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Airtel, Escotel offer high-powered SIM cards in India

NEW DELHI, India-After consolidation of operations and brands, Indian GSM players are now turning to more competitive services by adding new features. This week, two leading players-Bharti and Escotel-launched high-powered subscriber identity module (SIM) cards to facilitate more applications.

The 32K SIM card launched by Escotel in Kerala will enable access to all information services on short message service (SMS) using menu browsing rather than having to type keywords. Responses will also come directly to screens of handsets, giving users an interactive Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)-like experience using the SMS platform.

The application was developed by CellNext using the DP-5 platform provided by Sonera SmartTrust, said V.G. Somasekhar, chief operating officer (COO) of Escotel Kerala.

The new card also provides for 250 phone book entries against the 100 entries usually allowed in an 8K SIM. Users can store up to 30 SMS messages against 10 to 12 usually possible. Escotel plans to launch the card in other circles where it operates.

Bharti Mobile Telecom also launched in Karnataka a 32K SIM card, with a simple start-up menu to download information like live cricket scores and flight status details. This will reduce over-dependence on SMS and save costs to subscribers, said Jagdish Kini, chief executive officer (CEO) of Bharti Mobile, South Central Region.

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