Wednesday, June 17, 2015

BSNL Wi-Fi zone goes Live at Taj Mahal

Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad Honble MOC & IT, Govt of India inaugurated wi-fi hotspot zone created by BSNL at Historical monument Taj Mahal at Agra on 16th June 2015. Shri Ram Shankar Katheria, Hon. MOC (MHRD) graced the occasion as special guest. Shri Anupam Shrivastava CMD BSNL, Shri N.K. Gupta Director BSNL, Shri Pradeep Kumar CGM (UP-W) and other senior officers of BSNL were also present to grace the occasion. The facility has been created by BSNL with the optical fibre backbone using GPON technology which can provide backhaul broadband bandwidth upto 100 Mbps through BSNLs state of art MPLS network. BSNL would be providing free Wi-Fi services, for 30 minutes per 24 hrs (three time in a month) which visitors can utilize in multiple sessions. After free usage limit of 30 minutes is exhausted, a customer can continue using the service on paid basis for which subscription plans are available in the denomination of Rs. 20/-, Rs. 30/-, Rs. 50/- and Rs. 70/- for validity of 30 min, 60 min, 120 min and one day respectively. BSNL has also planned to expand the coverage of the wi-fi facility to other tourist & religious locations like Khajuraho, Jagannath puri etc by March 2016.
Minister of Communications & IT Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad informed that BSNL has plans to invest more than 1200 crores in UP(W) Circle during 2015-16. Out of this approx. Rs. 200 crores will be invested in upgrading and expanding mobile network. A total of 795 number of new 2G BTSs sites are being commissioned in all Secondary Switching Areas (SSAs) of UP(W) Circle to increase the coverage of BSNL mobile services. BSNL is expanding its 3G network in all SSAs by installing a total of 596 new 3G BTSs. This expansion will help in providing improved 3G services to existing BSNL subscribers as well as in 152 new cities/towns. Approx Rs. 982 crores will be invested in National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) under Phase-I covering 14,474 village panchayats spread over 227 blocks covering more than 30,000 villages of UP(W) Circle. Hon. Minister further added that BSNL is replacing 30 years old switching technology with latest Next Generation Network (NGN) technology. In initial phase more than 50,000 such telephone lines are allotted to UP(W) Circle covering Meerut, Ghaziabad and Noida areas.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Sun TV channels may go off air as Centre denies security nod

Union home ministry has struck down an information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry's proposal for giving security clearance to 33 television channels of Kalanithi Maran-promoted Sun TV Network, a move that could lead to cancellation of their broadcasting licence. The I&B ministry has been informed about the decision of the home ministry, which was believed to have been influenced by pending criminal cases against Maran and his brother and former Union minister Dayanidhi Maran, official sources said. The Maran brothers are facing a CBI probe over alleged allotment of 300 high-speed BSNL telephone lines to the residence of former communications and information technology minister Dayanidhi Maran in Chennai which were extended to his brother's channel.
Last September, the Madras High Court set aside an order of the I&B Ministry cancelling the Multi System Operator licence to Kal Cables, a subsidiary of the Sun TV Network. Even then, the denial of security clearance by the MHA was based on the fact that the brothers were facing criminal cases. But the High Court took the view that if the licence were to be cancelled for security reasons as cited in the I&B Ministry’s report, it is the licence of the broadcaster of TV channels that should be cancelled and not that of a distributor.  In the current scenario, the MHA has declined clearance for the TV channels which may become a key point if the media network moves court.  When contacted, K. Vijaykumar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Sun Network, refused comment. “The shares collapsed in the morning and started recovering,” said S.L. Narayanan, Chief Financial Officer of the Sun Group. But the shares closed at Rs. 278.90, against its previous close of Rs. 356.35.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

BSNL sign deal with BSCCL to buy internet bandwidth from Bangladesh

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) sign its first agreement outside India to buy bandwidth from Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) to provide internet services in the northeast. The agreement between the two companies is likely to be signed during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Dhaka that starts tomorrow, according to an official from the department of telecommunications. It is also exploring South Africa for expansion, and may pick up equity stakes in one of the country’s telecom service providers. Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company has agreed to sell its unused bandwidth to BSNL for $1.2 million a year. Initially, BSNL will buy 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second) capacity, which will be increased to 40 Gbps over time. The agreement between the two companies was signed during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Dhaka that starts tomorrow, according to an official from the department of telecommunications. In statement of intent on Bangladesh-India Education Cooperation (adoption) and an agreement between Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for leasing of international bandwidth for internet at Akhaura.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Bharti Airtel raises $1 billion via 10-year bonds issue

Bharti Airtel on Thursday announced it has raised $1 billion through issuance of 10-year bonds to international investors. "Total order book of $2 billion - subscribed 2.0X with participation from 160 quality accounts. Eighty percent allocation to mutual funds and insurance companies, with balance to banks," said a company statement. The company will utilise the raised amount for capital expenditure. The USD Notes have been priced at 210 basis points over 10-year US Treasury bonds with a fixed coupon of 4.375 percent per annum to yield 4.462 percent. "With 66 percent bonds allocated to the US investors, this is the highest ever allocation to US investors in any Indian deal," the company claimed.
This fund raising marks the first major bond sale by a domestic private sector corporate in the fiscal. Last year, the company had hit the forex debt market thrice raising more than $2.5 billion. “With bond issuances of close to $6 billion outstanding post this issue, Bharti now has a well-established credit curve across tenure buckets and currencies,” Bharti Airtel Group Treasurer Harjeet Kohli said. He added these, along with the availability under our long dated ECB terms signed recently with Chinese banks (CDB and ICBC), significantly elongate the tenor of its financing as also helps larger cash flows at hand. Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank acted as joint lead managers along with DBS Bank as the Co-Manager for this offering.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

BSNL offers Free roaming from 15th June 2015

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will offer free national roaming from June 15, Union minister for Communications Ravi Shankar Prasad said today. Full mobile portability will be given from July, he added. The minister was briefing the media today regarding the achievements of his ministry as part of the programmes to mark the Narendra Modi government's first year in office. In May, BSNL had slashed roaming tariff by up to 40% for its prepaid and postpaid mobile connection following a telecom tariff order issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. BSNL last month introduced an unlimited free calling scheme during night hours (9 PM to 7 AM) to revive its landline business. Under the scheme, effective May 1, BSNL allowed calls free of cost to any operator, including mobile phones, anywhere in the country between 9 PM and 7 AM and covers all types of connections.
Initiatives to revive BSNL and MTNL:
=> BSNL revenue grew by 2.1% in 2014-15reversing the trend of negative growth in previous years.
=> BSNL added 47 lakh active subscribers and MTNL added 2.11 lakh subscribers in 2014-15 reversing the trend of negative growth in previous years.
=> BSNL is in the process of setting up 25645 new base transceiver stations (BTSs) in Phase-VII of its expansion plan at a cost of Rs 4,805 crore, its first such investment plan in over five years. 15000 such BTSs installed in the last one year.
=> BSNL replacing network of landline local exchanges by IP (Internet Protocol) enabled Next Generation Network. 432 telephone exchanges and 70 lakh telephone lines are being replaced.
=> MTNL is setting up / upgrading 1080 3G sites in Delhi and Mumbai each and 850 2G sites in Delhi and 616 2G sites in Mumbai.
=> BSNL and MTNL have launched unlimited free local calls from landlines to any landline/mobile during night hours effective from May 1, 2015.
=> BSNL is launching free national roaming.
=> Hundred (100) WiFi hotspots at important tourist locations like Varanasi Ghats, Hussain Sagar Lake-Hyderabad, Bangalore, Cochin, Vijayawada etc. have been established by BSNL.

Reliance Communications Q4 consolidated net profit up 46%

Reliance Communications (Rcom) has announced the following results for the quarter & year ended March 31, 2015:
For the Quarter ended March 31, 2015 (YoY)
The Company has posted a net profit of Rs1538.00 crore Vs Rs1571.00 crore.
Total Income is at Rs2482.00 crore Vs Rs3006.00 crore.
For the Year ended March 31, 2015 (YoY)
The Company has posted a net loss of Rs154.00 crore Vs net profit of Rs730.00 crore.
Total Income is at Rs11136.00 crore Vs Rs12445.00 crore.
ConsolidatedFor the Quarter ended March 31, 2015
The Group has posted a net profit of Rs228.00 crore Vs Rs156.00 crore.
Total Income is at Rs5703.00 crore Vs Rs5671.00 crore.
For the Year ended March 31, 2015
The Group has posted a net profit of Rs714.00 crore Vs Rs1047.00 crore.
Total Income is at Rs22098.00 crore Vs Rs22321.00 crore .

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Vodafone Foundation & WOSCA launch first child learning centre in Keonjhar

Keonjhar district has the lowest development index in Odisha with a majority of tribal population. The district sees 45% drop outs of girl students from formal education in 9th standard and reports highest percentage of child marriages. Since last few weeks Vodafone employees Suvam Dhar and Meenakshi Pathak are working with NGO Woman’s Organisation of Socio Cultural Association (WOSCA) in empowering women in the district.
Suvam Dhar and Meenakshi Pathak are amongst 50 Vodafone India employees participating in the World of Difference programme, working with 25 diverse NGOs for a period of 8 weeks to enhance capacities, address technology gaps and resolve issues impairing women empowerment.


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