Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bharti, Aircel keen to buy Qualcomm biz

NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel and Aircel Cellular are interested in buying the yet-to-be-launched Indian wireless broadband business of Qualcomm, industry executives said, an indication that the scales are tilting in favour of the wireless technology being championed by the US-based cellphone chip maker.

Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile phone company, is primarily interested in Qualcomm’s airwaves and permits for Delhi, complementing the 3G frequencies it won in the circle earlier this year, the executives said. Aircel, a unit of Malaysia’s Maxis Communications and the country’s seventh-biggest operator, has shown interest in the Mumbai and Kerala circles.

ET first reported on Wednesday that Qualcomm had sought a minimum of Rs 5,000 crore for its airwaves and permits in Mumbai, Delhi, Haryana and Kerala. It paid Rs 4,913 crore to win the licences in an auction in June.

“Airtel has 3G spectrum in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, UP (East) and Rajasthan. They have broadband wireless spectrum in Punjab. Haryana is the only missing link for them in North India, and if Bharti were to buy Qualcomm’s Haryana permit, it will provide them with a corridor of continuity across the entire Northern region. They have only 5 MHz of 3G spectrum in Delhi, its key circle, which is insufficient. Since LTE is a natural progression for 3G, it makes strategic sense for Bharti if they are pitching for Qualcomm’s licences in Delhi,” said BK Syngal, senior principal at Dua Consulting and former chairman of VSNL , a long-distance operator now owned by the Tata Group .

Bharti’s top two executives Akhil Gupta and Sanjay Kapoor met Paul Fiskness, Qualcomm’s senior vice-president for strategic investment and South Asia head Kanwalinder Singh to understand the terms and conditions under which the California-based chip maker wants to exit. Sandip Das, CEO of Maxis Communications, was the interlocutor on behalf of Aircel. Malaysia-based Maxis owns majority stake in Aircel.

An Airtel executive said company officials regularly meet with top Qualcomm personnel as the chip maker is a major player in the 3G and LTE space, adding that such meetings could not be considered as being related to buying the latter’s operations in India. Aircel’s chief operating officer Gurdeep Singh denied any meetings with Qualcomm. “We are yet to decide if we want to go in for WiMAX or LTE as the technology platform when we roll out broadband wireless services, which rules out any possibility of a deal or meetings with Qualcomm at this stage,” he said.

Qualcomm has told potential suitors that it is considering two options for the sale of its broadband wireless business, ET’s review of the presentations it made to them shows. The companies which own Qualcomm’s spectrum could be sold together as a single block, or be split into two blocks — one grouping Mumbai and Kerala and the other Delhi and Haryana.

TD-LTE (time division-long term evolution), the technology being backed by Qualcomm, faces competition from WiMAX, or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access. WiMAX has Intel as its main backer.

Indian telecom companies, which rely mainly on voice and text messages for the bulk of their revenues in an overcrowded and ultra-competitive market, are now working frenetically to roll out 3G services which will allow customers access to high-speed Internet services.

For wireless broadband, they have not yet indicated a clear preference for either WiMAX or LTE. But Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries , which got access to an all-India wireless broadband footprint by acquiring auction winner Infotel Broadband, has shown signs that it may favour the technology being championed by Qualcomm. While LTE is part of the popular GSM technology and has compatibility with both 2G and 3G networks, it is still an emerging technology. WiMAX, which is relatively more mature, loses some of its attractiveness because of high device costs.

Tata Communications and Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Communications , both of which lost out in the auctions earlier this year, may also be interested, especially since Qualcomm has broadband frequencies in Delhi and Mumbai. Both companies withdrew from the auctions saying the bids were in excess of what they were willing to pay.

Bharti Airtel, which won broadband frequencies in four circles — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab and Kolkata — has said that its experiments in these circles will enable it to prepare for an all-India footprint when broadband technologies evolve and become commercially viable. Aircel has broadband as well as 3G frequencies in eight circles and said the overlap will help it save up to 2% in both capital spending and operational expenditure.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10 Key Steps To Opening Your Own Business


Small Business Management & Marketing Tips

10 Key Steps To Opening Your Own Business

Key I. Preparation
Preparation is key to starting your own business. Many people have great ideas for a business, but the lack of prep work may spell disaster. Research and prepping ideas into action are pivotal to success. Starting your own business can be a very rewarding experience, and seeing those first dollars of income can be motivating, and encouraging. Seeing money as a result of your efforts is good, but seeing a profit is great! Before you open your doors for business planning is essential in order for success. Listed below are nine more keys to building a successful business.
Key II. Talk with Current Business Owners
Talk to current business owners. You may not think you know any, but you likely do. Talk to your: auto insurance agent, tax man, a restaurant owner, mechanic, family member, or a friend who owns a business, anyone who has the experience of owning their own business. Their insight can save you many days of aggravation, and sleepless nights. Ask them for ideas regarding a business plan. Where to get a business license, insurance, and bonding if needed. They will likely know who in your area offers the type of insurance you should have, and bonding (if you need it). Current business owners can steer you in directions that can save you money, and other precise resources. Business owners will probably tell you that forming a corporation or LLC is important, in order to protect your personal assets, and for tax purposes.
Key III. Business Plan
Write up a business plan. Have a list of all the essential start up costs: license, insurance, bonding, marketing, tools, office space, supplies, employees, post office box, phone, power bills, gas, etc. Do your homework because lacking the money for any of those necessities can spell catastrophe. Knowing how much capital is needed for all operational cost when a profit may not be immediate will give you a realistic perspective of what it takes to own your own business. Always count on spending some profits back into the business, but remember only necessities that have proven to work to build the business. Strictly sticking to the business plan where money is concern is crucial.
Owning your own business also means being prepared to work many hours. If you’re dealing with the public this may be harder than you think. If you lack the skills to deal with the public, without doubt it is best that you hire someone that can. Make sure you hire the right person that will portray you and your business in a positive light. If that person has had conflicts with you, and appears negative, be assured that attitude will be conveyed to your customers. Reflections of you or the business is should always be positive. Building the business on a rocky foundation is setting up a breeding ground for failure.
Key IV. Knowledge
Having knowledge about the business you want to open is so important. If at all possible, try working for someone else in the same business before you open your doors. The experience is invaluable! Asking questions and keeping your eyes and ears open can be priceless. Think about how they are pricing and what marketing tools they are using. Learning from others can be beneficial beyond words.
Whether you want to open a restaurant or grocery store, it’s important to your customers that you have answers to their questions. If your customer sees a hesitation to respond, they may think you lack confidence, or worse knowledge.
Key V. Customer Service
Listen to your customer! Keeping your word is do or die when you own your own business. Keeping appointments and promises, or being prompt, all paint a picture of you to your customers. If you miss appointments, don’t return phone calls in a timely manner, show up late, or not show up at all, the picture you painted is stating, I am not reliable. Once that pattern emerges it is a treacherous road to reclaim credibility. Keeping current customers is imperative to ensure stable income.
Key VI. Demographics/Marketing
What is the business targeted demographics? Setting up you own business means picking the right location. How will the business be seen or marketed to others? Can customers locate the business with little effort? What image of the business is being portrayed? What is your competition doing to earn and maintain their traffic? If the competition is solid chances are they are doing things right. Ask yourself: is the marketing right for your business, are you doing everything in your power to build solid relationships with your customers, are you prompt, show up for appointments, and lastly, are you listening to your customers?
Key VII. Attitude
Do not become discouraged. Owning your own business is definitely stressful, but taking time away from the business is central in preventing burnout. If opportunities away from the business never seem to materialize, make them happen. Being too caught up in making the business successful can cause just the opposite desired outcome. Being overtired and worked can cause frantic thought processes that can have negative effects on the business, and squelch your creativity.
Key VIII. Networking
Networking is a key in owning your own business. Reach out to the Small Business Administration in your town or city. The organization has many resources available, and may provide ways of networking with other small business owners.
Key IX. Record Keeping and Organization
Record keeping is a must when opening and maintaining a business. Records should be recorded in order to keep in touch with the business plan, and goals set for the success of your own business. Keep in mind that these records will also have to be used to provide documentation necessary for tax purposes. Keeping track of expenditures such as: miles, gas, insurance, bonding, training, supplies, marketing, and other expenses can elevate many headaches come April 15. Attention to detailed and routine recordings of the business will pay off. Organizing schedules, records, and personal life can be challenging. However, a well organized business office will reduce aggravation later. When order is regularly managed the dividends pay off in big ways.
Key X. Commitment
Stay committed to the success of the business. Being prepared for some setbacks will ensure you are not caught by surprise. Be flexible, able to change direction, or modify a plan of action. Listen to your customers, and be willing to make adjustments. Without customers there is no business. There should be a lot of planning before starting a business. Talking with business owners, making a business plan, gaining knowledge, having and maintaining great customer service are all essential in making your own business successful. Research, marketing, networking, record keeping all play key roles in running a well organized business. However, customer service, a positive attitude, and commitment will be the most central elements in retaining the business you’ve claimed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Domestic IT services mkt to be worth $13.6 Billion

Bangalore: The fast growing country's domestic IT services market is expected to be worth nearly $14 billion in the next four years, courtesy increased government spending, according to research group Gartner. "The country's domestic IT services market is expected to see a Compounded Annual Growth
Rate (CAGR) of 16 per cent by 2014, which would make that market worth $13.6 billion," Gartner's Senior Research Analyst Arup Roy said.
Domestic IT services mkt to be worth $13.6 Billion

In 2009, the domestic IT services market was worth about $9 billion. Generally, this market comprises products and professional services.

According to Roy, large government spending in areas such as e-governance would drive IT services market in the country.

Higher consumer spending would boost the economic growth, which in turn is expected to increase the demand for IT services, he said.

A recent Gartner report on IT services in Asia-Pacific region, co-authored by Roy, said that large government and defence projects would continue to drive IT services uptake in 2010 and 2011.

"e-governance and e-government projects, a national identity programme and large-scale digitisation programmes both at the central and state level should create IT services demand," it noted.

According to Gartner, IT management services would grow in areas such as data centre, business continuity/disaster recovery, security and networks as many domestic organisations are focusing on IT infrastructure efficiency.

Roy said the growth would also provide good opportunities for small and medium domestic IT players.

TCS to hire 50,000, 50 percent from campuses

New Delhi: Indian IT services major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is expected to hire more than 50,000 employees in this financial year earlier target of 30,000 persons. TCS will hire 50 percent more students from campuses for 2011-12. TCS will start visiting campuses from November.

TCS, the country's largest IT firm, during the July-September quarter, added 10,717 employees compared to 7,522 in October-December 2007. TCS has upgraded its gross hiring target from 40,000 to 50,000 on the back of higher demand. The total headcount of the company is 1.74 lakh at the end of September 2010.
TCS to hire 50,000, 50 percent from campuses

Similarly, rival Infosys is stepping up its hiring plans for the next few quarters and has announced to hire 40,000 new employees, up from the earlier projection of 36,000. The current hiring by the company has been the highest in the last three years. The company added 7,646 employees during the July-September quarter. At TCS, the attrition rate increased marginally to 14.1 percent in July-September from 13.1p percent during the preceding April-June quarter. In case of Infosys, it went up from 15.8 percent to 17 percent.

The recovery in business environment has led IT majors like Infosys and TCS to hire aggressively again. This comes after more than a year of muted hiring during the global economic downturn as clients cut IT budgets to tide over the slowdown. Software firms are also hiring aggressively to cope up with the high attrition rates as demand for experienced professionals’ returns.

Official reports say that TCS is planning to expand its China operations in the coming years, for which it need to hire people to manage capacity. "Though we have one of the lowest attrition numbers in the industry, they are not acceptable and we will work towards bringing this down," said Ajoy Mukherjee, Vice-President and Head, Global Human Resources of TCS.

GE signed 10k Crore deal with Reliance power

Bangalore: American major General Electric signed a deal with Reliance Power to supply 10,000 crore worth equipment for the 2,400 MW gas-based Samalkot Expansion Power Project in Andhra Pradesh.

GE's Commercial Director Richard T. Schellinger Junior said that GE will commence equipment supplies in May 2011 and Reliance Power expects to commence production by March 2012. He said as per the agreement, the six gas turbines for the project are scheduled to be synchronized by February 2012.

Schellinger said in the letter, "This is a project of great strategic importance to GE and one of our largest orders globally. GE will supply gas turbines, steam turbines and generators for the project." GE will also provide maintenance service. Reliance Power and its subsidiaries have a portfolio of 37,000 MW of power generation capacity.

The Scandals that marred India's image

Bangalore: As games are over, the scam ghosts have started haunting the organizers of Common Wealth Games. Initial investigation reveals that the scandal is deep rooted involving big guns. Though India is set to become a super power, scams are yet to be controlled. Of late, India seems to be plagued by frauds one after the other. The nation would have hardly forgotten the infamous corporate scam by Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju, when an equally bigger scandal of CWG is revealed.
The Scandals that marred India's image

Here, we will look at the top five scandals in relation to the enormity of these scandals that have erupted over several years in Indian history to understand the complicacies, with the hope of not being repeated in the future. What are common in each of these cases are discrepancies in financial regulation and corporate governance.

1. Fraudulent CWG: The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), involved in probing alleged corruption in various Commonwealth Games-related projects, has found discrepancies in tenders and alleged misappropriation amounting to about Rs 8,000 crore. It reveals that cashwas abnormally doled out for many Games related projects. Large sums of money have allegedly been paid to non-existent parties.
The Commonwealth Games scam could be much bigger than previously thought. Every day, more and more Games-related projects are coming under the scanner and fresh details of corruption and bungling indicate how deep the rot is. Skeletons are coming out of closet, the Urban Development Ministry directed the Delhi Development Authority DDA to freeze the company's Rs183 crores guarantee .As there were defects in the construction of the Commonwealth Games Village (CGV).

2. Satyam's corporate scandal: Satyam Computers, the fourth largest IT Company of India with 53,000 employees was charged in manipulating the balance sheet by illegal means. Satyam's operating margin wasn't the 24 percent as shown in its accounts audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers, but just 3 percent. And Satyam had nothing close to the reported 5,360 crore ($1.1 billion) cash pile on its balance sheet. The real amount was just a measly $78 million. On January 9, 2009, Chairman Ramalinga Raju surrendered to the police and confessed for the 7,100 crore fraud case.

The case has been handed over to CBI and investigations are still going on. Only time will tell whether justice prevails when it comes to the big guns. However, the implications of Satyam case were evident as the auditing part became stricter. Therefore, independent directors started facing the music which ultimately resulted in many public companies seeing large number of independent directors quitting the board.

3. The Harshad Mehta scam: In April 1992, the Indian stock market crashed, and Harshad Mehta, the person who was all along considered as the architect of the Bull Run was blamed for the crash. It transpired that he had manipulated the Indian banking systems to siphon off the funds from the banking system, and used the liquidity to build large positions in a select group of stocks. Harshad Mehta-the Big Bull' triggered a rise in the Bombay Stock Exchange in the year 1992 by trading in shares at a premium across many segments. Harshad and his associates triggered a securities scam diverting funds to the tune of Rs4000 crore (Rs 40 billion) from the banks to stockbrokers between April 1991 to May 1992.

He was later charged with 72 criminal offences. A Special Court also sentenced Sudhir Mehta, Harshad Mehta's brother, and six others, including four bank officials, to rigorous imprisonment (RI) ranging from 1 year to 10 years on the charge of duping State Bank of India to the tune of Rs 600 crore (Rs 6 billion) in connection with the securities scam that rocked the financial markets in 1992.

4.The 950 Crores Fodder Scam: Fodder Scam is a scam related to Animal Husbandry Department of Government of Bihar in which irregularities of nearly Rs 950 crores (US $ 210 million) were detected. The scam was unearthed in 1996 during the regime of chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, but it goes back to 1980s and is believed to have started during tenure of Jagannath Mishra Lalu had ordered probe into these massive irregularities in accounts by constituting a committee. However motives of these people were questioned by a Public Interest Litigation and Supreme Court of India handed over the case to CBI. Many people who were in this probe committee themselves became accused. Charges were filed against Yadav too and later on Mishra was also framed. In India when it comes to politicians, they seem to have impunity from the law of land. Nothing concrete was done to punish the guilty and rest is history.

5. The great Capital Market fraud of 1990s: "Every single drop of my blood is for the depositors." However that was not to be the case as C.R Bhansali plundered and looted the trust and money of people which resulted in a loss of over Rs 1,200 crore (Rs 12 billion).C R Bhansali first launched the finance company CRB Capital Markets, followed by CRB Mutual Fund and CRB Share Custodial Services. He ruled like financial wizard 1992 to 1996 collecting money from the public through fixed deposits, bonds and debentures. The money was transferred to companies that never existed.
The Scandals that marred India's image

CRB Capital Markets raised a whopping 176 crore in three years. In 1994, CRB Mutual Funds raised 230 crore and 180 crore came via fixed deposits. Bhansali also succeeded in raising about Rs 900 crore from the markets.

Fraud is often explained in terms of the fraud triangle which describes that fraud is most likely to occur when there is an overlap of an incentive or pressure to commit fraud, the opportunity to commit fraud, and a rationalization therefore. A risk-management strategy and well-drafted economic-crime prevention policies provide a vital platform to prevent and detect fraud.

World's lightest smartphone to hit India via Micromax

The world's lightest smartphone, weighing just 60 grams, is all set to hit the Indian market to make the most of the ongoing festive season.
Israeli entrepreneur Dov Moran's company Modu, which launched tiny smartphone Modu T last week, has announced striking a partnership with India's third largest distribution company Micromax for the venture, business portal Calcalist reported.

The value of the deal between the two companies has not been disclosed yet because it is dependent on phone sales, the report said.
Micromax will sell the cellular phone as part of a package that includes two "jackets", which are add-on sets for the Modu, at Rs 12,500 ($282).

The Modu T is a 3.5 generation smartphone with a 2.2 inch touch screen and has Qualcomm's Brew operating system and an array of Java-based applications, including Snaptu, Facebook, Flickr and media player TuneWiki.
Weighing at only 60 grams and measuring 7.5 cms, it is considered the lightest smartphone in the world.

Number portability likely to be delayed by 2-3 more months

Mobile phone users are likely to get the option of retaining numbers while changing service providers by the end of this year or early 2011—a year after the service was supposed to have been introduced.
India is the world’s second largest and fastest growing telecom market, with a multiplicity of operators, but choice is limited because subscribers can’t migrate their phone numbers.
In September 2009, the department of telecommunications (DoT) said it would introduce mobile number portability (MNP) by 1 January 2010.
But service providers, particularly state-owned firms, have been tardy in their preparations, and the deadline has been pushed back several times. The last deadline was 31 October.
Two DoT officials have now said it will take a little longer before MNP can be implemented.
“There will be a two-three-month delay due to one of the selected (MNP) operators not being able to secure permission to operate in the country,” one of them said, asking not to be named.
Two joint ventures were selected to run the MNP service—one led by US firm Telcordia Technologies Inc. and the other led by Syniverse Technologies Inc..
But the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) rejected Telcordia’s selection when the home ministry raised security concerns as the company has extensive operations in Pakistan, the DoT officials said.
Telcordia has an appeal pending with FIPB. It is expected to approach the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal if DoT revokes its licence.
Syniverse will now run MNP services all over the country, but it needs time to get the infrastructure ready.
“The operator’s (Telcordia’s) licence will be cancelled,” said the second DoT official. “There is no need to go in for retendering as the agreements already state that in case one operator fails to launch its services, the other would have to take its place.”
The second official, who also declined to be named, said DoT will make 1 January the final deadline to introduce MNP.
The service is expected to hurt India’s large telecom operators, such as Bharti Airtel Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd, by allowing users to shift to new operators while retaining their old numbers—and potentially spark a tariff war.
Some analysts say MNP will pose a higher risk to telecom operators that use the CDMA standard than those which use GSM.
“Several investors perceive MNP as a risk to GSM incumbents such as Bharti and Idea. The primary reason is the significant difference in post-paid and prepaid tariffs, which could trigger the second phase of a tariff war in the post-paid segment,” Sameer Naringrekar and Kunal Vora, analysts at the Mumbai branch of BNP Paribas, said in a 20 October report.
Their analysis of data published by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, or Trai, shows that CDMA services have a higher proportion of post-paid subscribers (6.1%) than GSM services (3.8%).
“Our analysis estimates higher revenue risk for CDMA (36%) than GSM (16%), which we believe will discourage CDMA operators from indulging in an all-out post-paid tariff war,” they added.
“Network, customer service and brand will be key differentiators.”

Will examine DoT proposal to merge circles into one zone: TRAI

NEW DELHI: Telecom regulator Trai will examine a recent Department of Telecom (DoT) proposal to merge all 22 telecom circles in the country into a single service area, a move that could lead to the end of costly roaming charges for Indian mobile phone users, an official said on Sunday.

A senior Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) official said the regulator will look into the issue of merging all the telecom circles into one, but did not give a clear timeline within which TRAI could come out with a consultation paper on the issue.

The government is considering the merger of the 22 telecom circles in the country into either a single service area or four separate zones to enable subscribers to move freely across states without paying extra charges for roaming.

As per the recommendations of a core team of the Telecom Ministry: "There could be either one service area covering the entire country, or there could be four zones each covering a particular region."

The core team was constituted by the Department of Telecom to give recommendations on strategic issues related to licencing matters. Roaming services allow cellphone users to continuously make and receive calls while travelling outside the geographical constraints of their home network by using a visited network.

Carriers charge a higher rate for roaming. Fees for roaming are not standard and differ from operator to operator. If implemented, the mobile users will not have to shell out extra money when they travel from one state to other. However, the operators will be hit hard if such a step is taken.

Operators had paid a huge premium for bagging 3G airwaves in certain circles, so if all the circles are merged, they stand to lose.

Monday, October 25, 2010

•♠•♠• Vaishno Devi, Katra •♠•♠•

•♠•♠• Vaishno Devi, Katra •♠•♠•

Katra Town, lying in the foot of Trikuta Mountains, 48 kms. from Jammu, serves as the base camp for visiting the famous shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi, which is approachable on foot along a 13 kms long well laid footpath. Every year, more than 4.5 million pilgrims pass through Katra on ...their way to the holy shrine.

The cave shrine of Mata Vasihnodeviji or Trikuta Bhagwati (alt: 5,200 ft.) has been a beacon of faith and fulfilment to millions of devotees from all over the world. The pilgrimage to the Shrine holds great significance for the pilgrims.


Jammu, 48 kms from Katra, is the nearest airport, railhead and inter-state bus terminus. Buses leave for Katra at 10 minute intervals between 5:30 a.m and 8:30 p.m. During peak season, additional buses are pressed into service.

- WHEN TO GO •••

The best time to travel Katra is between July & March.


Aghar Jitto - Just 5 km away from Katra is Aghar Jitto, the Shrine of Baba Jitto, a devotee of Mata Vaishno Devi and a revolutionary who led a campaign against the feudal order. According to legends, a dip in the holy spring water, flowing in front of the shrine, does miracles to pre-natal women for safe delivery of children. A path from here leads to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi.

Dera Baba Banda - At about 30 kms from Katra lies this major Hindu-Sikh pilgrimage centre. Baba Banda Bairaagi was Guru Gobind Singh's favourite 'Saint-soldier', who had the gurudwara constructed on the banks of river Chenab, where he spent his last days.

Baba Dhansar - Located 10 kms from Katra (1 km on foot) is Baba Dhansar, a beautiful and cool picnic spot. Here, a huge spring gushes out of the mountainside in a thick grove of trees and forms a number of small waterfalls before flowing into the holy Banganga. Next to the spring in a small grove in the rock face is a naturally formed ‘Shivling’ on which droplets of water fall naturally all the year round. A major ‘mela’ (fair) is held here during Shivratri.

Shiv Khori - This holy cave is nearly a kilometre long and houses a 4 ft high, naturally formed ‘Shivling’. It is considered second only to the shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in religious importance. There are stalactites & stalagmites dripping milky limestone water from the ceiling. Situated at a distance of about 100 kms from Jammu and about 75 kms from Katra, Shiv Khori hosts a major fair on Shivratri day every year.

See More

Friday, October 22, 2010

Vodafone to spend $500 m on 3G equipment

MUMBAI | NEW DELHI: Vodafone Essar will spend $400 million to $500 million on its third-generation services electronic equipment before they are launched in the first quarter of 2011, Marten Pieters, chief executive officer said. The company will fund it through bank loans and by issuing some new shares to its existing shareholders, Vodafone Group and Essar Group, Mr Pieters said on the sidelines of a company demonstration of the 3G services it will be launching.

In May, Vodafone Essar — India’s third-largest telecom operator by subscribers — paid Rs 11,618 crore for spectrum, or radio frequency, in nine services areas. The company paid such a high price because of an artificial scarcity of bandwidth, Mr Pieters said. Vodafone’s services will be launched in a phased manner. Beginning from metro areas Delhi and Mumbai, 3G services will be rolled out in all circles including Chennai, Kolkata, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (East) and West Bengal, Sanjoy Mukerji, director (business operations) of Vodafone Essar said.

Mr Pieters said Vodafone is in talks with quality and long-term operators — including Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular — to offer 3G services in areas where it does not have 3G airwaves. The end objective of these tie-ups will be to allow customers to seamlessly experience 3G across the country, irrespective of whether it is a Vodafone circle or another operator, Sunil Sood, the company’s other director of business operations said.

Mr Mukerji said 3G services would be competitively priced, adding that every bouquet of services would be priced differently according to use and location. For example, video calling may be priced higher in a remote location than in cities with adequate mobile access.

In an interview with ET, Vodafone Group’s chief executive Vittorio Colao had said: “I don’t think 3G services here will imply all you can use plans — these are being withdrawn from European and US markets. In India, the amount of frequencies are less and it is not compatible with such plans. Data will be segmented and the plans will be tailor-made for different segments of the population.”

Vodafone is likely to be one of the later private players to launch these services. Tata DoCoMo is expected to announce that it will begin offering its high-speed services from the first week of November. State-run telecoms are already providing 3G services in select circles.
In a highly-competitive Indian telecom market, 3G services are being considered the next revenue generator after regular value- added services. Consumers may take time to adopt data services that would be priced much higher than existing voice tariffs, which have recently seen radical reduction. “These (3G) services should push up average revenue per user,” said Mr Mukerji without detailing the potential increase. Vodafone expects 10% of 2G network users in India to switch or upgrade to 3G in a year, depending on the proliferation of 3G enabled handsets, he said.

In India, data users make up less than 10% of the company’s existing consumer base and are expected to increase as 3G usage will be an upgrade from voice calls and not in its place. Only 2% of Vodafone’s global 3G consumer base uses video calling, a trend that may find only lower numbers in India.

Last week, Vodafone Essar gave a three-year contract, estimated to be $500 million, to Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks to roll out 3G network. Vodafone owns 67% in Vodafone Essar. India’s Essar Group holds the rest and has an option sell its entire stake to Vodafone for $5 billion by May 2011.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

India develops first Laser Guided Bomb

Dehradun: India has developed its first Laser Guided Bomb (LGB), a weapon that can hit a target with greater accuracy, with technological support from city-based Instrument Research and Development Establishment (IRDE).

The development of technology for producing Laser Guided Bomb is part of ongoing research towards achieving self-dependency in the defence area being done in IRDE, a lab of DRDO, Scientist and Public Relation Officer of IRDE told PTI.

The LGB uses a laser designator to mark or illuminate a target. The reflected laser light from the target is then detected by the seeker which sends signals to the weapon's control surfaces to guide it towards the designated point, he said.

Bangalore-based Aeronautics Development Establishment (ADE) has developed the guidance-kit for 1000-pound LGBs and these are designed to improve the accuracy of air-to-ground bombing by IAF.

The guidance kit of LGB consists of a computer control group (CCG), guidance canards attached to the front of the warhead for providing steering commands and a wing assembly attached to the aft end to provide lift.

India had already carried out two successful flight trials of LGB for the IAF to test the effectiveness of the guidance and control systems at Chandipur integrated test range in Orissa early this year.

LGBs are manoeuvrable, free-fall weapons requiring no electronic interconnect to the aircraft and attack the target with higher accuracy and reliability.

The LGBs were first developed by USA in 1960s. Later, Russia, France and Britain also developed them.

Om Shiva Om ( Nan Kadavul ) Lord Shiva Devotional Song .

Lord Shiva


Motorola can be charged in cheating case, says SC

New Delhi: In a rare instance where a foreign company and its brass could face criminal prosecution in India, the Supreme Court on Wednesday restored the complaint by a domestic consortium of lenders against US telecom giant Motorola Incorporated and its five directors for alleged cheating.
The court, while allowing the plea of the consortium Iridium India India Telecom Ltd (IITL), set aside the Bombay High Court judgment that quashed the criminal case in 2003.
IITL had accused of Motorola taking Rs 500 crore from it for setting up a satellite communication project in 1987 even though the telecom firm knew right from the beginning that the venture would be a commercial disaster.
The consortium comprising IDBI, ICICI Bank, IL&FS, HDFC, LIC and SBI among others, entered into an agreement with Motorola to provide satellite-based phone services in India.
Motorola had taken a stand that it was not submitting to the jurisdiction of the Indian courts as there was no provision for effecting summons on a foreign entity or persons under the Indian law. When contacted, a Motorola India spok-esperson declined to comment.
While holding that the high court “clearly exceeded” its jurisdiction in quashing the criminal proceedings, an SC bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and SS Nijjar, said: “...the parties are yet to place on record the entire material in support of their claims. The issues involved are of considerable importance to the parties in particular and the world of trade and commerce in general.”
IITL had stated that Motorola, which had conceived the commercial wireless satellite communication system in 1987, had raised billion of dollars from all over the world through equity and debt offerings to the public through its 100% subsidiary Iridium Inc.
After Iridium proved to be a commercial disaster, US-based Iridium Inc promoted by Motorola filed for bankruptcy protection from its creditors under the US Bankruptcy Code in 1999. Later, the entire Iridium system was sold in bankruptcy at $25 million in 2001, which was less than 1,000th of the price ($6.5 billion) which Motorola was paid to put up the system, according to the petition.
It alleged that although the project went bankrupt, Motorola emerged as the sole beneficiary and pocketed a hefty $6.5 billion (approximately Rs 19,500 crore) from Iridium Inc for equipment supply and other services “at artificially high prices”, while its own investment was a...Motorola admitted that Iridium project failed as a commercial venture. It, however, said the investments made by the Indian investors at that time were to the tune of approximately $70 million (Rs 315 crore) which constituted approximately 4.7% of the total global offerings. “The offerings were made after compliance with all legal obligations of the USA and the securities exchange Commission if the USA . The equity offerings attracted some of the most prominent financial institutions and investors in the world,” the telecom major said....

Clearwire gets 90Mbps in early LTE-based 4G tests

Clearwire at 4G World today reported that the first results of its LTE-based 4G trials provided extremely high speeds. Using a full 20x20MHz frequency range, it reached 90Mbps for downloads and about 30Mbps for uploads. The conditions were ideal, with an empty network, but were "massively different" compared to 4G over WiMAX and higher than the estimated 70Mbps, Clearwire's chief commercial officer Mike Sievert said with Fierce in attendance.
The Phoenix-area dry runs were run on the same 2.5GHz airwaves as WiMAX but had about ten times as much speed as the current Clearwire network. In its best conditions, WiMAX in the US has managed about 10Mbps, with 3-6Mbps being more common.

LTE isn't a definite replacement for Clearwire's existing 4G network but is considered an upgrade path if it lags behind the competition. Verizon launches late this year and expects 12Mbps at most in typical use. Clearwire would have to undergo a significant cost but has already said that it could upgrade virtually all of its network to LTE with relatively little effort.

If not pressured by the industry, Clearwire could eventually upgrade to WiMAX 2, which is already topping 330Mbps in theoretical tests.

The current service is limited to modems, integrated notebooks and routers for Clearwire, but its partner Sprint has made a point of selling phones like the HTC Evo 4G and Samsung Epic 4G that all have WiMAX built-in.

Read more:

Vint Cerf: 'It's my fault' the world needs IPv6

Why the need for IPv6? Blame Vint Cerf.

Internet pioneer says it's his fault IPv4 is running out of addresses
The world is running out of IPv4 addresses, forcing the adoption of a new generation of Internet protocols, IPv6, to keep the Internet running. Whose bright idea was that?
“It’s my fault,” confessed Vint Cerf, godfather of the Internet.
Cerf, now chief Internet evangelist at Google, came to Washington in 1976 as a program manager at the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency to help develop a new set of networking protocols, TCP/IP, for the experimental packet-switched network called the ARPAnet. One of the decisions his team needed to make was the size of the address space in the packets.

Related story:
Cerf says Internet lacks essential features

Some researchers wanted a 128-bit space for the binary address, Cerf told an audience at a recent IPv6 workshop that the National Telecommunications and Information Agency hosted. But others said, “That’s crazy,” because it's far larger than necessary, and they suggested a much smaller space. Cerf finally settled on a 32-bit space that was incorporated into IPv4 and provided a respectable 4.3 billion separate addresses.
“It’s enough to do an experiment,” he said. “The problem is the experiment never ended.”
Some 34 years later, those addresses are almost used up, and the 128-bit address is being adopted — large enough to provide an exponentially greater number of addresses. It's a number so difficult for the mind to grasp that it typically is described in terms of grains of sand on a beach or golf balls filling the sun.
About the Author
William Jackson is a senior writer for GCN and the author of the CyberEye column.

World's most expensive book to hit auction block

London: Two iconic works -- one billed as the most expensive book in the world and the other the most important book in all of English Literature -- will go under the hammer at a Sotheby's auction here on December 7.
The sale of 'Magnificent Books, Manuscripts and Drawings' takes one on a journey of printed books from a rare example by England's first printer, William Caxton, through indisputably the most important book in English Literature, Shakespeare's "First Folio", to a great landmark of natural
history John James Audubon's "Birds of America".
The sale, which has an estimate of 8-10 million pounds, is a selection of books, manuscripts and drawings from the distinguished collection of the estate of the 2nd Baron Hesketh, an aristocratic book collector who died in 1955.
The collection was built up by successive generations of the family, and shows the best of every aspect of the bibliophile's endeavour: typography, illustration, literary, illumination, historical importance, and fine binding.
"Unlike other libraries which specifically focus on, for instance, literature, history or science, the 50 lots coming from this magnificent collection are an example of what is known as high spot collecting - when a collector seeks out the very best across a range of fields," said David Goldthorpe, director and senior specialist in Sotheby's Books and Manuscripts Department.
"For example, the sale offers the twin peaks of book collecting - the most expensive book in the world, Audubon's 'Birds of America' and the most important book in all of English literature, Shakespeare's 'First Folio'," Goldthorpe said.
Renowned ornithologist, naturalist and painter, Audubon (1785-1851) is one of the key influential figures in natural history. Quoted three times by Charles Darwin in "The Origin of Species", Audubon's work inspired generations of ornithologists, in particular his famed "Birds of America", a copy of which is included in the sale with an estimate of 4,000,000-6,000,000 pounds.
The extremely rare, 'virtually unmarred' copy of the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays, the 'First Folio' dates from 1623, and has 451 out of the original 454 leaves, but contains the complete text to all the plays. It
has an estimate of 1,000,000-1,500,000 pounds.
It is one of only two other textually complete copies to exist in private hands in a comparably early binding.
Containing 36 plays, the "First Folio" is the cardinal point of all Shakespeare's dramatic output. Eighteen of the 36 plays included in the "Folio", among them "Macbeth", "The Tempest" and "Twelfth Night", were printed for the first time, which means that without the Folio they might well have been lost forever.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

6 dilemmas faced by CEOs

A CEO's task is getting tougher day by day since they run companies that work in turbulent global markets through intricate networks. Thus CEOs finds themselves facing challenges like completing the term, expanding in business and customer loyalty and leaving a proud legacy at the end of their term.

According to a study by Bain, apart from the broad challenges that come with running a large, complex organization, the job of CEO poses six specific dilemmas relating to time management and control of the agenda. They are:
6 dilemmas faced by CEOs

1)Prioritization of work - A CEO's day is too short and tasks too long. CEOs often face too many demands on their time, and they all seem important.

2)Building up a team - Building up a team is very important. So should the CEO act fast or act deliberately?

3)Setting tone and business rhythm- How do the CEO avoid getting bogged down in the calendar of meetings?

4)Aligning the organization rightly - A CEO often needs to do the one man show to get all the employees moving in the right direction

5)Making all nuances work for you - There are multiple constituencies, each asking for something different. How to satisfy them all?

6)Role Model Drive and sustainability - How to role-model the right values whilst making the job sustainable?

These dilemmas can be effectively tackled by certain strategies according to CEOs studied by Bain. Working out the 60/40 rule where 60 per cent of the time can be devoted to "must-do" tasks like governance and investor relations and 40 per cent to turbo charging high-priority parts can solve the prioritization of work. To build a team, leave no doubt but to build it fast. CEOs who are positive, have energy, know where they are going and are authentic can successfully set a tone and business rhythm. Aligning the organization around simplifying things is a way to guide employees rightly and in turn make all constituencies work for the CEO. Striking the right balance by putting boundaries between your personal and professional lives and respecting the importance of both apart from the dynamics and energy projected by the CEO can essentially help him to be a role model and be sustainable.

Office? Not necessary: Indian employees

By   SiliconIndia
Wednesday, 20 October 2010, 16:04 IST
San Jose: Working in a mobile environment has become much more prevalent in the past few years As technology allows people to work form anywhere anytime, employees globally feels that an office is not necessary. Three of five employees globally believe that they do not need to be in the office to be productive, reveals an international workplace study.

Accoring to the study launched by Cisco and conducted by InsightExpress, a third party market research firm based in U.S., employees longing to be mobile and flexible in accessing corporate information. They even prefer jobs that were lower-paying but had leniency in accessing information outside of the office over higher salaried jobs that lacked flexibility.

The study, which surveyed 2,600 workers and IT professionals in 13 countries, including India, said the sentiment was particularly strong in Asia and Latin America. Employees globally also feel that having the flexibility to work anywhere would dictate their company loyalty (13 percent), choice of jobs (12 percent), and morale (9 percent).

The study, which involved surveys of 2,600 workers and IT professionals in 13 countries, revealed that three of every five employees (60 percent) believed it was unnecessary to be in the office to be productive. This was especially the case in Asia and Latin America. More than nine of 10 employees in India (93 percent) said they did not need to be in the office to be productive. This sentiment was extremely prevalent in China (81 percent) and Brazil (76 percent) as well.

Two of every three employees surveyed (66 percent) expect IT to allow them to use any device - personal or company-issued - to access corporate networks, applications, and information anywhere at any time, and they expect the types of devices to continue diversifying. In the future, employees expect their choice of network-connected endpoints to broaden to non-traditional work devices like televisions and navigation screens in cars.

For employees who can access corporate networks, applications, and information outside of the office, about half of the respondents (45 percent) admitted working between two to three extra hours a day, and a quarter were putting in four hours or more. However, extra hours do not translate to always-on, on-demand employees. They simply want the flexibility to manage their work-life balance throughout their waking

Employees also feel strongly about having the flexibility to work anywhere that it would dictate their company loyalty (13 percent), choice of jobs (12 percent), and morale (9 percent). For example, two
of three employees worldwide (66 percent) said they would take a job with less pay and more flexibility in device usage, access to social media, and mobility than a higher-paying job without such flexibility.
This percentage was higher in some countries, such as Spain (78 percent), despite economic woes the past couple years.

"The Cisco Connected World Report gives further insight into the future of the workplace and it is clear from the research findings that the desire among employees to be more mobile and flexible in their work lifestyles is extremely strong throughout the world - as strong as salary," said Marie Hattar, Vice President of borderless networks for Cisco.

Tata Elxsi announces LTE Femto/Pico eNodeB solution

Tata Elxsi announces LTE Femto/Pico eNodeB solution

Tata Elxsi announces LTE Femto/Pico eNodeB solution

Kariyatil Krishnadas

10/15/2010 1:17 AM EDT

BANGALORE, India—Tata Elxsi, a software services provider based here, has announced its LTE Femto/Pico eNodeB solution compliant to 3 GPP Release 8 and Femto Forum specifications. The solution supports industry standard channel bandwidths and MIMO configurations and has been optimized to provide market-leading performance and reduced latency, according to the company.

Tata Elxsi also announced a design win for a complete residential LTE Femto NodeB reference solution at an unnamed tier one OEM. This includes Layer 1 software and complete L2/L3 protocol stack software from Tata Elxsi.

With this win, the company’s clients for LTE software that include network equipment providers, original design manufacturers (ODMs) and radio equipment vendors located in North America, Europe, Japan and South Asia .

The LTE Femto / Picocell reference of Tata Elxsi's design comprises 3GPP Release 8 compliant L2/L3 stack and PHY layer integrated with radio, offering a ready platform for OEMs to get to market quickly. The entire software stack has been architected in a modular fashion to offer flexibility to OEMs to make modifications to specific sections of the stack with ease, if required. The L1-L2 interfaces are fully compliant to Femto Forum specifications.

"This architecture developed by Tata Elxsi allows for seamless migration to next generation integrated SoC platforms targeting LTE small cell markets from leading semiconductor vendors," said R. Rajagopalan, chief wireless architect at Tata Elxsi. "Effective use of on-chip hardware accelerators and customization of Linux kernels for real time response ensures significant performance and cost benefits as compared to other solutions."

Part of the Tata Group, Tata Elxsi is a partner to equipment makers and service providers and enables customers with stacks, integrated solutions, and a world-class engineering team to help customers deploy carrier-class LTE, WiMAX and Femtocell products–helping reduce time-to-market, costs and risk.

Texas Instruments: How to improve range when designing a wireless system

Texas Instruments: How to improve range when designing a wireless system

How to improve range when designing a wireless system

Iboun Taimiya Sylla, LPRF Business Development Manger, Texas Instruments

10/14/2010 4:33 PM EDT

With the proliferation of wireless equipment in today’s technology landscape, range has become one of the key elements to look at when evaluating their performances. Customers are constantly looking for systems that offer longer range without degradation of quality. Being able to achieve a longer range will give one’s product a competitive advantage, as performance is closely associated with achievable range from the product development phase to the deployment phase.

In order to satisfy user desire for longer ranges, wireless engineers must understand key parameters that impact the range of their systems – and subsequently know how to design around those parameters in a very efficient way. In this article we will review the link budget, which determines the range, as well as its components.

Follow this link to download the PDF of this article (no registrations, no funny business, just some great graphics that looked better in a PDF, so I made one for you.)

Top reasons why Indians prefer working for companies abroad - Career news

Top reasons why Indians prefer working for companies abroad - Career news

Monday, October 18, 2010

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Shiv Khori - Jammu

Shiv Khori - Jammu

Shiv Khori - Jammu -

Shiv Khori is an astonishing natural cave in a hillock in the Reasi tehsil. Situated 100 km from Jammu this wonderful cave stretches on for approximately one km. The four feet high cave contains a naturally formed lingam of Lord Shiva. The shepherds of the nearby villages discovered the Shivkhori cave about a hundred years ago. The architects of His Majesty carved the impressions of Sheshnaag on the ceilings of the cave. In the center of the cave is a hollow that gives an effect like that of Lord Shivas Jatta. Also surrounding the Shivalinga are self-made saligrams.

Located about 4.5 miles from Bhafarkah village in Pouni Block the Shiv Khodi cave of Kashmir India consists of two chambers. The spacious outer chamber can accommodate a few dozens of people at a time while the inner chamber is quite small. The walkway leading from the outer to the inner chamber is very low and narrow. Shivkhori in Kashmir attracts lakhs of devotees every year. The cave gains special significance during the Maha Shivratri festival. During this festival a big fair is organized near the temple. Shiv devotees throng this cave at the time of the festival to catch a glimpse of the holy lingam.

Amarnath Yatra and visiting places

Amarnath , Holy Destinations of India

Amarnath  , Holy Destinations of India -

Amarnath is 145 km east of Srinagar in Kashmir and is considered to be one of the major Hindu Dhams. There is an ice Siva-linga here that changes size with the seasons, and also as the moon waxes and wanes it becomes bigger and smaller. On the full moon day the linga is about 6 ft high. Each year on the full moon day of July-August [Sravana] when the Siva-linga attains its maximum height there is a festival at this cave temple. It is said that Lord Siva first appeared on this day.

Amarnath is located in a glacial valley at 3,888 m and is 45 km from Pahalgam and 141 km from Srinagar. The cave is about 150 feet high and 90 feet long. Within the cave there are four or five ice formations that resemble the figures of different gods. The biggest figure is regarded as Siva [Amarnath]. On the left side of the linga is an ice formation called Ganesh, and on the right side is one of Parvati and Bhairava.

The area is covered with snow from September to June. The cave opens only in July and August. This is the rainy season, so pilgrims have to brave the rain to get there. About 25,000 people make this pilgrimage each year. You can also hire ponies and dandies for the trip. It is very crowded during the annual Sravana festival. There is a yearly pilgrimage starting from Srinagar that is led by the Chhari Saheb, the holy scepter.

- Amarnath Yatra

Amarnath Yatra is one of the most important holy pilgrimage held during July - August. This is an annual event when thousands of Hindus from different corners of the Globe visit Amarnath caves. The pilgrims trek from Pahalgam to these caves and worship the great ice Lingam. Legend has it that Shiva recounted to Parvati the secret of creation in a cave in Amarnath. Unknown to them, a pair of mating doves eavesdropped on this conversation and having learned the secret, are reborn again and again, and have made the cave their eternal abode. Many pilgrims report seeing the doves-pair when they trek the arduous route to pay obeisance before the ice-lingam [the phallic symbol of Shiva]. This is an event you certainly will talk about for the rest of your life.

Best Time to Visit: :-

The Amarnath Yatra is organised every year by the Jammu and Kashmir government during the month of Shravan [ July and August] the dates however , vary every year looking at the weather conditions and according to Purnima [Raksha Bandhan] in the month of Shravan [Vikrama Samwat].

Yatra to Baba Amarnath Holy Cave for which one has to trek a height of about 14,500 ft is full of thrill and joy. The feeling of divine which is always beneath ones heart , burst out and one realises Moksha as one attends the Cave and perform the prayer before the Shivlinga. Surrounded by beautiful valleys, mountains, one will always feel His presence on the paradise of the earth, the memory of which hardly vanishes with time. A journey which will rediscover the nature and its love which is always inside but one has never felt.

- How to Reach :

- Air: The nearest aerodrome is Srinagar. Srinagar is a beautiful valley having world famous sights to see, such as Dal Lake, Nagina Lake, Shankaracharya Temple, Mughal Gardens and what not. It is the most sought after tourist place. It is also known as Paradise on earth. Srinagar is summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. There are daily flights to Srinagar from Delhi and Jammu. On some week days flights also pickup passengers from Chandigarh and Amritsar .

- Rail: Jammu is the nearest Railway Station . Jammu is winter Capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu is a beautiful city and is also known as CITY OF TEMPLES. One may visit old temples such as Raghunath Temple , Mahadev Mandir and other temples . It is well connected with all stations of India.The various trains coming to Jammu are listed here below.

- Road: Jammu and Srinagar are also connected through road. Buses and Taxies are also available for this part of the journey .These can be hired on daily as well as full tour basis.

Route for Amarnath Yatra

1] JAMMU - PAHALGAM - HOLY CAVE. [Traditional Route]

2] Jammu -Baltal - Holy cave [414km]

Jammu - Baltal [400km].
JAMMU - Udhampur - Kud - Patnitop - Ramban - Banihal - KaziGund - Anantnag - Srinagar - Sonamarg - Baltal.

3] Baltal to Holy Cave
From Baltal Holy Cave is just 14 Kms.