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Tata Sky, Airtel launch new offers for broadband users

NEW DELHI, Aug 22: With Reliance Jio Fiber set to roll-out on September 5, rival broadband players are looking to retain subscribers with new offers and deals. Tata Sky is reportedly offering additional months usage to select subscribers. Airtel has also introduced 1000GB additional data on its premium broadband plan. Let’s take a look at the two offers.

Tata Sky has introduced 12 months of extra broadband usage to subscribers who avail the company’s 18 months unlimited plans. For instance, Taka Sky broadband customer with Rs 17,982 unlimited plan will get a free router, free installation, data roll-over, and data speeds of 10Mbps. These unlimited 18-months plans are priced up to Rs 35,082 with data speeds up to 100Mbps.

Tata Sky has similar additional months offers on unlimited plans of 4-months, 6-months, 8-months, and 12-months. Note that these offers are available in select circles. Check the official website for the availability of the scheme in your area.

Airtel has increased additional data limit on its select V-Fiber postpaid broadband plans. It is offering 1,000GB bonus data to customers subscribing to its Rs 1,599 plan. The bonus data is valid for up to six months. Apart from additional bonus data, customers get 600GB broadband monthly data, speeds up to 100Mbps, and one-month validity. This also includes Amazon and Netflix (limited time) subscription.

Airtel is offering increased 500GB bonus data on Rs 1,099 plan whereas the Rs 799 plan now gives 200GB bonus data. The two bonus data offers are also valid for six months.

Reliance Jio last week officially announced the commercial launch of its Jio Fiber services in India. Reliance Jio hasn’t yet revealed its data plans for Jio Fiber but confirmed it will start at Rs 700 and go up to Rs 10,000 per month. The data speeds will also vary with the base plan offering up to 100Mbps connectivity. Apart from the broadband service, Reliance Jio will also launch new hardware including a Mixed Reality headset and a gaming-streaming capable set-top-box for Fiber users.

Ahead of the launch, Airtel is already working on new products and services to counter Reliance Jio. According to reports, Airtel will soon launch an Android set-top-box with premium features such as HD channels and OTT platforms. Airtel also plans to bundle a TV with the set-top-box for premium subscribers.

Airtel to launch new Android set-top-box to counter Reliance Jio Fiber: Report

NEW DELHI, Aug 22: The Reliance Jio Fiber launch has revived interest in the broadband space. From ultra high-speed optic-fiber-based connectivity to a feature-rich set-top-box, Reliance Jio is looking to offer a comprehensive package to broadband users at much lower price. Rival Airtel has reportedly begun preparations to tackle the imminent competition.

Airtel is working on a new Android-based set-top-box to deliver integrated tariff plans, access to premium OTT services, HD?TV channels, interactive games and Virtual Reality (VR) apps, according to an Economic Times report. The company will offer the set-top-box to mid and top-level postpaid subscribers.

The report added that Airtel is also planning to offer free HD TV along with the set-top-box to users who subscribe to premium tariff plans. This offer seems quite similar to Reliance Jio’s Welcome Offer under which Jio Fiber users with annual data plans will get 4K set top box and HD or 4K LED TV or home PC for free.

Airtel, however, isn’t looking just at the hardware refresh to counter Reliance Jio. According to a recent report, Airtel is working on an ‘Airtel Black’ package under its ‘Airtel Thanks’ programme. The pack will be available to users with plans priced at Rs 999 and above. Airtel will offer discounted international roaming, off on consumer brands and improved content offerings, and access to premium applications.

Reliance Jio’s set-top-box is quite different from the current hardware offered by others. Users will be able to use the device to access Mixed Reality content, play online games, and even conduct multi-party video conferencing.

Reliance Jio Fiber is scheduled to roll out on September 5. The company has confirmed the data plans will range from Rs 700 and Rs 10,000 with the base plan offering 100Mbps data speeds.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 launch on Aug 7; Google Pixel 4, Apple iPhone 11 to follow

NEW YORK, Aug 5: Samsung, Google, and Apple are gearing up to launch their latest flagship smartphones in next couple of months. Samsung will fire the first salvo with Galaxy Note 10 series while Google and Google will follow up with Pixel 4 series and Apple with iPhone 11 series. Let’s take a closer look at the big three of smartphones.

Google Pixel 4

Unlike Apple, Google isn’t shy about sharing about its plans for Pixel 4. The company recently revealed Google Pixel 4 will be the company’s first smartphone to run on Soli, a radar-based motion sensing chip. The feature will allow users to perform certain tasks on phones through air gestures. Pixel 4 will also come with a much improved and faster Face Unlock feature.

“Pixel 4 will be the first device with Soli, powering our new Motion Sense features to allow you to skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls, just by waving your hand. These capabilities are just the start, and just as Pixels get better over time, Motion Sense will evolve as well. Motion Sense will be available in select Pixel countries,” said Google in a blog post last week.

Google Pixel 4 is expected to come with at least three rear cameras packed in a Huawei Mate 20-like square camera module. You can expect Google Pixel 4 to run on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855+ processor and Android Q (out-of-the-box).

Apple iPhone 11

No 5G for Apple’s iPhones this year. The company is expected to continue the tradition of three phones this year as well. Apple’s 2019 iPhones, also dubbed as iPhone 11, will come with triple rear cameras. Apple will introduce an ultra wide-angle lens and 120fps slow-motion video recording support.

The latest iPhones will support Apple’s new A13 Bionic chip which is expected to bring better power efficiency and smarter machine learning capabilities. Apple iPhone 11 is also rumoured to come with a Taptic Engine which is set to succeed 3D Touch.

Apart from upgrade in the camera and performance departments, Apple is likely to retain two models featuring AMOLED panels and one with LCD display. Apple may introduce USB Type-C support as well but there are reports that the change will take place next year.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Samsung will launch Galaxy Note 10 on August 7. Unlike previous years, Samsung will introduce multiple iterations of Galaxy Note 10, giving it a series-like treatment. Samsung is expected to launch at least two Note 10 models including a Galaxy Note 10 Plus. The top-end model is likely to offer 45W fast charging support. For performance, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series will rely on Exynos 9825 processor, an upgrade over Exynos 9820 chip that powers Samsung Galaxy S10 series.

According to reports, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus aka Galaxy Note 10 Pro will have 6.75-inch AMOLED QHD+ display with HDR 10+ support. Other expected features include triple rear cameras, 25W fast charging (out-of-the-box), up to 8GB of RAM, 4,500mAh battery, and USB Type-C support.

BSNL, MTNL fail to pay July salary, CMD says will pay on Aug 5

NEW DELHI, Aug 1: Loss-making telecom PSUs Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd and MTNL have failed to clear salaries of their 1.98 lakh employees for July, a union leader said Thursday.

While BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar said that employees will get the July salary on August 5, the union leader said that no information has been shared by the management about the disbursal of the salary.

"Salary for the month of July has not come. There is also no information when will it be credited," All India Unions and Associations of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (AUAB) Convenor P Abhimanyu told PTI.

When contacted, the BSNL CMD said that employees will get the salary on August 5.

"Funds are being arranged through internal accruals," Purwar said.

BSNL has 1.76 lakh employees across India while MTNL has around 22,000 employees.

Salary of employees is credited to their accounts on the last date of every month. However, this is for the second time the two companies have defaulted on payment of salaries this year and for the first time after the new government took charge.

The two PSUs had delayed payment of salaries for February until mid-March due to a financial crisis. BSNL had then said that it used its internal accruals to clear the pending salaries.

Total monthly salary expenses of BSNL are in the range of ₹750-850 crore while that of MTNL are around ₹160 crore.

MTNL Human Resource and Enterprise Business Director Sunil Kumar said that the company is in the process collecting some dues after which the salary will be paid on a priority basis very soon.

Kumar has holds additional charge of MTNL CMD.



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