News Roundup: Google and RCom Partner for free data for Android devices, Aakash tablet controversy

Google and RCom have partnered to provide 1GB of free data usage to RCom customers who buy Google authorized 3G Android O/s Handset. The offer is applicable for both GSM and CDMA devices and the offer of 1GB of 3G data free (with 30 days validity) is open from 15th of April 2012 to 15th of June 2012 [FAQ/details].

New twist in Aakash tablet controversy

The fight between the two former partners (Canada’s DataWind Ltd, and its erstwhile assembly partner, Hyderabad’s Quad Electronics Solutions Pvt. Ltd), who have terminated their relationship and claim to have served legal notices to each other, is the latest chapter in the troubled saga of the government’s ambitious effort to bridge the digital divide with a low-cost product.

While Quad claims DataWind hasn’t paid it, the Canadian company alleges that its former partner infringed its intellectual property rights and tried to sell directly to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Rajasthan, the government-run technology school vested with the responsibility of procuring the tablets. [source]

Airtel 4G: Bharti Airtel in talks to buy 4G licences from Qualcomm for about Rs 6000 crore

Bharti Airtel is in advanced discussions with US chipmaker Qualcomm to buy its fourth-generation licences for about Rs 6,000 crore, an acquisition that will allow the country’s largest telecom firm to quickly launch 4G services in the key markets of Delhi and Mumbai. Qualcomm, which had won airwaves in four regions – Mumbai, Delhi, Haryana and Kerala – in the broadband wireless auction of 2010 for Rs 4,900 crore, had begun talks to sell its 74% stake in its Indian joint venture to Bharti later that year. [source]

Cash-strapped BSNL likely to lose ‘mini navratna’ status

This comes as the PSU has recorded a whopping loss of 6,384 crore for the year-ended March 2011, capping a series of dismal results in the last four years that saw the erstwhile monopoly being reduced to a bit player in the fast growing market. A mini-navratna company can place orders for projects and enter into joint ventures on its own without having to seek prior government approvals. [source]