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Airtel launched Xstream Box and Xstream stick

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Bharti Airtel has launched its Xstream Box and Xstream Stick in India, as part of the rebranding of its Airtel TV platform to Airtel Xstream.

The Airtel Xstream Stick is available on Flipkart as well as Airtel retail stores, Airtel.in, Croma and Vijay Sales. The Xstream Box, on the other hand, will be made available on Amazon India apart from the stores mentioned for the Xstream Stick. The company is touting the Xstream Box set-top box to combine both satellite TV and OTT content, something its Airtel Internet TV set-top box already offered.

  • Airtel Xstream Box

Airtel Xstream Box

Airtel-Xstream-box

The Airtel Xstream box is priced at Rs 3999 for new users, however existing users of Airtel Digital TV can upgrade to the new set-top-box at a discounted price of Rs 2249. The box will have the option to choose from over 500 TV channels, and can also access content via the preloaded Airtel Xstream app.OTT content partners include ZEE5, Alt Balaji, Eros Now, Hoi Choi, HungamaPlay, Hooq, Ultra, ShemarooMe, and Curiosity Stream.

The Xstream box runs on Android 9.0 Pie, which will its users access to the Google Play Store. Users can download different types of apps including entertainment offerings such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube. The Airtel Xstream Box comes with Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity, and a built-in Chromecast. The box also supports gaming and streaming in 4K.

  • Airtel Xstream Stick

Airtel Xstream Stick

Airtel-Xstream-Stick

The Airtel Xstream Stick is also priced at Rs 3999. It offers most of the features of the Airtel Xstream Box, but without access to DTH channels. Instead, it only offers digital streaming services, with the preloaded Airtel Xstream app. It has Google Play Store support as well that gives users access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTub. It is based on Android 8.0 Oreo.

The Airtel Xstream Stick offers a built-in Chromecast, features a 1.6GHz processor, Bluetooth v4.2 and a voice search-enabled remote. Those who opt for the Stick will get a free 30-day trial period and will have to subscribe to an annual plan worth Rs 999 thereafter. The company is offering free access to the content subscription plan on Airtel Xstream Stick for its Airtel Thanks Platinum and Gold customers.

Aman currently works as a blogger and also as a travel and lifestyle Vlogger. He is always interested in new challenges.

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Vodafone Idea Wants To Charge Rs 35 per GB From 1st April

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Vodafone Idea Wants To Charge Rs 35 per GB From 1st April

The telecom sector has been going through a bit of rough patch lately and we have kept you updated right since the start of all of this.

Last year, the court had upheld the government’s idea of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR), on which it calculates levies on telecom operators. The order led to a sick blow to the telecom industry, as the operators will now have to pay dues for the past 14 years, along with interest and fines.

Vodafone-Idea has been hit the worst by this and is under pressure to pay an estimated amount of Rs. 53,000 crore, of which it has managed to pay only Rs. 3,500 crore to the government yet.

Vodafone-Idea’s Demands to the Govt

Telecom companies have been left scrambling to pay dues after the Supreme Court on 14 February pulled them up for failing to comply with its October verdict. However, it is Vodafone-Idea that has been hit the worst.

Thus, in order to enable it to pay statutory dues and make it’s business sustainable, Vodafone-Idea has demanded fixing minimum tariffs for mobile data at Rs. 35 per GB, which amounts to 7-8 times of current prices, along with calls at 6 paise per minute, starting from April 1.

The company has sought 18 years’ time to clear the dues, including a three-year moratorium on payment of interest and penalty, to clear its AGR dues of more than Rs. 50,000.

To give you a reference, the current mobile internet prices are in the range of Rs. 4-5 per GB. The demand to raise call and internet rates from Vodafone Idea comes within three months of the company raising prices by up to 50%.

According to the company, an increase in mobile call and data rates will help it generate revenue to the same level as Vodafone and Idea individually generated in 2015-16. It says that it will take 3 years to get to that level after tariff hike, thus asking for a three-year moratorium for successful payment of AGR dues.

The company says that it would be in a position to meet its liabilities only if the government initiates steps including allowing set-offs for GST credit accumulated so far, and permitting staggered mechanism for payment of balance amount of interest, penalty, and interest on the penalty.

COAI Asks for a Minimum Floor Price

The Cellular Operators Association of India has urged the government to ensure that consumers pay a minimum floor price for using mobile services from April.

The government levies a license fee and spectrum usage charge based on revenue earned by telecom companies. Telecom companies and government had entered into a dispute over ascertaining revenue calculation.

However, the SC upheld the government method of calculating the revenues and ordered telecom operators to clear all dues by January 23, 2020.

The cumulative liability on telecom operators was estimated at around Rs. 1.47 lakh crore by the Department of Telecom in July 2019. For this, the COAI said that floor pricing is imperative to ensure the sector’s sustainability. The industry body represents Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio.

The industry body has sought that the GST credits lying with the government be adjusted against the dues payable by telcos. It has also sought that after this adjustment, the payment of balance amount of interest, penalty, and interest on penalty be allowed in a staggered manner.

The government may consider granting loans equal to the AGR amount at a 6% rate of interest so that the AGR liability may be discharged immediately.

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Telecom

Airtel Prepaid Users Can Again Enjoy Unlimited Calling on any Network

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In a recent tweet, Airtel India has announced that its prepaid users can enjoy Unlimited Calling on any network from 7th December.

It is worth noting that all the private operators in the industry had revamped their plans on 4th December. Airtel also did the same applied FUP call limits on its new plans. But today in a tweet from their official handle, they wrote “We heard you! And we are making the change.
From tomorrow, enjoy unlimited calling to any network in India with all our unlimited plans. No conditions apply.”

 

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