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Showing posts from 2008

Storyofstuff.com

This is a 'must' visit site. You will be amazed to know about the effects of material economics...

Reduce waste, and save the planet.

"Save our world. Good planets are hard to find."

Cheers

Santosh

Teaser #1



Teaser #2



Teaser #3

Excerpts from interview with Kiran Mazumdar Shaw- CNBC TV18

Watch this video...

Nice stuff

Cheers

Santosh

Management-Ally 9: Believe in strangers

Some forwarded me a link to join a new website www.yepme.com. They claim to be India's first recommendation Engine.

The offer of sending invites and recommending places allows you to accumulate points and thus you are eligible to get your free Reebok shoes (the prime reason for me to click the link)

It makes me wonder, why would someone listen to a recommendations of a complete stranger?? Can i really be an 'influencer' to promote some service or product, that will influence a person from Mumbai or Bangalore to try it. Sounds, far fetched.

I never asked the person sitting on the neighboring table in a restaurant what he had ordered or how the food tasted. Neither do I ask someone at a retail outlet about a particular product. Then why would I go online, read a recommendation of some completely unknown, and the decide. And most cases, I go by the waiter/chef's recommendation or the salesman's advice...I am sure this will be true in most cases.

This thought reflects in …

India ranks 4th in world with 81 Million Internet Users

Strange.. Most of the Internet stats report from India claim that India has an internet user base of 30 Million to 38 Million. But to quote by Internet Governance Forum - India has been ranked fourth among the top ten nations in the world with 81 million internet users even as the world aggregate touched 134,85,72,040 by the end of 2007.

For reading the entire article click economictimes.com

I do not know the methodology which was followed and how the figures were arrived to.. But at 81 Million users, we can emphatically say that Internet in India is no longer a medium for niche audience, but is a 'mass' media.

It is high time that we marketers recognize this and have a proper online marketing strategy - and not do online campaigns as an after thought.

Cheers

Santosh

10 things i have learnt from the Mumbai terror attack

I have learnt -

1) Life has no guarantee
2) Terror has no name, no face, but follows a religion
3) We expect too much from too few
4) Better to die once like a soldier, than live forever
5) Media are like vultures, they are where the dead bodies are
6) Politicians are like hyenas, they feed along with the vultures
7) India was invaded - yesterday, today, and will be invaded tomorrow.
8) We all live in fool's paradise
9) The war in future will be fought in streets and buildings not on fronts
10) The bells toll for me

I have also learnt, that I too shed tears...

Santosh

Management-Ally, Part 8: Online Behaviour – Why people don’t behave the way the do…

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It has been quite a while since I have written anything under the Management-Ally series. I had in my early days of blogging started the following series:
1. Management-Ally: Topics of interests that would give my perspective of Management related topics.
2. Manage-Mentally: The topics under this heading were usually humorous in nature. It gave my view of a specific management related topic in a lighter vein.
I have decided to re-start writing articles under these headings. Under this Management-Ally series, I wanted to cover my thoughts on Online Behaviour – why people don’t behave the way they do in real life
There is a vast difference in the behaviour of people when they are online or offline. We all have been conditioned to the fact that Internet enables an easy and convenient way of communicating with each other. But these online interactions are not necessarily, an extension of our real life behaviour but a medium for surfacing our deep rooted feelings/actions. A common example woul…

Goodbye - God of Offside

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Thank you Dada


Cheers

Santosh

General Elections in India - Canvassing Digital Style

The US Elections and the results have been historic. The way the campaign was fought and the results there of, are the cocksure way of the way the wind blows. Much more the results (it was a foregone conclusion that the anti-incumbency votes would prevail in this election), I was keener on the way the election was fought.

The use of Online and digital media in the US election was awesome. It will be talked about and replicated in the developed world and maybe in countries like India too.

India is going in for its General Elections in early 2009. In the meantime there are lot of states that would be going to elections. The elections in Delhi are slated for end of November. Already candidates sending emails to residents of specific locality has come in news articles.

India has substantial online users (close to 35 Million) and a large population who have mobile phones (over 300 Million in the last count). Reaching out to this audience would be of paramount importance to all parties.

From an…

What makes Web shoppers click “Buy” or “Bye”?

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There’s big money being spent in the Internet marketplace. Last year, more than $175 billion passed through the Internet in the form of airline tickets, insurance premiums, online bill payments and paperback books, among thousands of other items. But for many consumers, at some point in the process, the online transaction came to a screeching halt. Perhaps, the customer became frustrated with the typing in their shipping information. Maybe the person got cold feet just as it came time to type in a credit card number. Maybe the customer was never able to find the right product in a vast catalog of products.

TeaLeaf, a San Francisco startup that analyzes online consumer behavior, has released a study that looks closely at e-commerce stop points - the place in the online process where a potential customer “walks away” from the sale. Clearly, TeaLeaf has reason to commission such a study - but it was interesting that the company looked beyond the stop-points of a sale - which is its sweet …

UNESCO ANNOUNCES INDIAN NATIONAL ANTHEM 'JANA GANA MANA' AS THE BEST NATIONAL ANTHEM

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I have got this forward. It made me proud that our national anthem is getting recognition it deserves.



However giving little thought made me wonder why would UNESCO get into a country's pride... Every country's National Anthem is the best national anthem for its citizen... so the whole thing about being awarded the best national anthem sounded far fetched..

Searching the UNESCO site did not give me any information in this regard... Also the google search (keywords: UNESCO, JANA GANA)gave about 5000 results and mostly it was directed to blogs and groups.. nothing to a credible source of article...

I guess, this is a hoax mail that is going on...

The award is a FAKE... but its viral effect is for REAL

Cheers

Santosh

Advertising through LinkedIN

Ok. You know it. But, I still will say – LinkedIn is great. In fact, it is one of the best things that has happened in the Networking sites

So, I have a profile.. I have a large number of members in my network. But, what is it in for a marketer. As a marketing professional, how can I use LinkedIn to reach out to those grapes (read profiles) I see, but can’t reach.
Most marketers use LinkedIn effectively for HR (It is a different story that my profile has not evinced any interest so far)

What any advertiser is looking for medium and ways to reach to the target audience without much ‘disruption’. LinkedIn provides focused marketing based on member profile.

Normal Advertising Options:

LinkedIn advertising option offers the standard IAB Banner sizes (728x90, 160x600, 300x250) and text ads. These ads are displayed on the user profile pages – based on their designation, company size, location, roles, and industry. Also you can do the standard Frequency capping, IP target, time etc. If you are an…

Google Android to hit India shores by Dec 2008

Hi...

I am a huge fan of Google... I am looking at purchasing a smart phone, and when the talks about Android came, I postponed my plan.... Now when i got to know the date - I am eager, anxious, and guessing what would the WOW factor in the Google offering be...

I believe the hallmark of Google Android would be simplicity, and the collaboration it would offer...

While I am not a huge HTC fan... I guess my love for a Google product far out weighs it...

Here is a news article from Business Standard



Taiwanese handset major High Tech Computer (HTC) is planning to launch the Android platform-powered phone (popularly referred to as the Google phone) in India this December.

The price, however, will be higher than the US debut tag of around Rs 8,200 ($179).

Ajay Sharma, country manager, HTC (India), told Business Standard: “We would prefer a mobile operator tie-up to introduce the Google phone in India in December.”

HTC’s G1 (the Google phone model) will cost more since “the Indian market does not wo…

Google phone to hit India shores by December 2008

Hi...

I am a huge fan of Google... I am looking at purchasing a smart phone, and when the talks about Android came, I postponed my plan.... Now when i got to know the date - I am eager, anxious, and guessing what would the WOW factor in the Google offering be...

I believe the hallmark of Google Android would be simplicity, and the collaboration it would offer...

While I am not a huge HTC fan... I guess my love for a Google product far out weighs it...

Here is a news article from Business Standard



Taiwanese handset major High Tech Computer (HTC) is planning to launch the Android platform-powered phone (popularly referred to as the Google phone) in India this December.

The price, however, will be higher than the US debut tag of around Rs 8,200 ($179).

Ajay Sharma, country manager, HTC (India), told Business Standard: “We would prefer a mobile operator tie-up to introduce the Google phone in India in December.”

HTC’s G1 (the Google phone model) will cost more since “the Indian market does not wo…

Website designing – The India Istyle

Last few weeks I have been busy doing 2 things:
Talking to various ‘online’ ad agencies on various projects
Trying to sell to a client the importance of having a kick-ass website

Most of the ad agencies have a long list of ‘great’ work done in terms of website creation. Some were really good, but most of them were template stuff. All of them gave a list of clientele (usually an US or European Client). It kind of got me interesting. I kept asking them various questions on the website creation and design.. The thought, the strategy, etc…
Most cases the owners were not giving any proper response to some basic questions… This one takes the cake:
Question: how do you know that the website you created is a successful one?
Answer: It has to be successful. The client has paid me the monies.
The unfortunate part is that most of the agencies who build websites do not put any thought into it. A part of the blame would also go to the clients, most of them just want an online presence, where people c…

Google brings Speech Recognition to Video Search

Google seems to be slowly rolling out new features into some of their services. Google, which originally began as a search engine, has now become a giant on the interwebs, trying its hand at every possible area. As of today, the giant has a 70% Market Share in the total search queries from the US.



Google has now started indexing a select few of its videos hosted Google Videos using Speech Recognition Technology. This technology enables Google to transcribe the speech in the videos to text so that Google can Index it. Currently, only videos from the official politician channels are supported. Currently, a user has to rely only on the Video title, description of the video or the tags. The ‘related videos’ too are based on these matches only. Now, with the technology, whenever any user makes a search, Google looks up the word in its big book of indexes and returns the videos which have these words in them. As an added benefit, Google adds bubbles in the timeline along with the text that i…

Who owns digital marketing?

By Kevin Lourens

I have been following the series of Direct Marketing articles by Kieth Wiser published on Marketing Web with interest. I have noticed with particular interest, some defensive views from the Above The Line (ATL) crowd who are laying claim to the digital marketing crown. As an outsider to the both ATL and direct marketing, the argument is reminiscent of a biblical king and two mothers claiming a shiny new infant, with both parties arguing the merits of the happy homes they offer. Viewed from this perspective, both sides will argue strongly for the case of having the best home.

Clients, swayed by mounting evidence of the cost efficiency, effectiveness, reach, interactivity and measurability of digital marketing are redirecting large chunks of budget to digital marketing. With digital budgets increasing swiftly, logic dictates people will follow the money, agency sustainability depends on it and the imperative to get involved is therefore fundamentally economically driven. …

Kingfisher Airlines - Good times for "Fly"

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Few days back I got the confirmation of my King Club membership, offered by Kingfisher Airlines..

The next flight I take.... and I realized why they call themselves as - "Fly" the good times..

These pictures speak for themselves...









Hope all you guys travelling on Kingfisher Airlines - "Fly" with the good times..

Cheers

Santosh

Microsoft joins hands with mobile2win to take ad campaign to wireless space

Microsoft has tied up with mobile VAS company mobile2win to take their advertising campaign onto the wireless space. This is Microsoft’s first major mobile campaign and it has integrated a variety of mobile marketing tools, including SMS, WAP and Advergaming.

Microsoft, whose current ‘Ready for the Big Game’ promotion aims to encourage businesses to use original software, were looking to reach their target audience through an interesting and unusual medium. mobile2win has conceptualised and implemented a campaign keeping the ‘Big Game’ theme in mind.

A set of business-related questions was built into a cricket quiz, wherein business owners could test their cricket knowledge and also find out their company’s state of readiness for the challenges of the modern corporate arena. All those who entered the promotion and submitted the results of the quiz won an exclusive Microsoft branded mobile pouch.

mobile2win also designed and developed a WAP site where consumers could take the quiz, sub…

Online Advertising in India - 2011

Based on my earlier blog (which was a copy-paste job:)) I thought about putting some India perspective to it..

By 2011, we can safely assume that 8% of the population (currently it is about 4%) would be online.. Which would mean that the Internet users in India would be around 100 Million mark.

Now compare this with the universe of English Newspapers in India (21 Million readers in 2006)... with a safe assumption of 10% growth Y-on-Y they will be around 35 Million readers of English dails... Internet would be reaching out more than DOUBLE the reach of English dailies put together..

According to me 2011 will be the most crucial and the active year in the online space in India... Internet advertising would face a lot of challenges from within and from outside. From within the challenges would be will the normal display ads, search advertising and email campaigns as we see them today meet the new entrants like Web 2.0 stuff of community and sharing,widgets, mashups, local searchs and the ne…

Generation Virtual

By Adam Sarner

With 1.2 billion people expected to be online by 2011, the Internet has already become the catalyst for immersing interaction and e-commerce and the conduit for vast amounts of information.

In 10 years, the largest influence on all purchases will be the virtual experiences associated with them, and, therefore, more money will be spent marketing and selling to multiple online personae than marketing and selling offline. This transition in customer interaction is being driven by Generation Virtual, also known as "Generation V."

Labeling generations is a way to understand new generations that appear not to have connections to the cultural icons of previous ones. And marketers use the categories of baby boomers, Generation X and Generation Y to segment the population for targeting products and services with a focus on age.

However, Generation V recognizes that general behavior, attitudes and interests start to blend in an online environment. As more baby boomers (who …

At last, in Delhi Durbar

A crystal gazer said to me few months back that a change would do me good... and change I did.

Last week, i left the pleasant plateaus of Bangalore, and landed in the plains of Delhi. It was a more than a 'warm, reception I had (in terms of the weather) :)... I will be living out of my suitcase for a week more, before my household articles gets shipped and delivered here... Until such a time i will be holed in the hotel room...

I start my days in Delhi with great expectations....

Hope here I find time to blog more frequently.... and learn more, and grow faster..

Cheers

Santosh

An Appeal from Bush, President of the USA

Hi,

This is an Appeal from the President of the USA, George W. Bush. Mr. Bush is facing a grave situation, where the Americans are going hungry due to the food price rises. The reason for the same is that the huge Middle class population of India is eating more:)

This appeal is to all Indian's to partake one handful less when they have their next meal. Remember, that for more you eat (or waste) there is a hungry American somewhere in Texas, or Arkansas, or Detroit, or maybe in the White House itself...

Next time, you waste food or eat more, remember the hungry American.

"Uncle Sam Needs your Food"

S/d - George W Bush
President of the United States of America
White House
Washington D.C.

Please pass this link to as many friends (Indians) you know

Cheers

Santosh

House Hunting in Delhi - Helpful tips

I have been transferred to Delhi; and will report into Delhi Office from May first week..

The last two weeks I have spent most of the time, searching for a place in Delhi, that fits my requirements and most importantly, my budget. The rent in Delhi have sky rocketed, since my last sojourn (in terms of house hunting) here in 2002... Places considered far and not worthy are today prime localities for stay (i mean, NOIDA, Dwaraka, Vasant Kunj, etc)

Well, this time of the year, happens to be wrong time to search for a house in Delhi... hey, but the 'brighter side' (other than the sun:)) is that it cannot go any worse than now..

Here are some helpful tips for people searching for a house in Delhi -

1) Check online for the properties available... you may not find many owner requests, but you surely will find a whole lot of property agents database -
Check out sites like

indiaproperty.com
99acres.com
magicbricks.com
indiaproperties.com
sulekha.com
makaan.com

2) Check the local classifieds that c…

My Online Habits..

In my earlier blog, I had mentioned that after few years of regular Internet Usage, you tend to have particular online habit.

These are a few of my daily online habits:


Check email: gmail.com, www.com, hotmail.com

Personal: igoogle.com (use this for search also)

News: Rediff.com, Indiatimes.com,

Industry News: Agencyfaqs.com, E4m.com, contentsutra.com

Instant Messaging: Gtalk, MSN Messengar

Networking: LinkedIn/Orkut

Blog: blogger.com

I try and not miss out of any of the above activities. Also, there are days when I would visit some other sites - work related.. or maybe a Picasa to upload photos... or google adwords for some site analytics.. otherwise, it is the above points, as usual


Cheers

Santosh

Netboredom: The rise of Internet Boredom

You all might pretty soon hear about a new word : "Netboredom"

Introduction:

Boredom is something that we go through during sometime in our lives. "I'm bored." This phrase is something that you would have used a lot or heard a lot during your life. I am sure, you would remember in your childhood, that you would be aimlessly sitting or doing nothing in specific, and one of the first things you would tell the other person is " I'm bored."

A large number of us people, spend a lot of time on the Net - at work, at home. This number is growing day-by-day. Statistics show that we use the Net for - Mail, Chat, Search, Social Network and visit need related websites (Ecom sites, news sites, general interest sites, work specific sites, etc)... After a continued usage for few years your net usage would have a specific pattern.

However, there are lots of time, when you are on the Net, and you are bored...doing nothing specific... this is what i call "Netbored…

The Future of User Generated Content

Of the 40 Million active Internet users in India, only 5% of them actually maintain a blog... of which only 1% of them have 'original' content (a quick math, it works to 20,000 people)

Quite sad...:(


An ideal case would be me... I try and update my blog regularly... but most of the time, it would be "copy & paste" job.. I find an interesting content on some site, and then copy it to my blog. Only once in a while there would a creative streak in me (like now:)), and i get going and type a 700 odd word item - which i can term as 'original'

Some online industry leaders were mentioning in the ongoing FICCI Frames convention about User Generated Content being the future of the online media... i am sceptical...

What do you mean by user generated content?... If i embed an YouTube video, onto my blog, will it be termed as UGC??
What if I take an article from some publisher portal and put in my blog, will it be considered an UGC?

In the Web2.0 scenario, we are most comf…

BuyOriginalMS.com

Microsoft India has launched BuyOriginalMS.com, an e-commerce platform that would enable software resellers, website publishers and bloggers to sell original Microsoft products including Windows, Office, Server, Xbox, games, and gaming accessories online.

The e-commerce platform has been launched in partnership with Smile Interactive Technologies Group (Quasar Media), the e-commerce platform provider and Redington India, the distribution partner for Microsoft products.

Brian Campbell, director, original software initiative, Microsoft India, has said, “At Microsoft, we continually strive towards providing our customers with increased channels to access original software. This portal is a remarkable outcome of this initiative and will help increase the ubiquity of original Microsoft software in the online world.”

Harish Bahl, CEO, Smile Interactive Technologies Group, has said, “E-commerce is a fast growing trend in India and we are excited about this partnership with Microsoft to provide …

Cool Stuff from College Humor

I loved this stuff...




Hope you like it too

Demystifying Social Marketing in the online world

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There is so much buzz about Social Media Network in today’s world. From Facebook to Myspace to Orkut, and our very own desi version of Ibibo, Yaari, Minglebox, etc… suddenly it all seems like one big family.

If you dig deeper – you would realize that the germ of this idea lies in our ancient texts. The Vedas talk about – Vasudeva Kutumbham – This whole world is one big family.

On marketing front, today’s networked market offers a wonderful opportunity to build communities around your brand. The online world of social networking is a wonderful place to create and communicate your brand. But, where in this place lies the El Dorado is the big question.

Uniqueness of Social Marketing:
The best thing about social marketing is YOU don’t talk about your brand, YOUR CUSTOMERS do. And any marketer would vouch that there is no better marketing than word of mouth.

The Never Ending Friending Project, a recent study commissioned by Isobar and MySpace, shows that incorporating social marketing into you…

Internet services disrupted in India

If you're used to beginning your day by logging on to the net, brace yourself for a huge slowdown over the next few days.

That's how long it could take to restore Internet services in India and large parts of West Asia to their normal level.

Net access in these areas has been hit following damage to two undersea cables in the Mediterranean Sea.

Internet service providers in India have put the disruption at 60 per cent of normal services while those in Egypt have been affected up to 70 per cent.

Other countries affected in West Asia are the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Call centres located in these areas have been affected, as well as international calls, which are now being rerouted.

The cable service provider has said the disruption was caused by a ship that accidentally cut the cable, after it was diverted from the Egyptian port of Alexandria due to bad weather.

Delhi logged out


And it's not just the link to the web world that may have been snapped in Egypt but time came to …

Watch Elvis dance to Punjabi Bhangra Music

Awesome stuff... Elvis rocking to punjabi music..






Santosh

McKinsey Report - India’s rising middle class wants a better life

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The same furious energy that made India a world-class provider of software and business services is creating a huge urban middle class. By 2025, household spending could more than quadruple, generating the 5th-largest consumer economy on Earth, up from 12th now. About 400 million Indian city dwellers—nearly 100 million more people than the United States has today—will enjoy comfortable living standards. Even India’s most affluent consumers will outnumber not only the comparable segment in China but also the entire current population of Australia.

As a result, the composition of spending has already started to change: discretionary outlays (such as mobile phones) occupy more of India’s shopping basket, even as the absolute sums devoted to necessities, such as food, continue to rise. Above all, consumers will increase the amounts they spend to improve their economic prospects and quality of life—for better health, education, transport, and communications.

For more on the report, click her…

Take Time To...

Take time to think – thoughts are the source of power.
Take time to play – it is the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to read – it is the fountain of wisdom.
Take time to pray – it can be a rock of strength in time of need.
Take time to love – it makes living worthwhile.
Take time to be friendly – it gives life a delicious flavor.
Take time to laugh—it is the music of the soul.
Take time to give – it brings joy to the heart.
Take time to work – it is the price of success.
Take time to dream – it shows you what is possible.

Cheers

Santosh

Word of Mouth - Powerful selling tool in India - AC Nielsen study

87 percent of Internet accessing Indians still trust recommendations from others over any other kind of advertising, making word-of-mouth advertising the most powerful tool in the industry today, according to a recent global Nielsen Internet survey.

India comes fourth among the top ten countries globally which trust in recommendations from consumers, with Hong Kong leading the list with 93 percent. Seven of the top ten markets that rely most on “recommendations from consumers” are in Asia.

Newspapers came in second (77%) on the list of advertising media that Indian consumers trust the most. Surprisingly consumer opinions posted online and brand websites came a little ahead of television advertising with 73 and 72 percent respectively. Television came in at number five with 65 percent of Indian respondents considering television advertising as trustworthy.

Conducted twice-a-year among 26,486 internet users in 47 markets from Europe, Asia Pacific, the Americas and the Middle East, Nielsen …

20 Analytics tools for blogs

Here is an article of interest to most bloggers. I had got the same through the Feedblitz newsletter.

There are a lot of data points that can be meaningful for tracking blog effectiveness. That is, tracking what happens when visitors arrive at and engage with your blog content. It really comes down to the purpose of your blog. Metrics for a blog that’s focused on making a web site more search engine friendly by adding crawlable content and attracting links is quite different than a blog that’s meant to build thought leadership or brand credibility.

Many of the metrics tools used for blogs are also used for basic web site analytics. That makes sense because many blog initiatives do not have the same kind of budget as web site marketing programs do. Therefore, the analytics employed tend to be low(er) or no cost.

Regardless of the purpose, I’ve assembled a list below of the various tools we use, or have tested to report onsite blog metrics. Pick the service or tool you like the most from t…

What to do in 2008

My Highlights in 2007

I bought a car
I left a job which i loved..
I joined a job which i love..
I bought an Ipod atlast...(not happy with it, yet)
Got an Digital camera - (though I still believe Films are far better)


What I intend for 2008 ?

Do more in the Job i Do...
Get into an Hobby (Creative pursuit)
Buy a PDA - ASUS P750
Buy a good computer system for home OR a Mobile work station
Buy a house
Visit at least one place of interest

Cheers

Santosh

Tata Indicom Broadband Sucks !!

Hi...

The ushering in of 2008 has not been good with regard to my Internet Broadband connection at home... I have not been able to log on to the Net since December 16, 2008...

Thanks to the stupid and non-cooperative attitude of the customer service department of Tata Indicom broadband... Inmuerable calls, leads to the same answer - We will look into the matter, and the line will be up as soon as possible. 1 month is not as soon as possible for these idiots...

I've asked these guys to disconnect my services... and they promptly did so... and sent their executive across to collect the Router... they never had a problem doing this... but to send a service engineer to check the problem.. they never do it...

I have checked with other service providers to give me broadband connection at home.. and the response has been as follows -

Airtel: - No available port at the place where i reside. Status: Thumbs down...:(

BSNL - Need to wait for 2 months. Status: Thumbs down..:(

Reliance Wimax: No cove…