Idea Cellular – Vodafone merger announcement soon?

Idea Cellular has put off the trimonthly meeting of its board of directors scheduled to take place tomorrow, raising speculation that it may soon announce a merger or deal with Vodafone India. The meeting was supposed to take on-board results  of the telecom operators’ working the three months from October to December. After the meeting, Idea was scheduled to release its quarterly financial results on Monday as well. Both have now been postponed indefinitely, and the new date is yet to be intimated. This has led to massive speculation that the…

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Airtel doubles 3G speed in Delhi with more spectrum

Bharti Airtel, India’s top telecom provider, introduced its second 3G carrier in Delhi, more than doubling the speed of the existing network for most smartphones. Not only has the company introduced a second ‘carrier’ (block of spectrum) adjacent to the first one, it has also implemented the technology to merge the two blocks into one, thus boosting download and upload speeds. The merging technology, called dual carrier HSPC or DC-HSPA, is already found in most smartphones and most 3G users will be able to take advantage of the superior speeds…

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Idea Cellular increases free data in unlimited scheme by 4 times

Idea Cellular today increased the free data allocation on its existing unlimited calling packs. Compared to 1 GB of 4G data that customers were getting with the Rs 348 pack, they will now get 4 GB. Similarly, the free data allocation for those who do not have 4G handsets has been increased from 50 MB to 3 GB per month — an increase of 60 times. “Prepaid customers can get 3GB free data on Rs 348 recharge pack, in addition to unlimited voice calling and SMS. Those who recharge with…

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Bharti Airtel to launch pan-India Payments Bank tomorrow

Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom company, will take a crucial step towards entering the financial services business as it launches its Payments Bank operation across India tomorrow. Payments Bank refers to a limited operations bank that can be primarily used for making transactions, and not for depositing money. The operator has already started operations of its payments bank in states like Rajasthan on a pilot basis. In such places, the customer’s Airtel mobile number will be his or her bank account number. It is also offering an interest rate of…

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SUPERHOUR: The SECRET behind Vodafone’s Rs 16 offer

It is no secret that India’s second biggest telecom operator by revenue — Vodafone — is under threat from a rapidly growing No 3 — Idea Cellular — and an aggressive newcomer — Reliance Jio. Though Idea is still behind the British firm when it comes to total revenue, Idea has already overtaken Vodafone as far as the data business is concerned, according to sources. Unlike Vodafone, Idea invested early, and heavily, into 4G. By the end of September — the latest month for which data is available — Idea…

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Bharti Airtel offers 3GB of 4G data free per month for one year, with conditions

Bharti Airtel, which has come up with various ‘free data’ schemes of late, has kicked off one more such scheme — offering 3 GB of free data per month for those availing certain handpicked recharge and billing schemes. For prepaid users, the free data is available if they recharge Rs 345 per month. The Rs 345 recharge also gives free unlimited voice calls to any network, as well as 1 GB of 4G data, taking the total to 4 GB. Similarly, pospaid users have to go for any of Airtel’s…

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TRAI wants FREE DATA for everyone, without ‘gatekeeping’ by telcos

India’s telecom regulator has suggested that every rural citizen should be given 100 MB or so per month on a free basis to help the spread of digital revolution in the country. It has also suggested allowing ‘third party aggregators’ like Facebook to offer free data, but only if they can keep telecom companies totally out of such efforts. Both suggestions are aimed at ensuring that non-telecom companies who want to offer free data can do so, while preventing telecom operators from acting as gate keepers who decide what their…

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Bharti Airtel completes pan-India 4G with Assam; offers 10 GB for Rs 249

Bharti Airtel launche its 4G services in Assam, starting with Dibrugarh and Tinsukia. “With this, customers in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia can now enjoy high speed mobile broadband on Airtel 4G and get on to the digital superhighway to enjoy uninterrupted HD video streaming, superfast uploading and downloading of movies, music and images,” the company said. The company said it was introducing a new 4G offer for prepaid customers with 10 GB 4G data for just Rs 249 with any new 4G handset. “With Rs 249 recharge, 1 GB data will…

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Bharti Airtel boosts talk-time on recharges by up to 30%

Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom company, has started giving ‘more than full’ talktime on easy recharges that can be done from any vendor. The lowest such denomination of Rs 200, which will now give Rs 220 in terms of talk time, according to dealers. Earlier, a recharge of Rs 200 would have given a talktime of only about Rs 170. With the move, for someone recharging Rs 200, they get an incremental 30% talk time. Similarly, someone recharging with Rs 1000 would have got only Rs 1000 in talk time….

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CRASH: Bharti Airtel offers 6 GB at Rs 147 per month

Hit by competition from Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom company, is offering a whopping 6 GB of 4G data for Rs 147 with a validity of 28 days. The offer is being rolled out only to prepaid users, and can be seen only in the ‘only for you’ deals section of Airtel’s recharge app or website. As it is a targeted offer, it may not be available to new customers. The regular price of the 6 GB pack is in the range of Rs 800 per month, and…

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Tata DoCoMo cuts 3G price to Rs 40/GB under unlimited call plan

Following its Rs 300 plan to give 2 GB of data and unlimited calls to any network in India, Tata DoCoMo has now unveiled a new plan that adds 3 GB more at an extra cost of Rs 50. The pack offers five times as much data for Rs 350 as is given by competitors like Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular. The new plan, currently being tested via an invite system, entitles subscribers to use a total of 5 GB of 2G or 3G data and unlimited free voice calls…

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Tata DoCoMo offers 2GB data + Unlimited Calls for Rs 298 per month

After Aircel, it is the turn of Tata DoCoMo, the telecom arm of the Tata Group, to jump on to the unlimited call bandwagon started by Reliance Jio. With nearly every player having already launched such plans, Tata DoCoMo too has started testing a ‘free call’ plan among select customers. It is offering 2 GB of 2G and 3G data along with unlimited local and national calls for Rs 298 per month. The offer is currently available by invite only, and is expected to be rolled out more widely soon….

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Aircel makes CALLS, DATA FREE at Rs 249 per month

Aircel today started offering unlimited calls to any number in the country under two special recharge plans — Rs 12 for one day and Rs 249 for 28 days. RC12 offers customers with Unlimited Local and STD calling across all networks with a validity of one day. Unlike earlier packs, the calls are not restricted to other Aircel users. However, it remains to be seen how successful the new strategy is, given that its partner Reliance Communications, is already giving unlimited calls to any network at Rs 149 per month….

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Airtel halves 4G data price to Rs 495/10GB; offers freebies to take on Reliance Jio

Over the last two days, Bharti Airtel has quietly slashed its 4G pack prices to unprecedented levels in reaction to upcoming plans from Reliance Jio. According to the new data plans available to anyone who recharges using Airtel’s online or app facility, the price of 10 GB of 4G data pack has been brought down from Rs 999 to Rs 495. Similarly, the 6 GB plan now costs Rs 260-265 compared to Rs 700 a month ago. These price changes are applicable only for 4G handsets and usage, and not…

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Bharti Airtel offers unlimited calls at around Rs 200 per month to counter Jio

Days after Reliance Communications unveiled a plan that offers unlimited calls at Rs 150 per month, India’s biggest telecom operator has come up with something very similar to take on both RCom, Reliance Jio and an upcoming plan from BSNL. Bharti Airtel has announced two new plans — one that offers unlimited Airtel to Airtel calls at Rs 148 per month and another which offers 1 GB of 4G data and unlimited calls to any network at Rs 345. Given that the cost of 1 GB of 4G data is…

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LIVE COVERAGE: MUKESH AMBANI speech on RELIANCE JIO welcome offer

Starting at 1:30 PM today, Mukesh Ambani will give a speech on the future plans of Reliance Jio at which he’s widely expected to unveil new tariff plans for the 4G operator. The new plans will come in the context of the successful resolution of the interconnect dispute between the operator and its incumbent rivals such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular. We will give be a live video and textual coverage of the event, with updates starting at around 11 am today. POST-CONFLICT PLANS The three incumbent telecom…

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Jio has five times as many 4G subscribers as Airtel — report

Reliance Jio has crossed the 5 cr subscriber mark, which gives it a market share of around 10% among cellphone users in the country. Though India has a total of around 80 cr subscribers on paper, due to multiple and dormant connections, the actual cellphone users is estimated to be around the 50 cr or 500 mln mark. PTI reported that Jio has cross the 50 mln 4G subscribers in India, which is several times higher than the total number of 4G subscribers with Airtel, or Idea Cellular or Vodafone….

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Airtel starts Payments Bank; offers 7.25% interest on savings ac

Airtel Payments Bank, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Limited, today said that it has rolled out a pilot of its banking services in Rajasthan. The pilot is aimed at testing systems and processes ahead of a full scale pan Indian launch. With this, Airtel Bank has become the first payments bank in the country to go live. Payments banks are similar to regular banks, except that they are to be used for making transactions only and not for giving loans etc.. The customer’s Airtel mobile number will be his or…

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MEGA DISRUPTION: RCom makes all VOICE calls FREE at 149 per month

In what can only be called a highly disruptive move, Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications has made all voice calls in India free for those who recharge with a coupon of Rs 149 per month. The impact of the move will be greater than that of Reliance Jio’s similar tariff, as this tariff is valid on 2G, 3G and 4G calls. “RCOM’s revolutionary Unlimited Plan is set to change the dynamics of mobile recharges in India, as customers move away from the traditional Revenue Per Minute tariff model to a service…

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Reliance Jio WELCOME OFFER will NOT be EXTENDED to March

Reliance Jio’s free Welcome Offer will not be extended beyond Dec 31, despite widespread media reports saying that it will be. “There is practically zero chance of it getting extended,” said a marketing official working for the company in Kerala. “If there were to be any such thing, we would have got to know by now.” In addition, there are reports of flyers and brochures that are to be used to introduce existing and new users to Jio’s plans. The brochures mention that the tariffs are applicable from Jan 1, 2017. If…

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