Category — Telecommunications

Apple Looks to Expand in India

India has offered to allow Apple Inc., to import mobile handset components intended for use in local manufacturing tax free; but these concessions will be subject to the condition of increasing local value addition over a period of time.

Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary at the Ministry of Electronics and IT told Reuters, “We have offered them tax exemptions on those components which could not be manufactured in India.” She added that Apple will need to increase the local manufacturing component gradually in phases of 3, 5, 7, and 10 years as the local capacity builds up.

In mid-May, Apple‘s OEM partner, Wistron, started assembling the iPhone SE in Bangalore, India, in order to lower the price point and make it more affordable to Indian consumers.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, the federal minister for Electronics and IT said that Apple had approached the Indian government to expand Wistron’s facilities in Bangalore, and that government officials were in touch with Apple for expanding the facility and setting up new plants.

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May 26, 2017   No Comments

Facebook Rolls Out Express Wi-Fi in India

Facebook announced the commercial launch of Express Wi-Fi, its second attempt to bring millions of Indians online at an “affordable” fee. The service is currently available in the four Indian states of Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Meghalaya, where the company has 700 hotspots through other internet providers. It has also partnered with Airtel, (currently India’s largest telecom operator), to launch an additional 20,000 hotspots. Customers can sign up for daily, weekly, or monthly plans that cost about $0.15 a day.

“Express Wi-Fi is designed to complement mobile data offerings by providing a low-cost, high bandwidth alternative for getting online and access apps, download and stream content,” says Munish Seth, regional head for connectivity solutions in the APAC region.

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Mashable reports that India is the fastest growing market for Facebook. As of last month, Facebook’s marquee platform had 184 million monthly active users in the country, 50 percent of which return to the site every day. The company’s instant messaging and voice calling app WhatsApp also has over 200 million monthly active users in India. 

May 13, 2017   No Comments

Google to Help a Billion Indians Go Online

How, did you ask?

Google has enabled nine Indian languages to work on the new AI-enabled Google Translate, and it has doubled the number of Indian languages on Gboard, its custom mobile keyboard, to 22. These new additions will allow millions of Indian users to type and search for emojis and GIFs in their native language.

CNN reports that according to a new study by Google and KPMG, the number of  Indian-language web users in India will exceed  536 million Indian-language  by 2021, almost three times the number of English-speaking users in the country. There are roughly 900 million Indians who are not yet online. When they do connect, 90% will be operating in a language that isn’t English, the study concludes.

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Googles’ other initiatives at increasing internet penetration in India, include free WiFi at 100 railway stations and a partnership with India’s Tata Trusts to teach women in rural areas to use smartphones.

 

May 10, 2017   No Comments

Margins, Market Shares Rise at Indian Telcos

A research report by UBS Securities shows that there is a strong correlation between margins and revenue market share of telecom operators in India and indeed, in all of Asia. In India, the UBS research focused on the top three telecom operators in India in terms of revenue: Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone India, and the figures are per the table below:

Telecom Operators Revenue Market Share EBITDA Margin
Bharti Airtel 30.3 percent 38.9 percent
Vodafone India 21.3 percent 31.1 percent
Idea Cellular 19.4 percent 27.8 percent

Telecom Lead says the report indicates that the merger between Vodafone India and Idea Cellular will increase EBITDA margins for both operators.

This correlation is also seen across telecom operators in the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand and Australia.

Telecommunication Tower

May 7, 2017   No Comments

Apple Sets New March Quarter Record for India

“We set a new March quarter record for India, where revenue grew by strong double digits,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in his opening remarks as part of the earnings call. Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri quantified the “strong double-digit” growth for India — over 20 percent.

Growth in India revenue is due to Apple’s aggressive marketing focus with discounts and cashback offers, especially on older iPhone models and products like the iPhone SE. More recently, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have been available at reduced prices as well, reports Gadgets 360.

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“We continued to strengthen our local presence across the entire ecosystem, and we’re very optimistic about our future in this remarkable country with its very large, young, and tech-savvy population, fast-growing economy, and improving 4G network infrastructure,” Cook added.

Starting online stores is among Apple’s plans for India, while phased manufacturing is something that Apple may be already discussing with the government.

 

May 6, 2017   No Comments