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Update On Freedom 251 Smartphone Maker Ringing Bells

ringing-bells-freedom-251-ashok-chaddha

You remember Ringing Bells, the maker of Freedom 251 mobile, then touted as the world’s cheapest smartphone? Well, yesterday, the company’s former Managing Director, Mohit Goel was detained by the UP Police in a case of alleged fraud.

A Ghaziabad based company, Ayam Enterprises, had filed a case against Ringing Bells alleging the later has defrauded it for Rs 16 lakh. Goel has been detained by the Ghaziabad police for interrogation.

According to reports Ayam Enterprise had paied Rs 30 lakh to Ringing Bells to take dealership of its Freedom 251 smartphone, which were priced at Rs 251 per piece. The smartphone company, however, had provided it goods worth Rs 14 lakh and the Rs 16 lakh are, neither returned nor any products supplied for that value.

TeleAnalysis, on 15 December, had reported that the company has shut its business and its founders have opened another company with a new name – MDM Electronics Pvt. Ltd. We had also reported then that its founders are quitting the company one by one, indicating a gradual move to shut the company.

Ringing Bells, however, had refuted the story and said the firm, though opened another company, is in place and one Anmol Goel is looking after it.

We had then reported how the company is fooling people and why their statement can not be taken seriously. At present, the company does not have any office or any employee. The only people associated with this company are the founders – Mohit Goel, Anmol Goel, Ashok Chaddha and Bhavna Goel. Bhavna Goel was the CEO of the company and the first one to quit the dubious firm.

At present, as per MCA records, the company has two directors – Anmol Goel and Disha Rana who came on board as recent as December last year.

The company had claimed that it has delivered 70,000 smartphones under the Freedom 251 brand but it was far from truth, and it might have sold only few hundreds of such devices.

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NationalNews

MobiKwik To Invest Rs 300 Cr, Eyes $10 Bn GMV By 2017

mobikwik

Digital wallet firm, and one of the oldest in the game, MobiKwik today said it will invest Rs 300 crore in the business to expand its operations that includes acquiring a user base of 150 million by end of this year.

The mobile wallet firm, at present, has a user base of 50 million.

The increase in user base, the company believes, will also catapult MobiKwik’s annual Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) to 5 times to reach$10 billion by end of the year. At present its GMV is around $2 billion.

To support its business ambition, MobiKwik is also launching ‘Supercash’, a loyalty initiative that aims to promote digital payments among its users and promises benefits on every transaction. Under the initiative, users can earn reward points at all MobiKwik merchants, including their local mom and pop stores. Additionally the user saves money every time he transacts on Mobikwik.

These Supercash points can be used on every transaction thus enabling the user to save money every time he transacts on Mobikwik. Users of MobiKwik can start earning Supercash from next week.

Upasana Taku, Co-Founder of MobiKwik said, “We aim to increase the number of our users to 150 million by the end of this year, targeting $10 billion GMV. The investment of Rs. 300 crores will be deployed in loyalty initiatives, expanding our reach & network, and launching other financial services such as loans & investments on our platform.”

MobiKwik had recently announced setting up offices in 13 cities by the end of Q1 2017 and is in its hiring spree to drive business growth. The company currently has over 1.4 million merchants on its network and aims to grow the base to over 5 million by year end.

Vice President for Growth at MobiKwik, Daman Soni said, “Indian consumers are value conscious, like to save money on every transaction and are taking to digital payments in a big way. Supercash will therefore evolve a user’s relationship with MobiKwik and develop a deeper association as the user benefits on every transaction made on our platform.”

Mobile wallets have seen tremendous growth in the past 3 months. The company added 1.3 million merchants and 15 million users post demonetization. Some of the merchants include IRCTC, NHAI, Meru Cabs, Big Bazaar, MakeMyTrip, OYO Rooms, Zomato, PVR, Archies, WHSmith India, BookMyShow, Grofers, Big Basket, Dominos, Burger King, Pizza Hut, eBay, ShopClues, Myntra, Jabong, Pepperfry, Barista, Food Panda, Nearbuy, Van Heusen, Allen Solly among others.

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NationalNews

Airtel Payments Bank Has More Outlets Than Total ATMs In The Country

Airtel Payments Bank_auto

Airtel Payments Bank, India’s first payments bank, was launched on 12 January and within little over one month the company has set up more retail outlets than the total number of ATMs in the country. The Payments Bank has more than 2,50,000 retail outlets – where people can open their account, deposit and withdraw money, compared to little over 2 lakh bank ATMs in the country.

Interestingly, majority of these retail outs of the payments bank were in rural areas in contrast to the bank ATMs, which are predominantly in urban and semi urban areas.

The payments bank of Airtel today said, since launch, it has opened over one and a half lakh (150,000) savings accounts in West Bengal. Of these, approximately 70% of the accounts have been opened in rural areas.

In West Bengal, over 21,000 neighbourhood Airtel retail stores also function as banking points, and customers can open savings accounts, deposit and withdraw cash across any of these banking points. The company had also set up around 700 outlets during the recently concluded Kolkata Book fair.

Cashless Village

Besides, the Airtel Payments Bank has also enabled over 100 villages across West Bengal to go cashless by setting up its retail outlets. These villages now have access to basic banking services and the option of making digital payments, making them less reliant on cash. The company said every village now has at least one Airtel Payments Bank outlet that provides banking services including cash deposits and withdrawals.

It also said that majority of the village households now have a savings account with Airtel Payments Bank and can bank/transact even with basic feature phones. Besides, merchants and shops in the village accept digital payments via mobile phones from Airtel Payments Bank customers. The company has also trained the the farmers/small artisans in the village to accept digital payments for their produce/goods/services.

Airtel Payments Bank aims to enable 5000 villages across India to go cashless under this initiative.

What You Can Do With Airtel Payments Bank

  • Like a traditional bank, one can open a savings account in a payments bank.
  • Your Airtel mobile number is your account number
  • You may get a debit/ATM card
  • You will not get a credit card
  • You can earn interest of 7.25% p.a on your deposit
  • You can deposit upto Rs 1,00,000
  • You can transfer money to any bank account
  • You can do online shopping, ticket booking, transactions etc
  • You can withdraw cash
  • You get Rs 1 lakh personal accident insurance with a new savings account
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NationalNews

Jio Announcement : Relief For Airtel, Vodafone, Idea; More Happy News For Jio users

jio-unlimited-maza-continue-hoyenga

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular are expected to heave a sigh of relief post Mukesh Ambani’s announcement today that its free offer is finally over and the company would start charging for its services. However, there is a better news for the existing Jio users.

From 1 April 2017, Jio’s Happy New Year offer that offered free voice and data services will cease to exist and the company would charge nominal fees to continue offer the same services. The company has announced that it will charge Rs 303 per month from its users to use unlimited data services. The voice call services will remain free forever.

This Rs 303 per month tariff plan will be applicable for all its customers who enroll for a Jio Prime membership. The membership charge is a onetime payment of Rs 99.

So, how it unfolds! The company today said it has acquired 100 million customers so far, or just in 170 days since its launch. These 100 million customers and any new member added till 31 March 2017 will be eligible for the Jio Prime membership and they can enroll for the services by paying one time fee of Rs 99. Once a user is a Prime member he can avail all the Jio services like voice, data, media services etc for the entire month by paying Rs 303.  This scheme will continue till 31 March 2018, means for an entire year.

Announcing the scheme as ‘Unlimited Maza..Continue hoyenga’ RIL CMD Mukesh Ambani said the Jio users will also get other benefits from the membership scheme.

Though this announcement seems to be a breather for incumbent operators like Airtel, Vodafone  and Idea, in hindsight this will create more problems for these three operators. The incumbent operators have so far been complaining as well as reached out to the government agencies against Jio’s ‘predatory’ pricing of offering free services. Jio, however, with this announcement shut their mouth by announcing a tariff plan and at the same time did not really take the fizz out of its free services.

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NationalNews

MWC 2017 : Samsung To Showcase Products Of Four Years From Now

MWC2017_Logo

Mobile World Congress (MWC) is arguably the biggest and most flamboyant technology exposition in the world of telecommunication and the MWC 2017 is going to be bigger than ever. Technology firms  around the globe come here to showcase their best kept secrets here. Korean tech giant Samsung too has some plans for the MWC 2017.

So, what’s Samsung going to showcase here? Besides regular stuff including smartphones, the company is planning to unveil some of its virtual reality (VR) products at the event.

The company will showcase four projects around VR and augmented reality (AR) developed at its Creative Lab (C-Lab).  The projects will be exhibited at 4 Years From Now (4YFN), a platform for startup businesses, with potential to exhibit at MWC four years from now, to present as well as connect and network with investors.

The four products are a smart aid for visually impaired people, monitorless PC viewing glasses, a VR home furnishing solution and a 360-degree travel experience platform.

Created in December 2012, C-Lab is an internal venture incubation program that encourages a creative corporate culture and nurtures innovative ideas from Samsung employees. The program supports the development of inventing ideas from all areas of the business.

Relúmĭno

MWC-2017-Relumino
Relúmĭno is a visual aid application that works incorporated with Gear VR for near blind and visually impaired people which enable them to read books and watch TV with new levels of clarity. It works as a mobile app that when inserted into the Samsung Gear VR can enhance visuals and text so that they can be enjoyed in better quality. The technology even has the ability to remap blind spots by displacing images and uses an Amlser grid chart to correct distorted images caused by metamorphopsia. Relúmĭno enables visually challenged people to watch TV without using the expensive visual aids currently available in the market.

Monitorless

MWC-2017-Monitorless
Monitorless is a remote-control VR/AR solution that enables consumers to use devices such as smartphones and PCs without a monitor. The solution consists of a special pair of glasses that resemble regular sunglasses. They are used to view content from other devices such as smartphones and PCs and can be used for both Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality functionality thanks to the electro chromic glass featured on the glasses. Monitorless addresses the fact that there isn’t enough AR and VR content currently available and also enables users to play high-capacity PC games on a mobile device.

VuildUs

MWC-2017-vuildus
VuildUs is a home interior and furnishing solution enables users to see what a new furniture purchase would look like and whether it would fit in the room before they buy it. It consists of a 360-degree depth camera and a mobile app for VR compatible devices. First, users connect both devices and scan their home using the camera. That data is used to build a VR version of the user’s home which the user can then enter when wearing a VR headset. They can view items of furniture in 3D, and buy it on the spot if they like how it looks in the room. The solution removes the need for measuring space before buying furniture because it enables them to see whether it would fit in real time.

traVRer

MWC-2017-travrer
traVRer is a 360-degree video platform that enables users to experience realistic virtual travel before and after a real-life trip. Those using the platform are able to visit landmarks and famous places around the world but with the mood, noises and events captured. Users can switch seamlessly between different videos to go in different directions or see the place at a specific time of day – all without the need to navigate menus for alternative video options.

The C-Lab projects will be exhibited at Samsung Electronics’ booth (4YFN G1 in the Fira Barcelona) at the MWC 2017.

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NationalNews

How To Watch Mukesh Ambani’s Announcement Live

mukesh ambani jio

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani is going to make some announcements today. The company has informed that he will make his speech at 1.30 Pm today. Ever since his firm Reliance Jio entered to the telecom business, any and every such announcement has created flutters in the industry and ruffled few feathers among his competitors.

Industry and media in particular and public in general become too excited whenever RIL says that Mukesh Ambani will make a public speech. Whenever there was such announcement, the public as well as the industry wait for it in bated breath and with equal curiosity – the public expecting some telecom freebies and offerings, and his industry competitors start to calculate how its going to impact them.

So, if you too are excited to know what’s in the store from RIL and for you, you can watch it live on various digital platforms.

is now known that Reliance Industries Chairman will deliver a speech on his plans about Reliance Jio this afternoon at 1.30 PM. The company, in an invite to media, has offered various platforms where Mukesh Ambani’s speech can be watched or heard live.

Ambani’s speech will be broadcast live on various platforms like company’s website, its Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube channel.

Besides these public platforms, Ambani’s speech can also be watched live on Jio Chat and Jio Play apps. Those who have with them a Jio 4G connection can go to the Jio Chat app or Jio Play app and watch it live.

Here are some links where you can watch Mukesh Ambani’s speech.

On YouTube
Flame Of Truth channel
Jio Digital Life channel

On Facebook
Reliance Industries Limited
Jio

On Twitter
@FlameOfTruth
@RelianceJio

Besides, one can also watch the live streaming of Mukesh Ambani’s speech on Jio Chat and Jio Play.

In case you miss, we will keep you updated, not just about his speech but also its implications on the industry, and, if there is anything for you.

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NationalNews

Siemens Bags Rs 287 Cr Order From Nagpur Metro, To Deploy Intelligent Signal System

Siemens-Logo

Siemens has bagged an order worth Rs 287 crore from Nagpur Metro to install intelligent signal solutions for the metro network. The order was collectively bagged by Siemens Limited and Siemens Rail Automation to supply signaling technology for the first two metro lines of the Nagpur Metro i.e. the North-South and the East-West Corridors.

The project comprises the deployment and installation of the Siemens communications-based train control (CBTC) solution Trainguard MT for 38.2 kilometers of double track with 36 stations and two depots, as well as onboard equipment for 23 three-cars trains.

“Nagpur Metro will play a pivotal role in enhancing quality of life and economic growth of the city and the region. We are delighted to have won the NMRCL Signaling Contract. The Nagpur metro is a prestigious infrastructure project and we will deliver state-of-the-art technology that employs CBTC to maximize the network capacity while minimizing operational costs. Siemens’ future ready signaling solution will provide the basis for an attractive, safe and efficient mass transit system which will satisfy the needs of both passengers and rail operators.” said Tilak Raj Seth, Executive Vice President, Siemens Ltd. and CEO, Mobility Division in Lead Country India.

The modular and future-proven Trainguard MT automatic train control system is Siemens’ commitment and delivery to the comprehensive requirements of urban rail transport in India. It offers the latest standard in automation at different levels. The East-West Corridor will have 19 stations and the North-South Corridor 17 stations, and will link the Airport with the Automotive Square, at the north of the city. The CBTC solution can enable headways of 90 seconds or less with precise train detection achieved through digitalized track database; enabling increase in the frequency of trains resulting in efficient commute for passengers.

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Flipkart To Deploy Microsoft Azure Cloud For Its E-commerce Business

flipkart

India’s e-commerce major Flipkart today said it will be using Microsoft Azure Cloud to broaden its consumer offerings and enhance customer experience. Both the companies have signed a related agreement today in Bangalore.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadela is on a visit to India and this agreement was signed in the presence of Nadela and Flipkkart Group CEEO Binny Bansal.

“At Microsoft, we aim to empower every Indian and every Indian organization with technology and key to this is forging strategic partnerships with innovative companies like Flipkart,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Combining Microsoft’s cloud platform and AI capabilities with Flipkart’s existing services and data assets, will enable Flipkart to accelerate its digital transformation in e-commerce and deliver new customer experiences.”

Starting with computing infrastructure, Microsoft Azure will ultimately add a layer of advanced cloud technologies and analytics to Flipkart’s existing data centres. Microsoft’s strong presence in India along with its global scale allows for continued growth and expansion, setting the stage for the long-term partnership.

Flipkart plans to leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics capabilities in Azure, such as Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI, to optimize its data for innovative merchandising, advertising, marketing and customer service. With powerful insights about its business and new, intelligent services, Flipkart can deliver increasingly relevant and personalized experiences to its customers.

“Flipkart has always been committed to its vision of transforming commerce in India through technology. Given Microsoft’s strong reputation in cloud computing, coupled with scale and reliability, this partnership allows us to leverage our combined strength and knowledge of technology, e-commerce and markets to make online shopping more relevant and enriching for customers,” said Binny Bansal, Group CEO and Co-Founder, Flipkart.

 

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Tata Motors, Microsoft To Offer Connected Car Solutions For Indian Consumers

tata-motors-microsoft-connected-vehicles

In a first in Indian automobile industry, number one automobile company Tata Motors today joined hands with Microsoft and announced to jointly develop and offer IoT enabled connected car solutions to Indian consumers.

The first vehicle from this collaboration will be showcased at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show on 7th March 2017. This will be via Tata Motors’ unique user interface application and services suite utilizing Microsoft enabled functionality like advanced navigation, predictive maintenance, telematics and remote monitoring features.

Tata Motors will leverage Microsoft’s connected vehicle technologies that bring together artificial intelligence (AI), advanced machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities on the global hyper-scale Azure cloud, to traverse the digital and physical worlds and create a highly personalized, smart and safer driving experience across the digital life of a vehicle owner.

“With the aim to develop innovative and technologically leading products that excite customers, we at Tata Motors, understand the need for a connected ecosystem that can integrate into the digital lives of customers. We are using Microsoft’s connected vehicle technologies on Azure intelligent cloud to bring the digital lives of our customers into the cars they drive. Making the most of fast-paced innovation cycle that Microsoft has to offer, we will create a fully connected and seamless driving experience for our customers,” said Tata Motors CEO&MD Guenter Butschek.

Commenting on the association, Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India said, “We are excited to partner with Tata Motors as they embark on a new journey of innovation with Microsoft Azure cloud. Using IoT, AI and machine learning technologies, we will provide vehicle owners in India and across the world with a safe, productive and fun driving experience.”

Tata Motors will continuously develop and launch new connected services and applications that make it easier for people to stay connected to work, entertainment and social networks, with greater safety & security as well as services to maximize better use of newly found in-car free time. However, the Indian company said such vehicles will be produced for the mass market and will be in affordable range of Indian consumers.

In addition, Tata Motors’ recently launched ring-fenced vertical, TAMO, will act as an open platform to foster innovation through a startup ecosystem and develop vehicles with on-the-go connectivity. In its first phase, the advanced offerings will incorporate technologies such as cloud computing, analytics, geo-spatial & mapping and increased human-machine interface, creating a new benchmark in the industry for connected vehicles. TAMO will provide a digital eco-system, which will be leveraged by Tata Motors to support the mainstream business in the future.

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Despite Free, Jio Users Make Shortest Calls

mukesh_ambani_jio_users

There is only one company that is providing free services in the country, both calls and data, is Reliance Jio but a recent survey found that despite free offers Jio users are making voice calls for the shortest duration.

It was initially believed that Jio users would make voice calls for hours as it is free but this survey findings is bit startling.

Average call duration for a Jio user in the last six months was shortest, at 30 seconds, while Vodafone users make the longest call, at 41 seconds, states TrueCaller in its survey TrueInsights.

“While Jio was growing faster than Facebook, WhatsApp and Skype during initial months as the company stated, it is surprising to see the shorter call duration since there is generally little difference between operators,” said TrueCaller.

The call detection app, however, tried to give some justification to the unexpected short call duration and attributed to call drops.

“If overlaid with the average call duration, it does seem like the data points to some unintended usage patterns, such as Jio sims primarily being used for data or an increased amount of dropped calls and hence redials on the Jio network,” it said.

Truecaller also gave some other findings on Jio users’ calling pattern. It said though the call duration is the shortest, Jio users are making the most number of calls compared to any oter operator.

May be because its free.

As for the overall general calling patterns in the country, there are some marked differences across regions with Kolkata users having the longest median call duration (42.17 seconds) and Jammu and Kashmir with shortest call duration (28.63 seconds).

The TrueCaller app further said, referring its data, that it’s clear that Jio has already shaken up the mobile landscape in India. Mobile internet usage is expected to grow to over 500 million customers by the end of 2017 with a large portion of those picking Jio. As a result there’s already consolidation discussions among operators in India due to the increased competitive pressures.

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