Telephony Companies crying wolf over VOIP

Telecom companies in India fear from OTT telephony:

OTT telephony is the technical name of the VOIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol. Apps like Skype, Viber, What’s App, BBM etc. which offer voice calling fall in this bracket. While broadband providers have no problem, telecom companies feel threatened by these messengers which provide talking facility.

How so many third-party messengers came into existence?

Water flows downward. So does consumer. It will always find attraction in lower tariff possibilities. So how so many messengers came in to being? Because telephone companies became greedy. While they sell bunch of hundreds or thousand commercial SMS for 1 paisa or less, they charge at least 1 rupee for normal personal SMS. Thus they subsidised spam at the cost of average consumer. Of course developers saw the anomaly and found a solution in instant messengers.

Similar anomaly in telecom tariff:

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Blackberry is not a smart phone but an access device!

Blackberry has confirmed that it is not in the market as a smart phone at all. It is a phone (means a cellular device for voice communication only) which also provide access to BIS(means Blackberry Internet Services). It owes no duty except to provide voice communication and browsing the Internet by wi-fi. Read the following:

Too Many Blackberrys

Too Many Blackberrys (Photo credit: Ninja M.)

Dear Sir,
Thank you for contacting REDINGTON BLACKBERRY support.
Kindly contact your service provider for further help. As the blackberry works only with the BIS (Blackberry Internet Service). WiFi in blackberry is meant only for browsing purpose.
If you require further assistance, please feel free to contact us either by replying to this message or by calling at one of the number below.
Regards,
A.Feroz
Black Berry Support
Toll Free: 1800-425-3720 | Email Support: blackberrysupport@redington.co.in
Hours of operation: 10:00 AM – 06:30 PM, Monday to Saturday

The above communication is about Blackberry Curve 9220. Take careful note of text in italics. It does not even talk about Blackberry Enterprise Service as it will not serve any purpose to an individual. But this feature is there in this phone also, but RIM is non-committal on this service as well. . Therefore any person buying a Blackberry, be sure it promises only three things:

Photo courtesy Wikipedia

1.  Voice Communication
2. Access to Blackberry Internet Services.
3. Access to Internet through Browser on WiFi.

The legal problem is that while selling the phone they do not say so. Can you sell a device and do not disclose the hidden or postponed charges? What if you buy a car and every time you switch on radio or CD-Player it asks you to pay? Or what you buy a car but you may have to pay a monthly rental for its engine or exhaust pipe or some other important part of it which you can not remove from it? It would constitute cheating. Inducement to part with property (money) without any intention to deliver what was impliedly promised due to non-disclosure of essential terms. The correct approach would be to clearly mention on each box, the financial implications which would ensue after the sale is complete.

What they also do not disclose that their BIS piggy ride on local cellular service provider and naturally they both charge you together. Hence you end up paying about 4-5 times more than what you pay for normal Internet access through cellular phone. I was wondering why it is so. The reason is historical. In 1999, when Research In Motion, the Manufacturer of this phone, started, they were the only company providing data access on a mobile phone. In fact back then it was known as two-way pager. The world changed. Technology changed. Mobile phones changed. Cellular Service Providers Changed. Tariffs nose-dived. Borders shrunk. Research In Motion did not or could not change. Hence the same legacy pattern of tariff, which now look exorbitant. Problem is not that it charges so much but the real problem is it offers so less at these charges ie.: 1. Messaging, 2. email, 3. Device backup/sync. Since I am struck with it, I have to find some ways to deal with bye-passing this BIS. I shall post about my efforts about using the phone without help of RIM in future posts.

© Sandeep Bhalla

 

Relince fraud — CDMA Tab

Bangalore panorama

Last year around Diwali, Reliance Communications had launched its 3g Tab priced at Rs.12,999. What it willfully concealed that this tab was GSM as well as CDMA, as is apparent from its brochure as also the settings option inside the tab. But Reliance Communications, like other communication companies in India, is least consumer friendly. Misleading consumers for its marketing strategy, causes no ripples in its board room nor affect the poise of its illustrious chairman. At the launch of CDMA it is claimed:

” The 7-inch capacitive touch screen Tab with Android 2.3 OS (operating system) from Reliance Communications comes with a 512 MB RAM and micro SD external storage. Weighing 397 gram, it has a 2 MP rear camera and a front camera. The company, which launched 3G Tab last year, is offering a free 4 GB SD card with the CDMA version. The device supports up to 32 GB storage. The CDMA Tab was, on Monday, launched in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune. (See http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/gadgets/article2988770.ece)

All the above features are the same as in the Tab launched as 3g. In fact the tab is Sim locked as against the carrier lock which means that the Sim on which the tab is activated is the only Sim on which it will work. In fact the Reliance by misleading the people as well as Competition Commission by showing the same product as two different products, has successfully committed the unfair trade practice which is not permissible in law. All this while Competition Commission of India and TRAI are found napping.