Can RIM Win the Final Showdown With India?

Research In Motion is entering last-ditch meetings with Indian security officials in an effort to meet demands of government access to encrypted communications. But how can RIM provide what it claims to not have — access to security keys for business-run BlackBerry Enterprise Servers?

Indian 4G Wireless Auction Brings in $5.5B

Indian auctioned the 2.3 GHz spectrum for deployment of Broadband Wireless Access services for roughly $5.5 billion. The big winner was Infotel, a private company that has now agreed to be bought by conglomerate Reliance Industries. The 4G-focused spectrum is expected to compete with 3G service.

India Will Have 150M 3G Connections by 2014

India will have 150 million 3G connections by 2014, according to Wireless Intelligence. India just concluded a 3G auction (marked by bureaucratic delays) that raised about $11 billion, a big price tag which will ensure that the 3G rollouts are slow and 3G access expensive.

INQ Launches in India

INQ today launched its social mobile phones in India. With MS Dhoni, captain of the Indian cricket team, as its spokesperson and Aircel as launch partner, the company hopes to sell INQ Mini 3G and the INQ Chat 3G in large volumes in India.

e-Book Echo: Consumers Fight Back; ASUS Reader Coming

Our platform focus continues this fine Sunday with the e-Book Echo, our take on the week in the digital publishing world. Publishers are learning the hard way that consumers are willing to pay for what they want, and more importantly they don’t like for companies to push them around. That’s what consumers felt was happening when a number of publishers recently stated they would delay the release of e-book versions of best sellers in an attempt to get consumers to buy the expensive hardcover books instead. This is nothing new, having purchased e-books for a decade I can remember when e-book versions of top sellers followed the paper versions by months. What is new is how consumers are fighting back. A few publishers, HarperCollins among them, have seen a number of their books get stuck with one-star reviews on Amazon to mark displeasure at the delay of the Kindle version.

The folks that gave us the netbook are preparing to enter what is becoming a crowded field of e-book readers. The ASUS DR-570 will have a 6-inch screen and the company is claiming it will provide 122 hours of reading on a battery charge. While Eee-Reader sounds better than DR-570, ASUS is raising the bar by including a color OLED screen, and the integrated 3G and Wi-Fi will come in handy to get Flash content that can be played.  There is no word on what this jewel might cost.

Despite Their Numbers, Indians Very Active Online

Take away India’s mobile miracle and you soon realize how much the country lags in terms of PC penetration and broadband adoption. According to recently released data from the Indian government, the total broadband subscriber base rose to 6.8 million in July from 6.62 million in June — up a whopping  2.7 percent. (The Indian government defines broadband as Internet connectivity of speeds at or higher than 256 kbps.)
That’s pathetic, as there are five major telecommunication companies in India: Bharti, Reliance, Tata and state-owned BSNL & MTNL. There’s no reason why there aren’t more broadband users in India — in particular, those big phone companies should be aggressively subsidizing the newer, more powerful sub-$500 netbooks that come with 10-inch screens. Read More about Despite Their Numbers, Indians Very Active Online

WiMAX Gear Market to Be Worth $4.9B by 2013: Report

ms09_wmx_2q09_chart.jpgDespite the doubts raised by the backers of Long Term Evolution, such as Ericsson Chief Technology Officer Hakan Eriksson, as to whether or not WiMAX is truly 4G, the technology’s champions believe it has a future. Today their belief can be backed by numbers. According to Infonetics Research, the demand for WiMAX-related gear will increase to just shy of $5 billion in 2013 from less than $500 million in 2007.
WiMAX equipment sales were about $255 million in the second quarter of 2009, thanks to a jump in demand in India and the U.S. Alvarion led the market during the quarter, followed by Motorola. The number of WiMAX subscribers is expected to near 140 million worldwide by 2013. In a recent conversation, WiMAX Forum President Dr. Mohammad Shakouri said that WiMAX’s future was in emerging telecom markets such as India, Russia and Brazil.

In Asia, No Such Thing As a Telecom Downturn

20090818-tgnia-mapA few years back, I wondered if broadband could predict economic shifts. As I noted back then, I believe that “what sea routes, air routes and highways were to the 20th century, broadband pipes are to the 21st century.” With the subsequent growth of Asia as a telecom hub, my belief is now that much stronger.
If there is a telecom downturn taking place, Asia isn’t experiencing any of it. Thanks to breakneck growth in the number of wireless and broadband subscribers in places such as China, India, Vietnam and other Asian nations, the demand for telecom equipment and bandwidth in the region remains strong. Here are three little news bits that illustrate the growth of Asia as a major telecom market. Read More about In Asia, No Such Thing As a Telecom Downturn