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No more tension with Internet firms but TRAI must clarify rules: Airtel's Sunil Mittal

Telecom operators are now happily working with Internet firms like Google, Facebook and Whatsapp but regulator TRAI must clarify rules to resolve differences over app-based calling and message services, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal has said.

"OTT (over-the-top) players and telecom players are very happily co-existing. Gone are the tensions and I think they love putting up more networks, lower the prices," Mittal told in an interview here.

Operators have been demanding that app-based calling and messaging services should be brought under the licensing regime. However, internet firms have been opposing any such move as it would scuttle innovation, affordable or almost free messaging services and adversely impact people adopting internet.

"This is a digital society with collaborative effort but it can't be said that telecom operators have no role to play and only OTT players (internet-based calling and messaging providers) will do it.

"They cannot d…
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Netflix may come direct to your home

Netflix has entered into a first of its kind partnership with direct-to-home (DTH) player Videocon d2h in India that will allow the global over-the-top (OTT) player to offer its service via latter’s soon-to-be-launched integrated set-top-boxes (STBs).

Videocon d2h is currently testing its next generation connected STBs, which it plans to launch in the market in two months. The connected box will have pre-installed OTT and utility applications a user can access with existing broadband or Wi-Fi-connection on their TV sets.

“Netflix is the first player to sign the agreement with Videocon d2h for these connected STBs. This box will be similar to an Apple TV, but with both – linear and non-linear content with specially curated apps,” a highly placed source in the company told ET.

Videocon d2h has already started the integration, and as part of the deal, the new remotes will have a special Netflix button.

Unlike in the West, where consumption of Netflix is predominantly on connected televi…

Apple iPhone 8 to be priced in $1000 range

The 5.8-inch iPhone 8 with an OLED display that may be called 'iPhone X' -- is reportedly being launched along two other devices updated iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (with brand names as iPhone 7S and iPhone 7S Plus), a media report said.

According to the financial newspaper Nikkei, Apple will shrink the top and bottom bezels to make iPhone 8 smaller than the iPhone 7 Plus.

The report also claimed that priced at $1,000, iPhone 8 will be the most expensive smartphone Apple has ever released.

In February, a report claimed that out of the a 5.8-inch display, only 5.15-inch would be usable. The rest of the space would feature a "function area".

Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 would also come with wireless charging.

The company was also planning to introduce a new connector type for accessories for the iPhone, iPad and other devices through its official Made-for-iPhone (MFi) licensing programme.

Called 'Ultra Accessory Connector' (UAC), the eight-pin connector is s…

Vodafone hired 50% women in 2016

Vodafone India on Monday said that the telco's gender diversity has increased by 8% from 2013-14 to 2016-17 with the gender ratio at mid to senior level management positions at about 16% (135 women out of 836 senior management positions), up from 10% in 2013.

The telco added that it hired 50% women in 2016 against 38% in 2013.

Vodafone India said that it will celebrate the International Women’s Day from March 6 to 10, 2017 with the theme #ConnectedSheCan. "Our diversity journey is built on the foundation of creating an ecosystem that is attractive to women professionals and enables them to succeed at the workplace," Suvamoy Roy, Director – Human Resources, Vodafone India said.

The telco offers various programmes aimed at women empowerment. Boltred is Vodafone India’s flagship program that offers leadership development journey for high potential women, who undergo 10-months of training. Programme Reconnect will offer full time role opportunities with a programme structur…

FreeCharge partners with Tixdo to ease ticket booking across India

Digital payment platform, FreeCharge, announced its partnership with Tixdo to enable easy, safe and fast digital payment for users looking to book tickets to movies and events across India.

This partnership will enable FreeCharge and Tixdo to cater to millions of youth across 21 states and 137 cities. Users can now book tickets to their favourite movies and events happening or scheduled to happen and avail offers and discounts through Tixdo at pocket friendly prices.

"In these exciting times where everything is going digital from ordering homes services to shopping online, we are very happy to partner with Tixdo to offer consumers easy, quick and sure mode of digital payment services. Freecharge and Tixdo share the same view on revolutionizing the online world and this partnership will help us to achieve the success we are aiming for in terms of user experience and convenience," said Sudeep Tandon, Chief Business Officer - FreeCharge.

FreeCharge is building an ecosystem of…

Samsung launches Galaxy A7, A5 priced at Rs 33,490 and Rs 28,990 

Samsung India on Monday launched Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A5, part of its Galaxy A series, priced at Rs 33,490 and Rs 28,990, respectively.

The 5.7-inch Galaxy A7 and 5.2-inch Galaxy A5, part of Galaxy A (2017), are dual SIM smartphones that are water and dust resistant with zero camera protrusion and 16-megapixel cameras. The phones offer F1.9 lens coupled with Light+ technology and screen flash with a floating shutter button which can be moved anywhere on the screen.

"We have integrated our consumers’ feedback on our previous models along with our unique design approach and features, to give an added performance and premium experience to the users," Asim Warsi, Senior Vice President, Samsung India said.

The Galaxy A 2017 also offers expandable storage support up to 256GB. It also features Always-on Display offering easy access to check time, calendar and notifications. Both A7 and A5 support fast charging.

Videocon d2h connected box users can now access Netflix service

Videocon d2h said that it has inked a standalone deal with Netflix that will allow its connected box customers to access seamlessly the extensive library of Netflix TV and movie titles.

Videocon d2h consumers will be able to enjoy Netflix on a large screen by simply clicking a dedicated Netflix button on the remote control of HD Smart Connect Set Top Box.

Saurabh Dhoot, Executive Director Videocon d2h, “We are extremely proud to have Netflix as our partner on HD Smart Connect STB. Our partnership will strengthen our DNA of innovation by providing TV screen experience for Netflix users in a seamless manner. This partnership in India with Netflix gives the customers the simple click of a button to easily select between our DTH and world class apps like Netflix services on the HD Smart Connect Set top box.”

Netflix will be available on an exclusive app available on connected Set top box, HD SMART Set top Box (Connected Set top box) which converts any existing TV into a Smart TV besides …