Showing posts from September, 2011

MTNL broadband plans are more expensive, less attractive

I have been a huge fan of MTNL Broadband on this blog. Out of all the internet service providers I have used, they have proved to be the most reliable and most reasonably priced till date and the customer service experience has not been bad either. Of course with the shrinking base of landline customers, it also stands to reason that they are able to service them better.

But the latest TriBand plans from MTNL Mumbai have been a huge disappointment. They favour low-bandwidth unlimited usage and are seem to be priced higher to discourage high-bandwidth, heavy data users. High bandwidth is a misnomer - 2 Mbps is not considered high speed in most developed countries and 256 kbps is not even broadband anyway. With most households now connecting multiple devices wirelessly to the internet (laptops, smartphones, even tablets), speeds below 512 kbps are not going to cut it anymore.

With multiple device access, and heavier web pages, the data download has also increased and I have experienced …

Property Tax for Mumbaikars simplified - pay online

Since last year, my housing society discontinued the practice of paying property tax on behalf of the residents and now hands our individual property tax bills to us to take care of. I have been once to the local Municipal Office, and while it's not as bad an experience as I thought it would be, it does take up half the day till I reach, park the car, stand in a queue and get the job done.

Thanks to my dad, I discovered the online property tax payment facility offered by the BMC. You can find it here.
To enter the site, you just need to enter the SAC number (usually an alphanumeric code) printed on your property tax bill. 
The payment gateway accepts payment through credit card or netbanking from a whole list of nationalised banks, but not from too many private ones. However, you can use the ItzCash or BillDesk facilities to pay through any credit card or netbanking account. A small service fee is levied per transaction, but in these days, with the petrol prices what they are, yo…

Will Daily Deals do well in India?

Ben Parr's  post on Mashable sums up the rather bleak international scenario for daily deals sites - things are not looking good. Groupon, which created the online coupons category, is struggling to make profits despite large revenues. Facebook has withdrawn its Facebook Deals product after a short experimental stint and Yelp is scaling down its deals offerings, with an intent to exit the category. It appears that the industry is headed for a shakedown and only a few players are going to survive.

Meanwhile, the sector has just begun to explode in India. At least 30 different players, some large, some small, have sprung up. The market leader is the homegrown Snapdeal, which recently raised 40 Million USD in funding. Times Group, EBay India, Rediff and Groupon (via a buy out of have also entered the fray. Makes you wonder whether the bubble will burst in India soon, as it already has abroad

But at least for now, the going is good. Data shows that 4.6 million users acc…

Low cost tablets hit the Indian market, will they succeed?

According to this report published on, India saw fairly healthy tablet sales in 2010-11. A total of 85,000 tablets were sold from November 2010 to March 2011, with Samsung's Galaxy Tab taking a lion's share of 85%. Apple's iPad 1 was launched in India in April 2010, but managed only 5.9% market share in the same period. The same article mentions that tablet sales in India are projected as 250,00 units for the current financial year. That's a drop in the ocean compared to the approximately 40 million iPads that Apple will be shipping globally in 2011.

All major tablets launched internationally including the iPad 2, the Motorola Xoom, Acer Iconia and the Galaxy Tab 750 are now available in India While these premium offerings are hovering at or above the Rs.30,000 mark, there are also some low cost options.

Reliance has launched a 3G tablet and the specs are decent for the asking price of Rs.12,999. You get a 7 inch capacative TFT/LCD screen, 800 MHz processor, A…

Could we have an India-specific mobile platform?

Chinese search giant Baidu recently announced  the launch of an Android-based mobile platform called Yi, which means 'easy' in English. Currently, the platform comprises a set of tools available to developers to create mobile apps for Baidu products and services. But there seem to be strong indications that Baidu is taking steps towards developing an operating system with a user interface, which will eventually find its way onto phones. Chinese e-commerce portal Alibaba has already launched its own Linux-based Aliyun OS.

With 200 million registered users, Baidu is one of the largest sites in the world - to be precise, the sixth largest. And as China's Google, with 80% market share, it certainly has enough user base to develop its own mobile operating system.

Update : Dell has just confirmed that it will partner with Baidu to produce tablets and handsets.

There's more. Now the South Korean government has plans to join hands with local companies like Samsung and LG to …