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 Post subject: Indian Telecom Folder
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2007 19:09 
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PostPosted: 22 Nov 2007 16:06 
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BSNL Plans $750M WiMax Splash

NOVEMBER 20, 2007

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) plans to splash out $750 million on WiMax networks to cover one sixth of India's 1 billion-plus population, and has already issued the first tender for WiMax equipment.


The move marks BSNL's first big WiMax deployment -- though not as big as some believe, according to the carrier. While some media reports estimate the equipment contract to be worth $1 billion, BSNL tells Unstrung the planned WiMax expenditure is closer to $750 million.

BSNL will actually issue two WiMax tenders. The first one, issued last week, focuses on covering small towns and rural areas. BSNL says it wants about 1,000 mobile WiMax base stations, based on 802.16e technology, and 100,000 pieces of customer premises equipment. The project will be mostly funded by the government's universal service obligation (USO) fund for broadband access. (See BSNL Wants GEPON, WiMax Gear and Convergence India: In Pictures.)

The second tender will cover certain large cities, "where broadband demand is high," and will be issued in the next two or three months, according to BSNL.

According to the The Economic Times, BSNL plans to cover 25,000 villages, provide broadband access to 40,000 primary and secondary schools, and set up 50,000 WiMax kiosks.


But some reckon the spoils for vendors will be a lot less than $750 million. Protip Ghose, VP of sales and marketing for Indian WiMax vendor Telsima Corp. , believes the tender will be worth $300 million at the most. (See WiMax Startup Telsima Pockets $50M.)

He adds that BSNL is trailing some of its rivals. "There are much bigger WiMax deployments happening in India," says Telsima's Ghose. "By the time BSNL offers the tender and starts its service, other operators will be offering services in just about every city."

Telsima, which supplies WiMax gear to Reliance Communications Ltd. and Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (VSNL) (NYSE: VSL - message board), says it expects a "big bang" for WiMax services in India in the near future. Operators have been quiet about their WiMax plans, because they prefer to build out the network first, then have a "massive country-wide" launch, says Ghose. (See Telsima Boasts WiMax Deals.)

Regardless of the actual value of the contract, BSNL's tender is sure to generate huge interest from vendors including Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU - message board), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT - message board), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT - message board), Nokia Siemens Networks , Aperto Networks Inc. , Alvarion Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR - message board), and Telsima.

The first tender for rural broadband coverage has gotten off to a shaky start, though. It has been postponed for about three weeks, because the government has not yet issued the spectrum or the policy for broadband wireless access. The policy, at least, is expected in the next month.

BSNL says it has been assured of getting at least 20 MHz of spectrum at the 2.5 GHz frequency band and expects the 2.5 GHz licenses to be issued in the next two to three months. (See India on Edge Over 3G.)

BSNL has already dipped its toe in the WiMax water with a small deployment of about 10 Aperto base stations to serve business customers in 10 cities. (See BSNL Deploys Aperto.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung


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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2007 09:35 
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Ambani fires fresh salvo against GSM operators

[quote]Thomas K. Thomas
Monday, 26 November , 2007, 07:49
Last Updated: Monday, 26 November , 2007, 09:18


New Delhi: Firing a fresh salvo against GSM operators, Reliance Communication’s Chairman, Anil Ambani, has shot off another letter to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, saying that existing operators were not entitled to more than 6.2 MHz spectrum.

• Spectrum war hots up

In a nine-page letter, Ambani said that GSM operators who were demanding additional spectrum had in fact acquired over 52 million subscribers without any allocation of fresh radio waves while constantly representing to DoT that they did not have adequate frequency for growth.

“If there was no spectrum, how did they add this huge subscriber base, equivalent to more than 25 per cent of their current total subscriber base?â€


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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2007 19:54 
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Vanu comes to India for push to 4G .

Taking research results from his PhD work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to fuel his own start-up eight years ago, Dr Vanu Bose helped create the mobile phone industry’s first solution that allows operators to switch from one standard — GSM — to the other — CDMA — swiftly, seamlessly, via software.

To take the offerings from the Cambridge (Mass.) US-based Vanu Inc, to the next level – that is 3G and 4G, he has turned to the land of his roots.

On Thursday, Dr Bose was in Bangalore to announce the setting up of an R&D centre in the city to address next-generation waveforms and technologies for wireless – from 4th generation cellular to WiMax broadband.

In a special briefing for Business Line on the sidelines of the official announcement, Dr Bose — son of Dr Amar Bose of Bose acoustics fame — explained why telecom operators worldwide would sooner or later have to cater to all competing standards – or fall by the way side.

“The ability to switch without hardware change, from CDMA to GSM or vice versa would be of great help to operators in India who are aspiring for spectrum in both technologies,â€


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2007 23:01 
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Vodafone, Bharti, Idea agree to Indian tower deal
Sat Dec 8, 2007

LONDON, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Mobile services firms Vodafone, Bharti and Idea Cellular have formed an independent company to share 70,000 tower units in India, to help operators save costs and capital.

Vodafone said in a statement on Saturday the new company, Indus Towers, will prove passive infrastructure services to all operators on a non-discriminatory basis.

The companies will merge existing assets, leaving Vodafone Essar and Bharti each owning 42 percent of the new company and Idea owning the remaining 16 percent.

"Indus Towers will enable optimisation of future tower rollout and enhanced operational efficiency leading to opex (operational expenses) and capex (capital expenses) savings for its customers," it said in a statement.

Indian customers will benefit from improved network reach and quality, more choice and greater access to mobile services across the country.

Telecoms operators in India, the world's fastest-growing mobile market, are looking to share infrastructure to keep costs down amid fierce competition and a surge in low-income subscribers from rural areas.

India added 8.1 million wireless users in October, taking the subscriber base to over 217 million. Over 52 million wireless users were added between April and October.


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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2007 19:52 
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GSM user base up by 5.8 mn in November.

Reliance Comm adds 1.6 mln users in Nov.


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PostPosted: 19 Dec 2007 19:37 
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Now, Sam Pitroda's Vavasi wants spectrum in 1800 MHz band.

After successful trial runs and having proved that the telecom services in the ‘guard band of the 1800 MHz’ does not interfere with the operations of existing GSM and CDMA players in the country, Vavasi Telegence, chaired by telecom consultant Sam Pitroda, has now sought that the Department of Telecom (DoT) allot it radio frequencies for launch of commercial operations.

Vavasi is of the of the view that its application should not be caught in the ongoing tussle for radio frequencies between service providers GSM and CDMA players, since it has applied for spectrum in the ‘guard band of the 1800 MHz frequency’, which is currently not used by any of the existing telecom players in India.

The company’s MD Farid Arifuddin told ET that Vavasi has lined up $6 billion in investments for a 100 million lines mobile network in the country. Vavasi has also tied up with handset vendors for mobile phones that can support this technological platform. The handset prices range from $20 to $700, Mr Arifuddin said.

“We have submitted results of the trial runs (done in MP) to the DoT, which have proved that mobile services in this frequency do not interfere with GSM and CDMA services. Vavasi, already runs a network in this frequency in Mongolia, with about 50,000 customers, and we are currently in the process of scaling this up to 250,000 lines. We hope to complete the process by June, 08,â€


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PostPosted: 20 Dec 2007 21:13 
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Bharti Telesoft acquires Jataayu
Bangalore, DHNS:
Quote:
For Bharti Telesoft, the acquisition is a part of the company’s growth strategy, which is focused on strengthening its service offerings in new and existing markets.

With the acquisition, Bharti Telesoft reinforces its position as a world leader in the integrated VAS space. Jataayu’s wholly owned subsidiary in the USA and offices in the UK, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea will be added to Bharti Telesoft’s existing operations across Africa, the Middle East and AsiaPac regions.

Global presence
Bharti Telesoft will now have a presence in 14 countries worldwide, further consolidating its position as the leading Indian mobile VAS company in terms of global presence, revenues and employee base.

Jataayu’s current management team will continue to work within the combined company and contribute to its success, and Jataayu Managing Director Mahesh Jain will continue in an advisory role for the coming year.
There will be no changes to Bharti Telesoft’s Board of Directors.


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PostPosted: 20 Dec 2007 21:16 
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GSM players unite to challenge spectrum allocation
Thursday, December 20, 2007 18:25 [IST]
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New Delhi: Taking the government head on, four GSM mobile operators -- Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Spice -- have decided to 'unitedly' approach the Delhi High Court against telecom tribunal TDSAT's interim order not to stay the spectrum allocation process.

"The Department of Telecom (DoT) decision is an attempt to pass off second and new GSM license to CDMA operators in the garb of dual technology allocation," GSM lobby Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said in a statement.

COAI said it has decided to approach the High Court, as TDSAT has not given any justification for its interim order not to stay the spectrum allocation process.

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), on December 12, had refused to stay the issuance of new licenses to those who had applied as of September 25.

Appearing on behalf of the government, Solicitor General G E Vahanvati had said before TDSAT that the government would go ahead with the allotment of start-up spectrum to the new players. He also said that Tata Teleservices' application for use of cross-over technology would be considered favourably.

On COAI's plea to stay the process of issuing new licenses, TDSAT Chairman Arun Kumar had said, "This is a matter of public policy. I would not decide, let the government decide on it."

According to COAI, the TDSAT order would allow the government to proceed with the allocation of GSM spectrum to CDMA operators, creating irreversible third party rights and thus rendering entire petition of COAI infructuous.


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PostPosted: 02 Jan 2008 23:16 
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Mobile user base up 8 million in October 2007
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Over eight million mobile subscribers were added by the mobile operators in the month of October as against the addition of 7.80 million mobile users in Septmber taking the teledensity in the country to 22.52 per cent as opposed to 21.85 per cent in the month of Septmeber.

According to the latest update in the telecom subscriber figures released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the fixed line subscriber base decreased marginally to 39.41 million in October as against 39.58 in September.

For the month of October, the total number of both wireless and landline users stood at 256.55 million with 217.14 million mobile users while the rest being fixed-line users, Trai report said.

The total broadband subscribers also increased marginally to reach 2.69 million in October against 2.67 million at the end of September 2007.

Mobile user base up 8.3 million in November
Quote:
India added a record 8.3 million wireless users in November, taking the total subscriber base to 225.5 million, the telecoms regulator said.

In October, new wireless subscribers numbered 8.05 million.

Fixed-line user base continued to dwindle as more and more users shift to mobile phones. In November, the total user base fell to 39.31 million, from 39.41 million in October.

India, which added 60.35 million new wireless users in April-November, is the world's fastest growing mobile services market.

India cellphone base to cross US in Q1 2008
Quote:
In data released on Monday, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said the country’s mobile phone subscribers crossed 225 million at the end of November.

According to COAI officials, United States had 250 million subscribers at the same time, up from 248 million in August, as a market near saturation moved slowly.

Compared with that India is adding about 8 million wireless subscribers every month. At the current run rate, in about four months from November, India’s mobile phone penetration would be matching that of the US.


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PostPosted: 03 Jan 2008 00:09 
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Spice Mobile plans low-end price war.


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2008 05:29 
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Your SMSes may soon be free

Quote:
HYDERABAD: Here's some good news: Those numerous SMSes that you paid for may well become free in future. No, it isn't because the mobile service providers have had an attack of altruism, but rather a new technology allows advertisements to be tagged along SMSes and, hence, the advertisers are willing to pick up the tab.

Everyday about 5.5 crore SMSes are estimated to be moving across the network in the country. And by 2010, it is expected to go beyond 18,000 crore per annum, allowing advertisers to reach a huge audience.

"Every message is personal to the user and he pays great attention while reading it. This presents advertisers an opportunity to send across their message too," an industry source said.

Mobile service providers are also game for free SMSes and see in it a means to make a kill - they could charge advertisers higher for SMSes. Moreover, free SMSes would make users send more messages.

"We are evaluating various options for free SMS. While mobile advertisement potential is huge, it depends on right content and relevance. Else, subscribers may not take to the service even if it is free," Reliance Communications spokesperson Krishna Durbha said.

Another industry source who heads the value-added services segment, however, said: "There are still some gaps in the technology. For instance, while appending the advertisement to a message there is a chance of the message being tampered. This is a typical security flaw if the technology provider is not competent. It might take some time to sort this out."

Several technology companies, including a few from the city, are working on helping the advertisers tap this area.

"The nascent free SMS service segment would see a huge growth in the next couple of years as advertisers are increasingly shifting from online to mobile space," SMS Country Networks CEO Satyam Yerramsetti said.
In the free SMS model, the original message would come in the existing format but it would have an advertisement at the end. The technology companies are already in talks with mobile service providers for working out the model for sending messages and revenue sharing.

In the free SMS model, once the message is sent, it would go to the service provider's server first and then to the content aggregator's server for tagging on the advertisement. Then it would be sent to the receiver.
The technology companies would monitor the advertisement tags using specially-designed softwares and the advertisers would be charged based on the number of sponsored messages.

According to another technopreneur, Vebtel MD Kusumba S, mobile-to-mobile free SMSes could become a reality soon as declining average revenue per user (ARPU) in voice mode and increasing competition are forcing telecom players to look at value-added services like SMS.
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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2008 20:13 
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GSM service providers add 5.72 million new users in December.


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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2008 20:32 
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Bharti has been offering 8 Mbps broadband (at least in Chennai) since last month.


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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2008 20:40 
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bart wrote:
Bharti has been offering 8 Mbps broadband (at least in Chennai) since last month.

BSNL already offers 8 Mbps Broadband service under the business plan.


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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2008 21:07 
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Rudranathh wrote:
bart wrote:
Bharti has been offering 8 Mbps broadband (at least in Chennai) since last month.

BSNL already offers 8 Mbps Broadband service under the business plan.


This is to home users starts at 1500 pm, has a data limit of 4 GB free download for the above plan.


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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2008 21:24 
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bart wrote:
Rudranathh wrote:
bart wrote:
Bharti has been offering 8 Mbps broadband (at least in Chennai) since last month.

BSNL already offers 8 Mbps Broadband service under the business plan.

This is to home users starts at 1500 pm, has a data limit of 4 GB free download for the above plan.

Are Airtel's data speeds reliable? My friend always had problem with airtel and switched over bsnl. The speed that airtel advertizes in their plans somehow dont seem to materalise when you get their connection.

Bsnl offers 256 kbps/Upto 8 Mbps at 2000pm with free download limit of 12 GB, after that additional usage charges/MB 0.70ps.


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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2008 01:32 
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Rudranathh wrote:
bart wrote:
Rudranathh wrote:
bart wrote:
Bharti has been offering 8 Mbps broadband (at least in Chennai) since last month.

BSNL already offers 8 Mbps Broadband service under the business plan.

This is to home users starts at 1500 pm, has a data limit of 4 GB free download for the above plan.

Are Airtel's data speeds reliable? My friend always had problem with airtel and switched over bsnl. The speed that airtel advertizes in their plans somehow dont seem to materalise when you get their connection.

Bsnl offers 256 kbps/Upto 8 Mbps at 2000pm with free download limit of 12 GB, after that additional usage charges/MB 0.70ps.


In Chennai I have found Airtel to be very reliable, and their service and support is in a different league. The line is pretty stable as they use proper infrastructure, and though I have no idea about other plans, I have a 256 k unlimited plan and am a heavy downloader and I have always got the full bandwidth committed.


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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2008 02:30 
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DoT issues 9 LoIs, gets over Rs 6,500 crore as licence fee.

Amid tight security and an altercation with HFCL chief Mahendra Nahata at Sanchar Bhawan, headquarters of the Department of Telecom (DoT), nine companies among 45 applicants were offered letters of intent (LoIs) for unified access service licences (UASL).

Within hours, a number of these companies paid the required fees and were allotted licences, but not the spectrum, the radio frequencies that enable wireless communications.

Among them were BK Modi’s Spice (which received only four licences though it had applied for 20), Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices, Swan Telecom, STel, Datacom, Shippingstop.com, Unitech and Shyam Telelink.

Around eight of these companies paid the required licence fees and bank guarantees by late evening. By some estimates, the government received around Rs 6,500 crore from non-refundable licence fees alone from some of these companies (they have a 15-day payment limit).

All companies have also deposited substantial financial and performance bank guarantees with DoT.

They will now queue up for yet another newly introduced licence — the Wireless Operating Licence — which will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability of spectrum.

By adding over four additional GSM players in each circle, the government has introduced more competition in the mobile space, and consumers can expect a dramatic fall in tariffs once these operators start their services.

In a related development today, the government also issued a letter of intent to Tata Teleservices in 20 circles to operate GSM-technology services under the crossover technology policy.

With this, the Tatas join Reliance Communications which has already paid Rs 1,651 crore for GSM spectrum under this policy.

DoT has also cleared a file to provide spectrum to incumbent operators who have been waiting from December 2006. This includes Idea Cellular and Vodafone Essar amongst others.

The rush to pay licence fees, which led to a long queue and heated arguments, was a result of a clause that spectrum would be allotted on the basis of whoever pays the licence fee earlier.

Meanwhile, as many as five applicants — HFCL, Parsvnath, Allianz Infratech, Bycell Telecom and Selene Infrastructure — were rejected.

“We will wait for an official communication before deciding on the future course of action,â€


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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2008 20:39 
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RCOM's mega GSM order to account for 10% plus of 3-yr global output.


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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2008 23:14 
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BSNL plans $10 billion IPO
Quote:
India plans a $10 billion initial public offering of the nation's former telecommunications monopoly, betting the world's fastest-growing major wireless market will lure investors.

As much as 10 percent of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. may be sold in India and overseas, Finance Director S.D. Saxena told reporters in New Delhi today. Telecommunications Minister Andimuthu Raja said the government may sell part of its stake in an IPO that would quadruple India's current record.

Vodafone Group Plc overtook Bharat Sanchar as India's third-largest mobile phone operator in July as a lack of equipment stalled growth at the state-run carrier. The IPO would make Bharat Sanchar Asia's biggest wireless company by market value after China Mobile Ltd.

``The growth potential in India is huge,'' said Sumit Modi, telecom analyst at Emkay Share and Stock Brokers Ltd. ``The mobile penetration is just less than 20 percent.''

Vodafone took control of Hutchison Essar Ltd. in May for $10.7 billion to expand in a market where 874 million of the nation's 1.1 billion people don't own a mobile phone. Prospects for subscriber growth drove a 58 percent gain in Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Reliance Communications Ltd., India's two biggest wireless operators, last year on the Bombay Stock Exchange.


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PostPosted: 15 Jan 2008 20:58 
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New telecom players to ring in $5 bn bonanza.


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PostPosted: 24 Jan 2008 05:25 
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India adds 8.17 mln mobile users in Dec
Quote:
Indian mobile phone firms signed 8.17 million subscribers in December, taking the wireless subscriber base in the world's fastest-growing telecoms market to 233.63 million, data from the telecoms regulator showed.

That was slightly below the 8.32 million users added in November, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said in its monthly report released on Tuesday evening.

Wireless subscriber numbers surged 56 percent in 2007 from 149.62 million at the end of 2006, the report showed.

India's mobile firms have been signing about 8 million users each month since July, lured by call rates as low as 1 U.S. cent a minute and by cheap handsets.


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PostPosted: 24 Jan 2008 09:42 
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Amazing rates of phone penetration. at 8.17million / per month we are looking to add 100 million / year, India at this rate will have 500 million phones shortly. That is a huge market place, which is bound to have innovation and cost savings which in turn would bring more enterpreuners into the telecom space.


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PostPosted: 24 Jan 2008 17:30 
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Suraj wrote:


This will not happen, parasites are going on strike already. Chief union comrade Namboodri says BSNL is worth $1,000 billion (that too at conservative estimate, thanks very much) and should not be privatised!


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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2008 21:50 
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BSNL ties up with US firm SOMA for WiMax
January 26 2008

New Delhi, Jan 26: State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has chosen the US-based SOMA Networks to deploy the world's largest mobile WiMax network in India across the three of India's fastest-growing telecoms circles: Gujarat, Maharashtra and Goa, and Andhra Pradesh.

The project is on a private- public partnership model wherein SOMA will also invest in providing the technology to BSNL. The revenue will be shared between the two companies. The new network will provide wireless broadband coverage to nearly 200 million people over the next 3 years. The service is expected to be launched in the third quarter this year.

BSNL selected Soma Networks after extensive field trials in urban, suburban and rural areas. Based on the 802.16e-2005 standard, SOMA's mobile WiMAX solution provides extended range and supports high subscriber density per sector.


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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2008 11:42 
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Stop spectrum allocation to Reliance: COAI
Quote:
January 29 2008

New Delhi, Jan 29: The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has urged the Delhi High Court to not to allow the Government to allocate GSM technology to Reliance Communications till the case was pending before it.

Counsel for the COAI, Abhishek Manu Singhvi urged Justice Gita Mittal not to allow the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) to cross over spectrum from CDMA to GSM till the case was not solved. The petition is scheduled for hearing in the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appelite Tribunal(TDSAT) on February 12.

Solicitor General G E Vahanvati, appearing for the Central Government, had told the court earlier that it would take minimum three months to allocating spectrum to the eligible parties.

The COAI had accused Reliance Communications of crossing over of spectrum from CDMA to GSM technology whereas other members have been kept away from the spectrum deal.

Urging the Government to provide a level playing field to all the enterprises, Dr Singhvi cited many discrepencies in the manner Reliance was given the GSM technology.

''We are not opposed to the competition, but we challange the back door entry of Reliance'', he said.

Dr Singhvi said the government should ensure that no services should be launch for two months till TDSAT decides the case. This will prevent chaos and create investors confidence, he added.

COAI has challanged the new norms of Government set up by the official panel to review the recommendations made by the telecom engineering centre that oversee the radio frequencies in the country.

Senior Lawyer Harish Salve arguing on behalf of Reliance Communications today denied the charges of any foul play in allotment of additional spectrum to them. The matter will continue in the High Court on January 31.


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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2008 21:44 
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Middle East and Asia lose internet access after cable fails
Quote:
Huge swathes of the Middle East and Asia have been left without internet access after a vital undersea cable was damaged.

A fault in the pipeline, which runs between Sicily and Egypt, has dramatically reduced access in countries including Saudi Arabia, Dubai and India, leaving millions of workers struggling to get online.


It is not yet clear what is wrong with the undersea cable, but the effects are already being felt across the region. Reports from the Middle East suggest that most countries are almost completely without access to the internet, while authorities in Mumbai have said that more than half of India's bandwidth has been lost.

"There has been a 50 to 60% cut in bandwidth," Rajesh Charia, president of the Internet Service Providers' Association of India, told Reuters.


This has big implications ! :eek:


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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2008 22:32 
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relax its under kamandu control. I just did a traceroute from LA to pib.nic.in
and it goes LA->colorado->chicago->NYC wherein it enters a VSNL link and after couple hops lands in Delhi.

16 ix-1-0.core3.NQT-NewYork.teleglobe.net (64.86.5.2)
17 59.163.16.25.static.vsnl.net.in (59.163.16.25)
18 203.200.87.68 (203.200.87.68)
19 delhi-202.54.240.54.vsnl.net.in (202.54.240.54)

so JF17 bandar CAP is online...


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PostPosted: 03 Feb 2008 17:17 
Middle East Undersea Cable Cutting A Zionist-NeoCon
Covert Operation?
By Dr. Richard Sauder, PhD
2-2-8

In the Middle East in the last three days, there have been several undersea, international communications cables that have been cut. On Wednesday, 30 January 2008, two major, undersea communications cables were cut off the Egyptian coast, in the eastern Mediterranean. (1) The story has received prominent play in the international news cycle. Various explanations have been floated in the mainstream news media as to the cause - the most popular culprit being a "ship anchor". In any event, communications in the region have been severely disrupted, all the way from Egypt to India, and most points in between.

Then on Friday, 1 February 2008, an undersea cable in the Persian Gulf, running between Oman and Dubai, was also cut "causing severe phone line disruptions and compounding an already existing Internet outage across large parts of the Middle East and Asia" according to the International Herald Tribune. (2)

There was also a report on Friday, 1 February 2008, of yet another undersea, fiber optic communications cable between Suez and Sri Lanka that has been cut. The reporting is a bit confused; however, given that the Persian Gulf is geographically distant from the Suez, this appears to represent a fourth undersea cable that has been cut. (3)

So let's see if we can figure this story out. I will say up front that I am well and thoroughly skeptical of the "ship anchor" explanation that has been so prominently advanced in the mainstream news media. Yes, ships do sometimes drag their anchors and dragging anchors can cause damage, true enough. But to have three undersea cables -- or is it actually four cables? -- cut in the same region in just a two day span, strains credulity; the more so, when we look at how the damage has played out across the region.

Two countries in particular stand at conspicuously opposite ends of the continuum of communications disruption.

1. The website, internettrafficreport.com/asia.htm, reports that as of Friday, 1 February 2008, internet traffic routing through/from/to Iran has been cut to zero. Packet loss is 100%. (4)

2. Whereas CNN reported on Thursday, 31 January 2008, that internet traffic to Israel has been unaffected because Israel uses a "different route". The same CNN article also reports that Lebanon and Iraq have been "spared the chaos". (5)

So, the sudden, unprecedented round of undersea, communications cable cutting in the Middle East leaves Israel and Iraq still connected, while completely shutting down the Iranian internet.

Funny how that works, isn't it?

As it happens, the two actors in the international arena in recent years whose rhetoric has expressed the most animus for Iran are the United States and Israel. They have also been by far the most bellicose, Zionist-NeoCon propaganda notwithstanding. Israel and the United States have repeatedly committed military aggression against other countries in the region, and have made many thinly veiled threats of war against Iran. In this decade, the United States has militarily invaded and occupied first Afghanistan, then Iraq, where its forces remain, bogged down in bloody wars of attrition. In the same period, Israel has bombed Syria, bombed and invaded Lebanon, and placed the Palestinian territories under a merciless blockade/occupation/assault. Parallel with these international war crimes, the United States and Israel have repeatedly rattled their sabres against Iran.

Which brings the discussion back around to the instant spate of undersea, communications cable cutting in the region that has uniquely brought Iranian internet communications to a complete halt, while sparing Israel, which has a different internet route than any of the cut cables, and Iraq, where the American military occupation is bogged down.

As it happens, the U.S. Navy has for decades had special operations teams that go out on submarines and deploy undersea, on the seabed itself, specifically for cutting or tapping communications cables. The U.S. Navy divers go out through special airlocks and use very sophisticated equipment. This has all been thoroughly documented in the excellent book, Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew (New York: Public Affairs, 1998).


For the uninitiated it seems bizarre and unlikely, but the plain fact of the matter is that American military divers really go out onto the seabed from special submarines outfitted with airlocks and they actually cut undersea communications cables-- then patch in sophisticated surveillance equipment -- then they splice the cables back together. That is if the motive is espionage. If the purpose of the operation is garden variety sabotage, then simply cutting the cable suffices. It's like something out of a spy novel thriller, but the U.S. Navy really does have submarines and deep diving, special operations personnel who specialize in precisely this sort of operation. So cutting a few undersea cables in two or three days is well within the operational capabilities of the United States Navy.
Couple this little known, but very important fact, with the reality that for years now we have seen more and more ham-handed interference with the global communications grid by the American alphabet soup (NSA, CIA, FBI, HoSec) and major tel-comms. Would the tel-comms and the American military and alphabet soup agencies collude on an operation that had as its aim to sabotage the Iranian communications network, even if that entailed collateral damage to other countries in the region? The honest answer has to be: sure, maybe so. Who can really tell? I mean, after all, we are living in a bizarro world now, a world of big and bigger lies, a world of 24/7 propaganda, a world of irrational and violent policies enacted against the civilian population by multinational corporations and military and espionage agencies the world over. We see the evidence for this on every hand. Only the most myopic among us remain oblivious to these realities.

In light of the American Navy's demonstrated sea-floor capabilities and espionage activities, the heavy American Navy presence in the region, and the many veiled threats against Iran by both the Americans and the Israelis, suspicion naturally falls on them both. It may be that this is what the beginning of a war against Iran looks like. Or maybe we are merely seeing a dry run, a practice run, for a planned, upcoming war against Iran. The cables that have been cut are among the largest communication pipes in the region, and clearly represent major strategic targets.

Whatever the case, it is crystal clear that we are not looking at business as usual. On the contrary, we are looking at distinctly unusual business, that much is obvious.

The explanations being put forth in the mainstream news media for these several cut, undersea communications cables absolutely do not pass the smell test. And by the way, the same operators who cut undersea cables in the Persian Gulf, Mediterranean Sea and possibly the Suez as well, presumably can also cut underwater cables in the Gulf of Mexico or Great Lakes or ... you see my point. This could be a multipurpose operation, in part a test run for isolating a country from the international communications grid. Iran today, the USA tomorrow?

What's that you say? I don't understand how the world works? That kind of thing can't happen here?

In any event, if the cables have been intentionally cut, then that is an aggressive act of war. I'm sure the Iranians have gotten that message, and are actively making counter preparations against a possible imminent attack. I'm looking at the same telegram as they are, and I know I would be, were I in their shoes.


References

(1) http://www.reuters.com/article/internet ... 30?sp=true

(2) http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/02/ ... utages.php

(3) http://www.smartmoney.com/news/on/index ... 00320-0524

(4) http://www.internettrafficreport.com/asia.htm

(5) http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast ... ai.outage/

Richard Sauder lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. He can be contacted at dr_samizdat@yahoo.com


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PostPosted: 03 Feb 2008 17:19 
Quote:
From the pic below:

The optical fibers seem to be well-protected, I would think that the fishing trawler would capsize first before the cable would break ...

Cross-section of a submarine communications cable.

LAYERS:

1--Polyethylene
2--"Mylar" tape
3--Stranded metal (steel) wires
4--Aluminum water barrier
5--Polycarbonate
6--Copper or aluminum tube
7--Petroleum jelly
8--Optical fibers

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Subm ... _plain.svg


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2008 15:05 
Image
Most Impacted Countries


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2008 19:52 
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Joined: 15 Jan 2005 03:30
Posts: 2875
Telecom sector to see funds bonanza as Rs 1,00,000 crore spend is lined up by new players, incumbents.

India’s booming mobile services market will see investments of over Rs 100,000 crore (around $24 billion) by 2010, the fastest investment ramp-up seen in any telecom market globally even as analysts predict a bruising battle that will see tariffs fall sharply.

The investments include between Rs 48,000 crore and 60,000 crore ($12 billion to $15 billion) from six new telecom players (including Reliance and Tatas’ proposed GSM mobile services) over 12 to 24 months to create capacity for 250 million more mobile subscribers.

This fresh investment will be over and above the estimated Rs 48,000 crore ($12 billion) being put in by incumbents like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone-Essar, Idea Cellular, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices (the latter two for ramping up CDMA mobile operations) in 2008-09 alone.

The new entrants in GSM services, which account for the bulk of mobile telecom services in India, were offered letters of intent for licences by the Department of Telecommunications and have since paid the required upfront licence fees toegther with some incumbents.

All GSM players to be given 4.4 Mhz start-up spectrum initially.The companies are expected to be granted full-fledged licences sometime next week.

The funds will flow in the form of equity and borrowings doled out by lenders keen to grab a slice of one of the world’s fastest-growing mobile services markets.

The proposed investments are riding on predictions of a doubling of India’s subscriber base by 2010 from the current 240 million subscribers (on both GSM and CDMA networks) to 500 million.

Standard Chartered Bank has already forecast the Indian mobile services market size at over 600 million subscribers by 2012, implying a mobile in the hand of every second person in the country.

Tony Worthington, Standard Chartered Bank’s global head, telecoms, media and technology, told Business Standard that the aggressive forecast was based on the current growth pattern and the entry of new operators, which will lead to increased competition.

However, some incumbents said the market might not be big enough for so many new players — there are currently seven telecom companies offering pan-India services. This number will almost double once the new players enter the fray.

“I see tariffs falling another 20 per cent to 30 per cent. Only two of the new players are likely to survive and companies will have to wait for at least five years before they can make any money. At least 70 per cent of the market in 2012 will continue to be with the older players. The battle will be for the rest,â€


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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2008 21:40 
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Joined: 17 Nov 2007 20:06
Posts: 227
x-posted

Bharti to set up another high-capacity undersea optic cable
New Delhi, PTI:

Bharti Airtel, on Wednesday, said it will set up another high-capacity undersea cable, in association with eight global telecom players, by the end of next year. The new cable which will connect India to France through the Middle East.

A formal construction and maintenance agreement to build the high-capacity fibre-optic submarine cable was signed on Wednesday in Rome by all the firms.

The cable system — I-ME-WE (India, Middle East, Western Europe) — is the fifth in the series of similar cable systems, and is likely to be available for service by the end of 2009, a Bharti Airtel statement said here, adding that, the cable system is designed to provide 3.84 terabytes per second and covers a distance of almost 14,000 kms, extending from India to France

The nine global telecom companies that have come together to form the I-ME-WE consortium include Bharti Airtel (India), Etisalat (UAE), France Telecom (France), Ogero (Lebanon), PTCL (Pakistan), STC (Saudi Arabia), TE (Egypt), TIS Sparkle (Italy) and VSNL (India), the statement further added.


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PostPosted: 09 Feb 2008 06:34 
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Joined: 02 Nov 2005 14:57
Posts: 4915
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5itqI ... QD8UMAQ480

Quote:
Ovum analyst Matt Walker said undersea cable networks are highly vulnerable to deliberate attack and need enhanced security.

"If ports, railways, gas pipelines and other types of networks are being secured against possible sabotage, we must similarly increase the security of undersea optical highways," Walker said.


Wow, what if terrorists were to start targetting India's offshoring/BPO/IT industries by attacking these vulnerable telecom cables? They could really hit us where it hurts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 09 Feb 2008 19:09 
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Joined: 08 May 2007 17:04
Posts: 8400
Location: (IT-vity && DRDO) nagar
Quote:
Middle East Undersea Cable Cutting A Zionist-NeoCon
Covert Operation?

:shock: :-?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 11 Feb 2008 13:17 
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Joined: 10 Jan 2008 10:27
Posts: 1109
Five cables cut. All random-random ?

Image

Quote:
With several undersea fibre optical cables snipped under mysterious circumstances, the global IT security community is abuzz with conspiracy theories.

No one seems to know how the cables -- connecting North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia to Europe -- were clipped.

The Egyptian government dismissed initial reports a wayward ship anchor was responsible for the first two breaks. Curiously, they offered no alternative explanation of how the fibre optic connections were damaged.


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PostPosted: 11 Feb 2008 20:55 
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Joined: 15 Jan 2005 03:30
Posts: 2875
Mobile firms add 6.2 mn GSM users in Jan.


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PostPosted: 16 Feb 2008 18:13 
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Joined: 15 Jan 2005 03:30
Posts: 2875
India adds 83 mn mobile users in a year.

India's telecom story is shining. The country has become the fastest growing telecom market in the world, adding a staggering 83 million mobile subscribers over the last 12 months.

At this pace, India is all set to overtake US to become the world's second largest mobile market by May this year or just another three months.

Around February last year, India overtook Russia to become the third largest mobile market.

India's total mobile subscriber base now stands at 237 million in comparison with China's 534 million, US's 257 million and Russia's 172 million. At current growth rates, India will cross the 264 million mark by May, overtaking the US.

According to the latest data available from Informer Telecoms and Media, 83 million is the highest number of subscribers added to any mobile network in the world between February 2007 and January 2008.

China, which used to be the fastest growing till 2006, added just 76 million subscribers in the same period, showing signs of a mild but definite slowdown.

And this has been going on for while. India has not only taken the lead over China in terms of mobile growth for quite some time, the country has also been able to sustain the lead. This shows the stupendous growth an potential of the mobile industry.

The good news is that even with 263 million, India's mobile teledensity will still be a mere 24%, allowing tremendous room for growth. Since only 350 million of India's population lives in urban India, the next phase of growth is expected to come from the spread of wireless services to the rural heartland.

The US added a total of 20 million subscribers, pale even in comparison with Pakistan, which added 26 million subscribers, taking its total subscriber base to 79 million.

India added an average of 6.9 million subscribers per month in the period under review, China 6.3 million, US 1.6 million, Pakistan 2.1 million and Bangladesh 1.1 million.

The telecom sector's achievements come despite a policy turmoil centred around availability and pricing of spectrum, a resource needed for connectivity.

India is expected to have 450 million mobile subscribers by the turn of the decade, which means every third Indian will have his/her own mobile phone by 2010.

The country has been blazing the telecom trail since 2004, set to add more phones every month than it did in the first 45 years since Independence.


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PostPosted: 19 Feb 2008 19:17 
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Cell numbers may go from 10 digits to 11.

Your mobile phone number may not change immediately, but the countdown has begun. Eventually, mobile subscribers in India will have to deal with 11-digit numbers, a change from the current 10-digit numbers.

The issue is currently being debated between the government and the regulator. But, industry sources say that India can add another 250 million mobile subscribers without having to move to the 11-digit format. That should see us through till 2010. But if the rate of subscriber additions grows, all bets are off.

The mobile phone user base in the country as at the end of December, 2007 was 237 million. The average monthly growth in the wireless subscriber base is around eight million. With the growth trend continuing, there would be around 450 million mobile subscribers by the year 2010. Also, with many new telecom operators getting letters of intent (LoIs) to begin operations, competition is only intensifying.

To deliberate on how the new numbering plan must evolve, the Telecom Engineering Centre (which is the technical wing of the department of telecommunications) has called meetings with operators on Tuesday and Wednesday. While state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) will make their presentations to the TEC on Tuesday, the representative associations of private mobile operators (COAI and AUSPI) will give their inputs on the numbering plan on Wednesday.

It is believed that both the government and the industry are looking at a numbering framework that will cause minimum disturbance to existing mobile phone users. The most likely scenario at the time of transition from 10-digits to 11 will involve pre-fixing a number before the last five digits or suffixing a number at the end of the current number.
So how soon will the numbering format change? An industry representative said that it would depend on two factors. First, on how the existing mobile network codes (the first two digits in any mobile number) are utilised, and, second, on the creation of new codes. While 98, 99, 93, 94, 92 and 97 are the codes in use by mobile phone operators, the 91 code is vacant. The 96 code, which was meant for pagers, can be utilised for mobile phone services now.

In India, the first numbering plan was announced in 1993, when mobile telephony was yet to begin. In 2003, a fresh plan came about, but at that point no one knew that India would witness a growth rate of eight million mobile subscribers every month. As per international norms, every mobile phone number in the country should have a uniform number of digits. That is, if it is to be an 11-digit format, all mobile numbers (irrespective of whether the operator is new or old, big or small) will follow the same model.

India is not the only country where mobile numbers have had to be changed because of the growth story and new operators joining in. China and the UK are among others to have done it. The US is believed to have handled things much better because it follows an integrated numbering plan—for fixed and mobile phones.

While India’s total mobile subscriber base is at 237 million, China leads with 534 million followed by the US with 257 million. Russia is at 172 million.


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