Airtel To Bring Baahubali 2 To Its Customers, Launches Baahubali Branded SIM


Bharti Airtel today said it has partnered with the makers of Baahubali 2, the sequel of India’s highest grossing mythological movies, to roll out special products for the fans of the movie ass well as for Airtel customers.

A range of Airtel ‘Baahubali 2’ products were unveiled by the upcoming film’s star cast today to add to the excitement around the arrival of the one of the most anticipated films in the country.

Not only that, for Baahubali fans Airtel has launched a special ‘Baahubali-2’ 4G SIM with free 4G data benefits to enable customers to experience the epic drama. In addition, the company launched special ‘Baahubali -2’ 4G recharge packs that offer great value to customers.

The partnership also enables customers to access content like the making of the film and a host of such other videos from the film on Airtel Movies. Besides, Airtel’s Wynk Music app will have the star cast of ‘Baahubali -2’ as ‘Guest Editors’ on the app and users can enjoy specially curated Playlists.

“As India’s largest and fastest mobile network, Airtel is thrilled to partner with ‘Baahubali 2’ to deliver an exciting experience to our customers. We invite Baahubali fans to get up close with the epic on their smartphones with Airtel and enjoy great content backed by a superior mobile broadband experience,” said Raj Pudipeddi, Director – Consumer Business & Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel.

Shobu Yarlagadda, CEO – Arka Mediaworks said, “We are excited about the partnership as it makes brand Baahubali more accessible to our audience. Currently Baahubali has expanded into a big franchise that includes comic books, novels, animated TV series, mobile game and a first of its kind virtual reality experience. Through this partnership with Airtel, we will expand our ability to provide the Baahubali phenomena and entertainment on-the-go, anywhere, and anytime to our audience.”

In addition to these, Airtel will introduce an online engagement program across various digital platforms to bring the exciting world of Baahubali closer to its consumers. An outdoor campaign will also be live soon making the movie and Airtel 4G come alive across customer touch points in the country.

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Jio’s 4G Network Most Available, Airtel’s Least : OpenSignal


OpenSignal that said Airtel has the fastest data network, has also said that Reliance Jio has the maximum 4G signal availability in the country. 4G signal availability defines the amount of time the network is available on the user’s access device.

According to OpenSignal, a third party global data and signal tester, 4G signal on Reliance Jio network is available 91.6% of time, the highest, whereas Airtel’s 4G network is available on 54.72% of time, the least.

“Jio may have only launched LTE in September, but its 4G service appears astonishingly pervasive. Our testers on Jio’s network were able to find a 4G signal 91.6% of the time, an exceptional availability measurement by any global standard,” said OpenSignal in a statement.

“In comparison, no other Indian operator scored higher than 60% in our availability tests,” it further added.

Idea Cellular is placed in the second position with its signals available 59.5% of time whereas Vodafone is placed next with 59.05% of time.

Heaping praise on the newest 4G operator, OpenSignal said Jio’s network is of global standards and at in some metrics better than some of them.

“That availability score isn’t just impressive for India — more than 30 percentage points ahead of Jio’s rivals — but it’s an exceptional score on the global level. Only a handful of operators have crossed the 90% availability threshold, showing that Jio has lived up to its promises to build a far-reaching 4G service in a relatively short amount of time,” it said.

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Airtel Has Fastest 4G Data Speed, Jio Slowest : OpenSignal


Putting the data speed controversy to rest, global signal and data speed testing platform, OpenSignal has said Airtel has the fastest data speed network with average 4G data speed of 11.5 Mbps.

In contrast Reliance Jio’s 4G data speed was recorded at 3.6 Mbps. In fact Airtel’s 4G data speed was 3 Mbps faster than its nearest rivals Vodafone and Idea. Jio was placed at a distant fourth position.

“Airtel didn’t just win our 4G speed award, it wound up on top of our 3G and overall rankings as well. We measured Airtel’s average LTE download speed at 11.5 Mbps, which was 3 Mbps faster than the results we measured on its nearest rivals Vodafone and and Idea.

Not only that, country’s largest operator also wins Opensignal’s overall top ranking that included Airtel’s 3G speed and coverage as well.

In terms of 3G, Airtel has th ehighest data rate, at around 5 Mbps where as Vodafone is placed at second position at 4.4 Mbps. State run operator BSNL is placed at third position in 3G data speed followed by Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications. Jio does not offer services on 3G technology.

In overall data speed, that includes 3G data as well 4G data speed, Airtel tops the chart with 6.15 Mbps followed by 5.13 Mbps. Idea, placed at third place, has an over all data speed of 4.16 Mbps. Jio, however, recorded an overall data speed of 3.92 Mbps.

The network tester alaso said Jio scored highest in the network latency test. However, the winner in latency test is who scores the least or the network that goes off the signal for the least amount of time. Vodafone with latency of 54.27 milliseconds has the best network where as 86.61 milliseconds has the highest latency, means the data delay is higher in Jio compared to other operators. Airtel has a latency of 63.86 milliseconds.

In a separate development, Jio came on top beating its nearest rivals in terms of 4G data speed. According to country’s telecom regulator TRAI, Jio’s data speed for the month of march was highest in comparison to market leadr Airtel, Vodafone or Idea Cellular.

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Airtel Offers 35 GB Free Data As Against 28 GB By Jio


So, you have been addicted to free data for the last 6 months, thanks to Jio. But the road does not end at Jio only. Keep your eyes and ear open, almost all the operators are doling out free data, mostly 4G, to lure as well as retain their customers.

The latest offering comes from Bharti Airtel that announced to give you 35 GB 4G data free. Reliance Jio, in comparison, offers 28 GB free data per month to its customers against its Prime plan.

So, how do you get this 35 GB free data from Airtel?

In a recent announcement, country’s largest operator said Airtel Home Broadband customers can avail this offer if they subscribe to Amazon’s newly launched Fire TV Stick. Both the firms have recently joined hands to promote the Amazon Fire TV stick as well as the data offerings.

“Customers purchasing Amazon Fire TV will get free 100 GB high speed data via Airtel Broadband/Airtel 4G Home Wi-Fi to enable them to enjoy online content on their TV,” Airtel said in a statement.

In addition, Airtel Movies, the OTT app from Airtel, will offer Airtel mobile and broadband customers access to an exciting collection of thousands of popular Bollywood movies & premium TV shows across a host of genres.

The data quota can be availed in buckets of 35GB per month for three months from the date of activation. To activate the Airtel offer, customers of Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote have to just launch Airtel Movies and follow a few simple steps.

While the data offer can be availed by existing as well as new Airtel home broadband and 4G home Wi-Fi customers, free access to content on Airtel Movies will be available to all Airtel mobile customers as well.

“We are delighted to partner with Amazon to enable a superior online content experience through our platforms. We invite customers to experience the Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Fire TV on Airtel and also enjoy thousands of movies with Airtel Movies. Airtel has consistently innovated to delight the Indian consumer and has been rated as the top broadband network and the fastest mobile network in the country,” said Raj Pudipeddi, Director – Consumer Business & Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel.

Airtel Broadband is available to customers in 87 cities and offers high speed broadband with speeds up to 100 Mbps with cutting edge offerings like V-Fiber that power digital homes of the future.

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Sunil Mittal Meets UN Secretary General On Sustainable Development Goals


Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal who also holds the prestigious position as Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Thursday met the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, to discuss the role of world businesses in achieving the UN sustainable development goal (SDG).

Mittal met Guterres at the UN headquarters in New York. It was their first meeting since ICC gained the Observer Status at the UN General Assembly last December.

During the meeting, Mittal underscored ICC’s commitment to use its newly granted status in the UN system to “deploy fully the resources, expertise and knowledge of world business” in the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are the most ambitious development agenda ever agreed at the international level—and it is widely recognised that their successful implementation will hinge on widespread business action.

The UN Secretary General Guterres welcomed ICC’s commitment to the SDGs and noted that partnerships with the private sector would be vital to address major global challenges from as climate change to mass-migration.

The Bharti Group Chairman highlighted the importance of rules-based policy making to enable trade, innovation and job-creation in the context of the SDGs. The two also discussed the challenges posed by growing populism and anti-globalisation sentiment.

“Given the complexity of today’s global challenges, it’s vital that business has a clear voice in UN decision making. We look forward to using the unique platform that Observer Status provides to positively shape important debates on issues such as trade, financing, technology and corporate responsibility,” said Mittal post meeting with the UN General Secretary.

The meeting was part of the ICC Chairman’s mission to New York where he is meeting with senior UN officials and national ambassadors. Earlier in the day, Mittal, joined ICC’s Secretary General, John Danilovich, at a ceremony to confirm the appointment of ICC’s first-ever Permanent Observer to the UN, Dr Louise Kantrow. ICC also announced the development of a new partnership with the UN Refugee Agency to enhance business engagement in the international response to the global refugee crisis.

Sunil Mittal had taken over as the Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), one of the world’s oldest and most respected global business organisations in June 2016. He is only the third Indian business leader to hold this prestigious position in ICC’s near -100 year history.

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Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ With Digital Assistant Bixby To Launch Today


After a disastrous 2016, South Korean phone maker Samsung wants to regain its lost pride in the smartphone business in 2017. Though that started with the launch of Samsung Pay in India, the company wants to create some ripples with its latest smartphones- Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. Both the phones are set for a launch in India today.

Though the India price of the Samsung S8 or S8+ are not known, it is believed the new devices would cost between Rs 45,000 to Rs 55,000.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a 5.8 inch device with QHD Super AMOLED display with resloutions of 1440×2960 pixels. The Galaxy S8+, however, is a 6.2 inch device with similar display configurations. The S8 and S8+ are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.35 GHz octa core processor. The South Lorean firm is also believed to launch one more variant of both the devices with its own Exynos processor.

Both the smartphones carry 12 megapixel rear camera and 8 megapixel front camera alongwith features like PDAF and dual tone flash.

Though the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ come with 3000 mAh and 3500 mAh battery, the company is believed to have done significant improvement in the battery technologies, both at hardware and software front. A lesson well learnt from the Note 7 debacle.

Both the phones come with iris scanner and you can use it for locking or unlocking your phone.

With Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, the company also introduces its digital assistant called Bixby, in lines of Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa.

Besides, both the phones come with regular features like Bluetooth, WiFi, all necessary sensors, and are VoLTE enabled 4G phones. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ have smart charging and SamsungPay compliant, means you can use these devices to make online shopping etc using the recently introduced SamsungPay.

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UP CM Yogi Adityanath Felicitates Vodafone M-Pesa For Digital Wallet Efforts


Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath has felicitated Vodafone M-Pesa for its contribution in helping a UP village, that was adopted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, embrace digital transaction.

Village Nagepur, near Varanasi, in UP East, was adopted by the PM under Adarsh Gram Yojana and Vodafone M-Pesa has connected with residents of the village, educating them and getting them to adopt M-Pesa digital wallet in place of traditional cash. Nagepur is now a less cash village! The Uttar Pradesh CM conferred the Excellence award on Vodafone M-Pesa, which was received by Nipun Sharma, Business Head- UP East, Vodafone India.

In UP East, M-Pesa had conducted a 50 day cashless drive, covering 47 districts in the state, interacting with citizens and building awareness on the benefits and ease of using mobile wallets. Vodafone M-Pesa team held demonstrations for villagers on using Vodafone M-Pesa even on ordinary feature phones for daily small transactions such as paying for their cutting chai, snacks, groceries, taxi/auto fares, and much more. A similar focused camp was conducted in Nagepur.

“The challenges of taking the Digital India and cashless message into the deepest pockets of a state with the highest demographic statistics like Uttar Pradesh, are manifold. Our Honourable Prime Minister has taken a long term view to bringing villages up to speed with the larger National objectives, through the Adarsh Gram Yojana. We are happy to see that his pet project of turning Nagepur in to an ideal village, has been fructified through the efforts of team such as Vodafone M-Pesa connecting with each household in the village and hand holding them to achieve cashless living,” said Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath.

Post receiving the award from the Hon’ble CM, Nipun Sharma, Business Head – UP East, Vodafone India said, “Vodafone M-Pesa is privileged to partner the Government’s bold step to accelerate India’s progress into a less cash economy. Our teams have been on the road, covering multiple districts of UP East, traversing through villages, engaging closely with villagers, providing live demonstrations on how Vodafone M-Pesa can hugely simplify lives in today’s scenario. We are specially proud to have successfully turned our Prime Minister’s Shri Narendra Modi Ji’s dream project into reality, by transforming Nagepur into an Adarsh Gram ‘Cashless village”.
Today, with a pan-India distribution of over 130,000 agents and more than 4.5 million customers, Vodafone M-Pesa is one of the largest banking correspondent in the country.

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Airtel Extends 30 GB Free Data Offer, Brings Plan For International Holidayers


Airtel on Saturday extended its previously announced 30 GB free data offer by another month keeping the summer holidays in mind. The 30 GB free data offer was valid till March 31 as per the earlier announcement but now it will be valid till 30 April.

So, the customers who had availed the scheme during the scheme period now get one more month of validity as well as another 10 GB of free data.

As per an email sent by Airtel’s CEO Gopal Vittal, the company would give 10 GB of free data every month to the customers how have availed the scheme.

“We want your holidays to be even better. So we are extending the validity of the extra data you had activated on Airtel surprises by another 30 days. Now you get to use the extra data for one more billing cycle. Go on, create and share more memories with your loved ones all summer long,” the email reads.

Not only that, the company has also allowed customers who have not availed the scheme yet to register for the same. The deadline for the offer has also been extended till 30 April.

The company also brought out new plans for those customers who are traveling abroad during this summer.

According to the Holiday Surprise offer customers traveling abroad will not get any bill shock because of the new customised plan.

“The surprises don’t end here. Here’s the double. If you are planning an international holiday, we have something more for you. We’ve taken major steps to ensure that you’re protected from bill shocks while travelling abroad. We’ve negotiated with global operators, on your behalf, to get you the best international roaming rates and deliver great value to you,” Vittal writes.

“We also understand that sometimes you may not have the time to activate the right pack before you leave. So, we are going a step ahead. Say, you are traveling to Singapore and haven’t activated any pack. For this destination, our daily pack costs ₹ 499 and includes unlimited incoming calls, free data, SMS and calls to India. If your daily usage exceeds ₹ 499, we’ll automatically activate the ₹ 499 pack at no added cost. If your usage charges are less than ₹ 499, you’ll only be charged based on the rates that are applicable. This will ensure that you always get the best value,” the email explains.

This data offering shows the ferocity of the data war going between Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel. Both the operators are putting their best brains to task to bring out the most lucrative tariff plans for their customers. The 30 GB free data offer of Airtel or Jio’s summer surprise or Dhan Dhana Dhan offer are the beginnings, industry can brace for more such plans in the near future.

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Cisco Opens Cyber Range Lab In India To Offer Managed Security Services


Looking at the increasing number of cyber threats and its undenying business losses to businesses, global technology major Cisco today opened its first Cyber Range Lab in India in Gurgaon. Cisco announced this during the ongoing Cisco India Summit 2017 being held in Manesar, 59 KMs from New Delhi.

The Cyber Range Lab aims to provide highly specialized technical workshops to help security personnel in organisations deal with the cyber threats like virus, malware, ransomware and others.

“With the cybersecurity framework in place now, the need is for active implementation to better handle the ever-changing threat landscape. An effective implementation of cybersecurity requires IT infrastructure and technical expertise for which the industry should play a responsible role,” said Dr. Gulshan Rai, National Cyber Security Coordinator, Government of India, who inaugurated the lab.

Cisco Cyber Range lab will use 200-250 different types of malware, ransomware and 100 attack cases to deliver realistic cyber-attack cases. The facility or the lab can be accessed from anywhere in the world and will be a living lab of technical knowledge of network security and how to mitigate cyber attacks.

The Cisco Cyber Range Lab brings together Cisco security experts and its partners to offer a comprehensive integrated services portfolio, which includes:

– Cyber Range workshops of 3-5 days of intensive real-life experience reacting to and defending against rudimentary and complex cyber attacks at any location.
– Cyber Range subscriptions, which offer advance threat intelligence reports and help simulate customers’ network environment in the lab to monitor for latest threats. As part of this lab, dedicated security experts will offer security consultancy services to customers.
– Assistance in re-creating similar cyber range labs at customers’ premises and provide threat intelligence updates via subscription.
– The lab will also enable customers to tap into a pool of resources such as security specialists and test engineers at Cisco. Cisco security experts will work closely with organisations to understand their business goals, and security challenges and offer test runs on proposed cybersecurity solution/infrastructure.

The launch of the Cyber Range Lab is part of cybersecurity initiatives announced by Cisco India during December 2016. In addition to the Cyber Range Lab, Cisco had launched a Security Operations Center (SOC) in Pune to provide a broad range of services, from monitoring and management to comprehensive threat solutions and hosted security that can be customized to meet customer/partner needs.

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Cisco Aims To Capture 100000 SMEs By 2020

cisco india summit 2017

Cisco India’s commercial sales business that includes its business from SMEs and SMBs targets to cater to 100,000 such businesses in next three years from its current around 30 thousand.

“We want to increase our presence in SMEs by 3X by 2020,” said Nal Gollagunta, MD Commercial Sales, Cisco India & SAARC.

At present Cisco serves to around 30 to 33 thousand SMEs of different scale and in varied verticals including textiles, retail, education, ecommerce, manufacturing and others.

This business unit contributes around 20-22% revenue to Cisco India’s total revenue annually. Though the company did not offer its forecast of revenue when it pockets 100,000 such SMEs in its fold, one can expect a corresponding contribution in the target deadline.

Nal Gollagunta, MD Commercial Sales, Cisco India & SAARC

Gollagunta said there are around 50 million SMEs in India and just 2% of it are digitally enabled.

“India can be called as an SME economy as there are more than 50 million small businesses in the country. Of these only 2% are digitally enabled.”

By saying digitally enabled he meant those companies who believe and can spend on IT to improve their work efficiency and resultant revenue maximisation.

From an assessment of India’s SME market Gollagunta said there are six ‘markers’ of successful digital SMEs.

He said, for these SMEs, there is nothing called IT budget and for them digitization is a journey. The other factors that are driving the digitization for SMEs include democratization of technology, the cost benefit of partnership versus transactions and friction-less life.

Nal was talking at Cisco India Summit 2017 that is being held at ITC Grand Bharat in Manesar, some 50 kilometers from New Delhi.

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