Sunday, June 25, 2017

India's Payments Banks - Will they Change India's Banking Sector?

Payments banks are predicted to change our country's poor banking system in coming days. As majority of payment bank licensee, approved by Reserve Bank of India are directly or indirectly related to Telecom industries, it can be assumed that India's telecom industry can be a partner in changing the banking landscape or banking system can be revamped by telecom majors-owned, stripped down version of conventional banks, which are in turn known as Payments Bank.

As per RBI norms, Payments banks have to focus on providing basic financial services, including social security and utility bill payments, remittance functions, and can mobilise deposits of up to Rs 1 lakh.

Payments banks differ from traditional banks, as they don't offer any credit card or loans. Also you can keep maximum of 1 lakh rupees in the payments bank account. Experts believe payments banks are not replacement of traditional banks but they can be the bridge between people without banking facilities and digital banking system, paving a way towards Digital India. Payments banks will be better than the e-wallet systems (Citrus Pay, Ezetap, Freecharge, Mobikwik, Citi MasterPass, Ola Money, Jio Money, HDFC PayZapp, ICICI Pockets, JusPay Safe, PayUMoney, LIME, MoneyonMobile, MomoeXpress, Mswipe, Oxigen, PayMate, State Bank Buddy, Vodafone M-Pesa, mRupee, ItzCash etc) which almost offers the same except interest, ATM cards and some other facilities like pure banking services like ATM usage, cheque book use etc. Interestingly e-wallet business got an escalation after demonetization (banning of old Rs 500 and 1000 rupees notes), though many think digital wallet business model is not viable.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Migration to Blink-based Opera 15+ from Opera 12+ (Presto based) [Updated Regularly]

Story was first published on 18th March, 2014

I am a long time Opera desktop user (on Android I use Dolphin) and when the company moved on to Blink from its own Presto I did not move on as Opera desktop version was a downgrade of features.

However next update to Opera Presto is yet to come, and company's dev team is not caring about Presto-powered version anymore. So I am starting the migration to Opera Blink today.

This is a long process, and I will update here, as soon as I made some movement.

Jump into the water

Installed Opera 18.0.1284.63, installation was straight forward and there is no issues. When you first use it, you have to learn few new things:

Open a new tab, you will find 3 options - Speed Dial, Stash and Discover. We know about Speed Dial.

Stash means where you can dump pages to read on later. [on Opera 12 I use Tab Vault, another extension]

Discover is a Flipboard-like stuff which can show you news on different categories and that's too country-specific. This feature was debuted on Opera for Android and now it is available on desktop too. I don't find it's much useful. (Update: It's now Personal News, or feed reader inbuilt)

Friday, May 19, 2017

JIO LTE vs Vodafone LTE in Kolkata

This is not accurate Jio vs Vodafone LTE comparison. 
Tested in Kolkata - 2 different locations. 
Comparison is based on maximum speed I received on Jio LTE and Vodafone LTE network. 




Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Coolwinks.com Review: Sunglass Bought on COD

Coolwinks Box
These days I would love to change my taste. Bit experimenting? Oh yes.

I don't shave with Gillette now, I use LetShave's products now.

Lenskart is definitely good for lens and glasses. There are some other lesser known alternative too. Coolwinks and Glassic. I tried Coolwinks, and found it is extremely cheap which made me a little skeptical. And Mouthshut reviews are mostly negative. Hence I put my order on Coolwinks by COD.

In 3 days the package was delivered in a good packing. The sunglass inside the box was intact (=not broken). It was said to be 100% UV protection giver, and I can't say that it's not.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Jio Pushes Mutation in Indian Telecom

Indian telecom was quite dull in 2015-16 until Jio stepped in and started offering free services. Entry of Jio, the ambitious telecom project by country's richhest man Mukesh Ambani has forced the Indian telecom to undergo a major reshape.

The most obvious change is merger and acquisition of telecom companies - which makes the telecom market quite smaller. If all go right, India will have only 5-6 players -
  • Reliance Jio
  • Airtel (acquisition of Telenor India, Augere Wireless, Videocon (partially) and 4G spectrum of Tikona & Aircel)
  • Vodafone-Idea (to be merged soon)
  • RCom-Aircel-SSTL
  • Tata Tele (rumor is they might merge with merged entity of RCOM-AIRCEL-SSTL)
  • BSNL/MTNL (there are chances that both PSU may merge)
Among all, Vodafone & Idea's merger seems to create strongest entity which may give real tough competition to Jio and Airtel.​ R​Com​-A​ircel​-MTS(+Tata Tele) does not seem to be in a position to create a stir in the market as their present 4G coverage is based on RCom's 850 MHz band only​ and may they extend 4G to 1800MHz band; but the super-merged entity would not have any 4G network on 2300/2500 MHz where Jio, Airtel and Vodafone-Idea are placed too firmly. ​

Monday, April 17, 2017

MTS's Promptly Sends Offers (though shitty) After You Raise a PortOut Ticket

I have been using MTS India's prepaid CDMA services for a very long time, probably from 2008 or 2009. However with the rise of Jio, I have to move to 4G/LTE. And since MTS will be taken over by Reliance Communications, the most untrusted brand of Indian telecom I need to bade a goodbye to MTS.

As soon as I sends MNP request to 1900, I got a prompt reply with MNP code and something unexpected. MTS, which is not responding to Jio/Airtel/BSNL/Vodafone/Idea's recent offerings sent a text, just after I got the MNP Code.

Apart from Aircel which is offering unlimited 3G data and voice like Jio's offerings (unlimited 4G data & voice), neither RCom nor MTS responded to market.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Jio's Slow Speed - Reason ?

Just yesterday I found out that Jio is using 10MHz of Band 40 to offer LTE data. (on JioFi2 device)

From the very begining Jio was offering 20MHz spectrum on this band (2.3GHz) along with 1800MHz and 850MHz band.

The reduction of 10MHz from band 2300MHz may cause slow speed on Jio LTE network.

However in Kolkata, where I took the screenshot, Jio has 30MHz of 2300MHz band. Is Jio using remaining 20MHz for LTE-Advanced or trials on 5G is on?

If I was in Mumbai I could have guess on 5G more specifically, but in Kolkata I am skeptical about it. Rather we can be on safe side - Jio is trialling for LTE-A in Kolkata.