Samsung Galaxy S8 Launch Set for March 29

Samsung Galaxy S8 is launching next month, Samsung has revealed. Samsung at its Sunday keynote in Barcelona confirmed that Galaxy Unpacked 2017 will be held on March 29, where the company is set to unveil its next flagship, the Galaxy S8. Previous reports indicate the smartphone will only go on sale by April 21.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Launch Set for March 29

Teasing the launch event, Samsung wrote in its official invite, “On March 29, Samsung Electronics will unveil the newest Galaxy as part of its endeavour to unbox your phone.”

The invite further said, “The forthcoming addition to the Galaxy line-up represents the start of a new era, by reshaping the device that has over the years become an indispensable tool in our everyday lives.” Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked 2017 event will be also live-streamed on the company’s website.

Thanks to a flurry of leaks, we already know that the Samsung Galaxy S8 will be unveiled alongside the Galaxy S8+.

Based on leaks so far, the company is expected to give the Galaxy S8 a design overhaul with no physical home button at the front. The company is also said to be adding a dedicated button for Bixby – Samsung’s new AI assistant which will work with native apps as well. For specifications, the Galaxy S8 is widely rumoured to be powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with 4GB or 6GB of RAM. The handset is said to pack 64GB inbuilt storage while come with support for expandable storage via microSD card (up to 128GB). The Samsung Galaxy S8 is likely to sport 3250mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Tablet, Galaxy Book 2-in-1 Hybrid Launched at MWC 2017

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 (seen below) and the Samsung Galaxy Book (seen above), the two latest tablet hybrids from Samsung, were unveiled at Samsung’s MWC 2017 event. Both come with the S Pen stylus in the box, and while both support Pogo Keyboard Covers, only the Galaxy Book comes with it in the box – making it a 2-in-1 tablet hybrid. The Galaxy Tab S3 runs Android 7.0 Nougat, while the Galaxy Book runs Windows 10.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Tablet, Galaxy Book 2-in-1 Hybrid Launched at MWC 2017

For now, price and availability details have not been shared by the company. Starting with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 – the new Samsung tablet sports a 9.7-inch QXGA (2048×1536 pixels) Super AMOLED display, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC (2 cores at 2.15GHz and 2 cores at 1.6GHz) coupled with 4GB of RAM.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with flash and 4K video recording, and a 5-megapixel front camera. It comes with 32GB of inbuilt storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB).

The tablet will be available in Wi-Fi only and LTE models, while other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11ac with 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth v4.2, GPS, and USB 3.1 Type-C port. The Galaxy Tab S3 measures in at 237.3x169x6mm and weighs 429 grams on the Wi-Fi only version, and 434 grams for the LTE variant. Sensors on board include accelerometer, fingerprint sensor, gyroscope, geometric sensor, and RGB sensor.

Coming to the Samsung Galaxy Book – the 2-in-1 hybrid is the first Windows device with support for the S Pen stylus. The company has launched the hybrid in two screen sizes – 10.6-inch and 12-inch. Both feature some differences in specifications. The 10.6-inch display uses TFT technology and sports a full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) resolution, while the 12-inch display uses Super AMOLED technology and boasts of a full-HD (2160×1440 pixels) resolution.

The 10.6-inch Samsung Galaxy Book comes with a dual-core 7th generation Intel Core m3 clocked at 2.6GHz, while the 12-inch Samsung Galaxy Book features a dual-core 7th generation Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 3.1GHz. While the 10.6-inch variant comes with 4GB of RAM in both 64GB and 128GB inbuilt storage models, the 12-inch variant comes with 4GB of RAM in the 128GB storage model, and 8GB of RAM in the 256GB storage model.

The 10.6-inch Galaxy Book model comes with only a 5-megapixel fixed focus webcam, while the 12-inch model comes with a 13-megapixel autofocus rear camera and a 5-megapixel webcam. Both sort USB 3.1 Type-C ports, though the 12-inch model has two instead of one. The smaller model weighs 640 grams for the Wi-Fi only variant, and 650 grams for the LTE variant, while the larger model weighs in at 754 grams for both the Wi-Fi and LTE models. The smaller model has a 30.4WHr battery, while the larger model has a 39.04WHr battery. Dimensions are 261.2×179.1×8.9mm and 291.3×199.8×7.4mm respectively.

Getting to the common specifications – both the Samsung Galaxy Book models support expandable storage via microSD card (up to 256GB), and connectivity options beyond LTE include Wi-Fi 802.11ac with 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth v4.1, and GPS. Sensors on board include accelerometer and an ambient light sensor.

Speaking about the launch, DJ Koh, President of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics, said, “At Samsung, we are committed to expanding the boundaries of the mobile and computing experience by providing best-in-class products that satisfy mobile users’ diverse needs and demands. Our new tablet portfolio is built with premium technology that delivers a productive and versatile experience to consumers, designed for users at home, work or on the go.”

Ericsson Suffers in North America, to Cut Costs Further

Ericsson Suffers in North America, to Cut Costs Further

Sweden’s Ericsson said sales in North America, its biggest market, had fallen in the past three months, identifying another of its weaknesses after the mobile telecom equipment maker’s dramatic profit warning last week.

The company, the world’s biggest maker of mobile network equipment, also said it would introduce further cost-cutting to deal with a weaker mobile broadband market.

Ericsson shocked investors last week when it issued the profit warning – indicating a plunge of more than 90 percent in quarterly operating profit and tumbling sales.

The Swedish company is struggling with a drop in spending by telecoms companies, with new 5G technology still years away, and facing stiff competition from Finland’s Nokia and China’s Huawei.

The 8 percent reduction in North American sales was the second consecutive quarter of falls and was worse than expected, according to a SEB research note.

That decline was mainly due to lower sales in Professional Services – the business that supports and helps maintain networks.

Sprint Corp, operator of the fourth largest US mobile network, renegotiated a managed services contract with Ericsson in July, cutting its value by around 50 percent after the previous $5 billion, 7-year agreement expired.

US sales were also dragged down by one customer’s lower spending on mobile broadband, the company said, without giving details.

Ericsson had said last week that sales fell most in markets with weakening economies such as Brazil, Russia and the Middle East. Sales in Europe were hit by the completion of mobile broadband projects in 2015.

Adding to its troubles, the company has been without a permanent CEO since ousting Hans Vestberg in July.

Weak market
Ericsson shares, which plunged around 20 percent on last week’s profit warning, hit 8-year lows on Friday, down by as much as five percent on news of the broad decline in sales across nearly all business areas, weak cash flow and a poor near term outlook.

Year-on-year sales declined in most regions, including Europe, India and mainland China – with the only exception being South East Asia and Oceania. But the company blamed the overall weak global market.

“In our view we have not lost market share, but this is market driven,” acting CEO Jan Frykhammar told Reuters. Some analysts took issue with this, saying details in the poor company results showed specific problems for Ericsson.

Nokia is due to publish its quarterly results on October 27 when a broader picture of the market will emerge.

Nokia’s third quarter revenue is seen at EUR 5.9 billion ($6.4 billion), up 3 percent on the previous quarter. Ericsson sales fell six percent from the previous quarter.

“We will implement further short-term actions mainly to reduce cost of sales, in order to adapt our operations to weaker mobile broadband demand,” Frykhammar added in a separate statement.

Having been slower to cut costs than recently merged rivals Nokia and Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson has now announced plans to axe thousands of jobs, but analysts said third-quarter results showed the challenges facing the firm as it looks for a new leader.

There was no update on the search for a permanent CEO. The company could try to hire a chief executive with no track record in the telecoms industry after looking beyond the obvious candidates.

Ericsson’s operating profit in the quarter fell to SEK 0.3 billion ($33.7 million) from SEK 5.1 billion a year ago, a 93 percent fall, while sales dropped 14 percent to 51.1 billion, the company confirmed on Friday.

 

Telecom News Vodafone, Tata Teleservices Pay Rs. 12,499 Crores to DoT for Spectrum Purchase

Vodafone, Tata Teleservices Pay Rs. 12,499 Crores to DoT for Spectrum Purchase

Telecom operators Vodafone and Tata Teleservices Wednesday made payments of Rs. 10,100 crores and Rs. 2,300 crores, respectively, to the government for spectrum they bought in the recently-concluded auction.

The two telecom companies made the payment to theDepartment of Telecom (DoT), a day before October 20, which is the last date for making spectrum payment.

Vodafone, which emerged as the most aggressive bidder in the recent spectrum auction, paid Rs 10,100 crore under the deferred payment option, which involves part upfront payment and balance payment in ten yearly instalments after a two-year moratorium, DoT sources told PTI.

In the case of deferred payment option, telecom operators are required to pay 50 per cent of the bid amount upfront for spectrum bought in 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz, and 2500MHz bands, and 25 percent of the bid amount in the case of spectrum in the 800MHz band.

Vodafone also paid a financial bank guarantee of Rs. 1,900 crores, sources added.

The country’s second-largest telecom operator had made bids worth Rs. 20,280 crores to acquire spectrum in all its key telecom circles across 1800, 2100 and 2500MHz bands, and its overall spectrum spend placed it ahead of other rivals such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and the newcomer Reliance Jio.

Tata Teleservices also made its spectrum payment today. The company – which had fought fiercely to protect its spectrum holding in three circles, including the highly-lucrative Mumbai market – paid about Rs. 2,300 crores to DoT for airwaves it bought in the recent auction.

When contacted, both Vodafone and Tata Teleservices declined to comment on the issue.

Tata Teleservices bought airwaves worth Rs. 4,619 crores in circles of Mumbai, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh in 1800MHz band, during spectrum auctions which concluded recently.

It was crucial for the Tata Group company to get spectrum in the Mumbai and Maharashtra circles as its licence in these lucrative circles is set to expire next year.

The spectrum auction – which was touted as India’s largest sale of mobile airwaves – ended on October 6 after merely five days of bidding and garnered bids of just Rs. 65,789 crores against an expectation of Rs. 5.6 lakh crores, leaving nearly 60 percent of airwaves, including premium 4G bands, unsold.

Bharti Airtel, the nation’s biggest telecom company, bought Rs. 14,244 crores worth of spectrum, while Idea Cellular put in Rs. 12,798 crores of bids.

Newcomer Reliance Jio spent Rs. 13,672 crores on spectrum buying. Other operators which bought spectrum included RCom (about Rs. 65 crores) and Aircel (Rs. 111 crores).

 

RailTel to Provide Digital Connectivity in Far-Flung Areas

RailTel to Provide Digital Connectivity in Far-Flung Areas

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu Friday asked RailTel to adopt a “stand alone” approach to provide digital connectivity in far-flung areas.

Congratulating RailTel on its annual day, Prabhu said it plays a crucial role in providing digital connectivity across the country and has become the backbone of telecommunication network.

“We are facing challenges as India is a very big country. Some villages in the far-flung areas face difficulty in having connectivity, he said.

RailTel, railways’ telecom PSU, is at the forefront in providing nation-wide Broadband Telecom and Multimedia Network in all parts of the country in addition to modernisation of train operations and administration network systems for the Railways.

“We must have rural connectivity. Some villages in far-flung areas need stand alone solution to get digitally connected and RailTel should do that, Prabhu said.

RailTel, a telecom services provider, has a pan-India optic fiber network covering all important cities and many rural areas of the country.

He said through the RailTel network digital connectivity can be used for providing telemedicine facility, education and entertainment in remote areas.

With its pan-India high capacity network, RailTel is currently working towards creating a knowledge society at various fronts and has been selected for implementation of various mission-mode projects in the telecom field.

Prabhu said the country has a large youth population and we must fulfill their aspirations.

Speaking on the occasion, Google Vice-President Rajan Anandan said, “We are excited to provide very high speed free Wi-Fi service in partnership with RailTel. It is an important milestone.”

RailTel in association with Google is expected to provide free Wi-Fi facility at 400 stations by the end of 2018. Describing the experience in providing free Wi-Fi service at crowded stations as a “very exciting journey”, Google Vice-President said “Once we provide Wi-Fi at 400 stations there will be about 300 million Indians who go through the stations and will have access to very high speed Wi-Fi service.”

“300 million population is very large as India’s total Internet population is about 350 million so we are incredibly excited about it,” he said.

 

Reliance Jio SIM Offer Extended to These Smartphones

Reliance Jio SIM Offer Extended to These Smartphones

  • Reliance Jio SIM offer comes with 3 months of usage
  • Offer extended to Sony, Videocon, Sansui smartphones
  • Customers can walk in to Reliance stores to get a Jio SIM

The demand for Reliance Jio SIM is showing no signs of slowing down, and the telco is adding OEMs to its preview offer at the same rate. The names of Sony and smartphone bigwigs Videocon and Sansui are the latest to be added to the list of manufacturers whose smartphones qualify for a free Reliance Jio SIM.

All you need to do is to walk in to a Reliance Digital, Digital Xpress, or Digital Xpress Mini stores and submit your KYC documents. The offer is also applicable at select third-party retail outlets.

If you have one of these smartphones, you now qualify for a free Reliance Jio SIM:

Sony smartphones
Xperia X A, Xperia X A Ultra, Xperia X(F5122), Xperia Z5 Dual(E6883), Xperia Z5 Premium Dual

Videocon smartphones
Graphite1 V45ED, Krypton 3 V50JG, Q1, V50FA3, V50FG6

Sansui smartphones
S50 FD45S

Just follow these steps on a qualifying smartphone:

  1. Download & Open MyJio App from Play Store
  2. Tap on Get Jio SIM on the Banner
  3. Tap on Agree & Get Jio offer
  4. Select your location from the drop down
  5. Read through the steps and click on Next
  6. Offer Code can be viewed on the screen. Note down your offer code.
  7. Check the required documents for submission and visit the nearest Reliance Store.

 

While some stores are now offering a Reliance Jio SIM to anyone with a 4G SIM, others are still sticking by the book and providing them only to owners on smartphones that are on the ‘official’ whitelist.

As we’ve reported before, Reliance Jio SIM cards are also available to owners of the following smartphones and for all Lyf-branded smartphones:

Samsung phones
Grand Prime 4G, Galaxy J1, Galaxy J2, Galaxy J7, Galaxy J5, Galaxy S5 Plus, Galaxy A5, Galaxy A7, Galaxy Core Prime 4G, Galaxy S6, Galaxy J3 (2016), ON7, Galaxy A8, Galaxy S6 Edge, ON5, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Galaxy Note 4 Edge, Galaxy Note 5 Duos, Galaxy S5 Neo, S7, Galaxy A5 (2016), Galaxy A7 (2016), S7 Edge, A8 VE, J5 (2016), J7 (2016), ON5 Pro, ON7 Pro, Galaxy J2 (2016), J Max, Galaxy A9, Galaxy A9 Pro, Galaxy C5, Galaxy C7, Galaxy J2 Pro, Galaxy Note 7.

LG phones
K332 (K7 LTE), K520DY (Stylus 2), K520DY, H860 (LG G5), K500I (X Screen), K535D (Stylus 2 Plus), LGH630D (G4 Stylus 4G) & LGH 442 (LGC70 Spirit LTE)

Micromax phones
Bolt Selfie, Canvas 5, Canvas 5 Lite, Canvas 5 Lite Special Edition, Canvas 6, Canvas 6 Pro, Canvas Amaze 4G, Canvas Blaze 4G, Canvas Blaze 4G Plus, Canvas Evok, Canvas Fire 4G, Canvas Fire 4G plus, Canvas Fire 6, Canvas Juice 4G, Canvas Knight 2, Canvas Mega 2, Canvas Mega 4G, Canvas Nitro 4G, Canvas Pace 4G, Canvas Play 4G, Canvas Pulse 4G, Canvas Sliver 5, Canvas Tab, Canvas Unite 4, Canvas Xpress 4G, Unite 4 Plus, Unite 4 Pro

Yu phones
Yu Yureka, Yu Yutopia, YU Note, Yu Yuphoria, Yunicorn, Yunique, Yuphoria, Yureka Plus, Yureka S

Asus phones
ZenFone 2 Laser (ZE550KL), Zenfone 2 (ZE551ML), Zenfone Max (ZC550KL), Zenfone 2 Laser 5.0 (ZE500KL), Zenfone 2 (ZE550ML), Zenfone Selfie( ZD551KL), Zenfone 2 Laser (ZE601KL), Zenfone Zoom(ZX551ML), Zenfone Go 5.0 LTE (T500), Zenfone 3 ZE552KL, Zenfone 3 Laser( ZC551KL), Zenfone 3( ZE520KL), Zenfone 3( ZS570KL), Zenfone 3( ZU680KL)

Gionee phones
E8, F103 Pro, F103(1GB), F103(2GB), F103(3GB), M4, M5, M5 Lite, M5 Lite CDMA, M5 Plus, P5L, S Plus, S6, S6s, S7, V6L

Karbonn phones
Aura 1, Aura Power, Quattro L45 IPS, Quattro L50 HD, Quattro L51 HD, Quattro L52 VR, Quattro L55 HD

Lava phones
A71, A72, A76, A76 Plus, A88, A89, A97, Ivory s 4g, Lava V5 M, Pixel V2, V2s, X10, X11, X12, X17, X28, X38, X41, X41 Plus, X46, X50, X50 Plus, X81

Xolo phones
Black-1X M, era 1X, era 2X, era 4G, era 4K, era X

Panasonic phones
ELUGA L, ELUGA Switch, ELUGA Icon, T45, ELUGA I2 ( 1GB ), ELUGA L2, ELUGA Mark, ELUGA Turbo, ELUGA Arc, ELUGA I2 2GB, ELUGA I2 3GB, ELUGA I3, ELUGA Icon 2, ELUGA A2, ELUGA Note, P55 Novo 4G, ELUGA Arc 2, P77

TCL phones
FIT 5.5, Pride T500L, TCL 560, TCL 562

Alcatel phones
OneTouch X1, Pixi 4 -5, POP Star, POP3, POP4

 

At the moment, a Reliance Jio SIM comes with 3 months of unlimited calling, data, SMS, and access to Jio services like JioOnDemand. Reliance Jio – which is currently testing its network – is expected to do a commercial launch of its network in the ‘coming months’, according to Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Industries Limited Chairman. Ambani is said to have recently met Telecom Secretary JS Deepak to discuss rollout plans for Reliance Jio, which has accused incumbent players of not releasing sufficient interconnection ports during its test run of services.