Economic Times — NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel will spend $16 billion to build deeper IT infrastructure to offer telecom services to Indian citizens in rural and urban parts of the country, the chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said during the launch of Digital India week. “Digital India has power to transform the country in shortest time, also digitally native Modi the right man to lead the drive.” Mittal said.
Lightr Rading — NEW DELHI — Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa , has selected Nokia Networks to roll out its 3G network in 5 new telecom circles and network expansion in 3 existing telecom circles. Under the 4-year contract, the company will provide its radio elements and services expertise to power Bharti Airtel’s infrastructure.
Times of India — LONDON: In a bid to provide affordable internet access to all, Bharti has acquired a minority stake in OneWeb, which plans to offer communication services using satellites by 2019. OneWeb has received $500 million for the project from its investors and plans to launch services by 2019. OneWeb, founded in 2012, is building a communication network with an initial constellation of 648 low earth orbit satellites. Investors in the company include Qualcomm Inc, Virgin Group, Airbus Group and Coca-Cola Company.
Times Of India — NEW DELHI: It looks like Airtel is killing its Smartbytes internet top-ups for postpaid users in Delhi. The product, which allows Airtel users to top-up their internet data packs if they use up their monthly allowance before their bill cycle date, is no longer available. A Delhi-based user informed TOI Tech that when he tried topping up his Airtel postpaid number after exhausting the monthly 2GB quota, the network returned a ‘service not applicable’ message.
NEW DELHI: India’s largest telecom service provider Bharti Airtel will start trials of its 4G services in Delhi from June 18. According to sources, the company has set up the network and already informed the customers having 4G-enabled handsets to get 4G sim cards. “The company will do the beta launch of 4G in Delhi on June 18,” a source said. The company had started its 4G services in 2012 with the first launch in Kolkata. Airtel’s 4G services are now available in several parts of the country including Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Chandigarh and Amritsar.
NEW DELHI: Telecom major Bharti Airtel has said that it has received a contract from Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon to launch Wi-Fi services. Users will be able to access free internet for the first 30 minutes and after that they can buy recharges. “… it has won the mandate for the launch of Wi-Fi services in Gurgaon … With this, Airtel has become the preferred partner to provide residents of the Millennium City an opportunity to connect to world-class internet experiences on the move,” Bharti Airtel said in a statement.
KOLKATA: Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel and No. 3 carrier Idea Cellular gained incremental revenue market share (RMS) in the year ending March 2015, riding on robust data services revenue growth, while No. 2 carrier Vodafone India slipped marginally. Combined incremental RMS of the top three players stood at 88.3% in the fiscal ended March 2015, from 86.6% in FY14, indicating revenue market share consolidation, as per Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) data.
NEW DELHI: Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission (TC) said it has finalized its view on the much awaited spectrum sharing and trading guidelines, which will be sent to the cabinet for final approval by month-end. “We have finalized the view on spectrum-sharing and trading guidelines. We will try to send the norms to the cabinet by the end of this month,” telecom secretary Rakesh Garg said after the meeting. The guidelines will be sent to telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad first and after his approval a cabinet note will be prepared.
KOLKATA: Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel’s decision to cut discounts on mobile data packs bought online following No. 3 carrier Idea Cellular’s recent call to increase data rates in Delhi signals attempts by telecom operators to shore up revenue and margins in the face of higher finance costs due to spectrum-related payouts. A Vodafone India spokesman said the company, India’s No. 2 operator, “is evaluating response” to Airtel and Idea’s moves.
NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel’s mobile internet packs, both 2G and 3G, sold online will cost more for pre-paid customers across the country. The company has withdrawn discounts that it was offering for online purchase of mobile data packs, bringing the prices at par with internet packs sold offline through retailers. “There is a slight change in few of our online prepaid data packs owing to the discontinuation of discounted offers on these,” an Airtel spokesperson told PTI. Also, sources said that Airtel has raised prices of 10 data packs.
NEW DELHI: Idea Cellular has hiked mobile data rates by up to 100% for pre-paid customers in the NCR region, becoming the first telecom operator to raise the tariff after Rs 1.1 lakh crore spectrum auction in March. The country’s third largest telco has doubled the price for some 2G plans, while 3G will be costlier by about 33%. The new rates came into effect from June 3. According to industry sources, the company also plans to increase the data tariffs in more circles in the coming days.
MUMBAI: India’s largest telecom company Bharti Airtel has raised $1 billion, or around Rs 6,400 crore, by selling bonds to global investors. Those bonds have been priced at 210 basis points over and above the 10-year US Treasury bond yields, which would offer a final rate of 4.37%, two persons associated with the deal told ET. A basis point is 0.01%. “Amid competing supply from several other Asian issuances this issuance managed to garner interest of high quality investors from US, Asia and Europe,” said Pushkaraj Gumaste, head of client coverage, Barclays India. “This has enabled Bharti Airtel to achieve the tightest ever price on its bond offerings.”
Mark Zuckerberg’s bid to connect the unconnected via Internet.org is already facing its first major roadblock – not from cellcos, but from internet companies and activist groups who claim Internet.org’s business model violates net neutrality principles and creates a walled garden of content for poor people rather than the “real” internet. The latest flashpoint is India, where Internet.org has partnered with Reliance and Bharti Airtel to offer free internet access to specific apps for free, with the data usage subsidized by apps developers.
DELHI| BENGALURU: Google has put on hold plans to provide free data to end users in India by zero rating certain apps, due to recent public backlash against a similar initiative by Facebook and Airtel, two people familiar with the development said. The internet giant, which was in early discussions with telecom operators and applications developers to launch a zero rating platform, has now decided to take a wait and watch approach, they said. “Google has shelved the idea of any kind of zero-rating tie-up because they are very scared of the backlash which came up against (Facebook’s) Internet.org in India,” said one of them.
NEW DELHI: Airtel’s Zero Rating platform and the Facebook-Reliance Communications combine’s internet.org plan have been found to be against the spirit of net neutrality by a preliminary inquiry conducted by the telecom ministry. The findings assume significance as they come at a time when a high-level committee of the ministry is finalizing a regulatory set-up for various issues related to net neutrality. Also, the committee will define how telecom operators are to deal with numerous internet websites, or over-the-top (OTT) players, who ride on their network.
KOLKATA: Mobile carriers have silently turned to cool web-crawling technologies and analytics to instantly latch on to any negative customer buzz regarding their services and brand reputation across social media circles, and take corrective action. India’s No. 3 mobile carrier, Idea Cellular, said it uses analytics and web-crawling tools, to monitor and listen to customers on a 24×7 basis and provide quick resolution to their service needs.
HYDERABAD: Bharti Airtel has said it has launched 4G trials exclusively for its existing customers in Hyderabad in Telangana and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. As part of this, customers across these two cities can now avail of a complimentary upgrade to Airtel 4G at 3G prices, Airtel said in a statement. Announcing the beta launch, Venkatesh Vijayraghavan, CEO – Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Bharti Airtel (India), said the company had made significant investments in building a robust 4G network.
KOLKATA: With the government poised to appoint a new Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman following Rahul Khullar’s recent retirement, India’s GSM carriers will shortly approach the sector regulator to persuade the telecom department (DoT) to finalize the data services deactivation and re-activation drill using a designated toll free short code. The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the GSM trade body representing mobile carriers such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular amongst others, will shortly urge the next Trai chairman to “get the 1925 short code allotted by the DoT at the earliest for the purpose of data services de-activation and re-activation.”
SHANGHAI: Bharti Airtel has said it has received financing commitments of up to $2.5 billion from China Development Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, with an average maturity of about nine years. The company signed the term sheets for the financing options in the presence of PM Narendra Modi, who is currently on an official visit to China. Airtel said the funds will help the company further diversify its global financing pool and invest in growth of data networks.