Surajeet Das Gupta

All stories by Surajeet Das Gupta

Chinese companies may have to exit sub-Rs 10,000 mobile market

Chinese companies may have to exit sub-Rs 10,000 mobile market

Rediff.com3 days ago

The government is busy strategising ways to revive the domestic mobile device industry as Chinese firms have grabbed a large chunk of the handset market. The idea is to minimise competition from Chinese mobile players in the entry level or sub-Rs 10,000 category, according to a senior government official familiar with the plans. While discussions on the strategy are on, there's a growing consensus within the government that the lower end of the market should be reserved only for the domestic players, the official said.

Can Reliance Jio change the rules of the 5G game?

Can Reliance Jio change the rules of the 5G game?

Rediff.com4 days ago

It came as a surprise to all stakeholders - competing telecom companies (telcos), most analysts and even the government's internal projections on revenues from the 5G auctions. Reliance Jio disrupted all calculations by paying a stiff Rs 40,000 crore to buy 10 MHz of spectrum in the 700-MHz band, globally considered a key band for efficient 5G service coverage, along with the default 3.5 GHz band and the ultra-high speed and low-latency millimetre band of 26 GHz band. So what made Jio pay almost 45 per cent of its total spend in this auction for the 700 MHz band - much more than what it rustled up even for the 3.5 GHz band?

Mobile operators and device manufacturers clash over SIM shortage

Mobile operators and device manufacturers clash over SIM shortage

Rediff.com11 Aug 2022

A disagreement between mobile operators and device manufacturers over e-SIMs has reached the government with the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) asking the DoT to order handset manufacturers to introduce eSIMs, in addition to the physical SIM slot, in all smartphones costing over Rs 10,000. The reason is the unprecedented global shortage of semiconductors which has severely impacted the supply of SIM cards across the globe and pushed up the price by four to five times. The shortage is not likely to improve before 2024.

Reliance Jio's purchase of 700 MHz likely to give it edge over rivals

Reliance Jio's purchase of 700 MHz likely to give it edge over rivals

Rediff.com10 Aug 2022

Reliance Jio's decision to acquire 700 MHz in combination with the possible use of an advanced standalone (SA) 5G network could give it an edge over its rivals, according to most analysts. The dissenters argue that the stiff price tag touching Rs 40,000 crore to grab 10 MHz of spectrum in 700 to provide coverage for its SA 5G network which offers ultra-low latency (unlike non-standalone or NSA), has a long way to go in India in terms of finding use cases that can be monetised. Globally, 700 MHz is a pivotal band which provides huge coverage, indoor penetration (especially useful in India where walls are thick) and is already considered by the European Union to be the 'pioneer band' for 5G, with 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz, both of which were auctioned in India recently.

5G: Samsung Looks Beyond Jio

5G: Samsung Looks Beyond Jio

Rediff.com9 Aug 2022

With Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE excluded from participating in the 5G roll out, their absence leaves a vacuum in the market which will have to be filled by three vendors: Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung.

Tiger Global and SoftBank trim investments in India by over a third in 2022

Tiger Global and SoftBank trim investments in India by over a third in 2022

Rediff.com2 Aug 2022

US hedge fund Tiger Global and Japanese investment giant SoftBank have trimmed their investments in Indian start-ups by over a third - from $3.8 billion in the second half of 2021 to a mere $1.08 billion in H1 2022, according to data from Venture Intelligence. While SoftBank's investments in India dropped from $1.9 billion in H2 2021 by more than a fifth to only $0.33 billion in H1 2022, that of Tiger Global fell from $1.92 to $0.74 billion in the same period. Private equity (PE) fund trackers point out that this year most of the deals that Tiger Global has invested in are in the early stage (up to series D), and only a few are in the series E and above.

Apple's vendors create 30,000 new jobs under PLI scheme

Apple's vendors create 30,000 new jobs under PLI scheme

Rediff.com29 Jul 2022

Apple's three vendors in the country have hit the milestone of creating 30,000 new direct jobs since the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for mobile devices kicked off in April 2021. Based on the government's estimate that one direct job in the electronics industry helps to generate three indirect ones, Apple's vendors, Foxconn Hon Hai, Wistron and Pegatron, are close to creating 100,000 direct and indirect jobs. The direct jobs that the vendors have created account for a fourth of Apple's commitment to generate 60 per cent of the new direct jobs out of the 200,000 jobs targeted by the government under the PLI scheme within five years.

Wake Up Call For Bollywood A-Listers

Wake Up Call For Bollywood A-Listers

Rediff.com26 Jul 2022

Seven of Bollywood's big stars (Akshay Kumar, Ranveer Singh, Ajay Devgn, Varun Dhawan, Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham and Shahid Kapoor), who had 10 movies released with a collective budget of Rs 1,100 crore since December, could rustle up only around a third of that money at the box office.

5G spectrum auction may turn out to be a short affair

5G spectrum auction may turn out to be a short affair

Rediff.com25 Jul 2022

Telcos participating in the upcoming auctions at the end of July say they expect only a fourth of the value of spectrum on offer to be sold. The government has put Rs 4.3 trillion of spectrum up for sale at the base price across seven bands including for 5G. An executive of a leading telco said he estimates that mobile operators collectively would buy spectrum of only around Rs 1.1 trillion.

Explained: Will O-RAN disrupt the way 5G networks roll out in India?

Explained: Will O-RAN disrupt the way 5G networks roll out in India?

Rediff.com22 Jul 2022

Will open radio access network technology (O-RAN) disrupt the way 5G networks roll out in the country? After all, it promises to offer a substantially lower capital cost, enables the choice of an array of vendors, and provides more network flexibility - all very important for telcos who expect to invest over Rs 60,000 crore to roll out a pan-India 5G network and that's without spectrum costs. But more importantly, it counters the stranglehold of global telecom gear makers such as Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung over telcos to whom they sell propriety technology and bundled hardware and software.

Elon Musk's alarm over Twitter bots takes the lid off advertising frauds

Elon Musk's alarm over Twitter bots takes the lid off advertising frauds

Rediff.com19 Jul 2022

Elon Musk's decision to drop the idea of acquiring Twitter over purported under-reporting of fake accounts due to the use of bots has opened a can of worms on what is a growing and crucial problem - advertisers who put in money based on these falsified numbers (which is the mainstay revenue of these platforms) are making losses; they are paying for bots in the guise of viewers. mFilterIt - a global digital and advertising (ad) fraud detection and protection company in India - says search engines like Google have the lowest average ad fraud rate of 10-12 per cent, based on the inference arrived at while working with clients that use these platforms. This means 10-12 per cent of the ad viewership is generated by machines.

Reliance Jio ups the ante as Adanis keep off big 5G spectrum game

Reliance Jio ups the ante as Adanis keep off big 5G spectrum game

Rediff.com19 Jul 2022

With the Adanis submitting an earnest money deposit (EMD) of just Rs 100 crore on Monday for the upcoming 5G spectrum auction, the apprehension among the rivals that the group is nursing ambitions of being an all-India mobile player has been allayed at least for now. Based on its EMD, analysts say it can buy spectrum worth just Rs 900 crore, whose use will be limited to enterprises and captive networks -- that too is likely only in a few circles where it has its infrastructure like ports, airports, and power stations. While getting all-India millimetre band spectrum of 400 MHz (which costs Rs 2,800 crore) is ruled out, it might choose circles like Gujarat and Mumbai to start with.

Japanese brand Aiwa back with new India strategy for TVs

Japanese brand Aiwa back with new India strategy for TVs

Rediff.com15 Jul 2022

In the late 1990s, Japanese electronics brand Aiwa tied up with a maverick entrepreneur, Kabir Mulchandani, to sell its consumer electronic products. Founder of Baron International, Mulchandani, all of 26 at that time, had already disrupted the television market through a tie-up with another Japanese player, Akai. With a strategy that relied on heavy discounts, exchange offers and freebies, Akai was selling in huge volumes.

Challenges and opportunities for Jio chairman Akash Ambani

Challenges and opportunities for Jio chairman Akash Ambani

Rediff.com8 Jul 2022

Akash Ambani's first big job as he takes over as chairman of Reliance Jio, the group's telecom arm, is a no-brainer - he has to get his company through the long-awaited 5G auctions that are a few weeks away. But his bigger job, analysts said, will be to lead the transformation of the telecom company into a tech giant, a process that is underway as it seeks to list in the US. Insiders said there has been plenty of debate within the company's top executives on the auction strategy.

Is Kartik Aaryan Bollywood's New BANKABLE STAR?

Is Kartik Aaryan Bollywood's New BANKABLE STAR?

Rediff.com30 Jun 2022

'Kartik is an outsider, so he takes nothing for granted. That's why he will do well.'

Plastic straws cause FMCG firms indigestion

Plastic straws cause FMCG firms indigestion

Rediff.com27 Jun 2022

The industry may account for just 0.05 per cent of the total volume of single-use plastics in the country. And the product it uses is just one among the 22 - including spoons, forks, plates, knives and trays - that will be banned across the country from July 1 by government order. Yet, it is the plastic straw that is at the centre of public focus as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies make a last-ditch effort to get the government to extend the deadline.

Why telcos fear 5G rollout is unviable

Why telcos fear 5G rollout is unviable

Rediff.com10 Jun 2022

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has bluntly told the government there is no reason for its members to roll out 5G networks as they will be unviable if 'captive private wireless networks' are allowed to be run by enterprises. The COAI, which has Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea as its key members, has written to Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw saying there is 'no business case for the roll out of 5G networks'. Permitting such captive networks will 'diminish the revenue so much that there will be no viable business case left for the telecom service providers and there will not remain any need for 5G network roll out by telecom service providers (TSPs)'.

Japanese tech investor SoftBank's investment in India may fall to a third

Japanese tech investor SoftBank's investment in India may fall to a third

Rediff.com10 Jun 2022

Japanese tech investor SoftBank may end up investing around $1 billion in India in 2022, nearly a third of what it did last year, according to people closely tracking its plans. Last year, SoftBank undertook investments of $3.2 billion in 12 deals. In the first five months of CY22, the giant investor has invested $400-500 million in five deals.

E-scooter growth stagnates after meteoric rise

E-scooter growth stagnates after meteoric rise

Rediff.com9 Jun 2022

Electric scooter registrations of eight companies which represent 95 per cent of the market have seen a sharp fall of over 24 per cent in May. They have registered 32,680 electric scooters against 43,098 in April according to VAHAN data from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways available till the evening of 31 May. Auto analysts say the fall is a reflection of the initial pent up demand in the market for such vehicles,which was evinced in huge bookings, being met.

5G Phones May Cost Rs 10,000 By 2024

5G Phones May Cost Rs 10,000 By 2024

Rediff.com4 Jun 2022

The chipset accounts for over 25%-30% of the cost of an average smart phone. Hence, a reduction in its price, device makers say, will make a huge difference to the cost of a phone.

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