Companies & Sectors
Bharti Airtel takes its 4G services to 296 towns
India's top telecom service provider Bharti Airtel on Thursday said it has commercially launched its fourth generation (4G) communications services in 296 towns across the country.
 
"With the help of the feedback received from the beta launches, we have now built India’s first commercial 4G network that will make high speed mobile broadband a reality," Gopal Vittal, managing director and chief executive officer of the company, said at the launch event here.
 
“The national roll-out today is another small step in our journey to be the most innovative and customer focused brand,” he said, adding that the company's journey in 4G began with the launch in Kolkata in April 2012, followed by successive beta offerings in 51 cities.
 
“The roll-out will take place in few weeks.”
 
Vittal said the company has a projection of $2.2 billion capital expenditure for 2015-16, but declined to divulge the details on the money spent and intended to be spent in offering 4G services.
 
So far, 4G is available in data format in India only.
 
Asked about the rising competition in the 4G space in the country, Vittal said: “We are the children of competition. It’s a brutal market place in India. But it makes one sharper. We thrive in competitive atmosphere.”
 
He said the company's 4G network has, accordingly, been built on an open partner ecosystem model, bringing together the best in the industry.
 
"We are introducing to the Indian market some never-before experiences. Together with our network and device partners, we have enabled deep proliferation of 4G services in the country."
 
Bharti has 230 million subscribers in the country, with a presence in 14 circles.
 
Vittal conceded that the quality of the third generation (3g) services was still not up to the mark, and said: “We have been vocal about call drops." 
 
"We have many challenges over spectrum. Towers and sites pose a bigger challenge. With the growth in data sector, we need more sites. That’s a genuine struggle. The government had been supportive on this.”
 
Around three weeks ago, Vittal had written to Airtel customers across the country to provide suggestions regarding tower sites and he said at the 4G launch event that the company received 20,000 responses, out of which 500 provided leads on potential sites.
 
Asked about the device eco-system for 4G, he mentioned the company has an exclusive tie-up with Samsung, but the team is working towards build a robust device ecosystem.
 
“Out of the 60 million phones that are shipped into India every quarter, 20 million are smartphones. This quarter, we expect some 1 million 4G-compatible phones to be shipped,” Vittal said.
 
He said the company’s focus is also to work with manufacturers to drive down prices.
 
Airtel also announced the launch of a new carrier agnostic mobile app - ‘Wynk Movies’ - which it claimed was first-of-its-kind movie mall that will offer specially curated library of thousands of movies and other popular videos.

User

Maggi will return to retail shelves soon: Paswan
Despite the stand taken by the food safety watchdog, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan on Thursday said he was hopeful that Nestle's Maggi will be back on the shelves soon, drawing comfort from favourable test reports for the top instant noodles brand from some accredited laboratories.
 
"The latest tests conducted by Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) has found Maggi safe. I have a gut feeling it will return to retail shelves soon," Paswan said of the margins of a conference on fast moving consumer goods, hosted by Assocham here.
 
He was alluding to the test reports from the Mysore facility of the lab, which gave is report based on the samples sent to it by the Goa food safety department. The minister's comments also come against he backdrop of the food safety regulator declining to take note of the latest report.
 
Paswan made it clear that consumer interest will be paramount while deciding on the matter pertaining to ban against Maggi, while expressing concern over the negative perception such developments have created in the minds of the potential foreign investors.
 
"I am worried. After Maggi ban the perception of people changed. Foreign investors will also now think twice before investing in India. Our credibility is at stake," he said, adding: "But all this is possible to rectify only after addressing all concerns. The concerns of our consumers is most important."
 
Speaking in Hindi, he also sought to use an analogy. 
 
"We cannot take everything for granted. The whole Maggi episode is like what happens after the rains -- pots made of mud get destroyed, but utensils made from steel and brass shine. I hope Maggi will start shining again," he told IANS.
 
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Wednesday said Nestle India had not been given a clean chit regarding its noodles and that its ban order of June 5 was still operative, despite a noted lab in Karnataka reportedly finding the snack to be safe.
 
But following the favourable test reports, Goa Deputy Chief Minister Francis D'Souza aaid he favoured a re-think on the ban since it was certified laboratory that found the popular instant noodle to be safe for consumption. "Why should you ban something when it is safe? If it was not safe I could have understood."
 
India's official food regulator on June 5 had banned the sale of Maggi after an allegedly high amount of lead and monosodium glutamate (MSG) were found in samples. Following that, Nestle withdrew all variants of the noodle, while continuing to maintain that its products were safe.
 
On the latest matter, Nestle has refrained from making any comment, on the ground that the matter was sub judice. The Bombay High Court is hearing the matter.

User

SEBI bars Alchemist Capital from accessing securities market
The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Wednesday barred Kolkata-based Alchemist Capital Limited (ACL) and its directors from accessing the securities market and ordered the company to return the investors' money.
 
SEBI received information from the Registrar of Companies (RoC) in Punjab and Chandigarh alleging ACL had raised Rs.165 crore from 28,000 investors across India during 2006. 
 
The RoC opined that such a wide subscription was not possible without making a public offer and shared the list of people to whom 'preferential shares' were issued.
 
The regulator, on the basis of the allegation from the RoC undertook an examination of the alleged mobilisation of public funds through issue of securities.
 
The SEBI, upon completion of the examination alleged ACL had made an offer and allotted Redeemable Preference Shares during the financial years 2003-2004, 2004-2005, 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 in contravention of some of the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956 and SEBI (Disclosure and Investor Protection) Guidelines, 2000.
 
Thereafter, the SEBI has ordered the company to "forthwith refund the money collected by the company through the issuance of Redeemable Preference Shares" to the investors including the money collected from investors till date and the pending allotment of securities with an annual interest of 15 percent compounded at half yearly intervals.
 
It has, however, permitted the company to sell its assets for making the repayments to the investors and deposit the proceeds in an escrow account with a nationalised bank.
 
The order has further detailed the provisions in case of failure to do so by ACL.

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)