Reliance Jio Prime membership deadline is close, but the company may reportedly extend the window for signing up as, it is allegedly struggling to meet its own targets for Jio Prime subscribers. According to the report, instead of March 31, users may get until April 30 to sign up for the Jio Prime plans. The report adds that so far 22-27 million Reliance Jio users have joined the Jio Prime plan, which is said to be 50 percent lower than the company’s expectations. This is roughly a quarter of the 100 million users the company had last announced. However, a final decision on the matter is apparently yet to be made.
WhatsApp accused of giving terrorists ‘a secret place to hide’
WhatsApp is facing heat from the UK government for not cooperating with the authorities over the London attack investigation, and handing over encrypted messages sent by the attacker Adrian Ajao. Due to the end-to-end encryption of WhatsApp messages, only the sender and recipient can see them; even the company cannot decrypt them. Home Secretary Amber Rudd called this “completely unacceptable,” and that Internet companies give terrorists a “secret place to hide.” She also said, “You can have a system whereby they can build it so we can have access to it [encrypted WhatsApp messages] when it is absolutely necessary,” thus seeking a backdoor to the WhatsApp encryption.
BSNL giving 1GB free data to non-Internet users
BSNL is giving 1GB of free data to users who have not used mobile Internet on its network. The state-owned telecom operator said this is an effort to promote the Digital India drive and a means to increase prepaid mobile Internet users. The free 1GB data, with validity of 28 days, will be available to users across India, and will be automatically credited to its subscribers who have never used Internet services. This comes just 10 days after the company launched the Rs. 339 prepaid pack that provides 2GB of 3G data per day to buyers.
Aadhaar-based eKYC a must for all mobile users
Aadhaar-based eKYC has been made mandatory for all new and existing mobile users in India, and the one billion-plus users with mobile connections will have to re-verify their identity via an eKYC process. Telecom operators which are members of the Cellular Operator’s Association of India (COAI) will meet this week to discuss the modalities of the process. All operators will have to inform existing subscribers – through advertisements in print and electronic media, their respective websites, and SMSs – about the Supreme Court order for Aadhaar-based eKYC process. The operators will have one year to complete the re-verification process.
Google Play gets ‘Free App of the Week’ section
The Google Play marketplace has received a new ‘Free App of the Week’ section, which will highlight the weekly offer on popular apps. The new section can be spotted on the Apps page in the Android marketplace, and can be seen on the mobile as well as desktop. It is currently not visible in India, but we can expect the feature to be rolled out soon. Card Wars: Adventure Time, priced at $2.99, is available to download for free for the next five days, as per the listing.
Panasonic Eluga Ray Max, Eluga Ray X with Arbo virtual assistant launched
Panasonic has launched the Eluga Ray Max and Eluga Ray X smartphones with its new Arbo virtual assistant, which utilises machine learning to evolve with the user’s usage patterns. Both Panasonic smartphones are exclusive to Flipkart, compatible with Jio’s 4G VoLTE network, run Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS, fingerprint sensor, and have dual-SIM functionality. Priced at Rs. 8,999, the new Panasonic Eluga Ray X has a 5.5-inch HD screen, 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MTK6737 chipset, 3GB of RAM, fingerprint sensor, 13-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, 5-megapixel front camera, 4000mAh battery, and 32GB internal storage with up to 64GB microSD card support.
On the other hand, the Panasonic Eluga Ray Max has a 5.2-inch full-HD screen, 1.4GHz octa-core Snapdragon 430 processor, 4GB of RAM, up to 128GB microSD card expansion support, 3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 fast-charging, 16-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, and 8-megapixel selfie snapper with front flash. The Eluga Ray Max variant with 32GB internal storage is priced at Rs. 11,499, whereas the 64GB model costs Rs. 12,499.
Railwire Saathi Wi-Fi kiosks to bring e-services to remote railway stations
Indian Railways has set up Wi-Fi kiosks, named Railwire Saathi, at approximately 500 stations to provide online services, including various government-run schemes, in far flung areas. The Wi-Fi kiosks will allow people to use services such as e-commerce, online banking, e-ticketing for train and bus services, and access to open school/ university and insurance schemes, among others. Other services expected with the Railwire Saathi initiative include automated form filling, and mobile and DTH recharges; the scheme is likely to launch by May.
Datawind MoreGMax 3G6 smartphone with free Internet for 1 year launched
Datawind has launched the MoreGMax 3G6 phablet in India at Rs. 5,999; the company is providing free Internet access for one year with the handset. The new Datawind MoreGMax 3G6 has a 6-inch screen, 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB internal storage, up to 32GB microSD card support, 8-megapixel rear camera, and 2-megapixel front camera. The phablet does not support 4G networks, and its battery capacity and Android version are not yet known. As for the free Internet access, it will be available only via the default UbiSurfer browser, and does not include audio/ video streaming or local downloads.