Xiaomi launches cheaper, thinner, more colorful Mi 4i in India

IndiaXiaomi vice-president Hugo Barra (pictured above) today launched its newest phone, the Mi 4i, at a global premiere in Delhi, attended by both founders Lei Jun and Lin Bin. That it chose to premiere a new gadget in India underlines the importance of this smartphone-hungry, cost-sensitive market to the Chinese company. The name of its new flagship phone is an acronym of “Mi for India.”


Indian city police buys pepper spray drones for crowd control

IndiaPolice in the Indian city of Lucknow plan to use pepper-spraying drones to control crowds. The government has bought five drones capable of spraying pepper powder on crowds, city officials told wire services. The government has already test-flown the drones and plans to use them from later this month. The drones have high-resolution cameras and can fly within a one kilometre radius of the operator.


Infosys acquires US firm Kallidus for $120 million

IndiaBENGALURU: Infosys has acquired US-based digital experience solutions company Kallidus for $120 million that includes a deferred component and retention bonus. Kallidus offers including mobile commerce and in-store shopping experiences to large retail clients. It develops and host mobile websites, apps, and other digital shopping experiences across mobile, tablet, desktop, in-store and all emerging channels.  The latest acquisition is Bengaluru-based IT company’s second acquisition this year.


Airtel may soon launch 4G services in Delhi

IndiaNEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel may soon launch 4G services in Delhi as it has got the go-ahead in this regard from the Department of Telecom (DoT). Airtel’s 4G launch in Delhi has been mired in a legal case. The telecom major had got the required spectrum for 4G services through acquisition of Wireless Business Services Pvt Ltd (now Airtel Broadband Services).  The DoT had raised a demand of Rs 436 crore from Airtel for merging Airtel Broadband Services (ABSPL) with itself. The company opposed it and approached TDSAT regarding the matter.


Net neutrality: DoT calls advisory group meet on April 27

IndiaNEW DELHI: The Department of Telecom has called a meeting of Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) to discuss net neutrality on April 27. “A committee has been constituted in Department of Telecommunications to examine various aspects of net neutrality. The committee has decided to have interaction with MAG representatives. Accordingly, a meeting will be organized on April 27,” a DoT circular sent to MAG members said. MAG was constituted by Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) in February 2014.


BSNL makes pan-India calling free at night

IndiaNEW DELHI: To boost landline business, state-run telecom operator BSNL has announced unlimited free calling scheme during night hours from its fixed line phones to any operator including mobile phones anywhere in the country from May 1. The scheme would be operational between 9 PM to 7 AM and would cover all type of connections, BSNL said in a statement. “BSNL has introduced unlimited free calling during night hours from its landline phones to all landline phones and mobile phones of all service provider’s network on all India basis from 1st May,” BSNL said.


Rural internet users to grow five-fold by 2018, from IN

IndiaMUMBAI: The share of rural internet users will increase nearly fivefold to touch 28 crore by 2018, signalling higher online purchasers going forward from rural India, says a research report. By 2018, the country will have “as many as 55 crore internet users, of which 28 crore would be from smaller towns and cities, expanding at close to 40% a year from six crore in 2014,” forecasts a report on digital consumption by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).


Micromax to go for flash sales in bid to protect market share

IndiaNEW DELHI: Micromax is introducing ‘flash sale’ to its online retail strategy as the country’s second largest handset maker looks to maintain its breakneck growth rate and take competition such as Xiaomi and Motorola head-on. Micromax, which clocked 54% jump in its revenues for the year ended March 2015 at around Rs 10,000 crore, will offer exclusive products in different price ranges with online retailers Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal, its chief executive Vineet Taneja said.


HTC plans to unveil smartphone for Indian market

TaiwanNEW DELHI: Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC is preparing to launch a handset made for India in the third quarter of this fiscal, even as it considers manufacturing mobile phones in the country, underlining the importance of the high-growth market which is becoming a priority for global brands such as Xiaomi and Samsung.  “We have a third-quarter plan for our global launch in India to introduce a device which is especially designed for the Indian consumer,” Chia-Lin Chang, president of g ..


Asustek looking to produce handsets in India: report

IndiaTaiwan’s Asustek is considering producing handsets in India to cash in on the world’s third-biggest smartphone market under the government’s “Make in India” initiative, according to an Indian business daily. “With the new government policies, we do see some benefits of manufacturing devices in India,” Peter Chang, country manager at Asustek India, was quoted in a report Monday by the Economic Times in India.


Indian IT industry is changing

IndiaBENGALURU/NEW DELHI: Wipro and HCL Technologies joined the list of Indian software companies reporting underwhelming results in a reflection of the industry’s struggles with volatile currency movements and the rapid transformation in the world of information technology. With the effects of cross-currency movements counted, Wipro said revenue in the fourth quarter shrank by 1.2%.


Criticized in India, Facebook’s Internet.org goes live in Indonesia

IndonesiaNEW DELHI: Facebook’s free internet initiative Internet.org has been officially launched in Indonesia, marking the programme’s second largest launch in Asia till date. On his Facebook page, CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted, “After today, everyone in Indonesia will have the opportunity to share in the benefits of the internet and access free services in areas like jobs, health, education and communication on the Indosat network.”


Amazon India launching new website for wholesalers

IndiaBENGALURU: Amazon India is inviting small and medium businesses to procure supplies from a new website beginning this week, the first country outside the US where the e-commerce major is offering the service.  The pilot service will be tested in Bengaluru before being offered in other cities, marking the entry of the Seattle-based company into wholesale e-commerce, an online business segment where foreign direct investment is permitted in India.


The war over Zero rating, from India

IndiaThe crescendo of shrill cries outside forced the top management of Flipkart into quiet introspection within. Last week, it abandoned a ‘zero rating’ discussion with Airtel only eight days after the telecom operator unveiled it. Under this arrangement, Airtel users would have been able to access Flipkart.com for free, with Flipkart paying Airtel for data consumed by users.


‘Telcos only intermediaries, can’t go against net neutrality’

IndiaNEW DELHI: Amid the raging debate globally over net neutrality, which has evoked a strong reaction from stakeholders in India, domain experts feel that an unshackled access to the internet world isn’t feasible in India yet but attempts must continue for egalitarianism. “Building a net neutral network is technologically not possible to implement. It’s a utopian idea — no basis in technology,” said Ravi VS Prasad, a telecom consultant who has designed several data-com and telecom networks in the past 30 years.


36% of youth get bullied online in India: Report

IndiaNEW DELHI: Trishna Saikia (name changed) could not believe it when her best friend created a fake profile of her on a social networking site and sent derogatory messages to common friends in a bid to get back at Saikia for dating a boy she liked.  “She used my personal images and insulted me on a public forum,” the victim related.  Like Saikia, many young girls and boys fall prey to online abuse and cyberbullying, which experts describe as “the intentional use of harmful words to put another person down.”


Asus may set up production unit in India

IndiaNEW DELHI: Asustek Computer, the Taiwanese company that sells handsets under Asus brand, is actively considering scope for manufacturing in India, as it seeks to tap more of the country’s fast growing smartphone market by leveraging the government’s Make in India initiative.  “With the new government policies, we do see some benefits of manufacturing devices in India,” Peter Chang, country manager at Asus India, told ET. “We are in the process of hiring a consultancy firm to evaluate the prospects of manufacturing in India.”


Net neutrality to aid Digital India drive: DoT

IndiaNEW DELHI: After telecom and information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad backed an open internet three days ago, a note prepared by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for a meeting of the committee on net neutrality said the concept may help the government’s Digital India programme and ensure equitable and inclusive development. The meeting, held on Friday, was the second since the panel was set up with officials from the Licensing and Finance Wing of DoT as well as the home ministry and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology to study the matter and submit a report to the government by the second week of May.


Net neutrality row hits Facebook’s Internet.org in India

IndiaMUMBAI: A group of India’s leading technology and internet firms has pulled out of Internet.org, Facebook’s flagship effort to get billions more online, in a growing debate over free access and internet neutrality in the country. Net neutrality is the concept that all websites on the internet are treated equally. The debate over access and neutrality has grabbed headlines in India this week after leading telecom carrier Bharti Airtel announced a product through which mobile ‘app’ makers pay for data usage to allow customers to use their apps for free.


India’s tech entrepreneurs weigh in on net neutrality controversy

IndiaFacebook’s Internet.org initiative, which offers free access to a selection of internet services, has met severe resistance from digital firms in India. Initially, about 40 services had signed up for the initiative but most of them later abandoned the service and favoured net neutrality. Mark Zuckerberg today fought back in a statement on his Facebook page saying that net neutrality is not in conflict with working to get more people connected.