Weekly Wrap-up: Airtel, Idea, Vodafone Unlimited Calling, Cashless Initiatives & More…


It’s Monday morning and yet again time to do a quick review  of the 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 India witnessed last week!

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

Joining the league of these super-expensive performance cars, Nissan GT-R has finally made its entry in our country. The iconic supercar, nicknamed ‘Godzilla’ for the sheer power, had started with its pre-bookings from September itself, and the company has finally unveiled the car for the public.

Not completely related to demonetization, rather a design upgrade from the 2005-created banknotes, the Reserve Bank of India will issue new Rs. 20 and Rs. 50 notes while still keeping the older ones valid, and in circulation. The new notes will carry the manufacturing year as ‘2016’.

Paytm has officially informed all 15 crore users of their wallet that in the coming days, their accounts would be merged with the Paytm Payments Bank. And this announcement was made by full page advertisement in Times of India, which was shared by Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

In a move to counter extension of free benefits by Reliance Jio under its ‘Jio Happy New Year Offer’ and to improve its subscriber addition rate Aircel has started offering unlimited voice calls in Delhi & NCR telecom circle to its new subscribers via the FRC148.

QR (Quick Response) Codes would be the catalyst of this cashless collaboration, as the mechanism will enable every citizen with a smartphone to pay seamlessly via QR Code.

The world’s largest online marketplace, Amazon, has decided to extend its program, Amazon Launchpad, to India, in the wake of exciting new startups everyday. As the name suggests, this initiative helps propel startups to another level by distributing their products on Amazon’s platform.

Google Assistant will also offer support to Brazilian Portuguese, which means that right now, English, Hindi, Hinglish and Brazilian Portuguese can be spoken by the assistant. Hindi is one of the most spoken first language in the world and Google is trying to attract a lot of people who are comfortable in Hindi.

In one of the most strongest push for a cashless economy, Finance Ministry has ordered that all Govt. Departments will use e-Payments for transactions above Rs 5000. This will basically impact 60-70% of all Govt. transactions in the country,

Understanding the gravity of the situation in case of free availability of rape videos on these platforms, Supreme Court has ordered Facebook, Google, Microsoft to immediately place a ban on these videos.

Amazon is planning to bring about the biggest revolution that has happened to shopping by starting its own physical grocery stores called ‘Amazon Go’.

Now, to make it easier for general public to make smaller payments even easier, Government has done away with One Time Password (OTP) authentication required for online transactions amounting to less than Rs. 2000.

Uber has an answer to Ola’s Operator service, called uberFLEET. Just like Operator, uberFleet will bring a lot of fleet owners on its app who want to manage their vehicles through the same platform.

Demonetisation has turned the world upside down. While Paytm, a mobile wallet company has decided to extend their services to those who don’t use internet; a bank and a taxi-app company will deliver cash to their customers, free of charge.

Twitter, world’s most powerful micro-blogging tool reflects a lot more than mere tweets and hashtags – it reflects the nation’s mood and its temperament. When more than 4 crore Twitter users send in their emotions, love, fear and anger, then there was lots of interesting derivations and outcomes.

Paytm Payments Bank Limited an Indian company, whose 51% stake lies with Vijay Shekhar Sharma and 49% of the ownership is with One97 Communications Limited. (what is not mentioned in the blog is that Alibaba and Ant Financial, affiliate of Alibaba has invested $680 million into One97, thereby having 40% stake in the company)

Popular image sharing website, Instagram, is back with some security features in the latest update of its app. In terms of features, Instagram is at par with Snapchat, which makes users even more vulnerable to spam and hatred.

Starting last week, you can search on Google by simply tweeting the emoji at Google on Twitter. Twitter and emojis go long back, since a picture is capable to saying a lot more than just words. Emojis have become a significant part of our language now and almost everyone uses them.

While before, the service charge was dependent on the location of the service provider, now, it depends on the location of the service received. Hence, prior to December 1st, service providers located outside India were exempted from paying any service tax if they provided their services inside India.

InFocus is going to launch an Aadhaar-enabled smartphone with an iris-scanner to authenticate biometrics. To be priced under Rs. 12,000, the smartphone will scan your eyes to confirm your Aadhaar credentials.

In the category of the most trending videos, Kapil Sharma Show has conveniently beat both TVF and AIB. Interestingly, SET India, which published The Kapil Sharma Show has 8.3 million subscribers, meanwhile TVF has 2.05 million subscribers and AIB has 1.8 million subscribers.

In one of the major victories for a cashless economy, Govt. of India has decided to waive off service tax applicable on sub-Rs 2000 card-based transactions – this is applicable for both debit and credit card. But going by the demographics of users, it would be the debit card holders who shall be most benefitted by this change.

Airtel- the market leader having over 260 million mobile subscribers, has launched 2 new unlimited calling and data combo packs having a validity of 28 days each. The entry-level pack is priced at Rs. 146 and the other pack is priced at Rs. 349.

Starting last week, YouTube users in India will see more local language content on Home and Trending. This means that if you’re an Indian who usually watches Hindi movie songs, or videos from AIB or The Viral Fever(TVF), or movie trailers, you will get to see more such content on your home page.

Flipkart has launched Flipkart SmartBuy, a larger private label brand that will host categories from electronic items like mobile phones, tablets and mobile phone accessories, to personal care items like trimmers and shavers. The private label brand will also have home plastics to start with.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley arranged a press conference, wherein he informed the nation that some major changes have been witnessed due to the demonetization move, and efforts are on to reduce the inconvenience.

After Airtel announced its Jio-esque unlimited voice & data combo plan, Idea Cellular too came up with similar unlimited voice and data combo plans. As we were expecting, the two unlimited voice and data combo plans announced by Idea are similar to Airtel unlimited voice and data combo plans.

Facebook has just shared their ‘Year in Review’ report for 2016, and here are the major updates from India. Diwali was declared as the most talked about topic in India, as Facebook users shared Diwali greetings and wishes all across their timelines. Cricket was at #2 rank.

Here are are some of the advantages that startups can derive if the founder has good global exposure

Not taking too much time to respond to the threat of Reliance Jio, and following the footsteps of Airtel and Idea, Vodafone has also announced its unlimited voice and data combo packs priced at around Rs. 150 and Rs. 350.

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