Weekly Wrap-up: Bank ATM Malware, MakeMytrip Ibibo Acquisition, Jio Free Calls Legal & More…


Weekly Wrap-up: Ola Corporate, BookMyShow Financials, Paytm Sound Pay & More…

It’s Monday morning, and yet again, time to do a quick review of posts published on trak.in last week. If you were offline for any reason, this is a great way to catch up with all the tech buzz from last week!

Auto-playing video advertisements rampant on various news portals and ecommerce websites would soon face the wrath of TRAI. These videos, which gets auto-downloaded into users’ browsers and then start playing without any warning, have received numerous complaints from Internet users, and TRAI is taking them seriously.

Consumer demand in 2016 has increased by 40%, compared to last year. It has been found that Bengal, Maharashtra lead the charts In festive shopping. Automobiles, Gadgets, Lifestyle Top Selling Categories as started by Industry body Assocham.

The good news is that, Railtel-Google’s free WiFi program at major Railway Stations across India is a massive hit – the bad news however is that at Patna railway station, which has maximum free wifi usage, porn is the #1 search category used by passengers, which means that precious data was wasted by users to surf porn websites.

After launching Facebook Messenger Lite for developing countries, Facebook has decided to focus on reducing the data usage on its Messenger app. The original app is data hungry and users have been complaining about unnecessary use of internet.

India’s education sector is on the path of rapid growth and is expected to generate good annual returns about 7-8 years after the investment. So, the time is ripe for private investment in the education sector.

Strengthening its foothold in the smartphone and tablet market, Qualcomm has launched the Snapdragon 427 chipset for the mass-phone market and the 626 and 653 chipsets for the mid-range smartphones and tablets. At the 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong on October 17, Qualcomm Technologies announced the launch of these new Snapdragon SoCs

68 year old Ashok Leyland, which is based out of Chennai, has launched 1st Made in India electric bus, which has been hailed as a giant leap for mass public transport in the country. As part of their Circuit Series Electric Bus, this new bus is fully electric, and leaves zero emissions while operational.

India’s largest online travel company, MakeMyTrip, has announced the acquisition of Ibibo, a rival online travel company, for $720 million in stocks. This makes the valuation of the merged company at $1.8 billion, the largest in its industry.

Under pressure from local taxi unions and autorickshaw owners, Govt. of Maharashtra has finally issued a revised draft of Maharashtra City Taxi Rules, 2016, which aims to regulate and control all taxi based apps within the state.

If social media portals like Facebook, Twitter are willing to spend crores of rupees to grab IPL’s digital broadcasting rights, then it means that advertisement rates on these portals will also jump, thereby signaling a massive transformation of advertisement and media industry.

Hackers have unleashed a war on Indian Banks, and there is chaos all around. The worst thing is that banks have been caught unaware, as their security has been breached since past few weeks, and no one actually knows the extent of damage.

Airtel has launched another similar pack that offers 2GB data on 3G/4G networks for just Rs.153. Unlike other packs from Bharti Airtel, this one does not come with any terms and conditions, and the customers will straightaway get the said data at the said price.

During my visit to Reliance Experience Center in Navi Mumbai, we spoke to number of Reliance Jio representatives on this and one point came out unanimously – Jio calls will always remain free. That’s a commitment given by Jio, and they will stick to it, even if it means that they have to take the burden of interconnect usage charges.

Google Play Store Carrier billing method will be soon extended to the largest telcos in India – Airtel and Vodafone. Going forward, Airtel and Vodafone subscribers will be able to purchase products on Google Play Store directly without the need of an alternate payment method.

The dots are slowly connecting, and what is emerging right now can be termed as India’s biggest breach of financial data ever. 32 lakh debit cards from HDFC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, SBI and Yes Bank have been compromised.

Nokia has bagged the deal with Bharti Airtel to deploy 4G services in 9 circles, for an estimated cost of $230 million. This comes only a few days after Vodafone signed a 3-year contract with Huawei to provide managed services in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Chennai and Orissa circles, and network operations in Delhi and Andhra Pradesh Circles.

In a scathing attack launched by state-sponsored media, a Chinese publication has said that India can only ‘bark’ when it comes to calls for banning Chinese products.

Google and Facebook, two giant platforms in search and social media niche respectively, has now added more service offerings into their eco-system, thereby offering even more options to the end users, and convincing them to remain on their platform.

Ookla, an internet speed test platform, conducted speed trials on Jio and found that the speeds have drastically reduced from over 12Mbps, as opposed to the promised 50Mbps, to about 9Mbps. What is also annoying is that the call drops are very frequent and calls do not connect to other telcos regularly.

The government has formed a research team to establish ground work on 5G technology, and has already filed 100 patents so far. This team comprises of researchers from IISc Bangalore, IIT Bombay, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Madras and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology, IIT Madras.

TRAI has given clean chit to Jio over their life time offer of free calls for their customers. In a statement issued to all telecom operators, TRAI has said that Jio’s free call offer cannot be termed as ‘IUC non-complaint, predatory and discriminatory’.

After a lackluster growth in online sales this year (except festive day sales, fuelled by discounts), Flipkart has decided to expand their frontiers via offline route. This new program of going from online-to-offline, has been internally named as ‘assisted commerce’

TRAI has decided to impose a fine of Rs 3050 crore on India’s top 3 telecom providers: Airtel, Vodafone and Idea for ‘deliberately’ blocking calls from Jio. In a letter for Department of Telecom, TRAI has proposed a fine of Rs 50 crore per circle on these telecom firms.

And, while you are at it, do not forget to check out our up-to-date Indian Startup Funding & Investment chart that has details of over 2000 funding deals happened since start of last year!

And, in another development, we now have a Youtube channel – Trakin’ Tech – While we are still experimenting, do let us know what you think!

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