November 2008

mCONNECT News

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Nextel Mexico Selects Telcordia for Number Portability

Two months after leading the deployment of wireline and wireless number portability in Mexico, Telcordia announced that Nextel Mexico,  providers of fully integrated wireless communication services, is the latest Tier 1 service provider to successfully implement the Telcordia Number Portability Gateway. This will bring the added choice and convenience of number portability to Mexican residents.

Headquartered in Mexico City, Nextel Mexico provides service to more than 2.4 million customers in more than 26 cities. By endorsing number portability in Mexico and using the Telcordia Number Portability Gateway, Nextel Mexico is making it easier for consumers and enterprises to switch to its advanced network, which features digital cellular voice services, data services, wireless Internet access and Nextel Direct Connect and International Direct Connect, a digital two-way radio feature.

Deployed by 236 service providers in 12 countries, the Telcordia product enables Nextel Mexico to improve its competitive position by automating the porting process to reduce costs and enhance the customer experience. The Telcordia Number Portability Gateway automates and streamlines the porting process for Nextel Mexico consumer and business users as they switch service providers.

MTNL Handover Balance Dividend

MTNL has  presented a cheque for INR 35.43  crores, towards 10 percent balance of final dividend for the Financial Year 2007-08 to the Minister of Communications & IT, Thiru. A. Raja. In its 22nd  Annual General Meeting. MTNL approved payment of final dividend @ 40 percent (including 30 percent interim dividend already paid), amounting to INR 252 crores,  on the paid up equity capital of INR 630 crores for the financial year 2007-08.  This will involve an amount of INR 63 crores in addition to INR 189 crores already paid as 30 percent interim dividend.  Out of this, INR 35.43 crores is payable to the Government of India towards the government’s share in the shareholding of the company.

During 2007-08, GSM subscribers have increased by 4,95,037 to 32,41,851 and are 36,77,782 as on 30th September 2008.  During the year, the broadband subscribers have increased by 1,01,145 and are 6,03,405 as on 30th September 2008.

Travel Search Engine Goes Mobile

iXiGO.com is now mobile-ready! iXiGO  announced the launch of its travel search engine for mobile phones bringing its search technology from web browsers to mobile phones. iXiGO aims to expand its reach beyond the Internet-savvy early-adopters to mobile-savvy travelers by tapping India’s 60 million GPRS enabled phones out of the 300 million Indian mobile subscribers.

iXiGO Mobile searches across flights and hotels in India and features a click-to-call booking mechanism enabling people to speak directly with the call centres of respective airlines and hotel booking providers. In an environment where airlines are reducing dependence on travel agencies, iXiGO’s direct-booking model by-passes online travel agents and allows users to save booking fees charged by them.

Bharti Airtel to Further Enhance Customer Service

Bharti Airtel , announced a strategic outsourcing agreement with IBM  to further enhance its customer service experience for its top end Platinum customers through process and technology innovation. The six year Q3 contract for outsourcing contact services to IBM’s Managed Business Process Services (MBPS) unit will involve augmentation of Airtel’s sales, customer service, and back office capabilities.

IBM Daksh Business Process Services (a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM Corporation) will provide a suite of services covering both voice and back office in areas such as customer service, collections, customer retention and the like to Airtel Platinum customers from its centers. IBM Daksh expects to have over 700 employees in the first year focused on providing services in over 11 languages to elite Airtel customers across the country.

The partnership is also expected to help Airtel consolidate its service delivery to its Platinum customers across its business units of
Mobile Services, Telemedia Services (Fixedline and Broadband) and Enterprise Services.

TRAI’s Reach in Sept. 2008

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in a recent press release disclosed that, a total of 9.79 million telephone connections (Wireline and Wireless) have been added during September 2008 as compared to 9.03 million connections added in August 2008. The total number of telephone connections reached 353.66 million at the end of September 2008 as compared to 343.87 million in August 2008. With this growth, the overall tele-density has reached 30.64 percent at the end of September 2008 as against 29.83 percent in August 2008.

The total wireless subscribers (GSM, CDMA & WLL(F)) base stood at 315.31million at the end of September 2008. A total of 10.07 million wireless subscribers have been added during the month of September 2008 as against 9.16 million wireless subscribers added during the month of August 2008. In the wireline segment, the subscriber base has decreased to 38.35 million in the month of September 2008 as against 38.63 million subscribers in August 2008 registering a drop of 0.30 million.

TCS Wins Wall Street Journal Global Innovation Technology Award

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), announced that The Wall Street Journal, has selected TCS’ mKrishi service as the winner of its 2008 Technology Innovation Award in the wireless technology category.  The award recognises companies, individuals and organisations world-wide for technological breakthroughs in such areas as medicine, software, the Internet, wireless and consumer electronics.

The Wall Street Journal received more than 700 entries for the Innovation Awards, and a Wall Street Journal editor narrowed the field down to the 162 that were scored by the judges. Winners were chosen based on whether the technology represented a breakthrough from conventional methods, rather than just an incremental improvement. TCS’ mobile based crop-advisory service, mKrishi, is a  approach for helping rural farmers throughout India, to provide them with better access to information through a cell phone application. It has been developed to provide personalised information and expert advice to rural farmers in their local language using sensor technology. It is also adaptable to illiterate farmers to make a query from a cell phone using voice-specific functions.

Actis Technologies ties up with NEC

Actis Technologies has announced its tie up with NEC India Pvt., for  industrial LCD monitors. This alliance would help Actis in providing organisations of all sizes, high quality industrial LCD monitors which are designed to run 24×7 and provide protection against permanent image retention.

The market for LCD is anticipated to grow at a Compound Annual Growth rate (CAGR) of 25 percent. The company aims to harness this growth, which is now strengthened with the alliance with NEC.The LCD monitors have an industrial design, high display quality, Tile Matrix and Tile Comp and protect against permanent image retention, Self-diagnostics, Landscape & Portrait orientation, and Scheduler with round-the-clock feature that allows for 7 day scheduling of content and powering of the display.

Bell Canada selects Huawei Technologies

Huawei Technologies announced that it has been selected by Bell Canada to provide network infrastructure for its national overlay of High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology to its national Evolution Data Optimised (EVDO) wireless network. The HSPA overlay will also offer Bell an efficient upgrade path forward to Long Term Evolution (LTE ), the global Fourth Generation (4G) wireless standard. The multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement will see Huawei providing Bell with radio access network technology for its new next generation wireless network.

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