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Telecom Newsletter – Dec 30, 2013 to Jan 03, 2014

India Infoline News Service/ Mumbai 14:02 , Jan 04, 2014

With these repayments, RCOM has now fully liquidated the borrowings from 23 foreign banks and financial institutions.

Top News

RCOM makes full repayment of syndicated ECB loan of US$ 500mn

Reliance  Communications announced that it has fully repaid another syndicated ECB loan of US$ 500 Million (Rs.3,100 crore approx) on the scheduled due date today.
 
RCOM had earlier this year made full scheduled repayment of 2 other syndicated ECB loans aggregating US$ 1 billion (Rs. 6,200 crore), and bilateral ECB loans of more than US$ 310 million (Rs.1,900 crore approx).
 
With these repayments, RCOM has now fully liquidated the borrowings from 23 foreign banks and financial institutions.

India to have 155mn Mobile Internet users by March'14: IAMAI

The number of mobile internet users is going to reach 155 million in India by the end of March 2014, and 185 million by June 2014, maintaining a Q-o-Q growth of 20%, according to the ‘Mobile Internet In India 2013’ report, released today by the Internet & Mobile Association Of India (IAMAI) and IMRB International. The report states that by the end of December 2013, the number of mobile internet users would be 130 million.

The number of mobile internet users in October 2013 was 110 million with 85 million users from Urban India and the rest 25 million from Rural India.

According to the report, Urban India will continue to account for a large percentage of the Mobile Internet users across the country and is expected to reach 126 million by March 2014 and touch 153 million users by June 2014. Significantly, a drastic growth was witnessed in the number of users of Mobile Internet in Rural India and will register an impressive 50% growth to reach 32 million by June 2014.

The report further finds that across both Urban and Rural India, over 50% of the Active Internet users are accessing internet on their mobile, apart from other sources. This is a clear indication that there has been a huge uptake in consumption of this Mobile Internet medium. The report also finds that ARPU has dropped to Rs 387 from Rs 460 in 2012. However, what is worth noting is that the percentage amount spent on Mobile Internet has gone up to 45% from 43% in 2012. This is a clear indication that more and more people prefer communicating over the phone rather than using the traditional media.

Domestic News

Samsung launches ‘Stay New’ ownership plan

As part of its continued commitment towards offering superior consumer experience, Samsung Mobiles, the market leader in the smartphone segment in Indiatoday announced the ‘Stay New’ ownership planon its flagship Galaxy devices. ‘Stay New’ empowers the customer to own a Galaxy smartphone of choice and upgrade the same in future.

Speaking about the new initiative, Vineet Taneja, Country Head, Samsung Mobiles & IT said, “The launch of the ‘Stay New’ plan reasserts Samsung’s commitment to make premium Samsung smartphone experience more accessible and affordable. The new plan is in line with our philosophy of bringing the exciting world of smartphones to Indian customers. We are targeting a significant number of new users joining the Samsung family with this category leadinginitiative. This not only offers a 18-month EMI programme but also an Easy Buy Back, which will help users upgrade to newer models as Samsung continues to innovate and bring latest technology. ”

The smartphones covered under the Stay New platform are Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Note 2, Samsung S4, Samsung S4 Mini, Samsung S3, Galaxy Tab 3 and Galaxy Tab 10.1. Customers can buy any of these smartphonesthroughparticipating banks’ credit card and availthe Samsung’s easy 18- month EMI scheme, at applicable interest rates.  Under this program, one can get the popular Galaxy S4 for as less as Rs. 2,466/- per month or an S4 Mini for less than Rs. 1500/- per month. Furthermore, users can also upgrade to the latest Samsung Galaxy devices after six months by using the EasyBuyBack service. The Stay New plan will be rolled out in stores across the country from January 1st until March 31st, 2014, or until stocks last.

Vodafone in talks with Tata Group to buy stake in Tata Teleservices

Vodafone is reportedly in  talks with the Tata Group to buy its controlling stake in Tata Teleservices for India's largest telco by subscribers

If the Japanese company refuses to buy out the Tatas, the Indian partner has right to exercise its 'drag along' rights.

According to the shareholders agreement between Tata Sons and NTT DoCoMo, if certain conditions are not met by March 31, 2014, and the Japanese partner decides to exit, Tata Sons is obligated to find a buyer, media report said.

Aircel chooses ZTE for deployment of 4G LTE Network

ZTE India, a leading global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Aircel, a leading telecom service provider, to deploy its 4G LTE network in India. This will boost Enterprise and Retail business for Aircel.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Xu Dejun, CEO, ZTE India said, “We are happy to partner with Aircel to rollout their 4G LTE network in India. We are fully committed to plan, design, supply and deploy state of the art LTE ecosystem which will help Aircel offer unprecedented experience to their customers. With this alliance, we have strongly established ourselves as the partner of choice for the telecom operators in the country; to develop and maintain their LTE ecosystem and also contributed to our long term vision of developing sustainable LTE in India. In the initial phase of our rollout, we aim to offer our customers some of the highest data speeds in the country – in excess of 65 Mbps”
 
In the first stage, the LTE deployment will be initiated in Chennai, Rest of Tamil Nadu (RoTN) and few other business critical circles.

Tata Comm recognised as having “strongest current offerings” for Ethernet WAN

Tata Communications, a leading provider of A New World of Communications, announces that Forrester Research, Inc., an independent research and advisory firm, has identified the company as a Leader in its 2013 report titled The Forrester Wave: Asia Pacific Carrier Ethernet Services, Q4 2013. The report cites Tata Communications as having “the strongest current offerings for carrier Ethernet WAN service portfolio, providing high portfolio quality, traffic prioritisation, and granular bandwidth options.”

The aim of the Forrester Wave research is to help enterprise sourcing professionals select ‘a suitable partner for their needs for unmanaged site-to-site carrier Ethernet services in Asia’. The report also highlights that ‘Tata Communications is best suited for distributed firms that want very granular Carrier Ethernet access speeds with gradated classes of service, combined with very clear SLA [metrics] and service pricing’. In addition, the report noted, ‘Tata Communications’ sales and sales support as having a good market strategy, enabling customers to obtain customised services designed by local sales engineers’.

Genius Wong, Senior Vice President, Global Network Services, Tata Communications, says, “We are very proud to be positioned as a Leader for Carrier Ethernet services in Asia Pacific by Forrester. We believe that it is a testament to our commitment to provide exceptional services to our customers by offering dedicated, high performance Ethernet which spans the globe. Our Ethernet WAN service portfolio allows us to offer customised service options with access to a highly reliable and protected network, all ensured by comprehensive service-level guarantees.”

DoT extends dates for auction of spectrum in 1800 MHz bands

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has extended the dates related to the auction of spectrum in 1800MHz and 900MHz bands. Now, the Auction will start on 3rd February 2014 instead of 23rd January 2014.

The Department had issued an NIA (Notice Inviting Applications) on the 12th of this month in which it was specifically mentioned that any changes in the Auction Timelines will be communicated through the DoT website and the participants have been requested to monitor the DoT website actively.

Total Spectrum put to Auction is 46 MHz in 900 MHz band and 403.2 MHz in 1800 MHz band.

Viom Networks plans overseas listing

Telecom tower company Viom Networks Ltd is planning to mop up around Rs 2,000 crore from abroad, according to reports.Sunil Kanoria, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Viom Networks reported that the company has begun to work on a probable foreign listing since December.

"The US, the UK and Singapore are the preferred exchanges. It will take another six months for us to get things in order,” Sunil Kanoria said.

The Union Government allowed unlisted Indian companies to directly list in overseas markets without prior or simultaneous listing in India.
 
International News

Atom Mobiles unveils three new Smartphone’s models

Atom Mobiles announced the launch of three new Smartphone’s models – ATOM Supremus, ATOM Ultimus and ATOM Maximus.  Created with the vision of providing “never before experienced quality standards” to every customer, Atom Mobile enters the Indian smartphone market to evolve intelligently and realistically in the current scenario of smart gadgets. The company aims to bring in premium products at a wallet-friendly price along with highest level of thought and craftsmanship in every Atom product.

Key phone components like Screen, Camera, and Processor are manufactured by world’s leading smartphone component manufacturers, who are global leaders in their respective component categories. All the three handsets are equipped with the latest 1.5 GHz MediaTek processor model MTK-6589T and they all operate on Android Jelly Bean operating system, v4.2.1.

NSR, TVS Interconnect plans to sell stake in Ascend Telecom

Private equity fund New Silk Route and TVS Interconnect Systems are planning to sell their stakes in Ascend Telecom, says media reports.

Ascend is in talks to various investment bankers and will  appoint one or two of them to scout for buyers.

New Silk Route (NSR) owns 73% stake in the company while the rest is held by the TVS Group company.

 



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