on all exchanges, CAC code dialling can lead to ficticious calling and even network collapse. Hence a reasonable date should be fixed in consultations with all cellular and fixed line service providers before the launch of CAC.     
 
Date: 26/1/2002   
Bharti's IndiaOne started operations today   
Bharti's long distance network IndiaOne started operations today on the occasion of Republic Day after getting the intrim order from TRAI. The company has started handling the STD traffic from its partner cellular networks. The service is currenly available on cellular to cellular calls in select cities. To choose IndiaOne's NLD service one has to dial 01050 before the mobile number he want to reach.   
 
Date: 25/1/2002   
Essar cellphone & AirTel cut rates on pre-paid cards   
The two private cellular service providers in Delhi Essar cellphone and AirTel announced upto 46% reduction in airtime tariff on their pre-paid cards 'Speed' and 'Magic' respectively. This is in response to the the launch of MTNL's pre-paid card 'Trump' at 50% less than the existing tariff.   
 
Date: 25/1/2002   
TRAI's intrim order   
Through an intrim order issued by TRAI, inter-circle mobile to mobile phone callers in India will have choice of NLD service provider and will enjoy low cost talktime. According to the ruling both state owned BSNL and private long distance service provider Bharti's IndiaOne will become default carriers of long distance calls on a 24 hours basis every alternate day of the week. The user can dial a Carrier Access Code (CAC) which is 50 for Bharti and 20 for BSNL to choose the long distance carrier. Although this is a stopgap arrangement till BSNL upgrades its huge telecom network, intended to balance the interests of service providers and giving users a choice.   
 
Date: 23/1/2002   
Bharti's IPO opens on Jan 28th   
Bharti Televentures Ltd. is finally valued at Rs. 8,325 crore as per the floor price of Rs.45 per share fixed for its 100% maiden initial public offer through book building process. The book for the issue will open on January 28th and closes on 2nd Feb. 2002. Out of 18.53 crore shares of face value Rs.10 each, 60% are reserved for institutional bidders, 15% for non-institutional buyers and balance 25% for the public. Analysts feel that the upswing in price from the book building could boost value to Rs.10,000 crore.   
 
Date: 17/1/2002   
Hutchison and Essar to combine their telecom properties   
Hutchison Telecom International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa and Essar Teleholdings have agreed to combine their 11 cellular networks, seven of Hutchison and four of Essar to form another mega entity in telecom. According to Arthur Andersen the combined entity's enterprise valuation is $2.2 billion which is likely to go public by 2003 in the form of domestic listing in two stages.Essar Teleholding's share in the combined entity is $750 million. Hutchison Telecom International will own 49% of the new entity, Essar Teleholdings 37% and rest 7% will be between Hindujas & Kotak Mahindra Capital Company and 8% with Hutchison-Kotak joint venture special purpose vehicle.   
 
Date: 16/1/2002   
BPL mobile launched GPRS   
BPL mobile is the first cellular service provider to launch GPRS ( General Packet Radio Service) in India. The compatible handsets will be priced at Rs.10,000 and above and are offered by most of the handset manufacturers. GPRS is wireless internet technology which is much faster than WAP.   
 
Date: 15/1/2002   
SMS roaming for Command subscribers   
All Command subscribers can now enjoy the benefits of SMS roaming. New Command post and pre paid cards will have built-in SMS roaming facility. Command is country's first operator to offer this service. With this facility, Command subscribers, whereever they are will be able to send SMS across any cellular network at Rs. 3 per message while incoming SMS is free.   
 
 
Date: 14/1/2002    
MTNL launches its TRUMP card    
Union Minister of Communications Mr. Promod Mahajan launched today MTNL's pre-paid mobile card named as TRUMP for Delhi and Mumbai at 50% less tariff. The Out-going & In-coming call with Trump will cost Rs. 2.50/min & Rs. 1.80/min in Delhi and in Mumbai the Out-going & In-coming call with Trump will cost Rs. 1.90/min & Rs. 1.75/min respectively.    

        
     
Activation Charges
Prepaid denominations
Rs. 300
Rs. 500
Rs. 1000
Rs. 2000
Call Charges
Out-going
In-coming
Pulse
 
Delhi    
MTNL AirTel & Essar
Rs. 399 Rs. 495
   
98 mins 49.33 mins
186 mins 89.86 mins
392 mins 192.53 mins
817 mins 439.2 mins
   
Rs. 2.50/min Rs. 5/min
Rs. 1.80/min Rs. 3/min
30 secs 30 secs
 
Mumbai    
MTNL BPL & Orange
Rs. 225 Rs. 249
   
99.9 mins 43.2 mins
186.61 mins 126.13 mins
400.67 mins 352.76
823.30 mins --
   
Rs. 1.90/min Rs. 1.99/min
Rs. 1.75/min Rs. 1.99/min
60 secs 60 secs
 
 
 Assumption: Equal talk time is consumed for incoming and outgoing calls.   
 
Date: 14/1/2002    
Nokia to offer luxury mobile phones    
Nokia is setting up a new division by the name Vertue, based in London which will design and produce mobile phones decorated with gems and precious metal finishes. There are already a number of designers and jewellers who customise mobile phones for celebrities. In Europe where mobile phones have already penetrated majority of population the company is looking at the replacement market.    
 
Date: 14/1/2002    
Roaming with Dolphin    
Dolphin, the GSM cellular service from MTNL tied up with various cellular service providers in the country to offer national roaming facility to its subscribers except for Andhra Pradesh.    
 
Date: 14/1/2002   
National advisory commitee on communications   
National advisory commitee on communications and information technology has been formed to suggest measures for improvement of tele density and internet penetration in the rural areas. It is headed by communications and IT minister Mr. Promod Mahajan as chairman and includes secretaries from IT and Telecom departments.Other members include Mr. Ratan Tata, BSNL chief, Mukesh Ambani, N.R. Narayana Murthy, Azim Premji, Sunil Mittal, Rajender S. Pawar, F.C. Kohli and Subhash Chandra.   
 
Date: 14/1/2002    
BSNL cuts STD rates from today    
BSNL cuts STD rates upto 62%. From today onwards the STD rates applicable will be Rs.2.40, Rs.4.80 and Rs. 9 for the distance slabs of 50-200 kms, 200-500 kms and greater than 500 kms respectively during the peak hours from 9.00 am to 8.00 pm. During Off-peak hours ie. 8.00 pm to 9.00 am the rates will be Rs.1.20, Rs.2.40 and Rs.4.50 for the distance slabs of 50-200 kms, 200-500 kms and greater than 500 kms respectively    
 
Date: 11/1/2002    
Motorola launches SMS-friendly T190    
Motorola introduced a new cellular handset T190 in the indian market which has many advanced SMS features. These include preductive text messaging, SMS chat, icon messaging, user editable personal text messages, 10 multiple SMS etc. The handset is priced at Rs. 8,495/-.    
 
Date: 11/1/2002    
DoT recommends 15% duty cuts on cellular phones    
Following the initiative by Indian Cellular Association which includes global mobile phone giants like Nokia, Motorola, Ericsson, Siemens etc. DoT has sent recommendations to Finance ministry for removing CVD(counter-veiling duty) and SAD( special additional duty) on the import of handsets. Currently, cellular handsets attract 5% custom duty, 16% CVD, 4% SAD and 10-12% Sales Tax which makes legally imported handsets 40% costlier than the smuggled ones. The government will loose Rs. 4,242 crore by 2005 if the current duty structure is not rationalised.    
 
Date: 10/1/2002    
76% growth in cellular subscribers in the year 2001    
According to COAI number of cellular subscribers grew by 76% in the year 2001 as compared to 2000. In December alone 2,54,019  new subscribers were added making the total cellular subscribers base in the country as 5.5 million. Delhi is on the top with 8.7 lakh subscribers now followed by Mumbai with a subscriber base of 8.32 lakh. Apart from metros, Gujarat and Maharashtra have emerged as mature & competitive markets with highest growth rates of 133%.The Hutchison group tops in terms of subscribers at 11.21 lakh followed by Bharti at 11.09 lakh subscriber base while BPL group is at 8.31 lakh customer base. Among the largest gainers in a single circle is Bharti which added 19,572 in Delhi.MTNL added 18,219 subscribers in Mumbai last month.      
 
Date: 10/1/2002    
Qualcomm to take 4% of Reliance Infocom    
Qualcomm Inc. a NASDAQ listed company has committed to invest upto $200 million for 4% equity stake in Reliance Infocom which is Telecom and IT arm of Reliance group. Reliance Infocom plans to introduce mobile phones based on CDMA 2000 1X technology that can transmit both voice and data and offer features comparable with 3G technology. CDMA 2000 1X technology can transmit data at a speed of 307 kbps as compared to 9.6 kbps on GSM. This means that the limited mobility services which Reliance wants to introduce has only one limitation i.e.. Roaming which is a limitation due to regulation and not technology.    
 
Date: 10/1/2002    
Bharti honours TRAI by removing clause    
Bharti Telesonic, private NLD service provider has dropped the 5% lower rate clause from its agreement with private cellular service providers following the objections raised by TRAI. The clause envisaged that  all the consortium partners can not move to another NLD service provider unless their tariff was 5% lower than that of Bharti's IndiaOne.    
 
Date: 10/1/2002    
Hutchison ties up with TeliVoice for voice messaging    
Hutchison in India has tied up with Sabeer Bhatia promoted TeliVoice to offer voice messaging services where a subscriber can send messages to US and Canada at Rs. 5.99 per minute. Subscribers of all Hutchison brands, Orange in Mumbai, Essar cellphone in Delhi, Celforce in Gujarat and Command in Kolkata will be benefited. These subscribers will also be able to send voice messages to any phone, cellular( pre-paid & post-paid) or fixed. Voice messages sent within  Hutchison network will be at Rs. 2.99 per min including airtime. Telivoice plans to make this service available for UK and Middle East shortly. This will save subscribers' pocket heavily on international calls which costs Rs.48 and Rs.42 per min on peak and non-peak hours for US.    
 
Date: 8/1/2002    
Reliance Infocom initiative valued at $7.2 billion    
Reliance Infocom has been split into five separate entities and is valued at an astronomical $7.2 billion by Indo Suez WI Carr Securities. The five entities are Reliance Telecom-mobile $253million; Reliance Telecom-Basic $148 million; Reliance Broadband $5.43 billion; National Long Distance business $932 million and Reliance WorldTel $410 million. Reliance Industries will own 45% of this company while the Ambani family owns 45%. The balance 10% are for ESOPs. As first part of divestment new shares to the tune of 3% will be issued to Qualcomm for $200 million. This will be followed by a sale of second and third part to two different investors for $750 million whereby a further 8% to 10% holding will be diluted.    
 
Date: 8/1/2002    
New marketing head for AirTel Delhi    
Mohit Beotra is appointed as Chief Operating Officer for Bharti's cellular operations at Delhi. He was handling personal products division at Lintas. Atul Jham has moved to Mumbai as COO. Sanjay Kapoor has been appointed as executive director of western region. The company has announced an outlay of Rs.1500 crore in new mobile circles.    
 
Date: 6/1/2002    
Bharti Tele-Ventures IPO likely to open on 24th Jan. 2002    
Bharti Tele-Ventures IPO is likely to open on 24th of this month with a floor price of Rs.55 per share. The company is going to launch a huge marketing exercise which started with a session with top primary market brokers of the country. Bharti is interested in a very strong retail demand for the issue and would like small share holders to join in the company's growth.    
 
Date: 6/1/2002    
Asian telecom revenue likely to jump by 20% this year    
According to IDC Asia's telecom revenues will jump 20% to $161 billion this year due to 37% rise in the number of cellular phone users in Asia Pacific ( excluding Japan) to 370 million by the year end. This will be driven by the countries like China and India which are the most populous countries of the region.    
 
Date: 4/1/2002    
Motorola to provide equipment to BSNL in south    
All four southern telecom circles of BSNL have placed purchase orders with Motorola for telecom equipment to support 13.8 lakh lines in two phases. The network will incorporate latest services including voicemail, faxmail, SMS, WAP and intelligent network services. BSNL's cellular phone drive in south has an outlay of Rs.792 crore.    

Date: 4/1/2002
   
 
MTNL's Dolphin adds 23,000 subscribers during Dec.2001 in Mumbai    
MTNL's GSM based cellular phone service Dolphin added more than 23,000 subscribers last month in Mumbai. Its total subscriber base in the city now stands at 75,000. MTNL will be launching its pre-paid cards next week. It has printed around 20,000 pre-paid cards each for Delhi and Mumbai and are expected to be out at much better rates.    
 
Date: 3/1/2002    
AirTel and Escotel to share cellular infrastructure    
Cellular service provider AirTel and Escotel tied up to share infrastructure in their common circles. This will save cost as well as time to launch for both the companies in the common circles and also optimize utilization of their infrastructural resources. Although infrastructure sharing is prevalent in Europe, but in India it is first time that two operators entered into a formal agreement while competing in the same market. It is believed that such initiatives will help build the indian telecom infrastructure very rapidly by offering lower costs to the customers and more viability to operators.    
 
Date: 2/1/2002    
Hutchison,Essar joint venture to be renamed    
Barakhamba Sales & Services Ltd. a Hutchison and Essar joint venture that holds the fourth cellular licences for Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Chennai will be renamed as Hutchison-Essar Ltd. while the ownership structure will remain the same. The three southern networks are scheduled to become operational by June 2002. The company is likely to spend close to Rs. 700 crore into these southern networks and will be launching a new brand shortly.    
 

  
Cellular News: Oct. - Dec. 2001
Cellular News: July - Sept. 2001
Cellular News: Apr. - June 2001
Cellular News: Jan. - Mar. 2001
Cellular News: Oct. - Dec. 2000 
Cellular News: July - Sept. 2000 
Cellular News: April - June 2000

 
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