Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MTS is here

Hear ye Hear ye :D

MTS, a new mobile services company enters the already overcrowded Indian Mobile Telephony market.

Quick tablet facts :
Full Form of MTS
Mobile TeleSystems

Type of service 

Launch offer for subscribers 
One million minutes of free talk time to subscribers

Brand Name of the Service provider 

Name of the parent company
Sistema Shyam Teleservices Limited (SSTL)

Joint Venture between
AFK Sistema and Shyam Telecom

Who is Sistema?
AFK Sistema is a Russian holding company, who owns MTS. MTS provides mobile services in the CIS region. (Commonwealth of Independent States - an alliance made up of states that had been part of the Soviet Union before its dissolution in 1991)

Who is Shyam Telelink?
Shyam Telecom's principal activity is to manufacture telecommunications equipment in India. Shyam Telelink is the mobile service division's brand name. Shyam Telelink has been a service provider in Rajasthan since April 2008, providing CDMA services under the brand name of Rainbow with an approximate subscriber base of 270,000.

SSTL has obtained the licenses for 21 Indian Territories, of which it is launching operations first in Tamil Nadu(yay!) followed by Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. MTS will be replacing Rainbow's operations in Rajasthan.

You can check out the tariff details and other information at the MTS website

Interestingly MTS offers only GSM services world over. Apparently, they applied for GSM licenses in India too, but ended up with CDMA licenses. 

MTS has joined the CDMA operator club in the country which already includes Reliance Communications,Tata Teleservices, Virgin Mobile, MTNL(few circles).

Customer charges for use of ATMs

I came across this item somewhere - It claims that no fee will be charged for the use of other bank ATMs for cash withdrawals in India. Any body knows if this is actually effective now???

Date: Mar 10, 2008

Customer charges for use of ATMs for cash withdrawal and balance enquiry

RBI/2007-2008/ 260
DPSS No.1405 / 02.10.02 / 2007-2008

March 10, 2008
The Chairman / Chief Executive Officer
(All Scheduled commercial banks including RRBs)

Dear Sir
Customer charges for use of ATMs for cash withdrawal and balance enquiry
1. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) have gained prominence as a delivery channel for banking transactions in India . Banks have been deploying ATMs to increase their reach. While ATMs facilitate a variety of banking transactions for customers, their main utility has been for cash withdrawal and balance enquiry. As at the end of December 2007, the number of ATMs deployed in India was 32,342. Commensurate with the branch network, larger banks have deployed more ATMs. Most banks prefer to deploy ATMs at locations where they have a large customer base or expect considerable use. To increase the usage of ATMs as a delivery channel, banks have also entered into bilateral or multilateral arrangements with other banks to have inter-bank ATM networks.
2. It is evident that the charges levied on the customers vary from bank to bank and also vary according to the ATM network that is used for the transaction. Consequently, a customer is not aware, before hand, of the charges that will be levied for a particular ATM transaction, while using an ATM of another bank. This generally discourages the customer from using the ATMs of other banks. It is, therefore, essential to ensure greater transparency.
3. International experience indicates that in countries such as UK , Germany and France , bank customers have access to all ATMs in the country, free of charge except when cash is withdrawn from white label ATMs or from ATMs managed by non-bank entities. There is also a move, internationally, to regulate the fee structure by the regulator from the public policy angle. The ideal situation is that a customer should be able to access any ATM installed in the country free of charge through an equitable cooperative initiative by banks.
4. In view of this, RBI had placed on its website an Approach paper and sought public comments. The comments received have been analysed. Based on the feed back a framework of service charges would be implemented by all banks as under:





For use of own ATMs for any purpose

Free (with immediate effect)


For use of other bank ATMs for balance enquiries

Free (with immediate effect)


For use of other bank ATMs for cash withdrawals

  • No bank shall increase the charges prevailing as on December 23, 2007 (i.e. the date of release of Approach Paper on RBI website)
  • Banks which are charging more than Rs.20 per transaction shall reduce the charges to a maximum of Rs.20 per transaction by March 31, 2008
  • Free - with effect from April 1, 2009.

5. For the services at (1) and (2) above, the customer will not be levied any charge under any other head and the service will be totally free.
6. For the service number (3) the charge of Rs.20/- indicated will be all inclusive and no other charges will be levied to the customers under any other head irrespective of the amount of withdrawal.
7. The service charges for the following types of cash withdrawal transactions may be determined by the banks themselves:
(a) cash withdrawal with the use of credit cards
(b) cash withdrawal in an ATM located abroad.

8. Please acknowledge the receipt of the circular. A copy of the circular issued to your branches on this subject may please be submitted to us in due course.
Yours faithfully
(Arun Pasricha)
General Manager

Gmail in Indian Languages

This post is for those of you who cant read my previous post.

Gmail now gives the facility to type email messages in five Indian languages, Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu. This can be turned on in the Rich Text formatting toolbar in the Compose/Reply textarea.

This is already there in blogger for quite a while now, so I'm not entirely surprised that its available in Gmail. I would say, it was about time that they brought it in here as well.

So all Indian language fans can rejoice and mail each other in their fav languages.

Five languages are being offered as part of the service now.
Hope the Sena scions dont get offended.

இப்போது ஜீ மெயில் இந்திய மொழிகளில் !

இப்போது ஜீ மெயில் இந்திய மொழிகளில் !
ஜீ மெயிலில் இப்போது தமிழில் மெசேஜை டைப் செய்யும் வசதி அறிமுகமாகி உள்ளது. தமிழ் மட்டும் அல்லாமல், ஹிந்தி, கன்னடம், தெலுகு மற்றும் மலையாளத்திலும் ஈ மெயில் அனுப்பலாம். இந்த வசதியின் தட்டச்சு "Phonetic" முறையில் செயல்படுகிறது. அதனால் தமிழ் கீ போர்டு அறியாதவர்கள் கூட இதனை சுலபமாக பயன்படுத்தலாம்.

இந்த சேவையை உப்யோகிகப்பது மிக சுலபம்.
புதிய ஈ மெயிலுக்காக "கம்போஸ் மெயில்" கிளிக் செய்த பின் திரையில் மெசேஜை டைப் செய்திட ஒரு பெரிய சதுரமான பாக்ஸ் காட்டப்படும். இதில் Bold, Italic, underline, போன்ற formatting இற்கான toolbar இல் இடது பக்கம் ஓரத்தில் 'அ ' அல்லது 'अ' என்ற எழுத்தைக்கொண்ட ஒரு பட்டனை காண்பீர்கள். அதனை கிளிக் செய்தால் தமிழில் டைப் செய்திடலாம். மொழியை மாற்றுவதற்கு 'அ ' எழுத்தின் அருகில் உள்ள சிறிய முக்கோணத்தை கிளிக் செய்தால் பிடித்தமான மொழியை தேர்ந்தெடுக்கலாம்.

Gmail 'inbox'

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Customer Care in 2050

Here is an email i got recently, that I would like to share with my blog readers - 

Customer care in 2050
Operator : "Thank you for calling Pizza Galaxy Kholi . May I have your..."
Customer: "Hello, can I order.."

Operator : "Can I have your multi purpose card number first, Sir?"
Customer: "It's eh..., hold........ ..on..... .889861356102049 - 998-45-54610"

Operator : "OK... you're... Mr Singh and you're calling from 43rd Floor,Akask View Apt, Cantt Road, ........
Your home number is 4094! 2366, your office 76452302 and your mobile is 0142662566.
Which number are you calling from now Sir?"
Customer: "Home! How did you get all my phone numbers?

Operator : "We are connected to the system Sir"
Customer: "May I order your Seafood Pizza..."

Operator : "That's not a good idea Sir"
Customer: "How come?"

Operator : "According to your medical records, you have high blood pressure and even higher cholesterol level Sir"
Customer: "What?... What do you recommend then?"

Operator : "Try our Low Fat Hokkien Mee Pizza. You'll like it"
Customer: "How do you know for sure?"

Operator : "You borrowed a book entitled "Popular Hokkien Dishes" from the National Library last week Sir"
Customer: "OK I give up.... Give me three family size ones then, how much will that cost?"

Operator : "That should be enough for your family of 10, Sir. The total is Rs 2249.99"
Customer: "Can I pay by! credit card?"

Operator : "I'm afraid you have to pay us cash, Sir. Your credit card is over the limit and you owe your bank Rs10,720.55 since October last year. That's not including the late payment charges on your housing loan, Sir."
Customer: "I guess I have to run to the neighbourhood ATM and withdraw some cash before your guy arrives"

Operator : "You can't Sir. Based on the records, you've reached your daily limit on machine withdrawal today"
Customer: "Never mind just send the pizzas, I'll have the cash ready. How long is it gonna take anyway?"

Operator : "About 45 minutes Sir, but if you can't wait you can always come and collect it on your scooter.. ."
Customer: " What!"

Operator : "According to the details in system, you own a Lambretta 1969 Vintage Scooter,...registra tion number USE 8999..."
Customer: " ????"

Operator : "Is there anything else Sir?" 
Customer: "Nothing... by the way... aren't you giving me that 3 free bottles of cola as advertised?"

Operator : "We normally would Sir, but based on your records you're also diabetic.... ... "
Customer: #$$^%&$@$%^...beeep 

Operator : "Better watch your language Sir. Remember on 11th Nov 1986 you were convicted for using abusive language on a policeman who stopped you for driving through a one way, in fact you were driving a 1973 Ambassador bearing registeration number UTD 4267....... "
Customer: [Faints]


Monday, March 23, 2009

The business of internet

Yours truly has been officially tottering around the web for about 7 months now and I have discovered that there are a number of services for your site that you can just pay and use.

These are the services that I have discovered so far on the internet...
There are Pay and use services for
Site analytics (Anyway who wants to pay for this after Google analytics?)
Toolbars for your website
Feedback forms (this one is good, will update the post as soon as i find others)

Which set me thinking about the business of internet... People/organisations running their businesses on the Internet have triggered so many peripheral or support Internet businesses. Interesting how the world works.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Foldable keyboard

Khairil Yousuf has written about his foldable keyboard here. Do check it out.

Half a Keyboard??

There are a lot of companies that sell accessories for the computer/laptop.

is one such company that is becoming popular in India. They have some really cool products especially for laptops, like a small light that throws light on the keyboard(powered by the usb port), a laptop holder that will hold a laptop firmly on a person's lap, a mini fan (again powered through the usb port), external keyboards, USB port hubs, et al.

But has anybody seen a working Half a Keyboard??

Well, I was shocked too, at first. But here are some images to prove it:


And here is a link to a demo of how this half keyboard actually works

And here is the link to the keyboard's website

IE troubles