Indian mobile operator Tata DoCoMo has launched SimplySwap, a handset protection service for its postpaid customers. New and existing subscribers who purchase a handset from the operator can enroll in the program, which will allow them to swap their devices for the same brand and model twice each year. All swapped handsets include a new six-month warranty. The SimplySwap service charge includes a monthly fee, which is included in customers’ bills as a well as a fee when the device exchange is completed. These charges depend on the type of device and start at INR 89.00 (US $1.46) for the monthly service fee and INR 400.00 (US $6.57) for the corresponding swap fee.
U.K. mobile operator Vodafone will launch a mobile wallet service next month. In a partnership with Visa, the MNO has developed services that will work with a SIM card that is embedded with NFC technology, which will enable mobile devices to be used for contactless payments. The Vodafone wallet, which will be available for Android phones, will allow users to pay for travel on the London Underground and to make person-to-person payments.
Three of the four major operators in Brazil have requested a stop or changes to the upcoming 30 September auction for 4G services of the 700 MHz band. Operators Vivo, Claro and TIM Brasil have all said that they disagree with certain parts of the 700 Mhz auction rules and want them changed. The carriers are complaining that although the rules set a minimum on how much the operators would need to pay TV companies for the cleanup of
spectrum, they do not set a cap on those payments. The operators also oppose the extra payment that is being imposed on telecom service providers that currently own 4G licenses—basically the major MNOs. The regulator, Anatel, has indicated that the auction will not be postponed; however, it will judge all appeals against various aspects of the 700 MHz band auction at a meeting on 18 September.
South Sudan’s largest mobile operator, Zain, has partnered with Huawei, a global technology solutions provider, and the United Nation’s peace and security promoting organization, UNESCO, to provide internet access to schools in the country. Zain’s base stations will be used to power the project, and the first phase of this initiative will bring internet access to more than 3,000 school children.
Verizon Enterprise Solutions, the business and government solution provider of U.S. mobile operator Verizon Wireless, has announced that Verizon Auto Share, a secure platform that will enable drivers to rent, drive and return cars and other vehicles, will be available before the end of 2014. The Scan & Go feature of the service’s app, which is available for smartphones and tablets, will provide drivers with access to their chosen vehicle and with the ability to start and drive it through a key fob that appears on the app. The app targets customers of rental car companies and auto dealers.
The above item appeared in a recent issue of The Tarifica Alert, a weekly resource that analyzes noteworthy developments in the telecoms industry from around the world. To access all of the latest articles and issues: http://www.tarifica.com/TarificaAlert.aspx