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Newsletter - 1 August 2013

Bharti Airtel surges over 8% after Q1 results
1 August 2013

Shares of telecom major Bharti Airtel today soared by over 8 per cent, even as the company reported a 9.6 per cent fall in net profit for the first quarter ended June 30, 2013.

Bharti's scrip zoomed 8.13 per cent to Rs 347.60 at the BSE. On the NSE, the stock shot-up by 8.37 per cent to Rs 348. The scrip was the top gainer on both the key indices, sensex and nifty, during the morning trade. Bharti Airtel today reported a 9.6 per cent fall in net profit at Rs 688.9 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2013.

The company had reported a net profit of Rs 762.2 crore in the corresponding period last financial year.

This is a 14th consecutive fall in quarterly profits of the company. Total income of the company, however, was up 9.3 per cent at Rs 20,299.5 crore for the reported quarter as against Rs 18,570.3 crore in the same period last fiscal.

"Our results for the quarter reflect the overall stability of our operations, and demonstrate the potential for growth, particularly seeing robust data growth across all geographies," company's chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said in a statement. (Source: Times of India)

DoT looking to intercept encryption services available on smartphones
1 August 2013

India and Israel are likely to come closer in the field of telecommunications as Department of Telecommunications (DoT) may rope in a Israeli cyber firm for providing solutions to intercepting encryption services available on smartphones.

According to a report on engagements of Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's visit to Tel Aviv in the middle of last month, discussions were held with Verint Systems, a firm which provides exclusive solutions for lawful interception in cyber space.

Official sources said the company may also be engaged for ensuring a solution for Location Based Servers (LBS) which gives real-time position of caller.

The Government has already asked all telecom service providers here to ensure LBS and provide access to security agencies, they said.

The firm has expressed willingness to work with Indian security agencies in intercepting encrypted services, official sources quoting the report said, adding more discussions are needed with Verint to explore the possibility of implementing interception solution for encrypted services.

The company said it was willing to provide technical know-how in intercepting encrypted communications, including Gmail, Yahoo mail and BlackBerry, sources said.

The firm is providing interception tools to about 77 countries. It also has set up offices in Gurgaon and Bangalore employing about 100 people, most of them engaged in customising solution for Indian needs.

Verint systems has been asked to contact CERT-In-- India's Computer Emergency Response Team which is tasked with responding to any cyber security related incidents and ensure robust environment for Information Technology enabled services-- said senior DoT officials in this regard.

Sibal, who visited Israel between June 15-19, had invited the "Israeli industry to use India as a spring board for global market as the potential of electronic goods in India is huge".

Senior DoT officials, who were part of delegation led by Sibal, cited huge market, conducive policies, low costs, etc as advantages of manufacturing of electronic goods in India.

The present requirement of USD 90 billion electronic goods would increase to USD 400 billion by 2020.

India and Israel also agreed to work out a mechanism of reducing roaming charges between the two countries and it was suggested that the telecom service providers of the two countries should sit together and hammer a solution in this regard.

Besides, a Joint Working Group can also be established by the two countries for exploring the possibility of cooperation for development of standards, Research and Development and manufacturing of 4G and 5G technologies and equipment, the sources said, citing the outcome of a meeting between Sibal and Gilad Erdan, Israel's Communication and IT minister. (Source: NDTV)

Free Mobile Phone Scheme Back on Table
1 August 2013

The government has revived its plans to provide free mobile phones to rural households utilising the universal service obligation fund.

According to the latest presentation prepared by the government, the idea behind the scheme titled “Bharat Mobile Scheme”, is to use mobile handsets as a device to establish the identity of members of a household for transfer of benefits under various government schemes like LPG subsidy, scholarships and pension.

The idea is to provide one mobile handset to all rural households of which at least one member has completed 100 days of work under the MNREGA in 2012.

The scheme is expected to be funded by the universal service obligation (USO) fund which currently has over R24,000 crore unutilised money in its coffers. Telecom service providers pay 5% of their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) to the fund which was established with a view to provide access to basic telegraph services in rural areas.

The government has asked states to provide a list of eligible citizens for each village, block and district. It plans to complete the scheme in the next three years. (source:Financial Express)

Group of Ministers on MTNL, BSNL Revival to Discuss Spectrum Issue on August 1
1 August 2013

The Group of Ministers on revival of loss making telecom companies BSNL and MTNL is likely to focus on spectrum related issues, cumulatively amounting to about Rs 23,000 crore of these state-run telecom firms in their meeting scheduled for August 1.

"Among few selective points that we have seen, DoT has included spectrum related issues for discussion in this meet," a government official said.

Spectrum related issues include demand by these public sector units for refund of their wireless broadband airwaves that can be used for 4G services and one-time spectrum charge levied on them for holding airwaves beyond allocation made to them with licenses.

BSNL and MTNL were asked to pay Rs 8,313.8 crore and Rs 4,533.97 crore on June 20, 2010 for the broadband airwaves. One-time fee for BSNL's GSM spectrum amounts to around Rs 6,912 crore and MTNL Rs 3,205 crore.

These two issues of both the PSUs jointly account for Rs 22,964 crore.

MTNL reported widening of the net loss to Rs 5,321.12 crore for financial year 2012-13, compared to Rs 4,109.78 crore in FY'12. BSNL losses, as per unaudited results, stand at Rs 8,198 crore for 2012-13, compared Rs 8,851 crore posted in 2011-12. (Source: Economic Times)

HCL Technologies Q4 net profit up 41.6%
1 August 2013

India's fourth largest software services exporter HCL Technologies on Wednesday reported 41.6 per cent rise in consolidated net profit at Rs 1,209.6 crore for the fourth quarter ended June 30, 2013.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs 854.1 crore in the year-ago period, it said in a BSEfiling.

Its consolidated revenues rose by 17.3 per cent to Rs 6,944.2 crore in the April-June period as against Rs 5,919.1 is the same period of previous year.

The firm follows July-June as the fiscal year. Commenting on the performance, HCL Technologies chairman and chief strategy officerShiv Nadar said: "FY'13 results have demonstrated significant business momentum, non- linearity and record customer satisfaction."

For the full year ended June 30, 2013, its net profit was up by 62.3 per cent at Rs 4,098.9 crore against Rs 2,526 crore in previous fiscal. While revenues rose by 22.4 per cent to Rs 25,733.7 crore against Rs 21,031.2 crore.

"An exceptional growth of 22 per cent during the financial year has propelled HCL's revenue past the Rs 25,000 crore milestone. HCL continues to lead the industry in profitable growth, with seven successive quarters of net income margin expansion, having reported 62 per cent growth in Net Income this year," HCL Technologies president & CEO Anant Gupta said.

HCL Technologies have consolidated its leadership position in the Infrastructure Management Services and verticals like financial service and lifesciences & healthcare, he added.

In US dollars, for the fourth quarter, HCL reported a 37.3 per cent rise in net profit at $213.8 million against $155.8 million. Its revenues rose by 13.7 per cent at $1.23 billion from $1.08 billion.

"Backed by another strong quarter, we closed our financial year on a positive note. Our net income margin expanded by 400 bps and touched a five year high of 16 per cent," HCL Technologies CFO Anil Chanana said. (Source: Times of India)

Lemon Mobiles Delivers a New Lifestyle Experience
1 August 2013

Lemon Enters 3D Category with the Launch of Aspirational A3
~The smartphone is available at Rs. 12,000~
~The phone requires no glasses~
~Driven by 1GHz Dual Core Cortex – A9 Processor~

LemonLemon Mobiles, a reputed player in the mobile handset category in India, announced its entry in the 3D mobile phone category with the launch of its impressive and appealing Aspirational A3 Smartphone, today in the city. The phone offers ultimate immersive viewing experience by providing life enriching and ultra-real picture quality. The latest offering from Lemon Mobiles promises to bring 3D sleek and smarter technology to you with its new A3 smartphones. The smartphone is available at Rs 12,000.

Driven by 1GHz Dual Cortex – A9 processor, the Aspirational A3 brings together the technical excellence and affordability. The smartphone comes with a GLASS FREE 3D viewing along with video calling. With all these features, it is sure to become the gadget you must have. The central feature of the phone is that it displays stereoscopic 3D videos and images, which makes this phone first-of-its-kind and Lemon a trend-setter.

Announcing the launch of 3rd phone in Aspirational series, Mr. Sandeep Mushran, Director Fastrack Communications Pvt. Ltd said, “We are very pleased to launch the new range of smartphone to our portfolio. With the launch of Aspirational A3, we are sure; the phone will become a revolutionizing invention to our patrons. The Aspirational A3, 3D movies and gaming are ready to be in your palms and walk with you in your pocket. We couldn’t have hoped for a better product to fulfill and accelerate our mission of indexing the world in 3D.”

This phone has a bright IPS 10.9 cm with GLAS FREE 3D Capacitive touch screen. It ensures outstanding quality of pictures & videos without straining your eyes. The Aspirational 3D has been designed keeping in mind the latest trend which enable the users a distinct feel of the 3D experience. The main feature of this phone is that it allows 3D viewing experience without straining your eyes and also you don’t need to use 3D glasses.

LemonMr. Gopal Kalra, Director Fastrack Communications Pvt. Ltd, said “With Aspirational 3D, the consumers can experience a hassle free real life occurrence which runs on android 4.0(ICS) and is the latest dual core processor entry by Lemon Mobiles. The 3D smartphone will not only enhance or reduce the depth of captured 3D images but will also yield more effective results when taking landscape pictures and close-up shots”.

Aspirational 3D – a 3D Glass Free Effect , is QHD Resolution & Dual Camera 8 MP Main & 2 MP front, 1GB + 4GB ROM, Dual Core Processor with 4.3 inch IPS Display, with much more.

Key Features: Aspirational A3 has 4 inch touch screen, 960x540 Pixels display and has 8MP rear camera and 2MP front facing camera. Users can capture both 2D and 3D content. It has 1GB RAM, 4GB internal memory and 64 GB expandable memory. It has a 1640 mAh Lithium battery for high performance and offers dual SIM. Aspirational 3D supports proximity sensor which reduces the battery consumption. (Source: Convergence Plus Bureau)

Microsoft Surface sales figures paint a sorry picture
1 August 2013

Microsoft Corp's Surface tablets have yet to make any profit as sputtering sales have been eclipsed by advertising costs and an accounting charge, according to the software company's annual report.

The two tablet models, introduced in October and February to challenge Apple Inc's popular iPad, have so far brought in revenue of $853 million, Microsoft revealed for the first time in its annual report filed with regulators on Tuesday.

(Also see: Microsoft unveils 'Surface' tablet with Windows RT, Windows 8 Pro)

That is less than the $900 million charge Microsoft announced earlier this month to write down the value of unsold Surface RT - the first model - still on its hands.

On top of that, Microsoft said its sales and marketing expenses increased $1.4 billion, or 10 percent, because of the huge advertising campaigns for Windows 8 and Surface. It also identified Surface (Review I Pictures) as one of the reasons its overall production costs rose.

The Surface is Microsoft's first foray into making its own computers after years of focusing on software, but its first attempts have not won over consumers. By comparison, Apple sold almost $24 billion worth of iPads over the last three quarters. (Source: NDTV)

Panasonic enhances its user experience with WeChat
1 August 2013

Mobile social communication application, WeChat, will now be available on the Panasonic smartphones

Committed to provide enhanced user experience to its smartphone customers,Panasonic, the world’s leading electronics manufacturer, today announced its collaboration with WeChat, the world’s leading mobile social application, for its upcoming smartphone products. As a result of this initiative, all the upcoming Panasonic smartphones will have the WeChat application preloaded.

Panasonic has also opened an “Official Account” on WeChat called “Panasonic Smart”. “Official Accounts” is a special feature of WeChat, that can be utilized by companies and merchants alike to build interactivity with their fans in a new and innovative way – through which Panasonic Smartphone users can stay connected on WeChat and stay tuned to latest Panasonic updates. Consumers can share their views & queries related to their Panasonic smartphones through text, voice or video messages; consequently enhancing the overall customer experience.

WeChat is a leading global mobile social communication application with 70 million international registered user accounts. With a bundle of innovative features like ‘Voice Messaging’, WeChat is re-defining the way people communicate with each other. WeChat is the first application in communication space which enables users to send voice messages at the touch of a button. ‘Moments’ is another key differentiating feature of WeChat where users can post image or text and share with their selected friends in a secure way.

Talking about the association Mr. Manish Sharma – Managing Director, Panasonic India said, “Indian mobile phone market and we are committed to continually enhance the user experience on all Panasonic phones. Social networking and messaging apps, which continue to grow in popularity, are the best ways to provide our customers with an enhanced user experience. We are excited about our collaboration with WeChat and look forward to working closely with WeChat to bring even more innovative features to our customers across all our phones.”

Mr. Dennis Hau- Head of International Product Center at Tencent, the company behind the WeChat app said “We are glad to partner with Panasonic India especially because of the great legacy that Panasonic has. At WeChat, it has always been our endeavour to bring our innovative features such as WeChat Official Accounts to connect users closer to what they are interested in. With the new initiative with Panasonic, WeChat is being brought closer to one of the leading brands globally. We believe that joining hands with Panasonic will further boost the strong consumer connect that users can enjoy in India.” (source: Convergence Plus Bureau)

Private Telecom Companies Likely to be Exempted from Local Sourcing Rules
1 August 2013

Government plans to exempt private telecom companies from local sourcing rules, except for equipment which are needed for projects classified as "security sensitive" by the government, an internal Department of Electronics & IT document showed.

The government is planning to tweak a controversial clause in the draft preferential market access (PMA) policy that had mandated that along with state-owned telecom companies, private mobile phone operators would need to progressively buy any "security sensitive" gear from local telecom gear makers.

The proposed relaxation of PMA provisions comes barely three weeks after the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) put the policy on hold and called for a review following strident protests from over 50-odd global trade associations and domestic telecom industry bodies.

The groups had claimed that a blanket extension of the PMA rules to the private sector would be restrictive and trigger market distortions, especially since the Indian telecom industry relies heavily on imports to meet its requirements. They also claimed that the "security implication" of a telecom electronic product does not depend on the "location of manufacture" but on "how it is manufactured", a point that was supported by the PMO. (Source: Economic Times)

Panasonic's quarterly profit soars to $1.1 billion
1 August 2013

Panasonic said Wednesday its net profit soared to $1.1 billion in the three months to June, mainly due to one-off gain from a pension scheme change.

The electronics giant booked a 107.8 billion yen net profit in its fiscal first quarter, a more than seven-fold increase from the 12.8 billion yen in the same quarter a year earlier.

However, it also said operating profit rose 66.3 percent to 64.2 billion yen, thanks to cost cutting efforts and a weaker yen boosting the value of its overseas income.

Sales inched 0.6 percent higher to 1.82 trillion yen, it said.

The company kept its full-year forecast unchanged, eyeing a net profit of 50 billion yen on sales of 7.2 trillion yen in the year to March 2014.

Panasonic, like rivals Sony and Sharp, has been undergoing a massive restructuring aimed at stemming record losses in recent years largely tied to their struggling electronics units.

Panasonic said consumer products such as televisions and digital cameras continued to see falling sales in the quarter.

On Wednesday, Panasonic said its latest gains came mainly thanks to a one-off gain of 79.9 billion yen from an accounting change tied its pension fund. (Source: NDTV)

Subscribers for 3G Set to Double
1 August 2013

This financial year, India’s 3G subscriber base is expected to double to about 56 million, according to a recent analysis by PhilipCapital. The survey added by March 2015, the subscriber base was estimated to exceed 96 million.

While Reliance Communications (RCom) had the most 3G subscribers in FY13, the analysis predicted by March 2014, Bharti Airtel would emerge as the leader, with about 14 million subscribers. It added the number was expected to double the following year. (Source: Business Standard)

Videocon A24 with Android 4.2 launched
1 August 2013

Videocon has launched a new budget smartphone in the Indian market, the Videocon A24 for Rs. 4,699.

The device features a 4-inch WVGA display with a resolution of 480x800 pixels. It is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor coupled with 256MB of RAM. The device includes a 3.2-megapixel rear camera accompanied by an LED flash and a 0.3-megapixel front facing camera. It runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and supports dual SIM (GSM+GSM) with dual standby. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS, EDGE, 3.5mm audio jack and A-GPS.

It packs a 1450mAh battery that the company claims, delivers up to 4 hours of talktime. The device also includes 512MB internal storage that can be expanded up to 32GB with the help of a microSD card.

The company has preloaded some apps on the Videocon A24 including V Store, TOI, Hungama, Fun Zone, Skype, Facebook and WhatsApp. Other features include FM Radio with recording, and G Sensor. The handset will be available in two colour variants - White Chrome and Black.

Recently, Lava also listed two budget smartphones under the Iris range, the Iris 356 and Iris 402 priced at Rs. 4,499 and Rs. 5,499 respectively. However, both the devices are not available in physical stores or online retailers at the moment.

The Lava Iris 356 features a 3.5-inch HVGA display with a resolution of 320x480 pixels and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 256MB RAM. The device runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. There is a 1.3-megapixel rear camera with flash and a VGA front-facing camera. It supports dual SIM (GSM+GSM).

The Lava Iris 402 sports a 4.0-inch WVGA display with a resolution of 480x800 pixels. The device is powered by 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 256MB RAM and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It boasts of a 3-megapixel rear camera with flash accompanied by a VGA front-facing camera.

Of late, the budget smartphone segment has is seeing some action with handset manufacturers launching new phones in the sub Rs. 5,000 segment. Recently, Intex also launched the Cloud X3smartphone at a competitive price of Rs. 3,790. (source: NDTV)

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