3G rollout to increase mobile internet providers

Kolkata: The roll-out of much-awaited third generation (3G) services by mobile service providers will lead to increase in the number of Internet Telephony Service Providers and sharp reduction in International Long Distance (ILD) call rates due to mobile voice over internet protocol (VOIP) service, reports PTI quoting a top official of a VOIP company.

"Mobile phone customers with 3G subscriptions will be able to replace high cost ILD calls by making VOIP calls for as little as one-tenth to one-eighth of the cost with the introduction of the mobile VOIP applications by ITSP," said Sanjit Chatterjee, director global marketing and strategy, Reve Systems of Singapore.

To make cheap ILD calls over mobile VOIP, all a mobile phone user has to do is download the 100 kb application iTel mobile dialler developed by Reve Systems, the global pioneer in VOIP, says Mr Chatterjee.

A typical voice call from an Indian mobile user’s phone can be made by dialling out a mobile or a fixed line number from the mobile phone book using Reve’s mobile Dialler.

The call travels over the data line of mobile service provider or Wi-Fi network and terminates at caller’s desired phone using last mile connectivity of his service provider, say an AT&T in the USA or an Orange in Europe.

An ILD call to say a country like the USA would normally cost Rs8-Rs10 per minute can now be made using a Mobile VoIP service at just Re1 per minute or lower, he claimed.

Mr Chatterjee claimed Reve has a customer base of 1200-plus ISPs in over 50 countries where 3G services are being offered currently and the 100 KB iTel Mobile Dialler has been downloaded in over 30 million mobile phones in 50 countries of the world.

Mobile VoIP is gaining ground globally, he claimed and said in October, 2009 AT&T in the US allowed its iPhone users to use iPhone VoIP application on its 3G network, responding to surging customer demand (earlier, iPhone users on AT&T network could use the mobile VoIP application only through Wi-Fi connectivity).

"Reve’s mobile VoIP dialler is versatile, has easy user interface and built in tunnelling capability," he added.

Reve’s iTel Mobile Dialler Express, is the category leader in Mobile VoIP, enables service providers to offer seamless Mobile VoIP experience to end users. iTel Mobile Dialler was named product of the year by Internet Telephony magazine in 2009.

Reve is also a member of Symbian Foundation and part of iPhone, BlackBerry developer community. The company is headquartered in Singapore with offices in Bangladesh, India and the UK.

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Inflation rate to decline at 9.6% in Q2 FY 11: CMIE

Mumbai: Latest forecasts promise good news on the inflation front. India's wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation is projected to come down to 9.6% in the second quarter ending September 2010, reports PTI quoting the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) in its monthly review.

WPI inflation in the June 2010 quarter was 10.6% as compared to barely 0.5% in the same period a year ago.

The decline is projected to continue in the subsequent two quarters too, to 8.1% and 6.5% in the quarter ending December 2010 and March 2011, respectively, CMIE said.

The decline will be partly brought about by a high base in the second-half of the preceding fiscal year. The other factors that are expected to keep inflation down include an expected surge in the 2010 kharif crop production and an increase in sugar output.

The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) response to rein in the higher inflation has intensified in recent months. On 27th July, RBI hiked the repo and reverse repo rates by 0.25 and 0.5 percentage points, respectively, to 5.75% and 4.5%. This was the fourth hike in the current calendar year.

The most important objective of the hike according to the Reserve Bank was to moderate inflation by reining-in demand pressure and inflationary expectations.

The wholesale price index (WPI) based inflation is expected to be at 8.5% in FY11 as compared to 3.7% in FY10.

"We expect WPI based inflation to be 8.5% in FY11 as compared to 3.7% in FY10," CMIE said.

Of the three segments, inflation in the fuel group is projected higher at 10.3% in FY11 as against -2.4% recorded in FY10. Likewise, inflation in manufactured goods is projected to remain higher at 6.4% in FY11 as compared to 3.2% in FY10, the CMIE report said.

The current higher inflation originated from the supply-side on account of a decline in agricultural production in 2009-10 and increasing international commodity prices. Food item as a major source of inflation in FY10 has been replaced by fuel, textiles and metals in FY11.

In addition, higher inflation continued in commodities like milk, eggs, fish and meat. Administered prices of coal, sugarcane, iron ore, petroleum products, electricity and fertilisers have also been revised upwards between December 2009 and June 2010.

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SEBI gets suggestion to split top posts in listed companies, SCOPE opposes

New Delhi: Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has received a suggestion for preventing the same individual from holding the position of chairman and managing director simultaneously in listed entities, but the Standing Conference of Public Enterprises (SCOPE) has opposed such a move, reports PTI.

"SEBI has received suggestions stating that the position of chairman and that of managing director/chief executive officer of the listed companies would be segregated," minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

He said SCOPE has come out against such a change in the structure of public sector units.

"SCOPE has argued that since the public sector companies in India have been structured through the checks and balance systems of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Government Audit and Committee on Public Undertakings, there is no need to separate the role of chairman and MD," Mr Meena said.

The minister's reply in the Upper House of Parliament comes amid speculation that SEBI has already 'proposed' to separate the role of chairman and MD/CEO of listed companies to prevent concentration of management powers with one individual.

A senior SCOPE official had earlier come out openly against any such 'proposal', which might lead to a major overhaul of the board structure in many of the listed firms.

There are about 8,000 listed companies in the country, including 44 state-owned ones.

Mr Meena, in his reply, added that according to SCOPE, any such decision to separate the two roles and alter the basic structure of organisations may affect the performance of PSUs.

Regarding the suggestion, he said that the Corporate Governance Voluntary Guidelines, 2009, brought out by the ministry of corporate affairs had sought a clear demarcation of the roles and responsibilities of the chairman and MD/CEO to promote a balance of power.

"Further requirement to segregate role of chairman and CEO is also prevalent in developed jurisdictions, including the USA, UK and France," Mr Meena added.

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