Saturday, May 29, 2010

Indian 3G auction might spell disaster for consumers

The Indian Telecom operators hope their 3G networks will be up and running over the next six months, adding another feather in the hat to the world's second largest mobile phone network, which has some 650 million phone subscribers, adding over 20 million new users every month.

  When you access the Internet with a 3G-enabled device and SIM, the page-view will be near instant, meaning you can also watch TV, play online games, download videos and listen to streaming music on your 3G phone.

Until now the 3G rates by BSNL were cheaper than prevailing 2G rates making it a very consumer friendly service. But these rates might increase especially after the auction has resulted in a licence fee of over $5.5 billion for the government for the 71 slots available in 22 circles.

Depending on how much of download you intend to do, the service may cost anywhere upward of Rs 1,000 to Rs 4,000 per month, as per initial estimates available with telecom operators.

"The numbers are mind boggling and it is going to be a big challenge for operators to leverage high costs and still be able to offer the service at low cost," said Prasanto K Roy, chief editor with CyberMedia's, referring to the high fee for spectrum.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Noreve Leather Review Contest

Good news people!

We are proud to announce a blogging contest here at SymbianOasis. The winner will get to choose any product with any leather from Noreve Saint-Tropez. The contest is a simple thing actually, all you have to do is select which prize you want from the Noreve site and write about it. Yea, you read right - just select a product from Noreve, choose which leather you want and the reason as to why you selected that leather. Don't worry, it doesn't have to be an essay. In fact you'd stand a better chance to win if you didn't bore our judges..

Once you've written your entry, mail it to

Last date for entries is June 6th, 2010!

 Best of Luck!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Nokia n900: PR 1.2 is Available (whew!)

  Legendary Threads were started to herald it's coming. 1000s of people were pissed waiting for it. In the end, it came.

OTA in UK - May 25, flasher - May 25, OTA & NSU worldwide - May 26

Change Log for 10.2010.16-8 a.k.a PR 1.2:
  • First up – new games like Jurassic 3D Roller-coaster, Zen-bound, Angry Birds (level pack), Sygic, Kroll, WeatherBug, and GoGadget are all available to keep you entertained. Important to note though that Ovi Store will do a full switchover this week Thursday, May 27.
  • Next are the improvements to communication. Email has been improved with the ability to accept or decline an event invitation right there in your inbox, and Facebook IM chat has also been bundled in. The release also brings with it video calling.
  • An additional update you will be pleased to hear about is portrait browsing on the Internet is a-go on the N900. Ovi Maps also gets the update treatment with changes to the UI, improving the experience of finding your way around. 
  • And finally, there’s also a change to the menu system UI with the first level now customizable.
  • Smoother scrolling
  • Long key press gives numbers
  • FM transmitter still works even though HK models do not have the hardware.
  • Faster. Though this could be due to the reflash..
  • No stuttering while recording video
  • currently skype video chat seems to be still disabled
  • New application manager is awesome!
  • Flash version has been updated
  • USSD codes now work without requiring additional apps

Read about the Leaked PR 1.2 version here.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

India Telecom situation is gonna get murky

Now might be about the worst time to be an executive at any of the Indian Telecommunication companies. You wouldn't know what to watch out for. On one hand the 3G results showed up and no one has a Pan India license, so if you're an avid traveler then you might have to keep a couple of sims in handy unless we see some tie ups coming. Then there's the MNP situation which is turning out to be quite a costly affair. The inaugural date of the service has seen multiple delays due to equipment shortage and difficulty to get them in as well as National Security problems being cited by the IT minister.
Circle wise winners of 3G spectrum:
  • Delhi - Vodafone, Airtel, Reliance
  • Mumbai - Reliance, Vodafone, Airtel
  • Kolkata - Vodafone, Aircel, Reliance
  • Andhra Pradesh - Airtel, Idea, Aircel
  • Assam - Reliance, Airtel, Aircel
  • Bihar - STel, Airtel, Reliance, Aircel
  • Gujarat - Tata, Vodafone, Idea
  • Haryana - Idea, Tata, Vodafone
  • Himachal Pradesh - Airtel, STel, Idea, Reliance
  • Jammu & Kashmir - Idea, Aircel, Reliance, Airtel
  • Karnataka - Tata, Aircel, Airtel
  • Kerala - Idea, Tata, Aircel
  • Madhya Pradesh - Idea, Reliance, Tata
  • Maharashtra - Tata, Idea, Vodafone
  • North East - Aircel, Airtel, Reliance
  • Orissa - STel, Aircel, Reliance
  • Punjab - Idea, Reliance, Tata, Aircel
  • Rajasthan - Reliance, Airtel, Tata
  • Tamil Nadu - Airtel, Vodafone, Aircel
  • Uttar Pradesh (E) - Aircel, Idea, Vodafone
  • Uttar Pradesh (W) - Airtel, Idea, Tata
  • West Bengal - Airtel, Reliance, Vodafone, Aircel
 list courtesy TechCauldron

As of now, most of the Indian telecom companies are swimming around in pools of debt and they're probably going to be staying that way thanks to policies made by IT minister A.Raja (his policies give Indians the lowest call rates in the world!). With May 31st being the last date for paying up the 3G fees, the companies better start working for more funds. Even if they do meet the licence fee deadline, actually setting up 3G in India is not going to be a cheap affair. The race to be the first private player to set up 3G is going to be fun to watch.

Mobile Number Portability has been promised to show up by July. One the service becomes active, competition among telecom companies is going to get pretty intense. The major initiative to enable MNP is to allow subscribers to move across service providers while retaining their number. Once the service is active, a new era of competition would arise with operators poaching hi-profile clients from rival companies. I bet it's gonna be entertaining =)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nokia N8: Compilations

The latest news roaming about the web concerning the Nokia N8. If you're one of those guys who've just come across this phone then you might want to check out Nokia's N8 page first. Then you could move onto a N8 roundup or just read Nokia N8: Behind the Scenes

The QWERTY keyboard on the N8 has been said to be slightly revamped especially for the vertical configuration. Jay Montano has written about it with a few pics at mynokiablog.

Glamour-wise the Nokia N8 is being acclaimed to be one of the best looking handsets out in the market right now. There also seems to be a little doubt floating about concerning the final design of the wrist-strap holes.

Rumours are already afloat as to the expected release date for the Nokia N8 with the latest date being the 24th of August. Amazon's Germany portal has already begun taking pre-orders for the Nokia N8 to satisfy early adopters and gadget freaks.

Some s60 v3 Themes

Just a couple of themes for the s60 v3 that i came across in the web..

Friday, May 21, 2010

3D input UI for Mobile devices

This could be the next best thing after multi-touch. Using a front facing camera of sufficient resolution and a high frame rate the device tracks the finger tip as it moves and uses this movement to simulate the movement of a cursor on screen. Pretty cool if you ask me. Perhaps this might be the sekking point of iPhone 5G ?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vodafone Care is no longer Toll Free

Vodafone India has changed the status of it's Care lines at the number 111 from Toll Free to paid. The paid status is only applicable to calls which are connected to the call center personnel so they won't charge you for browsing through the computer DTMF interface. The charges for contacting the care lines are at 50p per 3 minutes.

The reason for this change is probably part of their strategy to reduce the number of fake calls being made to customer care lines. Fake calls to care lines are a pain-in-the-a** to people handling these calls. You should hear some of the recordings which have been released.. it made me feel sorry for call center personnel. The frustration that they face is magnified by the fact that they can't talk back to the kind of emotional harasment that they face from most of these fake callers.. if it were me i'd be seriously pissed off!

With this new tactic in place I guess things might turn out to be better for them.

Mobile Number Portability: Delayed!

Yet again, Mobile Number Portability (MNP) has been delayed in India and the next tentative dates are on the 30th of June.

True that MNP will bring about chaos in the telecom industry. As it is Idea and Airtel have their stock tumbling down with all the competition that has arisen recently with the likes of Videocon and Etisalat showing up to take a slice of the telecom cake.

3G auctions after being postponed umpteen number of times has finally seen light of day, but MNP still seems to be on the backburner.

The Great Indian 3G Auction

The Indian Govt.'s provisional revenue from sale of 3G reached Rs.66,802.48 crore ($14.7 billion) and the nationwide licence price was Rs.16,531.34 crore ($3.6 billion) at the end of 180 rounds. At the end of the 33rd day of the 3G auction, which began April 9, the pan-India 3G licence was 372 percent higher than the Rs.3,500 crore reserve price. 
With aggressive bidding in a few circles, the government is poised to get more than Rs.70,000 crore from the 3G auction alone. The Govt. had estimated to rake in Rs.55,000 crore from both the 3G auction and the rolling out of broadband wireless Internet services.
Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices, Aircel, Etisalat, S Tel and Videocon Telecommunications - are participating in the online auction process which will end only when the demand is equal to the number of slots available in each circle. Airtel and Idea need the 3G spectrum if they are to stay in the telecom business any longer. They're stocks have already started tumbling down with all the recent churning that was seen in this sector.
The government has already given Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) spectrum for 3G services on the condition that they pay the same licence fee as would be levied on private players after the auction. BSNL has already started providing 3G services in all major cities trying to make the most out of their headstart in this spectrum.
The ongoing 3G auction is a simultaneous auction for the 22 circles over a secure website. At each round, the price is hiked around 10% based on demand. The successful bidders would be allowed to offer 3G services on a commercial basis from Sep 1.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Nokia N8: Behind the Scenes

Axel, Pinja and Mikko from the Nokia Mobile Computers design team give you their views on how they were inspired to create the N8 and make it the device as we see it.

NITDroid Demo

This is a video demonstration of NITDroid Android port to Nokia N900, showing general Android features. It still isn't a fully functioning product but the team behind NITDroid have really worked hard to set it up like this. Hats off to you guys!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nokia N900: PR 1.2 Released Unofficially

The much awaited Public Release 1.2 of the Nokia N900s Maemo Operating system has been leaked.

FileName: RX-51_2009SE_10.2010.12-9_PR_COMBINED_MR0_ARM

The site where it was first released is a Chinese site but we're working on and will get torrent links over here real soon. The first link was posted by a newbie over at the talk.maemo forums which led to suspicion as to the authencity of the firmware image. But curiosity led some of the members to check it out and eventually it was proved to be the real thing. Within 2 hours of the first post devices had already started booting up with the pr 1.2.

The torrent link is below
MegaUpload Link
Original file:  Download the firmware image here.

 Change Log for 10.2010.16-8 a.k.a PR 1.2:
  • Smoother scrolling
  • Long key press gives numbers
  • FM transmitter still works even though HK models do not have the hardware.
  • Faster. Though this could be due to the reflash..
  • No stuttering while recording video
  • currently skype video chat seems to be still disabled
  • New application manager is awesome!
  • Flash version has been updated
  • USSD codes now work without requiring additional apps

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