Tata Indicom has launched the ‘streaming TV on your mobile’ service in India. The service is available to all Tata Indicom prepaid and postpaid customers. The service currently offers 25 streaming channels to the subscribers. These include news channels, entertainment channels and some regional channels as well.
As per Tata Indicom’s official website only Motorola V3C (RAZR) subscribers can avail this service. Now that’s something both weird and stupid. I believe Tata Indicom is offering the live streaming TV feed using a Java based application which should be compatible with almost all modern phones with Java. The application for this service has been developed by a company called Apalya. The company also offers a similar service on other cell phone networks. The pricing has been set at Rs. 15 for 5 minutes.
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It’s late at night, you’re into a very important romantic conversation and you run out of cash on your pre-paid cell phone connection. What do you do? You freak out of course! I’ve always faced situations when I have run out of cash on my pre-paid connections in the middle of the night. Sometimes the nearby dealers just won’t recharge my pre-paid and sometimes I’m just too lazy to get out. I have used several online recharge services but sadly none of them survived.
I recently tried out the Oxicash online pre-paid recharge service and I must say it’s really good. You need to register with your cell phone number and add funds to your virtual wallet at Oxicash. You can add funds using a credit card, pre-paid voucher PIN or Netbanking. Then you can use your cash for mobile recharge or any of their utility services. Oxigen is quick and it works. They support almost all major mobile service providers in India. Very handy if you’re on the move.
Reliance GSM recently had a soft launch here in Chandigarh. Reliance is the first private telecom operator in India to offer mobile services on both CDMA and GSM networks. Reliance GSM is currently offering connections at dirt cheap prices. A new pre-paid connection can be purchased for Rs.25 and you’ll need to buy an e-recharge for Rs. 50 which shall activate your connection. As per the introductory offer you’ll get Rs.10 worth of talktime every day which you have to consume the same day. The tariff plans Reliance has come up with are very similar to the ones being currently offered by major mobile service providers in the region such as Airtel, Vodafone and Idea.
I picked up a Reliance GSM pre-paid connection today. Reliance boasts of a 3G ready, congestion free network which will be superior to it’s competitors. I haven’t been able to make a single call and all I seem to hear is ‘This network is currently busy‘. It’s evident why Reliance hasn’t put up large hoardings about their presence in the region. They’re currently testing and deploying their network. If you need to make a call you’ll only get across after 15-20 re-dial attempts.
What I’m really looking forward to is the 3G services from Reliance GSM. I hope they’ll be good enough to chalk out decent data plans.
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So Airtel finally woke up! The only problem with Airtel was that it was sleeping for a long time in the online bill payment section as well as a facility for online mobile recharge (top-ups). Tata Indicom on the other hand has been quick to tap the unlimited potential in providing online bill payment facilities along with other value added services on their own website. For one thing, a consumer feels really secure while making an online bill payment at the service provider’s website itself. Other than being secure the payments are instant. A big advantage for people like me who end up making bill payments on the due date. Airtel did provide a Self Care facility on it’s website from the begining but it was way to buggy to enable anyone to feel good enough to make a payment there.
Seems like now they have launched a proper online billing mechanism which is similar to the one I have been using for paying my bills at Tata Indicom. The online bill payment facility is now quick (using EasyPay), instant and bug free. Prepaid mobile subscribers can also recharge (topup) their account online. Payments are accepted through Netbanking and Credit/Debit cards. Currently Airtel is offering online bill payments for post-paid mobile phone customers, telephone subscribers and broadband users.
MTNL has become the first 3G carrier in India by launching 3G mobile services in Delhi today. 3G spectrum auctions in the country have been a messy affair in the past. MTNL 3G services are titled ‘MTNL 3G Jadoo’! The 3G services will be available only to premium customers at first. They’ll have a trial period before they can subscribe to the 3G service. I don’t really understand what they mean by ‘premium customers’.
MTNL’s network is however not quite ready as yet. Currently only New Delhi MC areas and the NCR area of Gurgaon are covered by their 3G network. Motorola is setting up the core network infrastructure for MTNL. MTNL’s Chairman and Managing Director has said that 3G coverage would be complete in Delhi in about a month’s time. The services are expected to be launched in Mumbai in the next two months.
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AT&T announced the Apple iPhone 3G pricing today. The iPhone 3G is supposed to go on sale in US on 11th July.
New subscribers and legit upgraders will be getting the new 8GB version for $199, or another $100 on top for the 16GB variety. The asking price for current AT&T customers who are not eligible for an upgrade is $399 for the 8GB model and $499 for the 16GB model. contract-free iPhone 3G gets mentioned as well, though there’s no actual commitment to a release date. Pricing goes $599 (8GB) and $699 (16GB).
Prospective customers have already lined up in India. Everyone is interested to know the price of Apple iPhone 3G in India. The iPhone 3G will be sold by both Airtel and Vodafone in India. It’s quite evident that no Indian telecom company shall subsidize the iPhone price in India. The iPhone could be priced somewhere in the premium band of around Rs. 25,000-30,000. Even if Apple is able to get a 1% share of the Indian mobile phone market, it will sell a million iPhones!