Update on 8th August: Airtel starts selling iPhone from 22nd August 08.
iPhone’s official launch is getting near and to fuel the excitement both Vodafone and Airtel have started booking for iPhone.
To book iPhone on Vodafone click here or sms IPHONE to 56789.
To book iPhone on Airtel click here.
For those who still don’t know much about iPhone, click here to have a 360 view of it.
Airtel and IFFCO have formed a JV called IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL) to provider mobile services in villages specially designed for farmers and as per press release by Airtel:
“On offer will be affordable mobile handsets bundled with Airtel mobile connection. The farmer will also get access to a unique VAS platform that will broadcast 5 free voice messages on mandi prices, farming techniques, weather forecasts, dairy farming, animal husbandry, rural health initiatives and fertiliser availability etc. on a daily basis. In addition, the farmer will be able to call a dedicated helpline, manned by experts from various fields, to get answers to their specific queries.
Bharti Airtel will offer competitive calling rates @ 50 paise/minute for calls between IFFCO members.”
The Economic Times further reports that: “The JV will bring several hand-cranked products of common use. These include transistors, community radios and torches.” It also goes on to say that farmers will be able to charge their mobile phones without power by using some wind-up charger, which I think is really interesting.
I personally welcome this initiative as its a good example of technology working at the grass-root level, however talking about farmers in India also reminds me of very serious issue of farmers’ suicide and I just hope that something could be done to improve this grim situation.
160BY2.com a website by the SMS solution provider – smscountry is offering free SMS to any mobile phone in India if you allow them to send the contextual advertisement with them. From what I have read on their website, they seem to mimicking the Google Adwords model.
Nonetheless I think its a good option. College students and youths can use it to send unlimited text messages to their friends for free. However I feel there are 3 issues with this service:
1. They don’t allow to send sms/text directly from user’s mobile phone. One has to visit their website to send sms. I think technology is there which can make it possible to send sms from mobile. Probably they are first experimenting with this approach and if they get some advertisers hooked up, they will begin offering sms originating from mobiles to be delivered to the designated mobile without the need for website.
2. As a policy to prevent spams they offer option to opt out to receiver, but you need to again goto their website to opt-out. This can be very annoying for someone when he is not able to go on internet to opt-out. There should be someway to opt-out using sms itself.
3. They don’t allow sending SMS to a list. You can only send sms one by one to your friends, so that kinda puts you off from forwarding some joke to all of your friends.
I feel if they are able to tie-up with some operators like Hutch, Airtel on revenue sharing basis then they can really rake in the moolahs from advertisers and operators can offer a special SMS package to willing subscribers and subscribers can send unlimted SMS messagees for free. I see this will be a win-win situation for everybody.
Overall I think its a good service and I wish them all the luck. Currently their service is by invitation only. However you can reach their invitation page at – http://160by2.com/requestinvite.aspx and request for an invite.