Friday, September 30, 2016

WiFi at Sealdah Railway Station (of RailWire-Google) : Review

In West Bengal, the main two gateway railway station - Sealdah and Howrah both have free WiFi offerings. Howrah got the first with MTS, while Sealdah got its later, but from Google-Railwire initiative.

While MTS offers 30 minutes free usage at Howrah railway station, Google-Railwire offers unlimited usage at Sealdah (though speed goes down after sometime as a part of fair usage policy).

Note that RailTel Corp (RCIL) signed an agreement with Mahataa Information India Pvt Ltd (MIIPL), an arm of Google Inc, to equip 400 stations with Wi-Fi. Hence when you are online, your ISP will not be detected as RailTel or RailWire, rather it will be detected as Mahataa Information India.

Logging in to Google's free Wifi at Sealdah Station is easy. Just keep your WiFi on your smartphone, it will be detected as RailWire WiFi. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

JIO Data Speed Fell Drastically within 3 Weeks of Launch Announcement

I am bit hurry while typing down this story. Let's cut it short, for last 3 days I found that JIO's downlink is quite slow, and very much slow whenever I go indoor and Jio LTE moves to LTE1800 or LTE850.

Using the Jio's Netvelocity app, I checked out all three LTE frequencies - Band 40/Band 3/Band 5

Location : Barrackpore
Time : 00:00 to 01:00 am, 2016-09-24

Friday, September 23, 2016

Reliance Communications LTE Speed Test (850MHz FDD-LTE)

Reliance Communications or simply RCOM took a major step in June this year - winding up CDMA and deploy LTE on this vacated spectrum.

In Kolkata RCOM LTE was launched in August 2016. RCom is sharing its own 850MHz spectrum with Jio. Though Jio does enable this band for when you go indoor with poor signal on 1800MHz.

Initially RCom started offering LTE to CDMA customers only, later LTE was extended to GSM customers also.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

True MVNO soon to be a reality in India

More than 2 years back I discussed about MVNO in India – their challenges and how they can be successful in this country despite the telecom space is crowded and tariff is overall lower than other countries. (Read more 'Not Truly' MVNO Failed in Most Cases & Future of Mobile Virtual Players is Bright in India, Provided Regulations at Place )

It’s 2016 now and Indian telecom players are consolidating – Airtel bought Loop, Augere & Aircel’s 4G spectrum and liberalized spectrum from Videocon; RCom is merging with MTS and Aircel. After all the merger and acquisition we will have handful of operators. Pan Indian operators includes Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, Rcom-Aircel-MTS merged company, Reliance Jio and state owned BSNL-MTNL while regional player list includes Tata Tele, Telenor and Videocon.

So there will be less number of operators and as country’s 4G ecosystem including devices are getting more matured it gives immense opportunity to potential MVNO players.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Telecom Update: Airtel is Ahead of the Curve, PSTN to All-IP Upgrade

When the commercial launch of Jio was announced with a bang, it basically hit all mobile operators of India. Big three of Indian telecom - A-Vo-Id will be hit severely in coming days. However right now Airtel is in the best position among them to fight back to Jio.

1. Pan India LTE presence & 2300MHz in 17 circles 

Airtel has 20MHz x 2300MHz spectrum in 17 circles and in all circles they have complimentary 1800MHz spectrum for LTE roll out.

Vodafone & Idea have no spectrum in 2300MHz and they are rolling out LTE/4G on just 5MHz of 1800MHz band.

2. Airtel will spend less on spectrum in future

With this much of spectrum bank, Airtel will have to spend less in near future to buy out spectrum.

In the upcoming spectrum auction in October this year Vodafone & Idea will shell out money to buy the LTE compatible spectrum. Also they will have to spend a huge to roll out LTE, while Airtel has better LTE coverage than the duo.

3. LTE-A by Airtel 

To counter act Jio, Airtel has launched faster LTE Advanced in Mumbai & Bengaluru which can offer upto 135Mbps downlink. LTE-A is actually a software upgrade for carrier aggregation - 20MHz 2300MHz + 5MHz 1800MHz.

While Vodafone and Idea are away from such things for atleast 1 year. They have to acquire more spectrum in upcoming auction and then they have to deploy the technology and then only they can offer such things.

For Jio carrier aggregation would be easier - they have LTE over 2300/1800/850MHz already and just a click they will begin offering LTE-A in all circles.

PSTN to All-IP Upgrade becomes a Reality

Nokia and Orange Polska had a succesful pilot project to migrate 4,000 subscribers on legacy public switched telephone network (PSTN) to all-IP unified network in a suburban area of Warsaw using Nokia’s PSTN Smart Transform solution. As the officials said, the migration will help to support current and future broadband needs as well as IP-based voice services and significant operational benefits including energy savings and real estate optimization.

This may be helpful for BSNL who is struggling across the country on all turfs - be it landline, wired broadband, or mobile voice & data. 

Is Jio Doing a Google Thing in India?

With the announcement of commercial launch of Jio in India, it is now time for the operators to re-think their position in the market. Over the years telcos were providing services on their networks and now they are fat with the traditional voice calls and texts. As Mukesh Ambani explains it as 'Datagiri' it is actually the network capacity and reach of network will define how strong is the mobile operator.

Along with LTE network (both TDD & FDD over 2300 MHz and 1800/850MHz) for mobile services, Jio will roll out nearly 1 million WiFi hotspots across country by middle of 2017. Jio's LTE and WiFi Hotspots are backed by enormous fiber backbone. What I want say that Jio will upkick level of India's telecommunications to something which developed nations are enjoying.

Project Fi - Google's MVNO in US:

In US Google is doing similar thing without owning a network. In April 2015, Google has launched its MVNO services in US under the branding of 'Project Fi' which connects the user to best WiFi or cellular networks (backed by Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular and Three). Google announced LTE/HSPA+ roaming in Europe for Project Fi users in February 2016, while international roaming is available over 135 countries as of now.

For roaming in Europe for Project Fi users in July this year Google had made a deal with Hue to use different operators across the continent. However as per a Hue spokesperson the arrangement does not cover markets where Hutchison lacks a network presence.