Weekly Wrap-up: Airtel/Idea Unlimited Calling Postpaid Plans, Flipkart’s OnePlus 3 Fiasco & More…


It’s Monday morning and yet again time to do a quick wrap-up 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.

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

The newly launched DigiShala will help people understand the use of unified payments interface (UPI), USSD, aadhaar-enabled payments system, electronic wallets, debit and credit cards. Along with the DigiShala, Government has also launched Cashless India website (www.cashlessindia.gov.in) that will serve as a knowledgebase for all public and private cashless initiatives.

Two weeks back, Airtel Payments bank started their pilot in the state of Rajasthan and as per their press release they have already garnered over 1 lakh Payments bank accounts. Interestingly, more than 70 percent of these bank accounts were opened in rural areas highlighting the fact that such banking services have big scope in unbanked hinterland of India.

With most telecom operators in India now launching unlimited bundled voice calling plans, we decided to do a comparison of the top 3 telecom operators and found out how they compare with Reliance Jio plans.

This was expected – Jio with their Welcome Offer and now subsequently with their Happy New Year Offer are now driving the mobile subscriber growth in India. They have set a record for new subscriber additions in month of September 2016 adding close to 16 million subscriber based on official monthly TRAI report.

If you are one of those frequent fliers, there is a bad news – Government has refused to allow in-flight internet facility on domestic as well as international flights in Indian skies. This is an unexpected development because not long ago, there were talks of Government allowing for the same.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has forged a strategic partnership with Niantic, Inc. – publisher and developer of Pokémon GO, an uber popular augmented reality game to India. With this partnership, thousands of Reliance Digital Stores and select partner premises in India will appear as ‘PokéStops’ or ‘Gyms’ in the Pokémon GO game beginning Wednesday, December 14, 2016.

uberMOTO launched in Bangalore early this year, but was halted because of Government’s regulations. Now the company is looking to launch the bike taxi service in Hyderabad by January 2017. Thankfully, this time the Government is fully involved in this new feature.

Qualcomm, US based semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company has revealed that none of the mobile wallets operating in India are safe and secured due to a major security vulnerability. In fact, the company has even questioned the safety preparedness of the Indian Govt. when it comes to cashless push and digitalization of the economy

One of the most prominent reasons of slow internet through out India last week was the disturbance caused to the undersea cable network, due to Super Cyclone Vardah, which is also India’s 2nd such International Gateway for connecting Internet.

Bihar Government plans to launch free WiFi internet service in colleges and universities in the state, however with a caution this time. This free service will have all the porn websites and content blocked, so that the students use it for educational purposes.

Aircel, telecom operator with over 90 million mobile subscribers in India has now announced plans that are priced lower than Airtel, Idea and Vodafone – and at the same time offer more free data benefits.

Amazon Prime Video has now been officially launched in India, as Indian users of Amazon Prime can now simply download the Amazon Prime Video app on Google Playstore or Apple Store to stream exclusive video content, on-demand.

“We are in the final stages but haven’t applied for the final license for Payments bank yet. Our plan is on track for launch by March,” said Sunil Sood, Managing Director at Vodafone India. Vodafone only has its own M-Pesa mobile payment service, a mobile wallet which its users can use for payments.

According to a new report by Capgemini Consulting and Altimeter, India has topped the list in Asia in terms of the number of innovation centres. This means out of 48 Asian countries, India has been ranked the highest.

Centre is finalizing new norms for governing app-based cabs all over India, and based on the initial findings, it is clear that rules  for surge pricing are being relaxed, and the app-based taxi hailing companies are being allowed to implement their business model without any hassles.

A Haridwar Court has slapped a fine of Rs 11 lakh on Patanjali Ayurved for misleading advertisements, and this judgement can actually pave the way for more such penalties and fines, considering the growing number of consumer complaints against them and other companies which have been dishonest about their advertisements.

The most interesting thing to happen on Google India this year is the fact that an anonymous name called Sonam Gupta has beaten established, well known names like Vijay Mallya, Arnab Goswami and Sakshi Malik in the top 10 list of people searches.

A few weeks back, the owners of the Ringing Bells were summoned by the Delhi Court over a cheque bounce case. The company seems to have shut down, and the website cannot be accessed anymore, which makes us wonder if it was even legit in the first place.

A few days back, the top telecom operators in India announced unlimited voice calling and data combo prepaid plans to take on the lucrative tariff plans of Reliance Jio. Now Airtel and Idea have come up unlimited voice and data combo plans for postpaid users as well.

Taking a cue from the ‘cashback’ culture of ecommerce and digital startups, Govt. of India has decided to throw in Rs 340 crore worth of incentives for boosting cashless economy. The modus operandi is quite simple: Whoever transacts using cashless mode, stands a chance to win instant cash prizes, drawn via lottery and lucky draws.

Google has rebranded Brillo OS into ‘Android Things’ with some additional functionalities. Google has released the developer preview of Android Things, so that any Android developer can quickly build a smart device using Android APIs and Google services, while staying highly secure with updates direct from Google.

There is some good news and lots of bad news for Indian Internet users here. First, the good news. For the first time, India has broken the barrier of 4 Mbps average Internet speed. As per Akamai, the average Internet speed in India during Q3 of 2016 was 4.1 Mbps, which is an increase of 14% compared to last quarter, and a massive increase of 62% compared to last year.

In order to promote their special sales days, Flipkart has banners on their home page, announcing the sale of OnePlus 3 smartphones. Instead of clearly showing the price of the handset, they have written: 1_,999. Now, even if we assume that the price would be 19,999 on Flipkart, it shall be a flat discount of Rs 10000 from the current price on Amazon. And OnePlus is currently exclusive with Amazon only!

Here are 4 major changes which Indian smartphone industry witnessed in 2016, which is all set to transform 2017 for Indian smartphone market.

And, while you are at it, do check out our up-to-date Indian startup funding and investment chart. It gives you details of close to 2500 funding deals struck since January 2015.

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