Call Drops: TRAI Says Telcos Can Be Fined Up to Rs. 5 Lakhs on Call Drops

The Indian telecom watchdog on Friday announced stricter rules over call drops and said telecom operators who don’t meet the norms can be fined up to Rs. 5 lakhs.

“Graded financial disincentives in case service providers fail to meet the DCR (drop all rates) benchmarks have been introduced, in which amount payable may depend upon the extent of deviation from the benchmarks,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said.

It said if the benchmark is not met, the service provider may be fined up to Rs. 5 lakhs against one parameter “depending upon the extent of deviation of performance from the benchmark.

“In case of consecutive contravention of the benchmarks for two quarters, financial disincentive may be up to one and half times and in case of consecutive contravention of the benchmark for more than two quarters, it may be twice the amount,” said the regulator.

TRAI said the amended regulation of “Quality of Services” would be effective from October 1.

Call Drops: TRAI Says Telcos Can Be Fined Up to Rs. 5 Lakhs on Call DropsIn the present methodology of assessment of call drops, averaging was being done to evaluate the performance of the network over the entire service area and it was being averaged every month.

The regulator said the averaging in effect hides the poorly performing cells.

“As a result, while service providers were meeting the benchmarks, customers were complaining about the poor quality of service.”

TRAI said the revised methodology would be done on percentile basis.

“It will remove the anomaly which was getting introduced due to averaging of DCR of bad performing cells in the network with good or excellent performing cells.”

TRAI Chairman Refutes Allegations of Delay in Reliance Jio Network Testing Consultation

TRAI Chairman R S Sharma Friday snubbed incumbent services providers on their charge that the regulator did not act in-time against Reliance Jio network testing methodology which allegedly circumvented rules related to subscriber addition.

“A vaccine cannot be developed before the disease”, Sharma said and asked if operators want the regulator to take action ‘suo-moto’ instead of consultation process that it follows. “One point you made that the problem was not solved when it started. As you know TRAI solves problem with consultation process and gives recommendation to the government. TRAI could not have administratively taken decision to stop it. If you want that kind of process then lets take a decision,” Sharma said.

He said that it should be appreciated that TRAI consults with stakeholders to develop frameworks.
Sharma said that there were exchanges with the Department of Telecom after telecom operators had given representation in the matter.

“The DoT gave us reference in September of 2016. Thereafter we issued consultation paper. As part of TRAI Act the regulator has to act with great transparency and therefore we consult with stakeholders,” Sharma said.

TRAI Chairman Refutes Allegations of Delay in Reliance Jio Network Testing ConsultationA Cellular Operators Association of India representative said that since 2005 when network testing was done there has been clear understanding the way network should be tested but in the case (of Reliance Jio) there was variation.

He said that there are adequate simulation tools which could be used for network testing and there has been no case where field trials have been conducted at large scale like in
India.

All operators, except Reliance Jio, favoured issue for separate number series for network testing and they should not be migrated when the network is launched commercially. Telenor representative said that it never came to anybody’s attention that a network can be tested at such a large scale.

MTNL Boosts 3G Data Limits Up to 3 Times at the Same Price

State-run telecom firm MTNL said it has increased 3G mobile Internet data limit by up to three times at the same price for its prepaid customers.

“Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) has decided to offer up to three times free data on existing prepaid 3G data coupons available in the market,” the public sector firm said in a statement.

The company announced that customers buying its Rs. 99 data coupons will get 1.5GB data with a validity of 30 days against 500 MB earlier. Similarly Rs. 19 coupon will now provide triple data at 750MB.

MTNL Boosts 3G Data Limits Up to 3 Times at the Same PriceThe scheme has been in effect from August 7, the company said. MTNL customers recharging with Rs. 319 will get 2GB of 2G or 3G data every day, unlimited free calls on MTNL network in Delhi and Mumbai and daily free 25 minutes on other networks, with a validity of 28 days, the statement said.

Consulting firm Deloitte last week submitted its report on restructuring and revival of debt-laden MTNL, and a panel has been set up in the Telecom Department to study it, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said.

A household telephony brand in the 90s and early 2000, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has been making losses since 2009-10 after it was asked to pay Rs. 11,000 crores for mobile airwaves, and incurred additional expenses on account of second wage revision leading to payouts to employees. Its total debt stands at over Rs. 15,000 crores now.

TRAI Likely to Release Discussion Paper on Spectrum Auction This Week

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is likely to release a discussion paper on spectrum auction this week, chairman R S Sharma said Monday.

The consultation paper of spectrum auction and pricing is “ready” and the telecom regulator hopes to release it this week, Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of ITU-TRAI Asia Pacific Regulators Roundtable.

TRAI Likely to Release Discussion Paper on Spectrum Auction This WeekEarlier this year, the Department of Telecom (DoT) sought Trai’s views on spectrum price for various frequencies, including premium airwaves in the 700MHz band which remained unsold in the last auctions in October 2016.

During the last auction, the government had put airwaves worth Rs. 5.66 lakh crores for sale. In the five-day auction, seven telecom companies made commitments of Rs. 65,789 crores for buying 964.80MHz of spectrum in various frequency bands.

Even at the end of the auction, nearly 60 percent of the spectrum remained unsold (in all 2,354.55MHz was placed the block) and spectrum worth Rs. 4 lakh crores in 700MHz band found no takers.

The telecom industry has been citing its poor financial health, and falling revenue and profitability to reason that the auctions should be held late next year or early 2019.

Idea, Vodafone Lose Customers as Airtel Adds Users in July: COAI

Four private telecom operators, including Idea Cellular and Vodafone, lost 43.7 lakh customers while Bharti Airtel added 6 lakh new users in July 2017, the data published by industry body COAI showed on Tuesday.

Total mobile customer base of five COAI members that include Aircel and Telenor declined by 37.74 lakh to 82.6 crore in July from 83 crore at the end of June.

“…the extreme financial stress being experienced by the industry currently is likely to show its impact in these numbers. The industry is undergoing a phase of hyper competition and at the moment it is reeling under a debt of over Rs 4.5 lakh crore,” COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said in a statement.

He said the industry further needs an additional investment of over Rs 2.5 lakh crore for infrastructure roll-out and expansion are required especially in the far flung areas of the country.

Idea, Vodafone Lose Customers as Airtel Adds Users in July: COAIThe subscriber base of Bharti Airtel reached 28.12 crore in July.

Idea lost the most 23 lakh customers in the month, followed by Vodafone that lost 13.89 lakh customers. Aircel lost 3.91 lakh and Telenor 2.75 lakh customers.

UP (East) circle remained at the top with over 8.41 crore subscribers. It was followed by Maharashtra circle with a total of 7.87 crore mobile subscribers. Bihar was a close third with total 7.62 crore subscribers.

Maharashtra and UP East led in the number of new additions with 5.1 lakh and 4.7 lakh new subscribers respectively, the report said.

Verizon Tweaks Prices, Cuts Video Quality on Unlimited Plans

Verizon is raising the price of its unlimited plan while introducing a slightly cheaper, more limited version as wireless carriers battle each other for customers.

All major carriers now offer unlimited plans after years of steering people toward paying extra for using more data. Verizon, like its rivals, will start charging more for higher-quality video while hoping to attract cost-conscious customers with a cheaper plan.

Verizon’s unlimited plan had cost $80 (roughly Rs. 5,130) a month for one line for those who sign up for automatic payments with a checking account or debit card. Beginning Wednesday, it’ll cost $85 (roughly Rs. 5,550) with high-definition video – capped at 720p for phones. Plans with DVD-quality streaming will cost $75 (roughly Rs. 4,800). For a family of four, the higher-quality version costs $200 (roughly Rs. 12,820) a month; the cheaper plan is $160 (roughly Rs. 10,230).

Existing customers can keep their unlimited plans, but their video quality is now limited to 720p on phones as well. That rules out 4K-resolution video, but many people probably won’t notice a difference and there isn’t much 4K content yet.

Verizon will also slow the speeds of people on the cheaper unlimited plan when the network is congested. It will do that on the pricier plan only when a customer uses more than 22 gigabytes in a month. The cheaper unlimited plan won’t have data, texts or calls in Mexico and Canada included.

Verizon’s changes are meant to preserve the quality of its network after the return of unlimited plans in February, Jefferies analyst Mike McCormack said in a research note.

Verizon Tweaks Prices, Cuts Video Quality on Unlimited PlansThe popular plans have “undoubtedly placed a heavy burden on the network,” he said. Having unlimited data means customers can watch all the network-taxing high-resolution video they want.

Charging customers who want high-resolution video also lets Verizon make more money off the unlimited plans. The company has had to deal with less money coming in from fees charged when customers go over data limits, as unlimited plans don’t have those fees.

Verizon says the changes reflect its desire to bring unlimited plans to more people.

Verizon’s cheaper unlimited plan costs more than T-Mobile’s $70 (roughly Rs. 4,4870) plan with DVD-level video streaming. AT&T’s economy version is $60 (roughly Rs. 3,850), but it caps data speeds at a slow 3 megabits per second. Sprint has a $50 (roughly Rs. 3,200) promotional plan that includes HD video streaming, but prices go up to $60 after a year.

Huawei Unveils 5G-Oriented ‘X-Haul’ Solution for Operators

Chinese tech company Huawei on Wednesday released its 5G-oriented mobile bearer solution “X-Haul” to help operators build end-to-end 5G networks.

The solution provides flexible access capabilities that can match the scenario of any site and implements agile network operations based on a cloud architecture, the company said in a statement.

“X-Haul” also enables new service innovation through end-to-end network slicing and supports smooth evolution from 4G bearer networks to 5G bearer networks.

Huawei Unveils 5G-Oriented 'X-Haul' Solution for Operators“The Huawei ‘X-Haul’ solution fully supports 4G/5G bearing, so as to effectively support operators’ new service development and expand the business blueprint,” said Jeffrey Gao, President Huawei (Router and Carrier Ethernet Product Line).

“X-Haul” also introduces a cloud-based architecture that enables agile operations on 5G bearer networks.

Huawei has currently deployed over 190 mobile bearer networks in more than 100 countries, which bear more than 2.8 million base stations, serving one-third of the world’s users.

“Huawei is dedicated to providing innovative 5G bearer solutions, and working together with industry partners to promote 5G bearer-related technologies to be standardised by international standards organisations,” the company said.

Reliance Jio Offers Up to 10GB of Additional Data to Oppo Smartphone Customers

Before the bookings of Jio Phone start, Oppo announced on Thursday that the company has joined hands with Reliance Jio to offer special benefits to those customers who will purchase the company’s smartphones. With this partnership in place, those customers who purchase an Oppo smartphone and enrol themselves in Jio Prime membership will get additional data benefits.

As per the new offer, buyers of Oppo’s F3, F3 Plus, and F1 Plus smartphone models can get additional data up to 10GB on every recharge of Rs. 309 or above (making it up to 60GB of additional data). On the other hand, those customers who purchase Oppo F1s, A57, A37, and A33 models can get additional data up to 7GB on every recharge (making it up to 42GB of additional data). Notably, customers can avail these additional data benefits for a maximum of six Jio recharges.

Reliance Jio Offers Up to 10GB of Additional Data to Oppo Smartphone CustomersFurther, these benefits will be available to all eligible subscribers from June 30, 2017 till the validity of their Prime Membership lapses on March 31, 2018, Oppo clarified in its release.

In order to activate the additional data vouchers and avail the benefits, the eligible subscriber are required to download the MyJio app on their device. Then, they need to open the MyJio App and head to the My Vouchers section. The users then need to go to the View Voucher option and go to Recharge my number option and confirm the recharge. Users should be able to see the additional data vouchers then under the My Plans section.

Qualcomm Says India’s Growing 4G LTE Market Is a Massive Growth Opportunity

As the Indian market embraces the 4G Long Term-Evolution (LTE) technology ecosystem in a big way, global chip giant Qualcomm finds it natural to innovate for the growing 4G market in the country, a senior company executive has said.

According to Counterpoint Research’s “Market Monitor” service, LTE-installed base of mobile handsets crossed 150 million units in India – behind only China and the United States – and is estimated to surpass the US in the next one year.

Leading the 4G data race is Reliance Jio that has garnered 125 million customers across the country. Since its launch 10 months back, Jio has added seven customers per second on an average.

“The Indian market is rapidly transitioning into a 4G LTE market which marks an excellent opportunity for us,” Larry Paulson, Vice President and President of Qualcomm India, told IANS.

“Our roadmap at this point entirely consists of 4G LTE. We already carry a rich legacy in 2G and 3G technology in India,” Paulson added.

In March, the company announced Snapdragon 205 mobile platform that is targeted at 4G feature phones.

“Though there has not been any public announcement about 4G feature phones with Qualcomm but yes, we are moving ahead quite well with that technology,” Paulson noted.

Reliance Jio has launched a “free” JioPhone that is powered by Qualcomm’s 205 mobile platform.

Qualcomm believes the users in India give importance to value and that is why the company is focused on the value proposition.

“First and foremost, there is a long line of lessons in doing business in India. It is very important to listen to the market and the market has a high emphasis on value,” the executive said.

“We are enabling our customers and partners to build products that not only have high capabilities but also help them package those capabilities in a value proposition. With this, we have announced our roadmap at mobile platform 200 and then Snapdragon 450, 600, 800. I think we are addressing exactly that value proposition,” Paulson contended.

Acknowledging the company’s upward growth trajectory in the country, he said: “From a presence point of view, yes, we have grown. We have an engineering centre in Hyderabad, a development centre in Bengaluru and a wireless division in Chennai.”

The company stressed that it would continue to work on research and development and engineering technologies in the country.

Qualcomm Says India's Growing 4G LTE Market Is a Massive Growth OpportunityQualcomm is also confident about the newest addition to the Snapdragon 400 chipset family.

“We have four chipset families – the Snapdragon 200, 400, 600 and 800. Each one means more and enables more. To be able to bring that technology down to Snapdragon 400 level is very good for India. That also means we will be able to hit quite attractive price points and powerful technology,” Paulson told IANS.

Snapdragon 450 was unveiled at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai this year.

“This is the first time we have brought the 14 nanometre (nm) technology down into the Snapdragon 400 family. The benefits of this are power management and size,” the executive said.

Qualcomm India has also started an initiative named “SoochnaPreneur”, in association with Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), that aims to connect rural youth to information about government entitlement programmes.

The programme also aims to create technology-based entrepreneurship opportunities for the rural youth.

The initiative also demonstrates how advanced wireless technologies can be used for social and economic empowerment, helping to bridge information poverty gaps through last-mile information access and delivery of services.

Aadhaar Card: How to Verify Your Phone Number Using UIDAI Website

Are you sure that the contact information registered with Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for your Aadhaar Card is correct? If not, we would advise you to head to the UIDAI website and check it out for yourself. Aadhaar card is increasingly becoming the most important proof of identification and considering that the government has made it mandatory to link your Aadhaar cards with PAN card for filing income tax returns, its importance has grown further. UIDAI has now provided an online tool for you to verify that the contact information provided in Aadhaar card is correct.

In order to verify whether your contact number is correct on the Aadhaar card, you need to head to the home page of the UIDAI website and choose the option Verify Email/Mobile Number under Aadhaar Services tab. In the new tab, you need to enter details like your Aadhaar number, email address, mobile number that you need to verify, and a security code. Notably, the UIDAI security code is case sensitive and users should keep in mind that letters in upper and lower case will be treated as different entities by the system.

How to verify email address on UIDAI website

In order to verify the email address, users need to enter the Aadhaar number, email address, and a security code on the UIDAI platform. Then they will receive the OTP on their email address, which is then required to be entered on the right side of the page in the space provided. In case of entries that are valid and match, the system responds by saying “Congratulations! The Email ID matches with our records!”

Aadhaar Card: How to Verify Your Phone Number Using UIDAI WebsiteHow to verify contact number on UIDAI website

Users need to enter their mobile number instead of email address in order to receive the OTP on the mobile number and verify it from the website. Rest of the procedure is same as the verification of the email address. In case of entries that are valid and match, the system responds by saying “Congratulations! The Mobile Number matches with our records!”

Importance

The information provided to UIDAI for the Aadhaar card needs to be authentic and any discrepancies might cause problems for you going ahead. This is precisely why you need to make sure that these details associated with your identity are correctly noted down in the records available with the UIDAI.