News Roundup: Expedia to open retail outlets in India

Online travel agent, Expedia is planning to open retail outlets for the Indian market. Though first for the company globally, OTAs in India have taken a hybrid model to sell tickets/packages – MakeMyTrip has 54 stores across India. Yatra.com has 23 outlets, including one in Kathmandu, which it refers to as ‘Yatra holiday lounges’.[source]

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Madhu Koda charged for using Skype in jail

Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, is accused of keeping regular contact with his business partners through cell phones and Skype. He is accused of keeping regular contact with his friends, especially business partners and investors, settled across various places in India and countries like Dubai, Indonesia and Thailand, through cell phones and Skype. [source]

RIL plans to go it alone in telecom; will set up its own towers, says no plan to buy GTL or RCOM

Reliance Industries plans to go solo on its telecom initiative of providing high-end data offerings and is exploring the possibility of building its own mobile phones, a senior company official said at its annual general body meeting on Thursday. There was widespread speculation that RIL would buy GTL Infrastructure or tie up with RCOM to use the telecom tower infrastructure for its service rollout. [source]

Telcos miss deadline for detection of accurate user location

Telecom companies have missed the May-end deadline to comply with regulatory norms on detection of accurate user location and cited huge cost and technology unavailability as reasons for not meeting the target. The Department of Telecom (DoT) had amended licence conditions of telecom service providers and asked them to provide location details of users as part of call data records.

Earlier, Indian government had asked telecom operators to make Location Based Tracking operational By May 31st

India’s L1B visa rejections to the US at record high

Denial rates for Indian-born applicants for new L1B visa petitions filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which are used to transfer employees with ‘specialised knowledge’ into the United States, has surged from 2.8 per cent in FY 2008 to a record 13.4 per cent in FY 2011. [source]