India Telecom Tracker: Feb. 27, 2012

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1. India’s state-owned telecom service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has launched three tablets at a price of $66.23, $224.15, $275.12 respectively, according to media reports.

According to BSNL officials quoted by reports, two of the tablets come with a 7-inch resistive screen and run on Android 2.3 OS. The third one has an 8-inch touchscreen.

The cheapest model, T-Pad IS701R, has a 1GHz processor and 256 MB RAM. The device has an internal memory of 2GB which can be extended to 32 GB using an external card. This model is Wi-Fi enabled but has no 3G option.

The second model (priced at $224.15), called Penta TPAD WS704C has a 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM. The device is Wi-Fi enabled and has an internal storage of 4GB which can be increased by using an external memory.

The third one and costliest among the three, Penta TPAD WS802C, comes with a 1.2 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 4GB internal memory which is again expandable.

The three tablets will be available across India from March 1, 2012.

2. The Indian government has accepted US-based Qualcomm’s offer to clear $84 million dues of its Indian partner Tulip Telecom, Press Trust of India reported.

The government has also agreed to give BWA license to Qualcomm.

3. Abu Dhabi-based telecom operator Etisalat recently declared that it will close its India telecom operations following the Supreme Court of India’s judgement canceling the telecom licenses of its Indian joint-venture.

Etisalat also initiated legal proceedings against its Indian partners for fraud. The company had paid $900 million in 2008 for 45% stake in Etisalat DB.

According to a PTI report Etisalat wrote off $820 million in connection with its Indian venture following the SC order in the 2G case.

4. A report in a Middle East publication, Gulf Daily News, stated that Batelco Group was looking at partners in the Indian telecom market after the sale of its shareholding in S Tel.

“Group chief executive officer Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa said at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) that they had an agreement to sell Batelco’s 42.7% equity in S Tel for$174.5 million to its Indian partner Sky City Foundation Limited,” Gulf Daily News reported.

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