TRAI To Set Framework On Predatory Pricing


Telecom regulatory authority of India, according to a report in Economic Times, will bring in new norms on pricing in the next 45 days. Ever since Reliance Jio launched its service a war of words has ensued in the telecom industry regarding predatory pricing. With both incumbent and the new comer alleging malpractices on one another.


TRAI has been under pressure both to end the fued and also to check downward slide in Government’s revenue from Telecom sector. Now according to a report in Economic Time, TRAI is reviewing Telecommunication Tariff Order 1999.

Telecom watchdog plans announce a set of new rules to oversee tariffs fixed by service providers and ensure transparency in the process. “We will come up with a set of regulatory principles on tariff in about 45 days,” Trai Secretary Sudhir Gupta told The Economic Times.

Move also becomes important as revenue from Data segment has grown many fold in the last few months and is expected to overtake voice revenue in coming months. Telecommunication Tariff Order 1999 is voice focused and there is need to review that in light of new realities of the sector.

The move comes after telecom majors Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea accused new entrant Reliance Jio of predatory pricing.

While Airtel had approached the Competition Commission of India to penalise Mukesh Ambani’s Jio for offering anti-competitive prices to customers. In April, Jio had alleged violation of pricing regulations and misleading customers through false marketing of some of its plans.

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Vodafone Launches 5 Hour Night Data Plan For Rs 29

vodafone POI

Vodafone, on Monday, launched a special offer for its prepaid customers in which one can gets unlimited 3G/4G data usage and download for five hours, for Rs.29.

Called the Vodafone SuperNight, it can be activated any time of the day but will be applicable only during the subsequent five hours between 1 am to 6 am.

The customers can also make repeat purchases of the data at Rs 6 per hour. “Today’s youth is into mobility and mobile phone plays a central role in their life. It is their command center and companion rolled into one. Data keeps them connected,” said Sandeep Kataria, Chief Commercial Officer, Vodafone India.

The unlimited data offer on SuperNight can be best used to browse and download a range of content from Vodafone Play too.

The SuperNight packs can be purchased via digital channels as well as all retail touch points. The customers can also dial *444*4# to activate the pack. Announcing the launch of the new plan, Sandeep Kataria, Chief Commercial Officer, Vodafone India said, “These SuperNight packs will enable users to download as much data as they want for five hours at a fixed, nominal price. It will help our customers to enjoy the SuperNetTM experience in a worry free manner while remaining confidently connected on our best network ever.”

Ever since Reliance Jio has launched, the battle of tariffs in the telecom market have become more intense, and rival companies like Vodafone, Airtel, BSNL and Idea have been pushing hard to match the aggressive pricing of the Mukesh Ambani-owned company. Telcos in India have resorted to combative data pricing thanks to Reliance Jio’s inexpensive data offerings.

Vodafone had recently launched a new Rs 786 plan for its prepaid users under a Ramzan Special offer. The Vodafone users subscribing to this pack gets unlimited free local and STD calls on any network and 25GB 4G data with a daily limit of 1GB per day after which user will be charged.

Vodafone Group last month had said it saw the Indian telecom industry slowly stabilizing now as Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) has started charging its customers. The group said when the March period is compared to January they saw stability in high value customers, slight uptick in the medium value subscribers and those in the lower value chain remained the same.

A brutal price war clawed down Vodafone India’s operating profit for fiscal 2017 ending March by 10% and service revenue slipped 0.5% as Reliance Jio’s free services dragged both voice and data business of the country’s No. 2 telco, forcing its UK-based parent to post a loss.

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Airtel 4G Network Deploys Dual Band In Andhra Pradesh, Telangana


Bharti Airtel on Wednesday said it has rolled out an upgraded 4G network in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to deliver a superior mobile broadband experience to customers.

Airtel has deployed advanced ‘dual carrier’ technology using a combination of TD-LTE (in 2300 Mhz band) and FD-LTE (in 1800 Mhz) to significantly boost network capacity and spectrum efficiency. The company has also added 20 Mhz of fresh 4G spectrum to the Airtel network to supplement the existing 4G spectrum pool in the 1800 Mhz band.

Airtel’s upgraded 4G network will enable higher data throughput rates and improved coverage, allowing customers to seamlessly stream and download high quality content on the move. It is also future ready with sufficient capacity to serve the exploding demand for high speed mobile data driven by growing smartphone penetration.

“Today’s launch is a major milestone for Airtel in the two Telugu states. Delivering a world-class network experience is at the core of our strategy and we are pleased to deliver a future ready 4G network to our customers in these two states. Given the explosive growth of high speed mobile data services and content consumed on mobiles, the addition of a second 4G carrier will significantly add to the experience of customers on our network. Airtel has also rolled out the widest 4G network in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with services now available in 160 towns. We remain committed to the digital vision of the state and invite customers to experience 4G on India’s best smartphone network,” said Venkatesh Vijayraghavan, CEO – Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Bharti Airtel.

Airtel has been rated as India’s fastest mobile network by Ookla – the global leader in broadband testing and web-based network diagnostic applications. This recognition, furthers cements Airtel’s position as India’s best smartphone network that consistently enables a superior online experience for customers.

To avail the complimentary 4G upgrade and to experience the state’s first integrated FD and TD 4G mobile internet speeds like never before – existing Airtel customers with 4G ready mobile devices can walk into their nearest Airtel Store and switch to a 4G SIM.

In November 2015, Airtel commenced the implementation of its network transformation program – Project Leap. With a national investment of Rs 60,000 Crores over the next three years, Airtel’s “Project Leap” is a strategic company initiative aimed at perceptibly improving its network quality and delivering the best customer experience.

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Idea Brings Data Offers With No Daily Limit For Flipkart Customers


The data war is getting fiercer every passing day in the Indian telecom market with every operator wants to outsell the other. In a latest move, Idea Cellular today announced to offer variety of 4G data plans for customers who buy smartphones from Flipkart platform.

Idea prepaid customers upgrading to 4G smartphones can get special recharges of Rs. 356 and Rs. 191 offering huge data benefits, apart from getting discounted prices on select range of smartphones, special exchange offers, and cash back on Flipkart.

Idea customers who recharge with Rs. 356 will get 30 GB 4G Data with no daily data limit, and unlimited local and national voice calling. On Rs. 191 recharge, Idea customers will get 10GB of data with no daily limit on their new smartphones.

These deals are available exclusively on Flipkart on a range of 4G smartphone models like Lenovo, Micromax, Motorola, and Panasonic, priced in the range of Rs. 4,000 to Rs. 25,000. The offers are also available for both existing as well as new Idea customers.

“Idea and Flipkart have partnered to enable more Indians get online and use mobile internet on 4G smartphones. Through this association, Idea gets access to savvy online customers with heavy data usage. Our offering of 30 GB will be available for customers to use the internet at will, without having to worry about running out of their daily quota, in addition to unlimited calling benefits,” said Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular.

“Being the market leader in Smartphones Sales, it is Flipkart’s constant endeavor to provide our customers with the best smartphone purchase & usage experience. The data offers on Flipkart from Idea is another step in this direction, and a win-win proposition for all – Our customers get access to better data plans and Idea gets access to our large base of evolved smartphone data users,” said Ayyappan, Senior Director Mobiles, Flipkart.

Idea customers can either visit Idea Cellular’s website or go to Flipkart to discover these offers and upgrade to the latest 4G smartphones with exciting deals.

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Idea 4G Launched In Jammu, To Cover Entire State By June


Idea Cellular has launched its 4G services in Jammu. The company says the same will be expanded to another 10 towns in Jammu by the end of this month. Idea 4G services will also be launched in 20 more towns including the major cities of Jammu, Udhampur, Rajauri, Punch, Reasi, Kathua and Samba by June ‘17.

Idea also unveiled Digital Idea, a suite of digital applications for the on-the-move consumers of J&K Circle. As part of the Digital Idea offerings, the company will offer a suite of 3 entertainment apps – Idea Music Lounge, Idea Movie Club and Idea Game Spark for its over 8.9 lakh customers in J&K circle.

According to Mr. Rajat Mukarji, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Idea Cellular said, “Idea has consistently invested in expansion of the network to become a pan-India wireless broadband operator, readying our 200 million customers for the Digital era. Over the last one year, Idea has more than doubled its mobile broadband network on 4G/3G platform, which now covers over 50% of India’s population.”

Idea has introduced a range of attractive offers including tariff packs, bundled smartphone offers and digital content for its users in J&K. Idea has introduced a range of attractive offers including tariff packs, bundled smartphone offers and digital content for its users in J&K. Free 4G SIM upgrade, 1 hr of 4G Data free for 30 days, 1GB Unlimited Recharge are a few of the offerings.

Key facts about Idea’s 4G services:
With the launch of Idea 4G the company came out with some offers for its customers in the state. These include:

a) Complimentary 4G SIM card upgrade and Special Promotional Offer: All customers can avail a complimentary 4G SIM upgrade from Company Showrooms and leading retail outlets across 4G towns in J&K. Customers upgrading to 4G SIM will get promotional 4GB Free Data, valid for 14 days. The promotional data can be utilized on Idea’s latest 4G LTE network

b) Attractive 4G data tariffs: Idea’s 4G Prepaid & Postpaid tariff plans are priced at par with existing 3G plans. Unlimited 1 Hour Free 4G for 30 days, to activate Dial *800*4# and experience fast internet speed. In addition, Idea has also launched Magic Recharge which offers data from 250 MB up to 1GB for 15 days on recharge of Rs. 65.

c. 4G Handset Bonanza Offer: 4G Smartphone packs exclusively for 4G Handset customers offering Data at attractive price. These plans which are available in Prepaid – 1GB 4G Data for 28 days with Full Talktime @ Just Rs 95.

d. Free Data along with Unlimited Calling Packs: These packs provide the customers with unlimited voice calls to anywhere in India along with free data benefits. Upon recharging with Rs. 147, Idea customers will be able to make free Idea-to-Idea calls across India and 4G handset customers may get 2GB 4G Data with validity of 28 days. Another super value pack priced at Rs 346 offers free voice across all networks in India and Unlimited Data for 28 days. Customers with 4G handsets may get 1GB 4G Data daily for 28 days. Customers need to check these offers *121# before recharging.

e. Unlimited Voice & Data Plans Postpaid consumers: Idea has also introduced two new Ultimate plans at Rs. 499 and Rs. 999 rental for Postpaid users. In Rs. 499 plan customers get Unlimited Local, National and Incoming Roaming calls with 3GB free Data on 4G Handset. The Rs. 999 plan offers Unlimited Local, National & Roaming calls with 8GB free Data on 4G Handsets. For all new and existing customers upgrading to 4G handsets, Idea will provide additional 3GB data on these rental plans, till 31st December ’17.

Idea is offering an exclusive introductory offer to all Idea 4G/3G customers giving them 90 days Free subscription to all the 3 Apps including Idea Music Lounge, Idea Movie Club and Idea Game Spark till 31st March 2017.

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Airtel 4G Reaches Jammu & Kashmir


Bharti Airtel on Tuesday launched its 4G services in the northern most state of Jammu and Kashmir. With this Airtel 4G services are now available in all 22 telecom circles of the country.

Airtel 4G is currently available to customers in 25 towns/locations across the Jammu region. They are Jammu, Akhnoor, Nagrota, Kathua, Katra, Samba, Udhampur, Reasi, Rehambal, Bari Brahamana, Billawar, Ghomanhasan, Miran Sahib, Misriwala, Raipur Domana, Bashohli, Hiranagar, Rajauri, Sunderbani, Thanamandi, Jyotipuram, Talwara, Badlirakh, Garnai and Vaishno Devi.

The company plans to expand its 4G footprint to over 100 towns across Jammu & Kashmir. Airtel 4G has been rolled out in J&K using FD LTE technology in the 1800 MHz band.

Customers can enjoy Airtel 4G across a range of smart devices including 4G compatible smartphones and 4G hotspots. Airtel 4G will allow customers to experience uninterrupted HD video streaming, superfast uploading and downloading of movies, music and images. Airtel has been rated as India’s fastest mobile network by Ookla – the global leader in broadband testing and web-based network diagnostic applications. This latest recognition, furthers cements Airtel’s position as India’s best smartphone network that consistently enables a superior online experience for customers.

“We are pleased to launch our 4G services in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and look forward to delighting customers with best in class services on India’s best smartphone network. We invite customers to avail the exciting data offers and get on to the digital superhighway. We remain committed to the Government’s digital vision for the State and will continue to invest in expanding our services,” said Raveendra Desai, COO – J&K, Bharti Airtel.

Airtel 4G services are available at 3G prices. Customers can upgrade to 4G SIM for free and choose from a range of exciting Prepaid and Postpaid plans that offer generous dollops of high speeds data. For more details visit

As part of Project Leap, Airtel has been deploying state-of-the-art technology solutions for better indoor coverage and network optimization; overhauling legacy networks with new equipment and making investments in additional spectrum and fiber to significantly improving its network capabilities across the country since last year.

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Idea Launches 4G Service In West Bengal


Idea Cellular today announced the availability of its 4G services in West Bengal circle starting with towns like Bardhaman, Krishnanagar and Arambagh. By April’17, the company plans to expand its 4G services to cover more than 30 towns in the circle, including the major towns of Durgapur, Asansol, Kharagpur, Haldia, Behrampur, Siliguri.

Idea 4G services includes high speed 4G services, along with the bouquet of its digital applications – Idea Music Lounge, Idea Movie Club and Idea Game Spark.

Idea has also launched Digital Idea, a suite of digital applications for the on-the-move consumers of West Bengal. As part of the Digital Idea offerings, the company will offer a suite of 3 entertainment apps – Idea Music Lounge, Idea Movie Club and Idea Game Spark for its over 6.3 million customers in the circle.

“Idea has consistently invested in network expansion to become a pan-India wireless broadband operator, readying our 200 million customers for the Digital era. Idea has grown to become the 3rd largest operator in West Bengal, in the shortest span of time, on the back of rapid network expansion and growth in market share. We are confident that 4G services will further boost our market presence and enable a digital lifestyle for the people of the region,” said Anish Roy, COO – Corporate, Idea Cellular.

According to Mr. Mukul Sharma, Circle Head – West Bengal & Kolkata, Idea Cellular, “Idea has a strong market presence, network coverage, distribution and customer service in West Bengal. We are happy to launch our world class high speed 4G services for over 6.3 million Idea customers in the region catering to their ever growing infotainment needs. Starting with Bardhaman, Krishnanagar and Arambagh today, we will be expanding our services to cover more than 30 towns by April ‘17.”

Idea has introduced a range of attractive offers including tariff packs and digital content for its users in West Bengal. From hourly 4G data packs priced at Rs. 21 and free data with unlimited calling on 4G handsets – Idea offers a range of products for all category of users. As an introductory offer, Idea is also offering complimentary SIM upgrade with 2GB 4G data valid for 14 days.

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Airtel Inks Deal With Nokia For 5G, IoT


The next phase of growth is coming from a connected world and that is where the industry is heading today. Keeping that in Mind India’s largest telco Bharti Airtel today signed a deal with Nokia to create a strategic roadmap for network evolution to the new technology standard and management of connected devices.

Under a new agreement, Nokia and Airtel will collaborate to drive the definition and development of these new services with a focus on taking the path to 5G network connectivity. This effort will build on 4G in the most efficient way in terms of power, operations, and cost effectiveness, and with the highest level of quality and reliability.

“Airtel has always been a pioneer in rolling out the latest technologies to deliver a superior experience to its customers. 5G and IoT applications have tremendous potential to transform lives and we are pleased to partner with Nokia to enable these future technologies for our customers,” said Abhay Savargaonkar, Director – Network Services (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel.

Nokia and Airtel will leverage Nokia’s 5G FIRST end-to-end 5G solution including AirScale radio access portfolio and AirFrame data center platform to demonstrate 5G capabilities and simulate use cases of 5G extreme broadband and ultra-reliability and low latency communication.

“After our successful association with Bharti Airtel for 2G, 3G and 4G technologies, we are proud to partner to prepare for the future of mobile networks. We will leverage our global experience in 5G-related industry projects and collaborations to enable Bharti Airtel to prepare their networks for greater capacity, coverage and speed,” said Sanjay Malik, head of India Market, Nokia.

Jointly both the companies would conduct workshops to devise a strategy for transition towards 5G and how that can be leveraged for enterprises and other services. They will also optimize spectrum by proper assessment of the relevant spectrum.

5G promises to enable dramatic improvements in peak data speeds, network latency and agility, as well as the ability to enable new capabilities such as network slicing. This will allow operators to support a growing number of customers and potentially billions of connected IoT devices with consistent quality of service, laying the foundation for smarter cities and rural communities, connected vehicles, industrial automation, remote healthcare and a myriad of business possibilities.

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Ericsson And Vodafone Conduct 5G Pre-Commercial Trials Across The US



US telecom operator Verizon and Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson have joined hands and doing pre-commercial trials of 5G technology in various cities  across the US. The fixed wireless, pre-commercial customer pilots, scheduled to begin in the 1st half of 2017, will enable the refining of an end-to-end 5G network using a mixture of new technology and existing Verizon infrastructure.

By working closely with Verizon, Ericsson has been able to identify deployment challenges and develop the techniques required for a quick and scalable deployment.

“Verizon is driving the commercial deployment of 5G with the collaboration and innovation of the Verizon 5G Technology Forum, including partners like Ericsson. This partnership keeps us on-track to be first to bring 5G to Verizon customers,” said Ed Chan, Senior VP, Technology Strategy and Planning at Verizon.

Ericsson believes there would be around 550 million 5G users in next five years and in North America alone, there would over 100 million such customers.

The end-to-end 5G pre-commercial customer pilot begins in the subscriber location. Fixed wireless subscribers will use a variety of applications, many of them centered on video, bi-directional and/or low-latency. Ericsson has been field testing various applications across the 5G network to evaluate the application behavior.

Arun Bansal, Head of Business Unit Network Products at Ericsson, says: “Ericsson 5G Radios have been providing multi-gigabit speeds into subscriber locations by using advanced radio techniques. For example, beamforming can be used to find the best path for the 28GHz radio signal to reach the user.”

5G technologies in both the radio and the core network will enable operators to provide new services to their customers due to higher bandwidth and lower latency. The fully virtualized core enables network slicing, with fixed being the first slice of many for the next generation core network.

Verizon’s pre-commercial customer pilot will span multiple deployment scenarios, geographies and RF morphologies. New techniques are being developed in order to meet the constraints associated with massive 5G small cell deployments. The learnings from the pilot are vital to a scalable deployment.

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Airtel 4G Rolled Out In 400 Towns Of Maharashtra And Goa


Bharti Airtel today said it has expanded its 4G presence to two more states- Goa and Maharashtra. With this Airtel 4G will be available in more than 400 towns across these two states and can be accessed over mobile phones, 4G MiFi and dongles.

As part of network roll-out, the company has deployed fresh 4G network capacity in the 1800 MHz spectrum band (using FD LTE technology standard) to supplement existing 4G capacity in the 2300 MHz spectrum band (using TD LTE technology standard).

With this, Maharashtra and Goa join a select group of states in India to enjoy the power of an integrated 4G network using TD and FD carriers. The combination of TD LTE and FD LTE significantly boosts network capacity and delivers a better mobile broadband experience to customers across Maharashtra and Goa through better network coverage and data speeds.

“We have rolled out a future ready network across Maharashtra and Goa, with enhanced capacity and latest technology. The addition of the second 4G carrier in the 1800 MHz band will enable faster data speeds and better coverage for customers and add to their mobile data experience on our network. We have also expanded our 4G network presence to over 400 towns across the two states under Project Leap and remain committed to the digital vision of the two states. We invite customers to get on to the information superhighway with Airtel 4G,” said Vidur Rattan, Chief Executive Officer – Maharashtra & Goa, Bharti Airtel.

To avail the complimentary upgrade to Airtel 4G, existing Airtel customers with 4G ready mobile devices can walk into their nearest Airtel Store and switch to a 4G SIM and get one-time free 4G data up to 10 GB.

Airtel recently also launched the new version of its MyAirtel App – the one app for all apps. The refreshed MyAirtel App will offer the best of music, movies games, LIVE TV, e-books, chats and much more in one place. Users can also enjoy free 2GB cloud backup with the new Airtel Cloud app and free calling with Airtel Dialer.

Airtel is offering multiple data plans for its customers – both prepaid and postpaid – in these two states. For example 3GB 4G data on recharge of Rs 349 on prepaid plan and 3GB 4G data on all MyPlan postpaid plans. With Airtel 4G the company also runs some schemes on 4G smartphones. Monthly plans for 4G devices start from Rs. 450 and customers can also avail the advance rental plans starting from Rs. 3200 to avail their new device free of cost.

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