India Monthly News Roundup – August 2013

September 1, 2013
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In a monthly segment, I’ll be doing a roundup of the mobile technology news in India, including new device announcements and releases from Indian manufacturers, network carrier news, and anything else that captures the pulse of the Android scene in India

Network Carrier News

Tata Docomo launches unlimited free calls plan for postpaid customers

tata docomo logo

Postpaid customers on Tata Docomo’s CDMA network can now subscribe to a new “Unlimited 1299 Plan,” which, as the name suggests, includes unlimited local and national calls to any network or fixed line, for Rs 1,299. Along with unlimited calling, the new plan also features 3GB of data, and 3000 local and national SMSs, and national roaming benefits on the Tata Docomo network.

Once past the data and SMS limit, data will be charged at 30p per MB, and Re 1 for local, and Rs 1.5 for national text messaging. International text messaging is not included in the plan and will cost Rs 5 per SMS. Users on national roaming will be able to make unlimited free calls on Tata Docomo network and Re 1 per minute for incoming calls and Rs 1.5 per minute on outgoing local calls to other networks.

Idea Cellular launches 2G internet trial packs for Rs 25

wnri idea logo

Prepaid subscribers on the Idea Cellular network can now avail a 2G data pack for just Rs 25, which give the user 500MB of free data, valid for 7 days. Idea is hoping to introduce data usage to the masses at very affordable rates, with as little activation hassle as possible. In this case, all Idea prepaid subscribers have to do is have a balance of more than Rs 25, and dial *150*222# to activate this 2G pack.

Videocon introduces ISD packs with call rates cheaper than local charges

videocon logo

Videocon Mobile Services, in a bid to challenge the established network carriers, has introduced new ISD packs for calls to the US and Canada, which boast call rates which work out to be even cheaper than local calls.

Current Videocon Mobile Subscribers can avail of the pack for Rs 105, with new subscribers needing to pay Rs 135, which will get than 1000 minutes of call time to any network or fixed line in the US or Canada. This works out to 10.5p per minute for current customers, and 13.5p per minute for new subscribers, and is as much as 98% cheaper than the current ISD rate of Rs 6.40 per minute to these countries.

After this massive price cut, it’ll be very interesting to see how the more established network carriers respond.

Other

Micromax grabs second place in the Indian smartphone market, 67% of total smartphones sold cost less than Rs 15,000

micromax logo

Micromax has continued to impress in the smartphone arena, with the company deservedly becoming the number two smartphone vendor in the country, with around 22% share of the market. The local manufacturer shipped over 2 million smartphones and has witnessed a growth of more than 4 percent in the Indian market, from 18.8% in Q1, to its current position is Q2.

Micromax is hoping to catch and eventually overtake current market leaders Samsung. Samsung currently holds 26% share of the Indian smartphone market, helped by the fact that the company has a massive portfolio of devices, ranging from less than Rs 20,000, to as much as Rs 43,000.

The continuing rise of Micromax isn’t really surprising, considering the fact that in the last quarter, close to 67% of the smartphones sold cost less than Rs 15,000, a criteria that is exclusively catered to by local manufacturers such as Micromax and Karbonn. In fact, Micromax and Karbonn combine for a total 46% market share. With local OEMs flooding the markets with low cost devices with quad-core processors and large displays, it’s no surprise that international device manufacturers are having a difficult time compete, as far as market share is concerned.

What are your thoughts on the numerous smartphone and tablet announcements this month? What other news/information would you like to see on the India Monthly News Roundups? Let us know in the comments section below.

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