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  • RE: 5G Spectrum Auction Battle Begins (Commercial 5G Rollout by October)

    5G splurge to lay debt trap for telcos?

    The highly anticipated 5G spectrum auction was finally concluded this week. India’s leading telecom companies bid for 51 GHz of 5G airwaves and spent ₹1.5 lakh crore, higher than the government’s estimate of ₹1.1 lakh crore.

    There is excitement within the telecom industry and among consumers around the launch of 5G services. However, market experts believe that the higher-than-expected spectrum spends could push the telecom industry’s overall debt to more than ₹6 lakh crore, from ₹4.7 lakh crore at present.

    Moreover, setting up 5G network infrastructure like laying of fibre-optic cable could put additional burden on telecom operators.

    In the past, telcos with unsustainable debt levels like Aircel and Anil Ambani owned-Reliance Communications were forced to go out of business. Further, competition within the telecom industry has substantially increased after the entry of Reliance Jio.

    The net debt of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea stood at ₹1.96 lakh crore and ₹1.6 lakh crore, respectively, in the quarter ended March 2022. Meanwhile, Reliance Jio’s net debt was at ₹57,700 in the June quarter FY23. Market experts believe that the strong balance sheets of Reliance Jio and Airtel could act as a shield against high debt.

    However, Vodafone Idea’s elevated auction spending could raise its leverage beyond the comfort zone. This could hinder its ability to compete against rivals on the 5G turf.

    Nevertheless, telcos are all set to roll out 5G services, with some expected to launch them in the last quarter of 2022. Consumers having 5G-enabled devices will be the first to experience the 5G speeds. However, wide-scale adoption will depend on 5G handset penetration, which stands at just 15% at present.

    posted in Voice & Data
  • 5G Spectrum Auction Battle Begins (Commercial 5G Rollout by October)

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    In what could be straight out of a ‘Stranger Things’ episode, an unusual red glow over the Atlantic Ocean set cyberspace abuzz. The game of 5G have begun.

    Game of (5G) Thrones:

    The 5G spectrum auctions have begun and bids have been pouring in. Although bids have already come in for a bulk of the critical airwaves, the tussle for spectrum continues. Dial in for more.

    But first, what is spectrum? Spectrum refers to the invisible radio frequencies that wireless signals travel over. These signals are what enable us to make calls and transmit data. The spectrum auction is a process used by the government to sell the rights to use the frequency to transmit signals.

    The government has put up 72Ghz of spectrum for auction at a base price of ₹4.3 lakh crore. Telecom companies have bid a record ₹1.45 lakh crore for this spectrum on Day 1 itself!

    Reliance Industries’ telecom arm Jio is reportedly the front runner, and is expected to spend over ₹70,000 crore during the auction. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel is expected to spend ₹45,000-50,000 crore.

    If reports are to be believed the bids were placed at the base price, due to the abundance of spectrum.

    But when would you, the aam aadmi (the common man), be able to use 5G on your device? According to the telecom minister, the allocation of spectrum will be completed in August, and 5G is likely to be available in major cities by the year-end.

    ICYDK, the 5G technology is up to 10x faster than 4G and is also expected to be 10-15% costlier.

    Source: Battle for 5G spectrum auction heats up

    posted in Voice & Data
  • Amazon Offers Huge Discount on Apple iPhone 12 Pro (Should You Buy?)

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    The ecommerce giant Amazon has come up with a lucrative deal of Apple iPhone 12 Pro. One can now grab the high-end smartphone at just ₹94,900. Interestingly, this huge ₹25,000 discount is available on all storage variants.

    Though Apple has launched the new iPhone 13 series, the demand for iPhone 12 Pro has not receded. With the new ₹25,000 discounts, the Apple lovers can just grab the offer. To the unaware, Apple iPhone 12 Pro 128GB retails at ₹1,19,900. Similarly, the 256GB and 512GB variants of iPhone 12 Pro comes with a price tag of ₹1,29,900 and ₹1,49,900 respectively.

    ₹25,000 Discount on All Variants:

    As per the Amazon India, a discount of ₹25,000 would be offered on all variants. This discount brings down the price to ₹94,900, ₹99,900 and ₹1,07,900 on iPhone 12 Pro 128GB, 256GB and 512GB respectively.

    Moreover, the ecommerce portal is also offering an exchange discount up to ₹15,400 when the users exchange their old handsets during the purchase of iPhone 12 Pro model. Amazon India has partnered with select banks to offer no cost EMI facility on iPhone 12 Pro purchase.

    To further sweeten the deal, Amazon India is offering Apple accessories at discounted price. One can grab Apple AirPods Pro at ₹20,900 and Apple 20W USB-C Power Adapter at ₹1,899 only.

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    Apple iPhone 12 Pro Full Specs:

    Specs wise, Apple iPhone 12 Pro sports a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display that goes edge to edge. With Ceramic Shield, the handset offers four times better drop performance. The incredible A14 Bionic chip makes it an amazing powerhouse offering more speed, more power and more efficiency.

    The Pro camera system including 12MP ultra-wide, wide and telephoto cameras captures natural colour in dim light. Moreover, it packs the first camera ever to record in Dolby vision. With IP68 rating, the iPhone 12 Pro is water resistant and provides the best durability. I can withstand a maximum depth of 6 meters up to 30 minutes of water resistance.

    In simple words, Apple iPhone 12 Pro is worth every penny if you’re looking for an upgrade. This has got everything just so very near to perfection!

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    posted in Mobiles
  • RedmiBook Pro Goes On Sale (Laptop Segment Debut, First Impressions)

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    Starting with Redmi handsets, the Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi has expanded its product portfolio with other electronic offerings. The latest RedmiBook Pro laptop at an effective price of ₹46499 is definitely a steal.

    Apart from the premium RedmiBook Pro, Xiaomi has also launched the RedmiBook E-Learning Edition variant with a tweaked configuration. Both the laptops can be upgraded to Windows 11 as and when Microsoft launches it officially.

    Coming to the RedmiBook Pro, it comes with 15.6-inch FHD (1920x1080) resolution display with slim bezels. Powered by a 4.4GHz max clock Intel Core i5 11th generation processor, Iris Xe Graphics and 8GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM, it houses 512GB PCIe NVME SSD storage.

    RedmiBook Pro Specifications:

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    The RedmiBook Pro is preloaded with Windows 10 Home, MS Office Home and Student Edition 2019. The 65W power adapter enables it to get a 10-hour all-day battery life without any compromise.

    The laptop weighs just 1.8kg as it is built using Polycarbonate material giving a premium metallic finish with Charcoal grey. Moreover, it supports all the connectivity options including Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, HDMI 1.4 port and two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports.

    On the price front, it costs ₹49,999. However, the special discount of ₹3500 with an HDFC Bank card brings down the effective price to ₹46,499. When the whole world is embracing work-from-home life, RedmiBook Pro is a good laptop meant for working professionals and students alike.

    RedmiBook e-Learning Edition Specifications:

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    Interestingly, the tech giant has also unveiled RedmiBook E-Learning Edition powered by the 11th Gen Intel i3 processor and 8GB DDR4 RAM. As it has got two storage options, RedmiBook E-Learning Edition 256GB and RedmiBook E-Learning Edition 512GB are priced ₹41,999 and ₹44,999 respectively.

    As a launch offer, the customer can get an instant ₹2500 discount on purchase through an HDFC card. Effectively at ₹39,499, one can grab RedmiBook E-Learning Edition. The sale starts on August 6th at 12PM on eCommerce portal Flipkart and Mi.com.

    With the introduction of RedmiBook laptops, there could be many newer laptops. However, the community is eagerly waiting for Mi laptops that could be the real disruptor.

    Do you agree with my opinion? Share your thoughts.

    Also Read: Apple Unveils iMac 2021 with M1 Chipset (Price Starting at $1299)

    posted in Gadgets
  • Nokia C20 Plus with Android Go & 4950mAh Battery (Priced CNY699)

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    HMD Global, the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer, has come up with a Plus variant to its budget handset Nokia C20. In similar lines, it boots Android 11 Go Edition.

    Considering the budget tag, the Nokia C20 Plus is powered by Unisoc SC9863A SoC. Sporting a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD screen, the Plus variant packs 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. One can add extra storage up to 256GB using a microSD card.

    On the optics front, there’s an 8MP primary and 2MP depth sensor. It also houses a waterdrop notch for the 5MP selfie camera.

    Face Unlock, No Fingerprint Reader:

    If you are looking for a fingerprint reader, then you’ll be disappointed as it doesn’t have an inbuilt one. However, it is equipped with Face Unlock for biometric unlocking.

    Though there’s nothing great about the specs, the Nokia C20 Plus is made strong and sturdy using a one-piece polycarbonate shell. The 3D corrugated design makes it appealing.

    Powered by a mammoth 4950mAh battery along with a 10W micro USB port, the Nokia C20 Plus is a powerhouse that can stay with you easily for 2 days. On the connectivity front, it gets a 3.5mm headphone jack as well.

    Will You Consider Nokia C20 Plus?

    As said earlier, the Nokia C20 Plus runs the Android 11 Go Edition. Starting June 16th, one can grab the Plus variant at an affordable price tag of CNY699 ($110/€90).

    Will you be interested in this Chinese launch? I mean, should the Indian market get this Nokia C20 Plus. If this is priced less ₹6000, then one can expect some market otherwise it would be quite disappointing.

    You May Also Like: Tecno Spark 7 Pro Debuts with Helio G80 & Triple Camera (Priced ₹9999)

    posted in Mobiles
  • Spectra Broadband Offers 250Mbps Speed at Just ₹999 (Is it the Best?)

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    Shyam Spectra broadband internet services are also known as Spectra is a popular ISP offering services in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Gurugram, Mumbai, Noida and Pune.

    Interestingly, Spectranet offers better broadband plans when compared to market leaders like Reliance JioFiber and Airtel Xstream. Though this Gurgaon-based broadband service provider has launched its FTTH services in September 2017, it is yet to show its true potential.

    Shyam Telecom Rebranded as Spectra:

    After rebranding itself as Spectra, the Shyam Telecom Ltd group made good advances by offering fibre-optic broadband services to residential and enterprise customers.

    Starting with 250Mbps speed, Spectra offers truly economical plans to its customers. As said earlier, Spectra offers better plans when compared to its rivals.

    Spectra ₹999 Broadband Plan:

    The most popular plan in Spectra’s kitty is ₹999. The AirMesh Lite ₹999 offers 250Mbps internet speed at just ₹999 per month. As per the plan, there’s no FUP limit on data usage. It’s truly an unlimited plan.

    The subscriber gets a dual-band Wi-Fi router for free. This remains more or less the same with all the ISP’s in the market. Some charge a monthly rental for it while others take a minimum commitment.

    The only disadvantage of considering Spectra is its installation charge. One needs to shell out ₹1000 as the installation charges. Considering the GST, a new customer has to pay a total of ₹4359.

    This initial upfront ₹4359 payment includes 1-month ₹999 rental, ₹1000 installation charge, ₹360 GST, and ₹2000 refundable security deposit. As the company is providing a dual-band Wi-Fi router, it is forced to accept ₹2000 as a refundable security deposit.

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    What’s the Best Broadband Plan Under ₹1000?

    If you don’t have any problem with the initial ₹4359 payment, you get to enjoy an unlimited internet experience at 250Mbps. This is far ahead when compared to Airtel Xstream Fiber and JioFiber speeds that are limited to 200Mbps and 150Mbps respectively.

    Not just in terms of speed alone, Spectra offers truly unlimited data whereas the leading ISP providers limit their data usage to 3.3TB. If browsing high-speed internet is your criteria, then Spectra fits your bill. Otherwise, stay away.

    Why I said, “Stay away”? This is because it doesn’t provide any OTT benefit. This makes Reliance and Airtel value picks. When you don’t have over-the-top (OTT) content to watch, then what’s the use of having unlimited data?

    If OTT benefit is the main preference, then JioFiber is the best one to choose. Moreover, there is no free voice calls benefit in Spectra, leaving JioFiber as the most preferred choice for the best broadband plan under ₹1000.

    So, what is your opinion on the plans offered by Spectra broadband? Share your thoughts.

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    posted in Broadband
  • Tecno Spark 7 Pro Debuts with Helio G80 & Triple Camera (Priced ₹9999)

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    Shenzhen-China based Tecno Mobile has come up with a new handset in Tecno Spark 7 lineup. The latest Tecno Spark 7 Pro gets a 90Hz refresh rate for its 6.6-inch HD+ screen.

    The main USP of the Tecno Spark 7 Pro smartphone is a 90Hz refresh rate accompanied by a touch sampling rate of 180Hz. As it is backed by Transsion Holdings, Tecno Mobile has got a good financial backup.

    With MediaTek’s Helio G80 chipset and 5000mAh battery, Tecno Spark 7 Pro will definitely have a good push in the budget handset segment.

    Tecno Spark 7 Pro Full Specifications:

    Specs-wise, the Tecno Spark 7 Pro sports a 6.6-inch HD+ screen with 720x1600 pixels resolution and a 20:9 aspect ratio. There’s a punch-hole selfie camera on the top left corner.

    Powered by MediaTek’s octa-core Helio G80 chipset, the handset comes in 2 memory variants – 4GB and 6GB RAM. It boards 64GB internal memory that can be expandable up to 512GB using a microSD slot.

    On the optics front, there’s a triple camera setup on the rear comprising a 48MP primary lens, followed by a 2-MP depth sensor and an AI lens. Interestingly, there’s a quad-LED flash at the rear.

    For selfies, there’s an 8-MP camera with dual flash support.

    On the connectivity front, the Tecno Spark 7 Pro supports 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, GPS, and micro-USB. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack support as well.

    The Tecno Spark 7 Pro handset boots the latest Android 11 built on its own HiOS 7.5 skin. As the handset has got a large 5000mAh battery, there’s nothing to worry at least for a day or more.

    Price & Competition:

    As it’s a budget handset, the Tecno Mobile will get a lot of competition in the Indian market. It is nothing wrong to say that the Indian mobile handset is dominated by the likes of Redmi, Poco, Realme and Samsung (to a certain extent) in the budget category.

    Currently, the main contenders in this budget segment are Poco M3, Moto E7 Plus, Realme Narzo 30A, Realme C25, and Samsung Galaxy M12.

    With aggressive pricing of ₹9,999, the Tecno Spark 7 Pro is a good option to consider. If you are looking for a 6GB RAM variant, then one needs to spend an extra 1K.

    Starting May 28th, one can gran this handset on the Amazon India marketplace. As a launch offer, there would be a 10% instant discount for SBI Credit cardholders.

    So, what is your opinion on the latest handset from Xiaomi’s sub-brand Redmi? Share your thoughts.

    You May Also Like: Tecno Spark 7 Debuts with Helio A25 SoC (as Amazon Exclusive)

    posted in Mobiles
  • JioPhone Users Get 300 Min Free Outgoing Calls/Month (Corona Update)

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    In an effort to provide some relief to the less-privileged sections, Reliance Jio has offered 300 minutes of free outgoing calls per month. Jio in association with Reliance Foundation wants to ensure that staying connected remains accessible.

    As per the press release, the Jio Phone users will be offered 300 minutes of free calls per month during this COVID-19 pandemic. In short, the subscribers will be getting 10 minutes per day to other network.

    Though this looks to be a small thing on paper, this offering will definitely help the less-privileged sections of the society. As JioPhone is the most affordable handset in India, the offering of free 300 minutes calls will serve the needy.

    Additional Jio Phone Recharge Plan for FREE!

    In a commitment to stand with the needy, the Reliance Foundation has offered additional recharge of the same plan for free. During this ongoing covid-19 pandemic, every JioPhone recharge will get an additional recharge for free. For example, the Jio Phone user makes a ₹75 recharge as a top-up, then he/she will be getting extra ₹75 for free.

    However, the only limitation is that this offer is not valid on annual or bundled plans with JioPhone handset. It is to be noted that both the offers are limited to JioPhone users.

    The cheapest plan offered in this category is ₹39 Jio Phone recharge. This pack offers 100MB data per day with a validity of 14 days. The next higher plan in BUY 1 GET 1 FREE offer is ₹69 recharge. It packs 0.5GB data per day with 14 days validity.

    The ₹75 Jio Phone recharge offers 0.1GB data per day with a validity of 28 days. As a promotional offer, the user also gets 200 MB extra data. The ₹125 Jio Phone recharge gives 0.5GB data every daya with 28 days validity.

    If the JioPhone user consumes 1GB/day data, then the ₹155 recharge is the best one with 28 days validity. The most premium of all the JioPhone recharges is ₹185 plan that offers daily 2GB data with a validity of 28 days. All the above listed plans come under BUY 1 GET 1 FREE.

    Do you agree with my opinion? Share your thoughts.

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    posted in Reliance Jio
  • Redmi Note 10S Comes with 6GB RAM and Quad Cam (Priced ₹15K)

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    Sticking to its launch date, Xiaomi has added another handset to the Redmi Note 10 lineup. The latest Redmi Note 10S comes in two memory configurations – 6/64GB and 6/128GB. Incidentally, this is the 4th handset in the Redmi Note 10 Series.

    Starting at ₹14,999 ($205/€170), the Redmi Note 10S comes in Deep Sea Blue, Frost White and Shadow Black colours. Those who are looking double the storage has to shell out an extra 1K. The higher-end 6/128GB variant comes with a price tag of ₹15,999 ($220/€180).

    As specified earlier, the Redmi Note 10S is an Amazon India exclusive. Starting 18th May, one can grab the handset on Amazon storefront, Mi India portal and retail outlets across the nation.

    Redmi Note 10S Specifications:

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    On the specifications front, the Indian variant looks unchanged from that of the Global variant. It now sports a 6.43-inch Full HD+ AMOLED screen with a 180Hz touch sampling rate and covered by the Corning Gorilla Glass protection.

    Though everyone expected an HD+ display, Xiaomi surprised its fans by including the Super AMOLED display. Now, one can enjoy higher quality visuals on this budget handset.

    Powered by an octa-core MediaTek Helio G95 SoC, the handset boots MIUI 12.5 based on Android 11. Know for its huge battery, the handset comes with a 5000mAh battery and 33W Fast charging support.

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    Redmi Note 10S Quad-Camera Specs:

    On the camera front, the Redmi Note 10S packs 4 lenses at the rear. It includes 64MP primary camera, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro and 2MP depth shooter. On the front, there’s a 13MP selfie camera inside the punch hole. The side-mounted fingerprint reader adds extra security to the handset.

    Apart from the FHD+ display, the Redmi Note 10S is equipped with stereo speakers to provide a rich experience while watching content. The add-on is IP53 certification that clearly says that the handset is dust and water-resistant. Do read it as splash resistant.

    It being a 4G handset, the Redmi Note 10S supports 4G LTE and provides other connectivity options as well. At 15K pricing, the device will surely face severe competition from the existing smartphones like Motorola G40 Fusion, Moto G60, Realme 8. In fact, Xiaomi’s own Redmi Note 10 Series is one of the biggest competitors to the latest release.

    So, what is your opinion on the latest handset from Xiaomi’s sub-brand Redmi? Share your thoughts.

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    posted in Mobiles
  • Redmi Note 10S To Debut As Amazon Exclusive (with 64MP Quad Cam Setup)

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    Xiaomi, the Chinese electronics major, is all set to launch Redmi Note 10S in the Indian market. Interestingly, this will be an Amazon India exclusive. The eCommerce portal has officially disclosed on its Amazon India website.

    Known for making affordable smartphones, the Xiaomi will be launching Redmi Note 10S on May 13th with the latest Android 11 out of the box. This listing has been confirmed through Amazon India’s official landing page.

    Though it is an Amazon India’s exclusive product, the Redmi Note 10S will be will be available on Xiaomi India’s official website and other offline stores including Mi Home and other retail partners.

    Currently, the Chinese handset maker Xiaomi owns more than 26% market share in India through its mid-range handsets equipped with high-end specs. Continuing the trend, Xiaomi has got some high-level specs in Redmi Note 10S smartphone.

    Redmi Note 10S Specifications:

    Regarding specifications, the Redmi Note 10S Indian variant could see the same specs that are available on the global variant. With HD+ display and Gorilla Glass protection, there could be 6/8GB RAM and up to 256GB internal storage.

    Definitely, the Redmi Note 10S would land somewhere between the Note 10 and Note 10 Pro that are already popular in the Indian market. As per the listing, the new handset will be powered by MediaTek Helio G95 chipset and ARM Mali G76 GPU.

    Based on the leaks, one could expect the similar specs leaving FHD+ 1080*2400 display. Sadly, the Indian variant will only have HD+ display. However, it should be taken with a grain of salt. Xiaomi can even throw surprises in the last minute.

    On the camera front, one could expect quad-camera setup with 64MP primary sensor, 8MP wide-angle lens, 2MP sensor for each depth and macro lens. For selfies and video calling, there’s a 13MP front camera.

    Price & Availability:

    Backed by a robust 5000 mAh-battery and 33W fast charging support, the Redmi Note 10S has an IP53 rating that can withstand accidental water damage. Pricing-wise, the most important aspect, one could expect it to be placed around 15K.

    For official confirmation, let us wait for the launch of Redmi Note 10S. Apart from this, the Redmi Watch and noise cancellation earphones will also be launched on the same day. Hopefully, the launch will be a virtual event amidst this COVID-19 pandemic.

    Do you agree with my opinion? Share your thoughts.

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    posted in Mobiles