Category — Telecommunications

Reliance India Offers a 4G JioPhone for “Free”

India’s Reliance Industries‘ chairman Mukesh Ambani launched the 4G-enabled feature phone, the JioPhone at the company’s annual general meeting. This mobile phone is free for 3 years with a refundable deposit of $23.

4G VoLTE-enabled JioPhone reports that the 4G VoLTE-enabled JioPhone is packed with features such as:

  • Unlimited voice, data, and texts for a data plan of $2.50 per month
  • Support for all languages
  • It is pre-loaded with Jio apps, a flashlight, an expandable SD card slot, a headphone jack, microphone, speaker and 4-way navigation
  • An intelligent voice assistant command option that can help users make calls, use Jio apps, search the web, and more
  • It includes an SOS feature and also supports FM Radio
  • Its “Jio Phone TV-Cable” can be connected with any television, not just smart TV

The move by Reliance can prove to be the next disruptor in India’s telecom market.


July 21, 2017   No Comments

Key Takeaways from UBS Research on India’s Mobile Carriers

In February and March 2017, UBS Evidence Lab conducted an online consumer survey on the telecom usage of ~1,500 respondents in India. The survey was conducted in 8 cities in different states. Respondents were smartphone users and the decision makers/influencers in choosing mobile carriers. UBS analysts released a consumer survey report in May 2017.
Key Takeaways from the Report as shared by ET Telecom:
  • The most favored carrier was Bharti Airtel
  • There was no least favored carrier
  • Nearly one-third of respondents were Reliance Jio users, but nearly 50 percent of them used it as a secondary SIM
  • Survey suggests satisfaction level of Jio is comparable to Airtel
  • Jio’s share of revenues at 5.7% in FY2018, will  rise to 9.8% by FY2020
  • Recently launched bundled plans by incumbents suggests pricing gap with Jio has narrowed
  • UBS estimates industry revenue to decline 4% in FY2017 and grow 1.7% in FY2018, below the 9-11% growth in FY15
  • The need for continued spending on capex and spectrum is triggering industry consolidation
  • There is a clear correlation between market share and margins for telcos; greater scale should provide operating leverage for Idea-Vodafone

UBS Consumer Survey on Indian Mobile Carriers

June 27, 2017   No Comments

ITU Accepts India’s Proposal on Rural 5G

At the International Telecommunication Union – Radio Communications‘ terrestrial radio systems (WP5D) meeting held in Canada, the Indian delegation championed the mandatory adoption of a configuration called Low Mobility Large Cell (LMLC) for 5G technology. The proposal has been approved by the global telecom organization.

ITU Logo

This configuration focuses on low mobility users in a set of villages and farms spread over a large area and is likely to become a game changer. New radio systems will need to incorporate this criterion for qualifying as 5G.

Noting that only 13 percent of India’s rural population had access to Internet, the Cellular Operators Association of India said, “Connecting rural India with high-speed mobile broadband will become a reality soon.” By 2020, the National Optical Fiber Network will reach all the 250,000 villages in the country, the Association added.

June 23, 2017   No Comments

Intel Invests $178 Million for R&D in India

Santa Clara, CA-based Intel Corporation will invest $178 million in India to set up a new research and development center in Bangalore said Intel India’s general manager Nivruti Rai at a news conference. This fresh investment is in addition to the $4.3 billion  Intel invested in the country over the last 15 years since it set up its largest design center outside the U.S.

Intel Corporation logo

 Spread over a 44-acre campus, the new center will have a computer software development, hardware design services and verification facility. “The nine storied building with 620,000 sq.ft. of office space will be completed in the next nine months,” said Rai. “The new facility will enable us to continue our momentum in doing cutting-edge innovation and design work from India,” he added.

The company’s Indian subsidiary has about 7,000 engineers to design and power semiconductor chips for its global customers, including original equipment manufacturers of computers, smart phones and other electronic devices, reports ET Telecom.

June 19, 2017   No Comments

Reliance Jio’s Price Wars Affects India’s Telcos

By offering free voice services for life, and free data services over a six-month period, India’s Reliance Jio telecommunications company triggered a price war that affected the rest of the country’s telecom providers. Profits have fallen, and a phase of consolidation has begun in India’s mobile market. A merger between Vodafone India and Idea, that is pending clearance from Indian authorities, will overtake Mumbai-based Bharti Airtel Ltd., to become a new market leader.

Airtel’s first-quarter net profit fell to $56 million, from $195 million in the year-earlier period. Airtel was forced to reduce the prices of data and voice services to prevent customer churn. On a more positive note, its base of data customers grew by 4.5%, with data usage up 37%.

Earnings reports show drops in average revenue per user across all players. Airtel’s monthly average revenue per user fell from $2.9 a year ago to $2.4 in the most recent quarter. Idea’s is down from $2.7 to $2.1 over the same period. Significantly, both Airtel and Vodafone added new customers in the first quarter. Vodafone picked up another 4.4 million subscribers, while Airtel gained as many as 7.7 million. Idea, however, lost 6.4 million customers in the same quarter, reports LightReading.

Ardom Telecom Towers



June 5, 2017   No Comments