Month: January 2015

Sales of wearable devices to reach 394 million units in 2020- Ovum

Wearable-devices-e1422615657242As per Ovum, the wearables market will be worth US$27bn in 2020, with almost 400 million wearable devices sold in the year. Ovum expects sales of wearable devices to reach 394 million units in 2020, up from 24 million units in 2014, corresponding to a CAGR of 60%. Revenues generated from the direct sale of wearable devices to consumers will reach US$26.6bn in 2020, up from US$3bn in 2014. Multipurpose wearables such as the Apple Watch will account for 31% of the installed base, with simple activity trackers and smart clothes making up the rest of the market. Wearables also offer additional software revenue opportunities via a dedicated app ecosystem that will serve up to 176 million installed devices by the end of 2020.

Ronan de Renesse, Ovum lead analyst for consumer technology said, “Affordability and better quality of service for smarter wearable devices will be key drivers in the shift from activity trackers to multipurpose wearables such as the Apple Watch. Currently, the market is overcrowded in comparison to demand. Supply chains and marketing investments need to be tightly controlled. Larger vendors able to sustain investments for longer stand a better chance of establishing a market lead.”

Wearables will become more capable and “smart” over the next five years. Ovum has designed a smartness index to quantify this evolution, based on whether a wearable features a screen, supports third-party apps, and/or operates autonomously. Recent product releases such as Microsoft Band, Fitbit Surge, and Pebble Steel show that activity trackers are becoming smarter. We expect the average smartness index for activity trackers to grow from 1.27 in 2014 to 1.88 in 2020. More than 60% of the installed base of activity trackers in 2020 will have a smartness index above 1.

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20–30 cities to come under elite club of Smart Cities

Under the flagship scheme of PM Modi’s initiative to make 100 Indian cities as a smart city, the Centre has planned to take up 20–30 cities to develop them into smart cities this year. The cities to be revamped should meet certain requirements.


To begin with, the government is planning to create a colony or commercial area of around 50 acres in the vicinity of the city with smart features so that the success model will make people aware and more areas can be developed with people’s participation.

As per the concept note, there will be three approaches – retrofitting, redevelopment and greenfield development. Under the retrofitting scheme, a city can undertake an area of minimum 500 acres and can implement the scheme in three years. Under a redevelopment scheme, a 50- acre area can be taken as a model. Similarly, in the case of greenfield development, the project area can be a vacant land spread over at least 250 acres and can be completed in 10 years.

While selecting the cities, their performance in “Swachh Bharat” scheme and the initiatives taken for good governance, at least 50% tax collection and 60% assessment of properties to name a few, would be considered. Some of the other features that can prove as an advantage for any city are identifying business investment districts (BIDs) that can generate more employment, model byelaws and the existence of a municipal cadre.

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Free Microsoft Office available on iPhone, iPad and Android

microsoft-office-2013-e1422619842836Microsoft has announced that its Word, Excel and Powerpoint will be available for free in Android based tablets.

It also released an app for its popular Outlook email program to run on Apple’s iPhone and iPad, hoping to attract the millions of users familiar with Outlook from their work desktops.

For almost three months Microsoft has been offering the test versions of the Office apps on Android but the announcement marks the availability of finished products from the online Google Play app store.

It is a part of company’s strategy and Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella attempts towrest back the initiative in the battle for mobile users, where Microsoft has fallen behind Apple and Google Inc. Nadella broke with decades of tradition last March by releasing a free, touch-friendly version of Office for Apple’s iPad, before such software was even available for Microsoft’s Windows devices.

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Paytm plans to add one lakh merchants and hire 4,500 employees

paytmNoida based mobile payment wallet Paytm is aggressively planning to ramp up its mobile marketplace by adding over one lakh merchants in one year. It is also planning to rope in 4,500 people across various verticals.

Paytm started as a mobile recharge and bill payment service, is now into wallets and other electronic payment services with RBI-licensed wallet. The company plans to hire 4,500 across verticals and also focusing on SMEs.

Presently, Paytm, is owned by Noida based One97 Communications and headed by Chairman and MD Vijay Shekhar Sharma. It has around 2,000 employees on its payroll and 15,000 sellers on its market place. It started its journey in the year 2010 as a mobile recharge and bill payment service and later started diversifying into wallets and other electronic payment services.

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Airtel with CISCO launch high-definition VAAS service

Bharti Airtel has announced the launch of its managed Room Telepresence service for Enterprise segment. With zero CAPEX and at no additional cost, enterprises in the country especially the small and mid-sized organizations will now be able to upgrade to High-Definition Telepresence video exchange sessions from the existing standard definition video experience at an affordable cost of just Rs. 799/- per day per room.


Airtel has launched this service with CISCO. The VAAS (video-as-a-service) offering from Airtel will bundle all the essential components of Telepresence video calling including end point, network and VNOC .

Manish Prakash, President – Airtel Business said, “At Airtel we are committed towards developing innovative & cost effective platforms for our customers and the Room Telepresence service is a step in this direction. This new solution has the potential to transform the segment as it empowers customers with a highly scalable integrated video solution at a simplified yet affordable cost.”

Nalinikanth Gollagunta, Managing Director & Head – Commercial Sales at Cisco India & SAARC said, “We believe that this joint offering by Airtel and Cisco is a game changer that will transform the buying behavior, more specifically in the mid segment. Adoption of technology among SMBs is directly dependent on bringing down the total cost of ownership and increasing ease of use.”

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Rs. 3,705 crore approved as Base Price for 3G Auction by Cabinet

indian-cabinet-e1422531832256The Cabinet has fixed the starting price at Rs 3,705 crore per MHz for the auction of 3G spectrum which is slated to start on March 4. By this the government is aiming to earn a net profit of Rs 17,555 crore. However, operators are afraid that the high starting level could drive up voice and data tariffs.

The winners of the auction will have to make an upfront payment of 33% of the final bid amount to the government within 10 days of the close of the bandwidth sale. Rest amount can be paid after a moratorium of two years in 10 equal installments.

A 5 MHz block of 2100 MHz airwaves typically used for 3G services will be offered in all service areas except Jammu & Kashmir, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab. Thus, a total of 85 MHz in 17 service areas is being put to auction.

The Centre expects to generate Rs.5,793 crore from the 3G sale alone this year.  However, the overall proceeds from auctions will rise substantially, as including the 2G (800 MHz, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz) and 3G bands being put for sale. The Centre expects to generate a minimum of Rs. 80,000 crore, a portion of which will come by March end.

The final price, which was 36% higher than the Rs. 2,720 crore a unit base price recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), left the industry disappointed.

Despite the prices, there is likely to be demand for the airwaves. Operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular need to support surging demand for their data services.

The telecom industry, backed by the telecom regulator, though was hoping that the government will auction 15 more MHz of 3G spectrum per circle across India currently in possession of the defence forces but being negotiated for by the telecom department.

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US, India to develop 3 Smart cities together

smart_cities1The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and Indian urban development ministry plan to develop three major cities, Ajmer, Allahabad and Visakhapatnam as “Smart Cities”. USTDA and the three state governments of UP, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh have signed MoUs to develop these cities as smart cities.

The Urban development ministry said that the US delegation led by the secretary of commerce Penny Pritzker agreed to the suggestion of minister M Venkaiah Naidu for setting up the task forces. Each team will consist of three representatives each from central and respective state governments and the USTDA. Each city task force will discuss city specific features, project requirements and appropriate revenue models for enabling flow of investments etc., before suggesting action plans for developing them as smart cities.

USTDA will contribute funds for necessary feasibility studies and pilots, study tours, workshops or trainings and other projects to be mutually determined. It will invite smart solutions for smart cities reverse trade mission delegation to the US, with delegates from the three states and will fund advisory services to support the development of smart cities. It will collaborate with other US government agencies like Department of Commerce, US Export-Import Bank and other trade and economic agencies and promote greater US-India infrastructure development cooperation and to support development of smart cities.

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