01 October, 2016

Nominations Invited For Mobile Handset Hardware Design Training Program

This program provides training for 50 R&D Engineering Managers, or Managers-to- be, who have a minimum of 5 years work experience. The complete training program is sponsored by MediaTek and the Taiwanese government and is approximately 10 weeks, from November 2016 through January 2017.

Read More :http://www.ica-ind.org/nominations-invited-for-mobile-handset-hardware-design-training-program/

09 November, 2015

No con, just Foxconn

With the number of mobile phone shipments to India surging to 275 million in 2014 from 183 million in 2011, and overall electronic importsincluding mobile phonesexpected to cross $300 billion by 2020, the government is going all out to woo global manufacturers like Foxconn. And Maharashtra, the state that has bagged the biggest investment promise, has offered the Taiwanese firm a slew of incentives, from concessional loans with a 10-year moratorium to capital subsidies, land on lease for 95 years, low-cost electricity, and a lot more.

Read more: http://www.financialexpress.com/article/fe-columnist/editorial-no-con-just-foxconn/162574/

In a first, Apple offers discounts worth Rs 34,000 to boost sales

In a first, Apple has decided to offer discount on its latest iPhones in less than a month of its launch, with the Cupertino-based company initiating a buyback offer on iPhone 6s and 6sPlus, giving consumers discount of up to Rs 34,000 to boost sales. This is also the first instance when Apple and its distributors are going to buy back old models under the scheme to ensure that all transactions are genuine and reduce the burden of the retailer who can push sales further, three senior trade partners of Apple in India said. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus were launched last month in India at Rs 62,000-Rs 92,000 depending on memory and model, but sales were down 15-20 percent over last year as iPhone 6 and 6Plus which hit the market last year were cheaper by Rs 8,500-9,000. Ingram Micro, one of the Apple’s four iPhone distributors, has just rolled out the buyback scheme in a handful of Apple stores and multi-brand cellphone retail chains in South India which will be subsequently taken national.

Read more:http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-11-09/news/68133905_1_buyback-offer-iphone-south-india


06 November, 2015

Call drop compensation unlikely in near term: UBS Securities

Telecom regulator TRAI’s order making it mandatory to compensate customers for up to three call drops in a day is not likely to be implemented in the near term, brokerage firm UBS Securities has said. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in October mandated that telecom companies from January 1 should compensate users at the rate of Re 1 per dropped call, with a ceiling of three dropped calls per day (or, Rs.3 per day). ”… we expect operators to take the legal route and challenge the TRAI order. Given the practical difficulty in implementation as well as prevention of misuse, we do not think this regulation will be implemented in the near term,” UBS said in a report on India’s mobile sector.

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/call-drop-compensation-unlikely-in-near-term-ubs-securities/article7846057.ece

Maharashtra to create 50 smart villages

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said he wants to focus not only on smart cities but also smart villages and create 50 such in 2016. Maharashtra has developed its first smart village with the help of Microsoft in a place called Arisal, which will act as a model village to demonstrate how digitisation can help improve healthcare and other aspects of living in a village, Fadnavis said. “Creating smart cities is creating efficiencies. Unless our cities become efficient we will be exploiting nature. We can also create smart villages,” Fadnavis said while speaking at the Microsoft Future Unleashed event here. He said the extreme malnutrition condition in Arisal can be addressed with the help of technology.

Read more: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/info-tech/maharashtra-to-create-50-smart-villages/article7847151.ece

Centre to work with Microsoft, others on digitisation: Ravi Shankar Prasad

The government is ready to work with Microsoft and other information and communication technology (ICT) firms to take India to the next level in digital revolution, Telecommunications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday. “India is standing at the cusp of digital revolution and we are open to work with companies like Microsoft to take India over the cusp,” Prasad said at the first of its kind Microsoft technology conference held here. While positioning India’s technology adoption situation, the minister said: “Indians are patient observers of technology. Once we feel that a particular kind of technology is helpful, we adopt it very fast.” Prasad, in addition, also spoke about different digital initiatives taken by the government including the electronic development fund.

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/internet/centre-to-work-with-microsoft-others-on-digitisation-ravi-shankar-prasad/articleshow/49673321.cms


05 November, 2015

Vivo to spend Rs 100 crore annually on marketing, says CEO Alex Feng

Chinese handset vendor Vivo Mobile India will spend Rs 100 crore annually on marketing and advertising to leverage its association as the new title sponsor of the Indian Premier League, chief executive officer Alex Feng said. This will be in addition to the fees that Vivo will pay the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the title sponsorship of the T20 tournament for 2016 and 2017, which is estimated at Rs 150 crore-160 crore. Little-known Vivo, suddenly in the spotlight after taking up the sponsorship last month, sealed the IPL deal almost overnight after PepsiCo’s withdrawal following betting and match-fixing scandals that marred the tournament. “The day we got to know that PepsiCo is quitting IPL, we connected with the BCCI. One thing led to another and we made a very quick decision,” Feng said.

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/telecom/vivo-to-spend-rs-100-crore-annually-on-marketing-says-ceo-alex-feng/articleshow/49666725.cms


4G to account for 45 percent sales of smartphones by March: Micromax

Country’s second-largest handset vendor Micromax today said about 40-45 percent of its smartphone sales volume will come from 4G devices by end of the fiscal. The company, which has seven to eight LTE-enabled devices in its portfolio, is scaling up the number to over 10 devices by the end of December. “We are seeing a strong traction with our 4G devices. By March next year, 4G devices will be 40-45 percent of volumes for us,” Micromax CEO Vineet Taneja said. Micromax is also looking at bringing in more 4G handsets devices across price points, especially in the affordable category.”15 percent of the smartphones being sold in the country are 4G-enabled. This number is set to double over the next few months,” he said. Buoyed by strong uptake of data services and pan-India rollout of 4G network by telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, handset makers are looking at expanding their product portfolio with LTE devices, especially in the entry and affordable price range smartphones.

Read more: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/151104/business-companies/article/4g-account-45-cent-sales-smartphones-march-micromax


Samsung claims edge over Apple

Has Samsung taken a lead over Apple in the Indian premium phone market? The Korean mobile phone major has said that it has attained a 50 percent share in the Indian premium phone market, at a time when Apple battles a slow start to the sale of its new iPhone 6S devices in India. Manu Sharma, director (product marketing) for Samsung India, said the company has seen a “positive momentum“ over the last one-year on the back of new launches such as the S6 Edge and the Note5 devices. “As per numbers provided by market research firm GfK, our market share in the Rs 30,000 and above category is 51 percent in value terms at the end of the September this year.

Read More: http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=Samsung-claims-edge-over-Apple-05112015025039


03 November, 2015

Andhra Pradesh fast turning into the mobile making capital of India

Andhra Pradesh is fast turning into a mobile manufacturing hub with Lava being the latest entrant with an investment of Rs 500 crore. Besides Lava, the Sri Venkateswara Mobile and Electronics Manufacturing Hub at the industrial park at Renigunta near Tirupati — recently inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi — will boast of leading manufacturers like Micromax, Celkon and Karbonn. The three firms are expected to invest Rs 200 crore each to set up their factories. Meanwhile, Foxconn has already started operations at Sri City and has partenred Xiaomi and Gionee to manufacture their handsets..

Read more: http://indianexpress.com/article/business/business-others/andhra-pradesh-fast-turning-into-the-mobile-making-capital-of-india

Market cheers RCOM-Sistema merger

Reliance Communications’ (RCOM) shares surged nearly 8 percent intra-day on Monday after it said it will acquire Sistema Shyam Teleservices’ (SSTL) wireless service business for a 10 percent equity in the combined firm to Russia’s Sistema, even as the Anil Ambani-owned telco was close to sealing a pact to sell its stake in its tower unit by November end. SSTL, which runs the only all-CDMA technology based network under the brand MTS in nine circles, will come without any debt, as its promoters will repay all its loans worth over $500 million (Rs 3,300 crore) before the merger closes…

Read more:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/markets/stocks/news/market-cheers-rcom-sistema-merger-rcom-stock-ends-6-2-higher-at-rs-79-90-on-bse/articleshow/49637856.cms

Google starts working with government to beam internet from floating balloons

Internet giant Google is working with the government on a pilot project for providing Internet connectivity by using large balloons. Google, under its ‘Project Loon’, is using big balloons floating at a height of 20 kilometers above earth surface for transmission of Internet services. It has already tested this technology in New Zealand, California (the US) and Brazil. “Google approached government to set up the Loon project and Drone-based Internet transmission. Government has approved testing of Loon project only as of now.

Read more: http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/gadgets/google-starts-working-with-government-to-beam-internet-from-floating-balloons/

30 October, 2015

Videocon plans Rs 500 crore mobile handset assembly plant in Punjab

Videocon Industries Ltd on Thursday said it plans to set up mobile handset assembly plant in Punjab, entailing an investment of Rs.500 crore over three years. The company will assemble mobile handsets along with the manufacturing of set top boxes, said Anirudh Dhoot director of Videocon. The company expects this move to create an employment opportunity for 3,000 people. Earlier this month, the company tied up with Coolpad Group Ltd to manufacture phones for the Chinese telecommunications equipment company. Videocon aims to manufacture about half a million Coolpad devices at its facility in Maharashtra. Videocon is one of the few Indian manufacturers that are setting up mobile phone assembly units in India.

Read more: http://www.livemint.com/Industry/jOdxwd9cxg0JEMTxfgFiaO/Videocon-plans-Rs500-crore-mobile-handset-assembly-plant-in.html

29 October, 2015

Skyhigh prices may’ve brought Apple to earth

Apple has acknowledged that the higher pricing of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus in India and some other markets due to foreign exchange fluctuations has had an impact on their sales, but said it’s investing for long term in the country. “We’ve adjusted some prices around the world for the launch of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus… Obviously when we increase prices around the world, it’s normal to see some impact on sales rates,” Luca Maestri, Apple’s chief financial officer, said in response to a query about the currency movement and impact on demand in terms of volume units and revenues in some regions like India, Japan, and parts of Europe during the Cupertino-based company’s fourth quarter earnings call on Wednesday.

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/hardware/weak-rupee-high-import-tax-factors-behind-high-prices-company-investing-in-india-for-long-term-apple/articleshow/49573945.cms

26 October, 2015

Trai calls telco CEOs on October 29 to discuss call drops

The telecom regulator has called for a meeting with heads of all mobile carriers on Thursday to discuss grievances against a directive asking telcos to compensate users for call drops, a ruling which can severely hurt carriers financially. The meeting, which has been called suo motu, is set to be preceded by a joint letter by telcos, highlighting issues that require clarification, which may go out on Tuesday. “Trai has called for a meeting with all CEOs on October 29 at noon to discuss call drops and the recent Trai regulation on it,” Rajan Mathews, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), confirmed to ET.

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/49532175.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

21 October, 2015

A.P. emerging as preferred destination for mobile makers: ICA

Andhra Pradesh is fast turning out to be a preferred destination for mobile handset and component manufacturing firms, according to Indian Cellular Association (ICA).

“Suitable regulatory interventions and proactive support provided by the State Government during the past 4 to 6 months are turning out to be the clinching factors to turn these investment decisions in favour of the State,” ICA national president Pankaj Mohindroo said.

In a statement, on the eve of the foundation laying for a dedicated mobile handset manufacturing facility in Tirupati by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said that the hub will be another important milestone to leverage the State’s ability to attract further investments in this sector.

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ap-emerging-as-preferred-destination-for-mobile-makers-indian-cellular-assn/article7789703.ece


20 October, 2015

Trai call drop norms to hurt telcos earnings by 5 percent: BofA-ML

Terming the telecom watchdog’s policy to compensate users for call drops difficult to implement, Bank of America Merill Lynch today said it expects a hit of up to 5 percent in the pre-tax profits for listed majors Bharti and Idea Cellular. “We consider this regulation as hard to implement in the current form and expect telcos to contest this ruling.

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/telecom/trai-call-drop-norms-to-hurt-telcos-earnings-by-5-bofa-ml/articleshow/49470103.cms


Infosys, Huawei jointly launch Smart Stadium Solution

Infosys and Huawei on Tuesday jointly launched Smart Stadium Solution to provide high-speed Wi-Fi access and smart services for users in stadiums and exhibition centers. The solution integrates Huawei’s Agile Network and Infosys’ Entertainment Experience Platform. This solution can be combined with entertainment hubs to enable innovative service experiences and operational models.

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/infosys-huawei-to-jointly-launch-smart-stadium-solutions/articleshow/49466618.cms

20 October, 2015

ICA wants states to do away with separate VAT on cell charger

Mobile industry body Indian Cellular Association (ICA) has asked the Centre to advise states not to impose separate VAT on chargers that are bundled with mobile devices in a composite or single corrugated box.

The Supreme Court had passed a judgement which held that chargers should be classified as accessories even when it is bundled with mobiles in a composite/single corrugated box.

Due to this, various state governments have already started demanding separate VAT on mobile chargers by treating it as an accessory for the purpose of taxation.

“This has generated great uncertainty which has been prevailing in the minds of investors,” ICA National President Pankaj Mohindroo said in a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

ICA said centre should take this up with the state governments to issue general clarification on accessories based on the Customs Accessories (condition) Rules, 1963.

The Customs Accessories (Condition) Rules, 1963, specifically provides that accessories compulsorily supplied free with an article should attract the same rate of duty, which is applicable on the imported article, ICA said.

“World over, essential accessories which come as composite part of mobile handset packs are treated as one unit and taxed at the same rate as mobile handsets,” Mohindroo added.

Read more: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/ica-wants-states-to-do-away-with-separate-vat-on-cell-charger-115102001372_1.html

Mobile banking may overtake internet banking in 2-3 years

20 October, 2015

Mobile banking, per se, is growing at 80-100% per annum and most of the adoption is coming through mobile apps. A significant part of mobile banking adoption is also coming through the missed-call banking that we launched about a year-and-a-half ago. We saw that people who do not have a smart phone adopted very quickly to missed-call banking with nearly a third of the mobile banking customers using this feature.

Read more: http://www.financialexpress.com/article/industry/banking-finance/mobile-banking-may-overtake-internet-banking-in-2-3-years/153759/

Telcos can start spectrum trading as govt issues guidelines

13 October, 2015

The government on Tuesday issued spectrum trading guidelines that allow telecom operators to procure radiowaves for mobile services from other companies to meet their requirements and improve service quality.

Earlier, telecom operators had the only option to procure airwaves through an auction conducted by the Department of Telecom as per its own schedule.

“The government has now decided to allow trading of access spectrum as per guidelines,” an official paper said.

It is seen as an exit route for loss-making telcos and offers relief to those with a large subscriber base which need more spectrum. As per the guidelines, a telecom operator can sell the right to use spectrum to another operator either in part or full holding at the level of telecom circle.

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Telcos-can-start-spectrum-trading-as-govt-issues-guidelines/articleshow/49336644.cms

ICA wants states to avoid VAT on mobile chargers  

12 October, 2015

Indian Cellular Association (ICA) has urged India government to ask state governments to consider chargers as part of the device and not as accessories and avoid VAT.

Recently, the Supreme Court of India held the view that chargers should be classified as accessories even when it is bundled with mobiles in a single box. On top of this, various state governments have already started demanding separate VAT on mobile chargers by treating it as an accessory for the purpose of taxation.

ICA’s National President Pankaj Mohindroo in a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said mobile chargers should be treated as an integral part of the mobile phone based on International practice. “Providing chargers along with mobile handsets as free of cost has been a well accepted business practice globally.”

The Customs Accessories (Condition) Rules, 1963 notified by Notification No. 18- Cus dated 23.1.1963, specifically provides that accessories compulsorily supplied free with an article should attract the same rate of duty, which is applicable on the imported article.

“Though ICA has agreed with the Supreme Court judgement that a Charger is not a part of a mobile but an accessory, nowhere in the judgment the Supreme Court had suggested VAT authorities to start taxing the chargers separately,” Mohindroo said.

Read more: http://www.telecomlead.com/smart-phone/ica-wants-states-to-avoid-vat-on-mobile-chargers-64608

Phone makers’ body calls for clarity on manufacturing policy

5 October, 2015

Days after Telangana notified a mobile manufacturing policy, listing incentives and the conditions for availing them, the Indian Cellular Association has expressed apprehension that lack of clarity on tax-related sops could lead to harassment of companies.

While thanking Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao and other officials, the Association highlighted the need for such policies to be explicit. There should be little room for misinterpretation by ground-level revenue and industry department staff. One of the measures it wants the State government to take is to list items on which the 5 per cent VAT rate will apply. The time frame when this would be in vogue is also a clarity it has sought.

A body comprising mobile phone manufacturers, big and small, domestic and international brands, the ICA has also raised levy of CST. While the policy says the government will “waive off CST at 2 per cent,” the Association has underscored the need to exempt mobile phones, tablets, their components and accessories from CST (although a similar nomenclature may be appearing in the VAT schedule).

The Association is concerned that the absence of clarity could result in field-level staff of the departments concerned, “arm twisting the industry”.

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/phone-makers-body-calls-for-clarity-on-manufacturing-policy/article7724992.ece

Total telephone subscriber base rises to 100.93 crore in July

30 September, 2015

Total telephone subscriber base in the country rose marginally to reach 100.93 crore at the end of June with mobile services continuing to dominate growth in the sector, telecom regulator Trai said today.

“The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 100.69 crore at the end of June 2015 to 100.93 crore at the end of July 2015, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 0.23 per cent,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said.

The subscriber growth rate, however, almost halved in July on monthly basis to 23.6 lakh from 49.1 lakh net addition reported in June.  The total wireless or mobile subscriber base increased to 98.32 crore at the end of July from 98.08 crore at the end of June.

The growth in the segment was led by Bharti AirtelBSE -0.55 % whose net subscriber addition in July increased by over 10 lakh. Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications followed with net addition of 6.79 lakh and 5.34 lakh subscribers, respectively.

After a long time state-run BSNL figured among top five telecom operators in net addition of subscribers. Its addition stood at 4.79 lakh compared with loss of 2.69 lakh subscribers in June.

Read more: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/telecom/total-telephone-subscriber-base-rises-to-100-93-crore-in-july/articleshow/49170644.cms

Telcos plan spectrum sharing, to see acquisitions ahead

19 September, 2015

Managing director of Videocon Telecom, said his company has already begun discussions with incumbents to acquire or offer spectrum in all the six circles they are present in.

The government is yet to notify the rules for spectrum sharing but that is not stopping domestic mobile service providers like Videocon Telecom from initiating talks with peers for collaborating on using each other’s airwaves to push growth and improve quality of telecom services in their circles.

Arvind Bali, managing director of Videocon Telecom, said his company has already begun discussions with incumbents to acquire or offer spectrum in all the six circles they are present in.

“Today, we are talking to other operators for just spectrum sharing (not spectrum trading), where we will be providing 4G (fourth generation) service to customers. It’s (spectrum sharing guidelines) yet to be notified but work (on spectrum sharing) has already started and we are in very, very active stage of discussions,” he said.

The government has announced its decision to allow trading and sharing of airwaves and has come out with rules for it, but is yet to notify them.

On the spectrum trading front, the provision of including earnings from spectrum trading in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) for the calculation licence fee and spectrum usage charges (SUC) is being seen by most as negative. Many analysts believe it could prove to be a “deterrent” for telcos looking at trading in airwaves as it would effectively entail a 13% levy — licence fee (8%) and SUC (5%) — for the seller of airwaves.

Pankaj Mohindroo, national president, India Cellular Association (ICA), said telcos were looking at everything with a focus on consumer.

He said in a situation where the telecom industry was plagued by very scarce resources, capital and spectrum, sharing and trading airwaves was a way out to resolve the issues of quality of services and market expansion.

He said the government’s move on addressing these were “good” but “more needed to be done”. He was also not very optimistic that spectrum sharing and trading would enhance mobile services and bring down the number of call drops, an issue behind which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also put his might.

“I hope so (that quality of mobile services gets better). It will improve only slightly,” said Mohindroo.

Read more:


Panasonic plans mobile handset, fridge manufacturing facilities

18 September, 2015

Consumer electronics and appliances firm Panasonic will set up a mobile manufacturing facility in India with a capacity to produce 10 lakh phones a month and a fridge manufacturing facility.

“We are going to have a facility in the next six months. But we have not decided yet whether to set up a unit ourselves or to go for contract manufacturing,” Manish Sharma, Managing director (India and South Asia) of Panasonic, told BusinessLine here on Friday. Manish, who is in the city to address the India Gadget Expo, has said that the firm sells about 3.2-3.5 lakh phones a month now.

“We are going to have a facility to produce 10 lakh phones a month keeping in view the anticipated demand,” he said.

Read more:


India’s tablet shipment grows 4.2% in Q2

18 September, 2015

While mobile phone manufacturers are riding high on the increasing smartphone penetration in India, tablets shipment has also posted a promising number the last quarter. In April-June 2015, the India tablet shipment numbers breached 1.07 million mark and recoded a rise of 16.4 per cent annually and 4.2 per cent quarterly, according to a study by CyberMedia Research.

Faisal Kawoosa, Lead Analyst at CMR Telecoms Practice, said, “As the nation’s mobile consumers inch towards higher levels of data consumption, it has a direct impact on factors such as device screen size. As of today, only a tablet can provide users a conveniently bigger screen; this should give some hope to the industry that the market will revive as 4G data networks become widely available and accessed by users in more and more cities and towns. In that sense, the April-June 2015 quarter may be the starting point for a whole new growth opportunity.”

However, the market is largely concentrated among the top five players who constitute 67.90 per cent of the total tablet shipment. The report added that Samsung is leading the market, while Datawind and iBall follow with the second and third spot, respectively.

Read more: 


Taiwanese major scouts for land in Noida

17 September, 2015

In signs that the Uttar Pradesh government’s initiatives to attract industry may be yielding results, a Taiwanese global leader has evinced an interest in investing in Noida. In this context, a team of key officials of ‘AU Optronics Corporation’ and Twin Star Technology owned by Vedanta group met senior officials of the Noida Authority on Thursday. The company has expressed a desire to invest a total of Rs 40,000 crores in Noida, officials said.

On Thursday, the delegation led by the Taiwan Company’s project leader Howan Lou net Noida Authority officials after they had met Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary, Alok Ranjan in this regard in Lucknow last week. AOU group from Taiwan, which is the technical collaborator for the project, is a manufacturer of LCD, solar panels, mobile display and many other products, officials said. Vedanta group of companies are Indian partners. For starters the company plans to invest Rs 6,000 crore in the first phase of the project, which will manufacture LCD panels. LCD panels are not being manufactured anywhere in India and will be the first for the country, officials said.

The group assessed land in sectors 155 and 156 in Noida. The plots were apprised for the proposed LCD panel manufacturing hub by the delegation. About 170 acres of land were identified by the 7-member delegation. Queries related to availability of water, power and infrastructure support were put forth to Noida officials.

Read more:


Digital wallets have overtaken use of credit cards online

17 September, 2015

India has traditionally been a cash economy. With low financial inclusion and limited penetration of banking services, 95 per cent of payments in the country are made in cash. There is significant cost involved in printing the currency notes and keeping them in circulation. However, of late the paradigm is changing and the agent of this evolution is the mobile digital wallet. Simply put, the digital wallet is a virtual account created through a service provider where the user loads a certain amount of money. This amount can then be used to make quick purchases and payments without the hassle of carrying cash around, remembering multiple passwords or worrying about card frauds, etc.

In India, 230 million people with an account pay utilities or school fees in cash. Digital wallets made their way into the Indian economy as a means to pay utility bills, recharge mobile phones and DTH plans in a safe and convenient manner. The top players then tied up with leading e-commerce merchants enabling payments on their sites through mobile wallets with a single touch or tap. Consumers began to make a behavioural switch in favour of digital wallets as a quick, safe and hassle-free means of transacting online.

Read more: http://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/vijay-shekhar-sharma-digital-wallets-have-overtaken-use-of-credit-cards-online-115091701046_1.html

Subscriber base of GSM telcos touches 726 million in August

16 September, 2015

Mobile subscriber base of seven GSM telecom operators – including Airtel, Vodafone and Idea – increased marginally to reach 726.1 million in August, as per the data released by industry body COAI.

“Total number of GSM subscriber as of August 2015 was 726.1 million. The GSM subscriber increased by 4.49 million in August 2015, 0.62 per cent increase from previous month,” the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said in its report.

The growth rate in subscriber base in August picked up again following five month of continuous decline in net addition since March 2015. In July, the net addition of subscribers was only 1.24 million.

Telecom major Bharti Airtel led the growth in segment with net addition of 1.31 million subscribers taking its total subscriber base to 232.98 million. The telecom major was closely followed by Idea Cellular whose net addition in August stood at 1.17 million.

Read more:


ICA to set up mobile manufacturing hub at Tirupati

15 September, 2015

In a major breakthrough, the Andhra Pradesh Government has clinched a big deal with mobile handset firms in the country to house the first mobile manufacturing hub.

The Indian Cellular Association (ICA), which had been scouting for an ideal location to locate the hub, has zeroed in on Tirupati after getting assurances on taxes and fast track logistics support to connect to Chennai.

The Rs. 1, 000-crore facility is coming up at Tirupati in 65 acres with an initial employment potential of 10,000 jobs.

Major mobile manufacturing firms such as Micromax, Karbonn and Celkon Mobiles are going to set up anchor units at the facility.

A number of ancillary units would also come up at the hub. The State Government has agreed to waive off Value Added Tax (VAT) for 10 years, giving an upfront reduction of price sold in the State.

ICA had spoken to several state governments to develop the hub in a bid to make India self-sufficient in handset production.

Read more:


Make in India push: Modi government keen to scissor red tape to attract FDI

7 Sep, 2015

India is looking at a fresh overhaul of its overseas investment regime as the Narendra Modi government is keen to make it easier to do business in the country and attract capital from abroad in the manufacturing sector as part of its Make in India programme.

This round is expected to be targeted more at cutting the need for prior government approval and simplification of the overall policy rather than extending sectoral limits, which it has already done in some areas.

“FDI policy should be simple… Why should proposals for Rs 5 crore or so wait for government clearance,” said a finance ministry official aware of the thinking on the matter.

The government has raised foreign investment limits in many sectors including defence and has even persuaded Parliament to approve a higher 49% limit in insurance. It has also moved to a composite cap system where the limits include all forms of foreign investment without any sub-limits.

Read more:


Nokia effect: handling of electronics cargo declines at Chennai airport

2 September, 2015

The steady cut down in production at the Nokia India factory before it was closed, not only left thousands of employees jobless but also had a cascading impact on the overall handling of electronics and electrical goods at the Chennai airport.

The volume of import and export of electronics and electrical goods at the airport declined at a rapid pace over the last two years to about one-third for export cargo while imports were halved.

When Nokia’s manufacturing was at its peak in 2012-13, export of electronics and electrical goods at the airport was 23,600 tonnes. However, the volume dropped to nearly a third to 5,746 tonnes in 2014-15. “Nokia was the major contributor to the drop,” said an airport official.

It was not a good sign with imports either. In 2012-13, import of electronic and electrical goods was 42,192 tonnes, which dropped by 33 per cent to 28,325 tonnes in 2014-15.

“Nokia had a big effect on our cargo handling in the last two years. There was a gradual reduction in handling of electronics goods at the airport, which reflected the slowing down of production by Nokia from second half of 2013,” said a senior official of the Chennai airport.

At its peak, mobile manufacturing from Sriperumbudur was nearly 10 per cent of world production till 2012. This has completely dropped in the last four years, Pankaj Mohindroo, President, Indian Cellular Association, recently told Business Line.

Read more:


Global electronic companies line up Rs 90K cr for India plants

Aug 23, 2015

The government has received Rs 90,000-crore investment proposals in the last two months for electronics manufacturing in India, with both local and foreign firms showing significant interest in making mobile phones.

“About Rs 90,000 crore worth of proposals were received in the last two months. There is hardly any company, which has not shown interest to manufacture in India,” said Ajay Kumar, additional secretary in the communications ministry.

India is already the fastest-growing smartphone market and is now becoming the manufacturing hotspot for mobile phones, he added.

About Rs 1.10 lakh-crore worth of proposals have been received in the last 1 year from various companies for electronics manufacturing under the modified special incentive package scheme. Of this, over 80% have materialised in the last two months.

“There is significant interest in mobile phones. Now we are seeing a lot of players are coming in, both Indian companies and foreign ones. They are increasing their presence here,” Kumar said.

Global companies, including Airbus, Phillips, Thomson, Samsung, LG and Flextronics, have shown interest to make in India.

Read more:


Indian Cellular Association Delegation visits Sri City

22 August, 2015

A delegation led by Pankaj Mohindroo, National President, Indian Cellular Association (ICA) and Chairman, Fast Track Task Force (FTTF) visited Sri City on Saturday.

Ravindra Sannareddy, Managing Director, Sri City gave a warm reception and briefed the delegation on the world-class infrastructure that was set up Sri City and the industrial progress achieved. S.S. Rawat, Secretary, Industries Department and Sidharth Jain, Collector, Chittoor district were present on behalf of Government of Andhra Pradesh.

Following the briefing session Pankaj Mohindroo and all other officials went round the campus and had a close glimpse of the works in progress at Foxconn Company.

Speaking after visiting the campus Pankaj Mahendroo expressed satisfaction at the available infrastructure and business-friendly ambience.

Read more:


ICA urges TN Govt to revive Nokia plant

21 August, 2015

Indian Cellular Association today said mobile handset production in the country has been hit due to the suspension of operations at Nokia’s manufacturing facility at Sriperumbudur near here and urged Tamil Nadu government to come out with a package to revive it.

The plea was made by representatives of ICA, apex body of the mobile phone industry comprising manufacturers, brand owners, application and solution providers, and distributors, during their meeting with state Industries Minister P Thangamani and top officials here.

“It was very positive meeting. They are extremely keen (to revive it)..”, ICA President Pankaj Mohindroo told reporters emerging from the meeting attended among others by Information Technology Secretary T K Ramachandran, Industries Principal Secretary C V Sankar and Tamil Nadu Industries Guidance Bureau Executive Vice-Chairman Vel Murugan.

He said: “Suspension of production (at Nokia’s plant) was like a tsunami. After a tsunami you expect the government to come with a revival package. That is what we have asked for”.

Read more:


High VAT rate turning away mobile makers from Odisha: ICA

16 August, 2015

High VAT (value added tax) rate on mobile phones and the lack of a dedicated state policy on ESDM (electronics system design and manufacturing) sector is turning away investors from Odisha, feels the Indian Cellular Association (ICA).

The state government charges VAT at the rate of 13.5 per cent on cell phones priced beyond Rs 5,000 in contravention with the recommendations of the National Policy on Electronics (NPE), 2012 and various industry recommendations by ICA.

ICA has pointed out that the state’s reluctance to slash steep VAT rate has dimmed its prospects of emerging as a favoured destination for mobile phones and electronics goods manufacturers.

“Despite our best efforts in trying to convince them (investors) about your state’s prospect and suitability for putting in investments in manufacturing, there has been a tendency to move away from high tax bearing states including yours. Further, the Odisha government has not yet come up with a dedicated policy to promote the ESDM sector unlike other states like Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh which has made Odisha a less competitive investment destination,” Pankaj Mohindroo, president, ICA said in a recent letter to chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

Read more:


Foxconn to ‘Make in India’, will invest $5bn in Maharashtra

8 August, 2015

World’s largest electronics contract manufacturing company in the electronics sector, Foxconn, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Maharashtra government on Saturday to set up a manufacturing facility with an investment of $5 billion over next five years.

The state government has assured the Taiwan-based company to allot the land between Mumbai and Pune — and authorities are likely to zero in on Talegaon. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said officials from Foxconn have already been shown land parcels and will be taking a call on the exact location soon.

The facility, which will be spread across 1,500 acres of land, will focus on manufacturing and research and development, announced Foxconn chairperson Terry Gou. The announcement was made by Gou and CM Devendra Fadnavis after the signing of the MoU.

Fadnavis said the government was committed to allot company the land at the desired location. He added at least 50,000 jobs are likely to generate from the facility of the Foxconn.

“We have chosen Maharashtra for being a financial centre, availability of quality manforce and software-hardware integration facilities,” said Gou.

The MoU was the result of continuous dialogues between the company and the state government over last two months after the visit of a Fadnavis–led delegation to the facility of the company in China, officials from the chief minister’s office claimed.

Read more:


Mobile accessories maker Targus to set up base in India

Aug 5, 2015

Mobile accessories maker Targus today said it will start manufacturing laptop bags in India in the next three months, its first such facility outside China.

To be set up under contract manufacturing, the facility will come up in Dehradun with a capacity of up to 2 lakh units a month.

“India is the fastest growing market for us in the Asia region. While we were sourcing from China, now we are looking at manufacturing in India as part of our contribution to the Make in India initiative,” Targus Asia Pacific Director (Product Marketing) Manish Aher told PTI.

The company has over 50 models in the Rs 1,500 to Rs 8,000 price range. He, however, did not share any investment details. “Manufacturing in India could help the pricing as well… While we are starting with laptop bags, we could also look at sleeves for iPads (from the facility),” he said.

India contributes about 22% of the country’s revenues from the Asia Pacific region with a growth rate of 35-36%. Targus, which sells docking stations, security and privacy screens as well, launched two new docking stations today priced at Rs 15,990 and Rs 19,999.

Read more:


Asus to Start Contract Manufacturing of Smartphones in India

4 August 2015

Taiwanese handset maker Asus will start contract manufacturing in India soon, having identified the country as one of its top three smartphone markets, thanks to its mobile phone subscriber base of a whopping 980 million, a top official has said.

“We should able to zero in on a partner be it Foxconn or any manufacturer by the end of third quarter of this calendar year and actually start delivering the phones by the end of the fourth quarter,” Peter Chang, country manager at Asus India, said.

“We are looking to make 70 percent of our smartphones in India,” Chang told IANS. “But we want to focus on the product and not on the manufacturing, so we have taken the decision of contract manufacturing.”

Asus had launched its ZenFone smartphones business in India 18 months ago and has sold nearly 1.6 million units. “We aim to capture at least 5 percent of the Indian smartphone market and be among the top four by the end of next year,” Chang said. Currently, Asus has around 2-percent share of the smartphone market in India.

Read more:


Indian telecom service providers added 1.14 million rural mobile phone customers in June

31 July, 2015

Indian telecom service providers added 1.14 million rural mobile phone customers in June to reach a total of 346.28 million users, a sequential increase of 0.33%, with No 1 carrier Bharti Airtel gaining the most – 0.74 million.

Airtel has the largest base of rural customers at 110.25 million as of June, according to data shared by Cellular Operators Association of India, the association representing GSM operators including Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular among others.

Rural India has gained more prominence for telcos in terms of customer acquisition as millions of people in the hinterlands still do not own mobile phones, while at the same time urban markets face saturation with a customer possibly have more than one mobile connection.

For the month of June, Vodafone trailed Bharti with 99.27 million rural mobile subscribers while Idea Cellular came in close No 3 with 92.73 million users. Uttar Pradesh East circle has the maximum number of rural subscribers at 36.88 milllion, followed by Bihar at 36 million and Maharashtra at No 3 with 30.23 million users.

Read more:


Karbonn sets up manufacturing plant in Noida

29 July, 2015

Karbonn Mobile India Pvt. Ltd on Wednesday said it has set up a plant in Noida in partnership with Water World Technology Co., a mobile phone designer, manufacturer and supplier firm.

The plant, Million Club Manufacturing (MCM), aims to boost local manufacturing in line with the government’s Make in India initiative.

The facility with an intial investment of Rs.50 crore is spread across 150,000 square feet area. The company plans to invest Rs.100 crore in the next stage of development.

The plant employs 2,000 technicians and is set to produce 1.5 million phones a month.

“India is one of the fastest growing mobile phone markets, and device makers are keen on setting up manufacturing units here to cater to the flourishing demand. The manufacturing unit will be a great opportunity to mobile companies to start local production. As part of the plan, the manufacturing unit will have a capacity to produce 1.5 million phones per month. We are looking to scale up to 3 million phones per month in one year”, said Sudhir Hasija, drector, MCM.

Read more:


Make In India: Lava Pledges Investment of Rs 2615 Cr To Scale Up Production To 18 Million Units Per Month

28 July, 2015

Make in India campaign received another major boost from Lava, an Indian mobile manufacturer. Pledging an investment of Rs 2615 crore in the next 7 years, Lava has shared that they will set up two more units in the country to scale up production to 18 million units per month.

They already have a manufacturing unit in Noida, where they product 0.5 million handsets every month.

In the next 7 years, they will establish one unit in North of India and one in South of India; and once operational, their three units will produce 18 million handsets per month.

Sanjeev Agarwal, Lava International chief manufacturing officer said, “The funds will be deployed over a period of seven years. We are in discussions with various state governments and we should be able to close in on a decision in the next three weeks.”

As per the plan, their 2nd unit would be up and running by beginning of 2017. Some portion of this fund would also be used in research and development work for the company.

Read more:


Report shows surge in use of mobile apps for shopping

July 28, 2015

More and more Indians are shopping on mobile apps—not only has the number of shoppers grown, but they are spending more time shopping on apps and their ranks in smaller towns and cities are growing, too, according to a new report by research firm Nielsen.

The number of smartphone owners using mobile apps of e-commerce companies has gone up from 1,680 (21%) in May 2014 to 4,320 (54%) in May this year, based on real-time mobile usage data across 8,000 handsets in the country, said Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights.

With India being the next big frontier for smartphone consumption, these numbers point to a larger shift in mobile consumption behaviour.

“Almost nothing else matters to us (Indians). This (the mobile app) is the most significant way for Indians to access e-commerce. Most of our users will never see a laptop. Last year, this has been the most fundamental shift in the industry from one platform to another,” said Punit Soni, chief product officer at Flipkart, which currently gets 75% of its traffic through its mobile apps.

Read more:


RS Sharma appointed new chairman of TRAI

July 28, 2015

Ram Sewak Sharma, a 1978 IAS batch officer of the Jharkhand cadre who is currently serving as secretary in the department of electronics and information technology, has been appointed as the new chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

“The appointments committee of the cabinet has approved RS Sharma as chairperson of Trai for three years or till the age of 65 years, or until further orders, whichever is earliest,” a government notification dated July 27 stated.

FE was the first to report in its May 17 edition that Sharma had been selected by the panel and his name would be announced shortly.

Sharma, who worked in the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) before moving to the IT department, holds a Masters degree in mathematics from IIT Kanpur and in computer science from the University of California.

Since he’s a member of the full telecom commission, he’s familiar with all telecom issues and is understood to have a good rapport with PM Narendra Modi as well as his current boss, communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Read more:


Transactions by digital wallets up three times between February and April

July 27, 2015

Digital wallets, which allow consumers to pay for purchases through devices such as mobile phones, are becoming popular, if an almost three-fold surge in the number of such transactions recorded between February and April this year is any indication.

About 6.7 crore transactions worth Rs 1,196 crore were recorded through digital wallets in April compared with 2.4 crore payments totalling Rs 876 crore in February, according to Reserve Bank of India data sourced through a Right to Information Application. The document also states that the total number of digital wallets as of April 2015 is 101.86 million.

Companies say the rise in transactions can be attributed to an increase in the number of consumers trying out the new payment model, which may be borne out by the fact that the average value of each payment halved to Rs 178 in April from Rs 364 in February. Digital wallets allow users to make purchases electronically using a device — most often a smartphone — to reduce the burden of carrying cash.

Read more:


European Commission approves Nokia acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent

July 26, 2015

The European Commission on Friday announced that it has approved the proposed acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent by Nokia under the EU Merger Regulation.

Saying both companies are global providers of telecommunications equipment and related services, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the parties are not close competitors and since a number of strong global competitors will remain active after the transaction.

The press release said that the Commission found that, despite the merged entity having combined market shares around or above 30 percent for several specific types of equipment, the overlaps between the two companies’ activities are effectively limited.

“Indeed, Nokia has a strong presence in the European Economic Area, where Alcatel-Lucent is a small player, and conversely Alcatel-Lucent has a strong presence in North America, where Nokia’s activities are rather limited,” it said.

Read more:


Telecom spectrum auctions likely in early 2016

July 27, 2015

A report says that the auction is likely to be held early next year, which will include frequencies in the 2G, 3G and 4G bands.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is planning auction of telecom spectrum, according to reports.

A report says that the auction is likely to be held early next year, which will include frequencies in the 2G, 3G and 4G bands.

Spectrum in the prized 700 MHz band for 4G may also be on offer for the first time ever. “We have written to the regulator (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Trai) seeking the reserve price of all these bands and are awaiting their response,” a senior official in DoT told ET. The auction earlier this year was the biggest ever, raising about Rs 1.10-lakh crore from the sale of 2G, 3G and 4G frequencies.

Read more:


As in China, 4G can be a game-changer in India too

July 24, 2015

As Indian companies ready themselves to launch and expand their fourth generation (4G) telecom services, industry analysts expect the advent of the technology to prove a game-changer as in China, but also forecast a shakeout that could rattle incumbent players.

“TD-LTE (China’s long-term evolution, or 4G standard) has proved to be a game-changing technology shift in China by providing incumbent China Mobile a working data network. This is facilitating improved data monetisation, particularly as compared with its WiFi network,” says Credit Suisse.

“We also expect TD-LTE to be a game-changer in India, for quite different reasons. Specifically, TD-LTE has allowed new entrants to utilise a large, until now unused spectrum resource to enter the market,” said the research consultancy in a recent report.

“We expect this to have a negative impact on incumbent operators in the shape of upward revisions in spectrum costs and capex costs and downward revisions in revenue forecasts and Ebitda margins (earnings before taxes and some charges), most of which is yet to come,” the consultancy added.

Read more:


Government extends scheme to boost electronics manufacturing by 5 years

July 22, 2015

To boost manufacturing of electronics items, the government today extended the ‘Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme’ (MSIPS) by five years and also expanded the scope of the programme to cover 15 new product categories.

The decision was taken at the meeting of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi this evening to promote ‘Make In India’ and ‘Digital India’ initiatives, sources said.

The demand for electronics in India is expected to reach USD 400 billion by 2020. The electronics sector has the potential to attract USD 100 billion investment and provide jobs to 28 million people.

The 15 new product categories included in the MSIPS are: smart cards, consumer appliances (like washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners), electronic product design, optical fibres and Internet of Things (IoT) products, among others.

The government has also made it easier for companies to receive incentives under the MSIPS scheme.

“The scheme has been extended for a period of five years beyond July 26, 2015. The extension of MSIPS scheme is a big boost towards making India a global destination for electronics manufacturing,” sources said.

Read more:


Indian mobile internet users to rise to 314 million by 2017

Jul 20, 2015

The number of mobile internet users in India is expected to rise to 314 million by 2017, nearly double the 159 million it had at the end of 2014, according to a joint report by industry body The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and consultancy KPMG.

“With more than 300 million internet users, India has the second largest internet user base in the world. But the internet penetration at 19 per cent (approx) is poor and limits the potential. The next wave of growth in penetration of internet will driven by adoption of mobile internet,” said Ashvin Vellody, partner management c consulting, KPMG India.

The report, “India On The Go – Mobile Internet Vision Report 2015”, and co-authored by Vellody and Akhilesh Tuteja, partner and head technology, estimates that the number of Internet users in India will touch 503 million by 2017, from the nearly 278 million users it had in October 2014.

Read more:


Govt in Talks with ICA to Attract Cellphone Makers

July 13, 2015

Mobile phone industry is beginning to show interest in Odisha with the Government keen to play a proactive role in developing the State as a major mobile phone manufacturing hub in the country.

The State Government has started discussion with Indian Cellular Association (ICA) and the National Task Force on Mobile Phone Manufacturing to present its case for attracting industry majors by promising an amenable ecosystem for manufacturing units.

The first round of talks was held between ICA president and chairman of the Task Force Pankaj Mohindroo and State Industry Secretary Sanjiv Chopra and IT Secretary PK Jena here recently and will be followed up with another high-level meeting in New Delhi on July 14.

“We are encouraged by the stance of the Government which is serious about facilitating establishment of mobile manufacturing clusters in the State. We have started the first-level of engagement and are fairly enthusiastic about carrying it forward,” Mohindroo told this paper.

Read more:


Odisha on the Radar of Mobile Handset Makers

July 12, 2015

The Indian Cellular Association is in talks with the state government to explore possibilities of manufacture of mobile phones and their components

Odisha may emerge as the manufacturing hub of mobile handsets and associated components with its proposed electronics manufacturing cluster (EMC) drawing the attention of manufacturers.

The Indian Cellular Association (ICA), the apex body of the mobile phone industry, is in talks with the state government to explore possibilities of manufacture of mobile phones and their components here.

“We have initiated discussions with the Odisha government. Preliminary talks have been held with the industries and IT departments. The proposed EMC seems to be a good site for mobile handsets and electronic components manufacturing. Apart from Odisha, we are in talks with the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telengana, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh”, said Pankaj Mohindroo, national president, ICA and chairman of the fast track task force constituted by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeiTY).

Read more:


1,000 Acres for Electronic Clusters near Hyderabad

July 9, 2015

An estimated 7.2 lakh mobiles are sold every day across the country or approximately 65 million every quarter. Telangana  is one of the largest mobile handset markets and the state government intends to cash in on this potential.

“There’s an increasing demand for electronics and we want to encourage manufacturers to set up facilities. Local production will result in lower costs and eases logistics,” said Jayesh Ranjan, principal secretary,  IT.

Sensing the demand, the government has earmarked 1,000 acres for electronic manufacturing units near Maheshwaram. “We are in touch with companies, through Indian Cellular Association (ICA) and also talking to individual players,” he said. Currently, the electronic hardware industry is worth Rs 6,000 crore, of which exports comprise Rs 1,200 crore. “We believe the electronic hardware industry in the state can grow significantly,” Jayesh said.

Recently, homegrown mobile handset maker Celkon announced Rs 200 crore investment at its first assembly plant near Medchel. Similarly, another domestic firm Micromax is expected to invest about Rs 500 crore to set up an assembly and manufacturing plant in Hyderabad and an MoU with the state government is likely to be signed shortly.

“Our second plant proposed in Hyderabad will cater to southern markets and also augment our exports to Asian and African countries,” said Rajesh Agarwal, co-founder, Micromax.

Read more:


Amdocs sees huge mobile financial services opportunity in India

July 8, 2015

For others India might be one country, but for the over $3-billion Amdocs it is not one market but “two markets”, which offer a wealth of opportunity in terms of mobile financial services (MFS). Building on the financial-grade technology developed by mobile financial services’ pioneer Utiba, a firm acquired last year, US-headquartered Amdocs offers mobile financial services solution that delivers a single mobile wallet from which users can manage and control their finances and enables a selection of mobile financial services such as money transfer, bill payments, m-commerce, savings, loans, insurance, loyalty points and top-up transactions.

Amdocs is enabling mobile operators, banks and other financial institutions achieve their goals of financial inclusion by providing the technology and services. For example, BSNL-SBI is using its technology to roll out mobile financial services across India.

“India is one of the most important markets for mobile financial services. It’s a unique market. In fact, it is not one market but two markets, one which is unbanked or under-banked without access to basic financial services; and the other which is growing middle class with rising incomes who want convenience and are increasingly using their mobile phones for payments, accessing banking services, and other financial transactions,” Sharath Dorbala, head of sales, marketing and products for mobile financial services, Amdocs, told Financial Chronicle.

Read more:


Making A Good Call

July 5, 2015

How a few companies are laying the foundation to make India a phone manufacturing powerhouse.

India today has a capacity to assemble 270 million phones a year, according to data from the Indian Cellular Association. The figure for China is 1.1 billion. Because of economies of scale, and the presence of a fullfledged ecosystem, production cost in China is the lowest in the world.

Read more:


Sony may ‘Make in India’; products to be manufactured at Foxconn’s upcoming facilities

July 3, 2015

Japanese electronics giant Sony is all set to make in India, though the products will be contract-manufactured at Taiwanese maker Foxconn’s upcoming facilities in the country. Sony looks at local sourcing for the second time after it stop ped the practice in 2004 when i opted to only import.

Top industry sources said Sony has decided in favour o local manufacturing as the government has offered several incentives. “However, Sony is not looking at manufacturing on its own at this moment,” a source said.

Sony India MD Kenichiro Hibi said a final decision is yeto be taken. “There are many possibilities that we are look ng at (for making in India). Contract manufacturing is one of them. However, we are yet to decide,” Hibi told TOI.

Read more:


PM Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ programme to focus on digital empowerment

July 2, 2015

As the UN prepares for a global cyber policy by the end of the year, India has said that the ambitious ‘Digital India’ programme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to address the digital divide and focus on affordability for inclusive development.

As the UN prepares for a global cyber policy by the end of the year, India has said that the ambitious ‘Digital India’ programme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to address the digital divide and focus on affordability for inclusive development.

The stark gap in the digital divide between the developed and developing world needs to receive global attention, said Santosh Jha, Director General, Ministry of External Affairs.

He said that despite significant advances, half of the world’s population, mostly from developing and least developed countries, continues to be denied access to Information and Communications Technology.

Read more:


PM Modi launches Digital India Week; Rs 4.5L cr investment, 18L jobs promised

July 1, 2015

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Digital India initiative at an event attended by government officials as well as industry leaders. The programme aims to make all citizens digitally literate and bring internet and e-governance to all sections of the society.

The vision of Digital India programme also aims at inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, products, manufacturing and job opportunities etc.

The Prime Minister said that Digital India has drawn investments worth Rs 4.5 lakh crore and will create 18 lakh jobs.

“E-governance is going to change into m-governance or mobile governance. Mobile governance is going to be a reality soon,” he added.

Read more:


PM Modi launches Digital India campaign

July 1, 2015

Pitching India as the world’s destination for the next big idea, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked, “If Indians can work in Google. Why can’t Google be made in India?”

Talking about his dream of digitally connecting India, PM Modi launched his ambitious Digital India project. The project aims to create a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. Modi spoke extensively of his vision for Digital India, “I dream of a Digital India where high-speed digital.

Read more:


Delta, Lava, Hero and Nidec to Announce Manufacturing Plan

July 1, 2015

Today’s Digital India Week event is all set to write a new chapter in India’s economic progress with many Indian as well as global companies planning to announce their local manufacturing plans. Power company Delta Group, Lava Mobiles, Hero Group and Nidec are some of the names who are likely to announce manufacturing investment plans today at ‘Digital India Week’ function. The event is being inaugurated by prime minister Narendra Modi at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi.

Apart from these companies, the mega event will witness unveiling of Digital India logo, launching of Digital India Week and releasing of policy documents by the government to encourage investments in the country.

Read more:


HTC to start manufacturing mobile handsets in India

June 30, 2015

Over a month after Samsung announced that it will soon start manufacturing its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge flagship smartphones in India, HTC is following suit.

According to an Economic Times report, the Taiwanese company has entered into an agreement with Global Devices Network, which has its own manufacturing and assembling unit in Noida (near capital New Delhi). It’s worth mentioning that the latter already produces handsets for local brand Zen.

The report notes that trails have already started at the facility, and commercial-level production will begin by mid-next month. The Taiwanese company will manufacture handsets priced in the range of INR 10,000 ($160) to INR 25,000 ($390).

The news comes just days after there were reports that Sony is also considering manufacturing smartphones in India.

Read more:


India’s telecom industry plans new spectrum bands for its vision 2025

June 29, 2015

GSMA is presenting a case for new bands at the International Telecom Union meet

India’s telecom industry, led by top lobby group GSM Association, is building a case for four new spectrum bands as part of its 2025 vision in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) forum, scheduled in November.

At the ITU’s World Radiocommunication Conference, which happens once in four years, the GSMA is presenting a case for new bands that include sub-700 MHz frequencies (470-694MHz), L-Band (1350-1400MHz & 1427-1518MHz), 2.7-2.9 GHz band and the C-Band (3.4-4.2GHz). Geneva-based ITU, which deals with spectrum management issues globally, is a multinational collective effort between governments and private companies to recommend new technologies and standards.

Read more:


Telcos all set to launch e-KYC services this year

Jun 29, 2015

Telecom operators like Idea Cellular, Vodafone and Airtel are gearing up to launch e-KYC services for customer acquisition by the end of this year. This would help them save on cost and time with immediate foolproof verifications through Aadhar card number and biometrics. The department of telecommunications (DoT) is conducting pilot runs with telecom players across various circles to verify the nationally integrated system.

Company officials said there are some 950 million mobile and data connections already and substantial additions are happening every year. It is a challenge to identify every customer with driving licence and not so authentic identity papers. However, with the launch of Aadhar card and biometric tool it would be extremely easy to authenticate identities.

Read more:  http://www.mydigitalfc.com/news/telcos-all-set-launch-e-kyc-services-year-824

Powering education with mobile technology

June 29, 2015

In many ways, mobile technology is motivating the younger generation to use modern gadgets for learning purposes.

The world today is a technology-driven place to dwell in where the age of machines has taken over and has definitely ensured a comfortable life for us. The ability of mankind to use science in an efficient way has led to many inventions and opened up myriad possibilities to explore. We all live in the digital smart age where we have access to technology at our fingertips. Things that we thought to be impossible to achieve back then have been made possible now as we have eliminated the time and place factor.

With the introduction of cloud-based systems, the term “enterprise” that was used earlier with a limited group of people or companies has extended its reach to small and medium sized organisations. Education is the new kid on the block and this sector is experiencing technology transformation in almost every area.

Read more: http://www.financialexpress.com/article/industry/jobs/powering-education-with-mobile-technology/91347/

Reliance Communications in talks with ATC, Carlyle for stake sale in tower biz

June 29, 2015

Telecom operator Reliance Communications is in talks with American Tower Company (ATC) and Carlyle to sell majority stake in its tower subsidiary Reliance Infratel in the current financial year.

In a clarification to the BSE over media report that said ATC and Carlyle lead race for majority stake in Reliance Infratel, RCom said, “Company has started a process to monetise the valuable tower and fibre assets held in its subsidiary, Reliance Infratel Limited, within current financial year.”

“We wish to state that the said process is continuing,” the filing said.

Sources, however, separately said that the company is in talks with ATC and Carlyle along with others for selling majority stake in Reliance Infratel.

The exchange had sought clarification from RCom with respect to media report the operator was in talks for sale of majority stake in tower business under Reliance Infratel.

The report said that ATC and Carlyle were leading race to buy 51 per cent stake in Reliance Infratel for about Rs 20,000-24,000 crore. Reliance Infratel has about 45,000 mobile towers.

Read more:


Foxconn, Adani may tie up for manufacturing; eye four electronics plants in India

June 26, 2015

Foxconn plans to partner with the Adani Group to set up at least four electronics manufacturing facilities in India, sources told TOI. Top executives of Foxconn, the Taiwanese company best known for making Apple devices, are said to have visited Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat earlier this month to look at possible locations for the facilities.

Sources in the Karnataka government told TOI that Vincent Tong Wen-Hsin, chairman and director of investments at FIH (Foxconn International Holdings) Mobile, and Calvin Chih, CEO of the company , had detailed discussions with the government on the matter.

“It could become a $5-billion investment. They visited some other states too. We are hoping that Karnataka’s talent pool and fiscal incentives would make them decide to locate a facility here,” a government official, who did not want to be named, said.

Read more:


Foxconn loses its excise advantage, will hit mobile manufacturing

June 26, 2015

Global mobile phone players such as Foxconn that have committed to manufacture in India may have to rethink their plans with a vital 11.5% excise duty concession now removed.

As a result, even those importing mobile phones into the country will end up paying the same duty as those manufacturing domestically. If the government wishes to promote mobile manufacturing, it needs to urgently reconsider this anomaly.

And once this gets resolved, a Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) circular of 2005 — on import of semi-knocked down kits for phones — can also play havoc with plans to assemble them in India.

Importers at various ports have already begun asking for this 11.5% concession, based on a Supreme Court ruling on March 26 in two cases involving ITC and SRF. While the basic customs duty on mobile phone parts is zero, the only advantage that manufacturers in India got was by way of the countervailing duty (CVD) that importers had to pay. In the Budget, finance minister Arun Jaitley brought in a 1% excise duty for mobile phones manufactured in India while hiking the CVD to 12.5% — in other words, a 11.5% difference, a vital one considering the thin margins on phones.

Read more: http://computer.financialexpress.com/news/foxconn-loses-its-excise-advantage-will-hit-mobile-manufacturing/12569/

Mobile phones may soon replace plastic access ID cards

June 25, 2015

Mobile phones may soon replace plastic cards that are used for user authentication and access control (including door entry). The biggest advantage is that while improving security, installing and maintaining authentication apps in phones may only cost as much as cards, for organisations, say industry experts. Organisations offer plastic cards, mostly in the form of identity cards, to provide access into buildings and to record time and attendance. Biometric authentication methods including fingerprint and iris are used for additional security.

“Few years ago, we started to look for the next big thing in the access control space; we looked at what could replace the plastic card and the definite answer was the mobile phone,” says Ranjit Nambiar – director of India and SAARC at HID Global.

Read more: http://www.mydigitalfc.com/knowledge/mobile-phones-may-soon-replace-plastic-access-id-cards-689

ICA inks pact with Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry

23 June, 2015

Indian Cellular Association, the mobile handset industry body, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry (III) to give further boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Smart Bharat’.

Indian Cellular Association, the mobile handset industry body, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry (III) to give further boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Smart Bharat’.

Taiwan’s Institute for Information Industry (III) will provide its expertise to ICA’s ongoing digital India initiative – ‘Action Centre for Smart and Broadband Bharat (ACSBB)’.

“Our partnership with the global leader in digital technology deployment and information society programs will speed up swift realization of PM Modi’s vision of Smart Bharat,” ICA chairman Pankaj Mohindroo, said in a statement.

Both the industry bodies will co-operate with each other in the domain of National Optical Fibre Network, Smart Cities, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine to Machine Interface (M2M) and other technologies under the Digital India Program in India.

Read more… http://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/industry/ica-inks-pact-with-taiwans-institute-for-information-industry/47783020


Taiwan’s Foxconn to manufacture Xiaomi phones at Sri City plant in Andhra Pradesh

June 23, 2015

An old Pepsi building in Sri City in Andhra Pradesh will soon start humming with activity again. That’s where Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest contract manufacturer, will make phones for Chinese brand Xiaomi.

Foxconn had begun work on the site across from the Tamil Nadu border two months after shutting down the third and last of its plants in that state in February. The Sri City unit won’t be too big — it will make about 10,000 phones a day — but Foxconn has ambitious plans for India that could eventually make the country a key manufacturing base for the company, comparable with China.

The maker of iPhones and iPads for Apple and Kindles for Amazon is planning to set up 10-12 factories in India, each employing at least 10,000 people, with an initial investment of about $2 billion (Rs 12,700 crore) over the next five years.

The Taiwan-headquartered company, which has a client list that includes Cisco, Dell, Microso.

Read more … http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/hardware/taiwans-foxconn-to-manufacture-xiaomi-phones-at-sri-city-plant-in-andhra-pradesh/articleshow/47791898.cms

Matrix Cellular approaches SEBI with IPO proposal

June 23, 2015

Matrix Cellular (International) Services, a provider of country-specific SIM cards, has filed early papers for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) with the markets regulator SEBI. The offer is being made be through a book-building process.

The New Delhi-based company provides both pre- and post-paid SIM cards under brand name ‘Matrix’ to outbound travellers from India. As of December 31, 2014, it provided post-paid services to 32 destination countries, and pre-paid services to eight destination countries and a Europe bundle, covering 26 countries.

The IPO comprises an offer for sale of 15,172,540 equity shares from promoters and existing shareholders. The promoters — Gagan Deep Singh Dugal, Manjit Singh Dugal and Urvashi Kaur — have proposed to offer 25.64 lakh shares, while Aleta and AAJV Investment Trust plan to offer 1.26 crore shares, the company said in its Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) filed with SEBI.

IIFL Holdings and Religare Capital Markets are the book running lead managers to the issue, while Link Intime is the registrar to the offer. Matrix Cellular will not receive any proceeds from the offer, it said in the filing.

Read more… http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/features/smartbuy/tech-news/matrix-cellular-approaches-sebi-with-ipo-proposal/article7347201.ece

India, Where Cash is King, Poised for Mobile-Payments Revolution

June 23, 2015

When Google launched prepaid vouchers in India last week, it was a nod to the country’s status as one of the major economies of the world with one of the poorest plastic card penetrations. That consumers on the subcontinent who do have debit cards see them merely as “ATM cards” is a humorless joke among business executives across the country. Typically, Indians use their debit cards to get cash from ATMs, which they then use for most payments — from groceries to wedding gifts.

It’s convenient, but India’s obsession with cash threatens to stifle growth in the world’s ninth-largest economy. New wealth and job-creating online and e-commerce services that are blossoming in the West won’t get traction here unless consumers have a quick and easy way to do business over the Internet. That’s where a host of new players – from Amazon to Alibaba-backed One97 – come in. They’re introducing a range of mobile-payments systems that could provide the backbone for an e-commerce boom.

About 210 million Indian households have bank accounts and of them only 2 million to 3 million people have debit cards, said Bipin Preet Singh, founder and CEO at One Mobikwik Systems Pvt. Ltd., a mobile wallet startup in Gurgaon, near New Delhi. Even among those who have debit cards, only about 10 percent are used online, he said. “The remaining debit cards are never activated, or they are used only as ATM cards to withdraw cash then do transactions using cash.”

Read more ….  http://www.ibtimes.com/india-where-cash-king-poised-mobile-payments-revolution-internet-giants-alibaba-1979249

Investments surge in India’s telecom industry

June 22, 2014

After India permitted 100% FDI in the sector in July 2013, the first 10 months of the last fiscal saw the highest ever FDI inflows into telecom firms

With the explosive growth in data consumption taking India’s telecom sector to its next stage of growth, foreign investments have seen a surge. After India permitted 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) in the sector in July 2013, the first 10 months of the last fiscal (till 31 January) saw the highest ever FDI inflows into telecom firms.

Read more…


Spectrum trading policy by early July: Prasad

June 21, 2015

After successfully concluding spectrum auctions, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, is now set to put in place a spectrum sharing and trading mechanism.

“It (the policy) will be as early as you can think,” Prasad said. “The Telecom Commission has finalised it. We will make a Cabinet note… have some inter-ministerial consultations. I think by the month end or early July we should be able to take it to the Cabinet.”

Prasad was speaking at ‘Breakfast with BusinessLine’, at the ITC Maurya hotel on June 20, an event that serves as a platform for an exchange of ideas between the corporate elite and people of eminence. The discussion was led and moderated by BusinessLine Editor Mukund Padmanabhan.

Prasad acknowledged that the spectrum auction was his biggest test, while his toughest challenge was to boost the morale of his ministry officials, who had been under public scrutiny for all the wrong reasons.

Read more … http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/features/smartbuy/tech-news/spectrum-trading-policy-by-early-july-prasad/article7339450.ece

BSNL joins up with Bangladeshi firm to improve net in northeast

June 12, 2015

The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has inked an agreement with Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) to improve internet connectivity in India’s northeast region, an official statement said here on Friday.

The BSNL will provide international bandwidth for internet from Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh to Agartala, while the BSCCL will provide the international port (IP) transit service from Cox’s Bazar Cable Landing Station.

The terrestrial route in Bangladesh will be Cox’s Bazar-Chittagong-Comilla-B.Baria-Akhaura for primary link and Cox’s Bazar-Chitagong-Comilla-Dhaka-Narshindi-Bhairab-Akhaura the secondary link, the statement said.

The Bangladesh Telecommunications Company has to lay optical fibre cable (OFC) of the 30 km approximate distance from Brahmanbaria to Akhaura, which adjoins India’s Tripura, while the BSNL will set up international long distance (ILD) gateway at Agartala along with associated equipment.

Read more…. http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/bsnl-joins-up-with-bangladeshi-firm-to-improve-net-in-northeast-115061200735_1.html

Karbonn Mobiles to assemble smartphones in India

June 12, 2015

Handset maker Karbonn Mobiles will begin assembling smartphones in India by this month-end, targeting 40% revenue growth in the current financial year and seeking to regain lost market share with a 4G-led strategy.

“By the end of June we will start assembling of smartphones in our Noida facility, which is being set up currently. The Bengaluru facility will start production around July-end,” Karbonn Mobiles chairman Sudhir Hasija told ET.

The handset company aims to clockRs 6,500 crore in revenue in the year ending March 2016, up from Rs 4,700 crore in the previous financial year. Karbonn also plans to foray into the wearable and personal health wellness space with connected devices by Diwali, following bigger rival Micromax.

The company, owned by United Telelinks and the Jaina Group, has invested Rs 100 crore initially in the assembly units and has hired 100 people.

Read more … http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/hardware/karbonn-mobiles-to-assemble-smartphones-in-india/articleshow/47636418.cms 

Regulatory hurdles hampering India’s economic growth: Vodafone

June 7, 2015

UK-based telecom giant Vodafone has said the present “regulatory challenges” in India are hampering economic development but the country offers a good long-term investment opportunities for global firms.

The telecom major further said the current structure for airwaves auction in the country and piecemeal release of new spectrum are creating capital constraints for operators looking to provide quality services for subscribers.

“Spectrum auction structures combined with the piecemeal release of new spectrum, leaves less capital available for investment in bringing high quality services to more of the country, and this is exacerbated by other ongoing regulatory challenges,” Vodafone Group Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee said in the annual report for 2015.

The Chairman said while India represents an excellent long-term investment opportunity, the present regulatory challenges are hampering economic development.

Read more… http://www.mydigitalfc.com/news/regulatory-hurdles-hampering-indias-economic-growth-vodafone-068

25 foreign investment proposals on FIPB agenda

June 7, 2015

Inter-ministerial body FIPB will take up 25 foreign investment proposals, including those of Kotak Mahindra BankBSE 2.00 % and DEN NetworksBSE -2.53 %, at its next meeting.

The Foreign Investment Promotion Board, chaired by Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, can recommend foreign investment proposals worth up to Rs 3,000 crore to the Finance Ministry for approval.

Of the 25 proposals on the agenda of the Board for June 15, four are related to pharmaceutical sector. These are Sudeep Pharma, Celon Laboratories, Shantha Biotechnics and Sparsha Pharma International.

Other foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals to be taken up include those of INX Music, Nickelodeon Asia Holdings and Eros International Media.

Investment applications of Sprint Telecom, Chorus Call, Cheetah Communications, Reliance Globalcom and Sistema Shyam Teleservices are also on the agenda.

FIPB had deferred decision on the application of Kotak Mahindra Bank in its earlier meeting. The private sector lender is seeking the Board’s permission to raise foreign investment limit in the bank to 55 per cent.

Read more … http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/finance/25-foreign-investment-proposals-on-fipb-agenda/articleshow/47573540.cms

It’s economics: Why smartphone makers are taking the ‘Make in India’ call

June 4, 2015

Spurred by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call to ‘Make in India’, most Indian mobile phone ‘manufacturers’, who make the bulk of their phones in China, as well as their multinational rivals, have been talking about moving their assembly lines to India.

Micromax subsidiary Yu Televentures has announced that the next batch of its phones will be made in India, while Lava’s Xolo has announced a new sub-brand called Black, to be made at their facilities here. Even bigger players like Samsung have joined in — the Korean major has announced that its flagship Galaxy S6 phones would soon be assembled in India. The Chinese companies have not been left behind — Oppo has announced it is setting up a manufacturing facility in India. And newer players like Coolpad and Phicomm are talking about Make in India.

Why the rush to Make in India? Is it patriotism, at least for the Indian companies? But some sound economics is involved as well.

The primary attempt is to benefit from a duty structure that is favourable to those manufacturing or assembling in India. Anshul Gupta, Research Director at the US research and advisory firm Gartner Inc., says there are massive differences in duties when these companies import a finished product, rather than merely a component.

Apart from the difference in duty, India is still in a growth phase, and will offer the volumes that are able to justify investment in a manufacturing or assembly unit here. According to Pankaj Mohindroo, National President, Indian Cellular Association (ICA), in value terms, the handset industry grew to Rs 75,000 crore by the end of 2014, registering a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 28 per cent.

Read more…. http://indianexpress.com/article/explained/its-economics-the-reason-smartphone-makers-are-taking-the-make-in-india-call/ 

Bharti Airtel raises $1 billion by selling 10-year bonds

June 4, 2015

Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s largest mobile phone operator, has raised $1 billion by selling 10-year bonds to investors across the globe. In a notice to local stock exchanges, the firm said the money raised will be used for capital expenditure. This is the company’s first such foreign bond sale this year.

The issue, which opened earlier on Wednesday, was priced at 210 basis points (bps) above the 10-year US treasury, a banker involved in the deal said. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.

The US 10-year bond was trading at 2.33% at 8pm on Wednesday, indicating that the final price of the issue is likely to be at 4.43% of the bond.

Bharti Airtel has been among the few Indian companies that have been a regular in the overseas bond market. In May 2014, the company raised money in dual currencies, selling dollar bonds worth $1 billion and euro bonds worth $750 million in one of the largest single tranche of bond issues from India.

Read more…. http://www.livemint.com/Money/joSJWt8j4bvXUUxjjjEUYM/Bharti-Airtel-to-raise-more-than-500-millon-by-selling-bond.html

Mobile handset makers plan hub in Hyderabad

June 3, 2015

Working on thin margins and scarce human resources, indigenous handset manufacturers are toying with the idea of setting up a hub in Hyderabad to build a strong ecosystem. They have started scouting for suitable land in one of the three electronic hardware parks being developed by Telangana.

An ICA delegation, led by its President Pankaj Mohindroo, held discussions with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao on Wednesday to discuss the proposal to set up a common hub. Earlier, the delegation visited a probable site to set up the hub.

“We are working on a concrete proposal to submit to the Telangana government. We are planning to submit a detailed report to it, clearly indicating what we want to do and what kind of support we expect from the government,” an Indian Cellular Association told Business Line.

“You need to have a strong ecosystem to have a viable handset manufacturing facility. We are lacking in quality workforce, component makers and other relevant things that go into making a handset. This has become a major hurdle in developing manufacturing facilities in the country,” he said.

Read more…. http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/features/smartbuy/mobile-handsets/mobile-handset-makers-plan-hub-in-hyderabad/article7279046.ece

Bit by bit: The Make-in-India advantage

June 2, 2105

The Make-in-India bug finally seems to have got to the smartphone manufacturers. A host of smartphone companies are now announcing devices which they are already making in India or planning to make here in the near future.

Soon after Micromax subsidiary Yu Televentures announced that the next batch of Yuphoria phones will be made in India, Lava’s Xolo announced a sub-brand called Black to be made at their facilities here. Both companies are bringing in initial batches from China and will gradually shift to Indian assembly, most probably based on demand.

Samsung has, for a couple of months, been winding up to assemble its flagship Galaxy S6 phones locally. Chinese companies are also seeing an opportunity. While Oppo has announced that it is setting up a manufacturing facility in India, newer players like Phicomm are talking about making in India even before they come in.

Read more…. http://www.financialexpress.com/article/fe-columnist/bit-by-bit-the-make-in-india-advantage/78887/ 

Watsa scouts for investments with $1bn kitty

June 1, 2015

Prem Watsa, known as the “Warren Buffet of Canada”, is back in India with a $1 billion fund that he first spoke about six months ago. And, unlike several businessmen, the Fairfax boss is bullish about the Narendra Modi government’s efforts at cleaning up the system and speeding up decision making.

“Long term I’m very optimistic on India. Many good things are happening… he has eliminated a level of corruption and he has simplified business, thereby elevating India’s profile on the world stage. In his last meeting at Vibrant Gujarat, he said ‘not easy, not easier but easiest’ and his focus is on doing just that. So, I’m very optimistic that Prime Minister Modi will transform India and make it business-friendly,” says the India-born billionaire, who spent the last few days meeting businessmen and scouting for possible business opportunities.

Read more… http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Watsa-scouts-for-investments-with-1bn-kitty/articleshow/47535406.cms

Mobile gaming market in India to cross $571 million by 2016: Study

June 1, 2015

The Indian mobile gaming market, one of the fastest expanding markets in the world, is expected to grow to USD 571.6 million by 2016, said a research by Newzoo and OneSky.

“The Indian mobile gaming market will grow to USD 571.6 million by 2016 at 134.5 per cent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2013-2016 (from about USD 44.3 million in 2013),” Newzoo-OneSky estimated.

Read more….


‘VAT on Charger Unwarranted’ – Pankaj Mohindroo

May 31, 2015

Indian Cellular Association has urged Kerala Government to follow the best international practices towards establishment of Electronics System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) in the wake of it imposing VAT separately on mobile  charger.

Mobile charger is treated as an accessory for the purpose of taxation even when it comes  as part and parcel of a composite mobile handset pack. In a letter to Chief Minister Oommen  Chandy, ICA national president Pankaj Mohindroo has drawn attention to the unwarranted and detrimental attempt by State’s tax department to treat mobile charger as an independent accessory for the purpose of taxation simply to extract higher taxes from the Industry. And the move comes in light of the fact that it is a well accepted taxation practice internationally that mobile chargers are not taxed separately though they are always accompany mobile phones.

ICA is of the view that such arbitrary actions on part of the state taxation department could dampen the efforts to create a robust ESDM eco-system in the country. Governments world over do not tax essential accessories differently if they come as one composite pack, he added.

Read more… http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/VAT-on-Charger-Unwarranted/2015/06/01/article2842629.ece

VAT on mobile chargers detrimental: Pankaj Mohindroo

May 26, 2015

In the wake of Kerala VAT department demanding a separate value added tax on mobile chargers, the Indian Cellular Association (ICA) has urged the Kerala government to follow the best international practices and help the industry in the establishment of a robust ESDM (electronics system design & manufacturing) ecosystem in India.

In a letter to the chief minister Ooomen Chandy, ICA national president Pankaj Mohindroo drew the attention of the unwarranted and detrimental attempt by state’s tax department to treat mobile charger as an independent accessory for the purpose of taxation.

Internationally, the association said, it was a well-accepted taxation practice that mobile chargers were not taxed separately though they were part of the mobile phone unit.

ICA has held its view that such arbitrary actions on part of the state taxation department could dampen the efforts to create a robust ESDM ecosystem in the country.

“Across the world, essential accessories which come as a composite part of mobile handset pack are treated as one unit,” he said.

Read more… http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/vat-on-mobile-chargers-detrimental-ica-115052601538_1.html

ICA urges Himachal Pradesh to follow internationally accepted taxation practice

May 26, 2015

In a letter addressed to the Chief Minister Mr. Virbhadra Singh, ICA’s National President Mr Pankaj Mohindroo has drawn attention to the unwarranted and detrimental attempt by state’s tax department to treat mobile charger as an independent accessory for the purpose of taxation simply to extract higher taxes from the Industry.

He said this move is against well-established taxation practice internationally that mobile chargers are not taxed separately though they are always accompanied with mobile phones.

ICA is of this view that such arbitrary actions on part of taxation department could dampen the efforts to create a robust ESDM (Electronics System Design & Manufacturing) eco-system in the country.

“World over, essential accessories which come as a composite part of mobile handset pack are treated as one unit and taxed at the same rate as mobile handsets. This is the standard international trade practice and we must follow this too if we want to be internationally competitive. Governments world over do not tax essential accessories differently if they come as one composite pack. It can’t be that if one buys a car, one will be subjected to different taxes for the body, engine and the tyres” as said by Mr Mohindroo.

He also that when India is trying to build a robust mobile handset manufacturing eco-system as a part of their Make in India initiative, attempts by overzealous tax department to subject manufacturers to higher taxes by way of perverse interpretations of rules & goods classifications, has come as a dampener to companies wanting to set up greenfield manufacturing units or scale up the existing operations.

Read more… http://www.himvani.com/news/2015/05/26/indian-cellular-association-urges-himachal-pradesh-to-follow-internationally-accepted-taxation-practice/

Maharashtra to roll out new policy, incentives for electronics sector

May 18, 2015

The Maharashtra government will soon release a new electronics policy aimed at attracting the industry and making the state competitive in terms of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for the sector.

According to the Centre’s figures, electronic imports will touch USD 200 billion by 2020, and a policy is essential to give a substantial boost to exports, Principal Secretary, Industries, Apurva Chandra said.

“Maharashtra has no electronics policy, whereas states like Karnataka and Punjab have. As a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative, we have decided to come up with an electronics policy, where the state government will provide immense incentives for companies that are willing to invest in this sector,” Chandra told PTI.

Read more… http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/maha-to-roll-out-new-policy-incentives-for-electronics-sector-115051801248_1.html

Chinese companies interested in Make in India: PM Modi

May 17, 2015

PM Narendra Modi on Saturday wound up his three-day visit to China, presiding over a function that saw as many as 26 business agreements worth over $22 billion being signed between Chinese and Indian firms, including the Adani group, Bharti Airtel and Welspun. These MoUs span a wide range of industries, including renewable energy, power, infrastructure and steel.

The event saw Infosys unveiling a master plan for its new Shanghai campus. ICICI Bank announced its first branch in China, the fourth Indian bank to do so.

“India is ready for business. Sensing the winds of change in India, I advise you to come and feel the same,” Modi told the China-India Business Forum. “Many Chinese companies can take advantage of potential in manufacturing, processing as well as in infrastructure,” Modi told the assembled group of over 400 Indian and Chinese business executives.

Read more… http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-05-17/news/62276906_1_china-development-bank-chinese-companies-adani-power

Modi’s visit will boost production of cell phones in India: ICA

May 14, 2015

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China will boost manufacturing of mobile handsets in India and would benefit renewed joint partnership between enterprises, the Indian Cellular Association’s President said today.

Indian Cellular Association (ICA) President Pankaj Mohindroo who will take part in the India-China Business Forum to be addressed by Modi during his visit to Shanghai on May 16 said India, China business partnership would benefit renewed joint partnership between enterprises of both the countries by setting up of manufacturing eco-system in the mobile handset segment.

Apart from attending the Business forum, Mohindroo said ICA delegation would also interact with CEOs from major Chinese OEM brands, Chinese component manufacturers, local industry bodies and Chinese Government.

The delegation would be taking this opportunity to update the Chinese side about the growing opportunities in the Indian mobile handset segment, explore business opportunities with the Chinese counterparts as well as further business engagements between the two countries, he said in a statement issued.

The ICA delegation is also expected to address various business and investment forum meetings which are currently under the process of being finalised in China and a number of MoUs are expected to be signed, Mohindroo said.

Last year India imported close to 85 per cent of its total domestic demand for mobile handsets through imports by volume and China based imports constituted 80-85 per cent of the total imports and the rest being imported from Vietnam, he said. Currently, with the prioritised objective of the Indian government is to promote establishment of large scale manufacturing of mobile handsets, its parts, components and accessories and for creating India the Global HUB for ESDM sector, Mohindroo said.

Read more… http://www.oneindia.com/india/modi-s-visit-will-boost-production-of-cell-phones-in-india-ica-1746744.html

DeitY responds to ICA’s request to extends deadline for compulsory registration of electronics products

May 13, 2015

In a huge relief to cellular and electronics industry, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Government of India, has accepted the recommendation of Indian Cellular Association (ICA) to extend the deadline for compulsory registration of electronics products by three months.

DietY has issued a notification to this effect which now covers 30 products, instead of 15 earlier, including mobile handset, mobile adaptors, batteries, chargers and more. The new deadline under Compulsory Registration Scheme (CRS) for mobile handsets and mobile adaptors is now August 13, 2015 whereas the earlier deadline was to end on May 13.

“It’s a huge relief to the mobile and electronics industry. I appreciate that DeitY acted timely on our request to extend the deadline,” said Mr Pankaj Mohindroo, National President, ICA.

Mr Mohindroo, who had vigorously pursued the matter with DeitY,pointed out that non-extension had the potential to severely disrupt the manufacturing and trade of mobile handsets and related components.

In additional relief, Deity has also granted an additional period of three months for meeting the compulsory labeling requirements of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). While ICA had no objection to compliance with DeitY’s order, it felt that window of time was too short to comply with the time-taking procedures.

Mohindroo had taken up these issues with DeitY, which resulted in successful conclusion with DeitY coming out with new notification on Monday evening, extending the deadline for CRS.

Read more…