Uninor adds 47 exclusive retail stores and 96 distributors in UP West circle

Uninor adds 47 exclusive retail stores and 96 distributors in UP West circle

 

LUCKNOW: One of the leading telecom operators in Uttar Pradesh Uninor, which is the 100 per cent subsidiary of Norway-based Telenor Group has added 10,000 point of sales, 47 exclusive retail stores and 96 distributors across UP West in 2015 to strengthen its distribution footprint. Last year, the company expanded its network by 35 percent in the circle.

Company said that the expansion has given it a much deeper coverage and its customers a better service experience. It claims to have achieved 15.3 percent customer market share (7.9 million customers) and 9.3 percent revenue market share in less than 5 years of operations.

Uninor recently inaugurated its new office in Firozabad. It said the office will be the zonal headquarters of Etawah zone and will strengthen focus on the district. The new office is expected bring Uninor closer to the customers in Firozabad, Auriya, Mainpuri, Shikhobad, Tundla, Sirsaganj and Jaswant Nagar.

Uninor claims to be the fourth largest telecom operator in the circle currently. It has announced to add around 12 more retail stores in the zone to take its total presence from 28 to 40 and add another 9 new distributors to its existing 41.

Satish Kumar Kannan, Circle Business Head — (UP West), Telewings Communications Services Pvt Limited (Uninor) said, “This new office is testimony to our commitment to the Etawah district and UP West region as a whole. Uninor is overwhelmed by the support and encouragement received in the region which has helped us achieve new business milestones consistently. We look forward to serve our consumers by continuing to expand in the region with a view to provide best telecommunication services — both in voice and data.”

Currently in Etawah zone, Uninor has around 7 lakh customers and nearly 40 percent are internet users. The company has 407 network sites, 7916 Point of Sales (PoS), 41 distributors and 28 retail stores.

“We work with our partners- distributors and retailers, in the zone to deliver Sabse Sasta voice and Internet services to the people of Etawah. The new office also reinforces our philosophy of customer delight through relevant and efficient services”, added Satish.

Net neutrality rules go into effect in US

Net neutrality rules go into effect in US

 

NEW YORK: New rules that treat the internet like a public utility and prohibit blocking, slowing and creating paid fast lanes for online traffic took effect on Friday.

Cable and telecom industry groups have sued to have the rules thrown out, arguing they are too onerous. But on Thursday, a federal appeals court declined to block the rules from taking effect as the industry litigation against them proceeds. A court could still eventually overturn the rules.

There will be no immediate effect on how consumers and companies use the internet. Broadband providers today typically treat content from different websites and services equally.

“We had the internet for some time obeying such principles but they’ve never been codified. Now they have been codified,” said Nicholas Economides, a professor at New York University’s Stern business school and an expert on networks and telecommunications. “Consumers should not see any substantial difference.”

Regulators, consumer advocates and internet companies like video site Vimeo and crafts marketplace Etsy had concerns about internet providers’ power over web traffic. For example, there were worries that being able to pay for a special internet fast lane would let richer companies more easily reach users and stifle the growth of newer, poorer startups.

What is new: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be able to investigate complaints about “unreasonable” business practices by internet providers that aren’t explicitly banned. Many broadband companies say this invites uncertainty — they don’t know what’s allowed.

Here’s a look at what the developments mean for consumers and companies:

What is net neutrality, and what are the new US rules?

Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it’s how the internet works today.

The FCC enacted rules that protect that, to make sure cable and phone companies don’t manipulate traffic: They can’t create special fast lanes for some content, like video from YouTube, or intentionally block or slow Web traffic. Many Internet providers say they don’t plan to do those things, but the FCC worried that they could.
What’s changing for consumers?

In enacting its rules, the FCC placed internet service in the same regulatory camp as telephone service. That means providers have to act in the “public interest” when supplying internet service and refrain from “unjust or unreasonable” business practices.

The FCC can investigate complaints about industry practices that might violate net-neutrality principles, even if they’re not specifically prohibited by the rules.

What about for companies?

Internet companies Netflix and companies that manage internet traffic, like Cogent, can also complain to the FCC about “unreasonable” behavior by broadband providers over network-connection deals in the backbone of the internet.

Companies could complain that broadband providers are charging them too much to connect to their networks, for example.

Fights over these arrangements had in the past led to a slowdown in Netflix streaming speeds for customers of several major internet service providers.

Which companies are affected?

Cable companies like Comcast, phone companies that provide internet service to people’s homes and smartphones, like AT&T and Verizon, and cellphone companies like Sprint.
Why is the industry opposed?
Companies say they don’t want the stricter regulation that comes with the net neutrality rules. They say the regulations will undermine investment in broadband, and that it’s not clear what is and isn’t allowed under the greater authority the FCC has to investigate unspecified complaints.

They are also concerned about price regulation. The FCC says it won’t pre-approve the prices companies set for internet access. But consumers can complain about the cost of their service and the government can look into it under the new rules.

With QR codes, online movie tickets go completely paperless

 

With QR codes, online movie tickets go completely paperless

MUMBAI: Here’s the next change at the box office: paperless entry to the cinema hall.

The box office as we know it may soon be a thing of the past as movie exhibitors across the country led by PVR Cinemas and Cinepolis in the era of paperless ticketing. Consumers increasingly prefer to make movie bookings online or on apps, in the same manner as airline passengers. Instead of a paper ticket, they get a Quick Response Code generated on their smartphones, which consumers get scanned at the entry point before taking their pre-selected seats. No ticket stubs. No printouts.

Cinema halls are now preparing to go digital all the way — to generate additional revenue, provide convenience and become environment friendly.

“The response to the online-plus-ticket less experience has been very good across our 90 cinemas where we have introduced it,” said Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, joint managing director at PVR, which gets 35% of its bookings from its website or through aggregators such as bookmyshow.com investment works out to about Rs 1 lakh per screen, according to Meenakshi Vajpai, chief information officer at PVR, which pioneered the QR code in the country. Cinema halls are counting on more people using their phones to transact on the internet.

“As the telecom infrastructure develops, the entertainment business will undergo a tectonic shift in consumption patterns,” said Jehil Thakkar, head M&E at KPMG.

It also helps that such consumers are tech savvy, book more seats and generally choose higher-value tickets. PVR’s online bookings contributed 42% of the chain’s box office revenue, including the convenience fees charged for such transactions, Vajpai said.

“We believe in taking the box office to our customers and not the other way around,” said Alok Tandon, CEO of Inox Leisure. “We have seen an online growth of 35-40% year-on-year over the last three years, while in the smaller towns, it is approximately 30-35%. We are working on a paperless entry, which we will be launching in the next few weeks.” In the tech cities of Bengaluru and Hyderabad, close to 50% of the theatre-goers buy virtual tickets. Mumbai and Delhi/National Capital Region have picked up pace in the past few months, as have towns such as Bhilai and Latur.

“The growth of online ticket booking has been very strong in metros and non-metros alike,” said Devang Sampat, chief strategy officer at Cinepolis. “The digital divide between tier-1 and tier-2 cities is gradually vanishing with the increase in mobile phones and internet connectivity.”

According to Ashish Saksena, COO cinemas at bookmyshow.com, online bookings doubled in 2014-15 from a year earlier even though the number of people visiting cinema halls declined in this period. “This growth in online space has been propelled more due to the increased penetration in cities beyond the metros,” Saksena said. “This increase in smaller towns and cities was achieved by coming up with innovative campaigns and promotions to increase use of credit cards.” Carnival Films, which runs the Carnival cinema chain and acquired Big Cinemas, is gearing up for the next stage after tier-2 and tier-3 towns contributed to growth in online booking.

“Tickets are the main source of consumption of paper, so ‘ticketless’ is the goal we are aiming at,” said PV Sunil, CEO and director at Carnival, which has set up remote booking counters. “In some of the smaller towns, apart from our box office at the property, we have set up such remote counters where people can walk in and book tickets, especially for people who do not have proper internet connectivity. This has been a big success.”

For the shift to complete paperless ticketing, there is a hurdle: the rules need to change. The government requires all cinema halls to print tickets that are preapproved and stamped, with one copy each for the government, the company and the consumer. A representation has been made to the government to replace the current system with online reports of ticket sales. Apart from revenue and convenience considerations, movie exhibitors are agreed that ticketless bookings curb the consumption of paper and help save the environment.

“With introduction of ticketless entry at all centres in the near future and projecting this for a year, we would save 13,00,000 sheets of A4 paper every year, which would be a step towards a greener world,” said Sampat of Cinepolis. “It is a paradigm shift in thinking but we have to make people environmentally conscious. Along with reducing our carbon footprint, we are making things more convenient for consumers,” said Bijli of PVR.

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn’s executives to visit Maharashtra soon

iPhone manufacturer Foxconn’s executives to visit Maharashtra soon

 

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government said it has invited iPhone manufacturer Foxconn to scout for locations in the state for setting up iPhone unit.

“Foxconn is sending a delegation of their officers to scout for locations in Maharashtra. We expect it to visit the state in a month’s time,” state industry minister Subhash Desai said.

During his China visit in May, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had met representatives of the leading Taiwan-based electronics giant Foxconn.

“Visited the leading electronic manufacturer Foxconn, had good meeting with the founder Terry Gou and his team,” Fadnavis had said.

“Very happy to know from Terry that Foxconn is keen to invest in Maharashtra for data centres, mobile phones, tablets, television, etc. A detailed plan on proposed investments in Maharashtra for 2015-2017 too was presented by Foxconn. Had a great discussion on it,” the chief minister had said.

Reliance Jio launch: Airtel, Vodafone, Idea unfazed

Reliance Jio launch: Airtel, Vodafone, Idea unfazed

 

KOLKATA: Reliance Jio Infocomm’s plans to launch 4G services in December has given incumbents such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular enough time to deploy their own high-speed broadband airwaves to unleash aggressive data plans and take on the Mukesh Ambani-owned adversary.

Industry insiders and analysts also say Reliance Jio’s rollout is fraught with challenges, given that voice offerings on the 4G-LTE technology platform, using the 2,300MHz band of airwaves, is yet to develop globally. Voice currently still makes up over 80% of industry revenue.

“We don’t see much of an impact of Jio’s December rollout, given that this is going to be phased and a pan-India presence is quite some time away,” said a chief executive of a leading telco, who did not wish to be named. “Jio’s scattered spectrum holdings across multiple bands, would pose challenges for seamless delivery of high-speed data services on-the-go”.

He said voice over LTE (VoLTE) had “security and delivery issues, which they (read: Jio) would have to contend with”.

At its annual shareholders’ meeting Friday, Jio Chairman Mukesh Ambani said the company is in the throes of pre-launch testing and standardization drill of its digital broadband network that is equipped to handle both data and voice using ‘long term evolution’ or LTE — a technology standard for offering high-speed 4G services.

Another top executive of a leading GSM carrier said Jio’s biggest challenge would be offering voice and data services seamlessly across its countrywide LTE network.

“Since there’s zero clarity on whether Jio would offer a quality voice service on LTE, it remains to be seen if their data-dominant offering appeals to the mass market, given that 85% of industry revenues still stem from voice,” he said. Jaideep Ghosh, partner, management consulting, KPMG in India seconds the emotion. “Customer acquisitions will be Jio’s biggest worry as today’s announcements suggest it is primarily focusing on data play.”

According to Ghosh, unless Jio is able to bring much more to the table, both on the voice and data fronts, compared to what incumbents offer, it would be very difficult to “wean away” customers from the top three carriers.

Jio has said its mobile offerings of voice and data would be at Rs 300-500 price levels. Similar offerings currently cost around Rs 1,000 in the market.

KPMG’s Ghosh also said sub-Rs 4,000 4G devices, be it tablets or smartphones, “is unlikely to galvanise revenues or subscriber market share for Jio as urban telecom penetration is already over 100% and rural penetration is also around 50%”.

A top executive of one of India’s biggest GSM carriers noted that there was “a conspicuous absence of any voice strategy” in Jio’s announcements at the Reliance Industries AGM on Friday. “One mustn’t forget that voice remains the dominant telecom business driver in India, given that mobile carriers collectively generate nearly 4 billion incremental voice minutes a day.”

Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, however, said “dual sim smartphones” could be an option for potential customers. “Given the lack of a traditional voice offering by Jio, we believe potential dual sim smartphones could be attractive to consumers as they could continue to use their existing telco SIM for voice calls and use Jio’s sim for access to cheaper, high-speed data offerings,” said the US brokerage in a note.

Still, the December launch, as opposed to industry expectations of mid-July-August, have given incumbents ample time to leverage their 4G spectrum wins in the past two auctions and cut data rates, said BK Syngal, ex-chairman of erstwhile VSNL (now Tata Communications).

Any cut in data rates by existing players, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said, would, however, lead to another tariff war and further hurt a debt-laden sector.

YouTube launches dedicated website for gamers

 

YouTube launches dedicated website for gamers

LOS ANGELES: The online video giant announced plans ahead of next week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo to launch a separate app and site specifically for fans of video games.

Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s global head of gaming content, unveiled YouTube Gaming during an event at YouTube Space LA, one of the site’s production facilities. He said YouTube Gaming will be a destination for users to find gaming videos, live streams and Internet personalities.

“Despite the crazy usage that gaming drives on YouTube, we’ve never really built gamers the experience that they deserve,” said Wyatt. “That’s something that changes today.”

The app and site, which is scheduled to debut in the US and UK later this summer, will feature individual pages dedicated to more than 25,000 games.

YouTube product designer Jonathan Terleski demonstrated that if a user began searching for the word “call” on the YouTube Gaming app, the military shooter “Call of Duty,” not the Carly Rae Jepsen tune “Call Me Maybe” would appear first.

YouTube is also seeking to make it easier for users to broadcast live and competitive gaming, known as e-sports, by creating singular links that can be shared, removing the need to schedule a broadcast and promoting live broadcasts.

“YouTube Gaming is built from the ground up for gamers, by gamers,” said Wyatt. “No longer is gaming going to be lost in a sea of content. We’re unleashing a brand-new user experience that puts games front and center. That includes live gaming, as well.”

The move by Google-owned YouTube takes direct aim at Twitch, the gaming-centric streaming video site acquired by Amazon in 2014 for nearly $1 billion. While YouTube remains the dominant online video site, Twitch has solidified itself over the past three years as a destination to stream gameplay from such titles as “League of Legends” and “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.” Twitch now boasts 100 million users who watch 1.5 million broadcasters a month.

“We welcome new entrants into the growing list of competitors,” said Matthew DiPietro, Twitch’s vice president of marketing, in a statement. “Gaming video is obviously a huge market that others have their eye on. It inspires us to work even harder to make the community proud.”

YouTube Gaming will be previewed at YouTube’s booth on the E3 show floor beginning Tuesday.

The announcement of YouTube’s renewed focus on gaming once again signals the importance of online video on the eve of E3, the gaming industry’s annual trade show. While the interactive extravaganza is no longer broadcast live on TV cable channels such as Spike and G4, the surprise-laced press conferences and flashy game demonstrations attract millions of viewers on YouTube, Twitch and other online streaming services.

“The way you reach a gamer today is very different than the way you would 20 or even 10 years ago,” said Michael Gallagher, president of the Electronic Software Association, which organizes E3.

With Android phone, no downside for BlackBerry

 

With Android phone, no downside for BlackBerry

TORONTO: BlackBerry Ltd’s move to embrace Android may be aimed at lifting revenue from its software and device management segment, but analysts say it may inadvertently give its device arm a fillip and a new lease on life.

“From the standpoint of marketing, this is a great way for BlackBerry to get visibility. It really doesn’t hurt them much, and the upside is high,” said Rob Enderle, who runs technology consulting firm Enderle Group.

Enderle and other financial and tech analysts agree that the move by BlackBerry does present its own set of challenges as the company would have to support two platforms and potentially put some resources into marketing an Android device, but with little to lose most agree it comes with little downside.

“If Android has one significant weakness it is security and that’s just the thing that BlackBerry can fix, so it could play out pretty well and I am actually quite surprised that they did not try this sooner,” said Enderle, adding that BlackBerry has to deliver a compelling device in order for the gambit to work.

Reuters reported that BlackBerry was considering a move to test run Android on its upcoming slider device, as part of a bid to convince potential corporate and government clients that its device management system, BES12, is truly able of manage and secure not just BlackBerry devices, but also devices powered by Google’s Android, Apple’s iOS and Microsoft’s Windows operating system.

“In order for BES12 to succeed it has to be viewed by all as platform agnostic, and what better way to demonstrate that other than by doing it yourself,” said Ramon Llamas, an analyst with technology research firm IDC.

BlackBerry, which once dominated the smartphone market, has seen its market share drop to under 1%, as the iPhone and a slew of Android devices from Samsung have captured market share. John Chen, a turnaround expert brought in to fix its slide, is now pivoting BlackBerry to focus more on its well-regarded software and device management business.

Although the hardware business is becoming less relevant to BlackBerry as it works through its turnaround, the company still needs revenues from hardware as it ramps up new revenue streams.

“It certainly makes sense for BlackBerry’s hardware business to experiment with Android,” said Morningstar analyst Brian Colello. “BlackBerry doesn’t have much to lose. There’s little downside and they just need one hit phone to justify the handset business.”

Myntra’s lesbian ad not India’s first gay ad

Myntra’s lesbian ad not India’s first gay ad

 

There is an interesting tone that advertising people take when they think they are doing something so path-breaking it deserves social recognition.

You can hear it when Avishek Ghosh, co-partner at Hectic Content, which made the Myntra ad that is being touted as the first in India to feature a lesbian couple, explains how “we tried to avoid the stereotypes associated with gay people… We tried to give it a candid feel like any other couple being apprehensive about meeting the parents.”

In other words, we aren’t doing something as trivial as selling clothes, but contributing to social change, increasing tolerance and making everyone — particularly ourselves for doing this — better human beings. Now can I have my biscuit?

It is possible to both appreciate the ad and feel a bit skeptical about some of it. As Rahul daCunha, creative director at da-Cunha Associates points out, in a climate that seems less progressive than past decades, and where homosexuality has been re-criminalized by the Supreme Court, any ad that openly features a same-sex couple should be welcome. “It means a client did take a risk and agree to it,” he says. “Baby steps. But they should be appreciated.”

As it happens, daCunha did one of the first ads to celebrate gay and lesbian rights in India. This was at the genuinely celebratory moment when the Delhi High Court decriminalized homosexuality in 2009. Amul’s long-running series of topical ads, created by daCunha, immediately featured two women celebrating the verdict.

Like all such Amul ads, it ran on around 200 hoardings across the country and came in around 40 publications.

At that time both supporters and opponents of the verdict suggested that there would be many more ads targeting the gay and lesbian community. Some supporters talked with wild optimism about the power of the ‘pink rupee’ while opponents muttered darkly that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) agenda was being driven by multinational corporations.

This flood of LGBT advertising never really materialized. Perhaps companies felt the actual size of the market was too small, perhaps they felt that for in-product categories, the sexuality of the consumers wasn’t really relevant, or perhaps, with sad prescience, they figured the change didn’t run deep enough in Indian society to be lasting.

And in 2013 this last proved to be the case when the Supreme Court overturned the Delhi High Court’s verdict.

Amul didn’t flinch from covering this as well with an ad that showed the Amul girl mourning the death of freedom of choice. “We got a very strong response for that because people were really feeling emotional about it,” says daCunha. It is a real tribute to how iconic the Amul campaign has become that few found it odd that a dairy brand was featuring a human rights issue. Amul is an intrinsic part of India and it is understood that its advertising reflects this.

Yet independent of court verdicts, Indian ads have touched on LGBT themes. The most obvious reason for this is what underlies the Myntra ad as well – ads need to stand out and homosexuality is still enough out of the norm in India (and thanks to the Supreme Court will continue to be) for this to be eye-catching in India. It doesn’t hurt that it is now acceptable in the West, which counts as an aspirational culture for young Indians, and that you can feature good-looking people – the one stereotype that Hectic Content didn’t want to challenge.

Myntra isn’t the first to take this glamorous lesbians route. Arun Iyer, National Creative Director, Lowe Lintas notes that they did this for Fastrack back in 2013: “Because of the kind of brand it is, the campaign, ‘come out of the closet’ was more tonguein-cheek. It was also more topical that year as Article 377 was going on and Fastrack basically wanted to communicate that everyone is free to choose whatever they want to.”

Cortana to get dedicated keyboard button in Windows 10

 

Cortana to get dedicated keyboard button in Windows 10

Toshiba will differentiate its notebooks, convertibles and desktop PCs by making a huge change to the keyboard. On the Windows 10 systems that will arrive later this year, Toshiba will add a dedicated key to access Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant.

The change will be one of the most significant change to the keyboard since Windows 95 when Microsoft’s OEM partners began adding a dedicated Windows key for quick access to the Start menu. Toshiba says that the key will sit in the upper left area of the keyboard near the function keys.

The Cortana key will appear on all of Toshiba’s Windows 10 systems, Jeff Barney, general manager of Toshiba America, told PC World.

Borrowing from mobile

Cortana initially was unveiled on Windows Phone as a competitor to Google Now on Android and Siri on iOS. On Windows Phone — which will be renamed Windows 10 Mobile when the platform gets upgraded this year — Cortana is accessible accessible via the search key on the phone.

On the PC, Cortana is currently accessible via a mouse click or on-screen tap of the Cortana icon that sits adjacent to the Start menu on the task bar. Toshiba’s dedicated physical key will make it less cumbersome to access one of the most important new features of Windows 10.

To make Cortana work better, Toshiba said that it has added better microphones to its systems so Cortana can better understand user’s spoken queries.

It’s unclear if other PC vendors or peripheral manufacturers – such as makers of mice and keyboards – will follow Toshiba’s lead. Windows 10 will arrive on July 29, and we don’t expect Toshiba’s new PCs with a dedicated Cortana key to launch before that date.

US to probe TCS, Infosys on visas

 

US to probe TCS, Infosys on visas

BENGALURU: In a worrying development for India’s IT industry, the US government has launched an investigation against Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys — the two biggest players in the space — for possible violations of H-1B visa regulations.

The matter looked serious enough for the country’s IT industry association Nasscom to promptly come down heavily on the move. Nasscom described it as an attempt by some to tarnish the contributions made by Indian IT service providers in maintaining the global competitiveness of US companies, which in turn has helped create jobs for Americans in the US.

READ ALSO: At Disney, American workers forced to train their H-1B replacements

The New York Times reported on Thursday that the US department of labour had opened an investigation against TCS and Infosys for “possible violations of rules for visas for foreign technology workers under contracts they held with an electric utility Southern California Edison (SCE).”

It said the power company had recently laid off more than 500 technology workers and said there were claims that many of those laid off were made to train their replacements who were immigrants on the temporary work visas brought in by the Indian firms.

READ ALSO: H-1B visa application cap reached within 5 days

The same publication had reported earlier this month about Disney firing 250 employees but requiring them to train the foreign immigrants, mostly Indian, replacing them before they left the company.

The investigation could be worrying because a previous federal investigation that was initiated in 2011 had led to Infosys being fined $35 million (Rs 219 crore then) by the US government. The charge then was that the company had misused easy-to-get B1 visas, which are meant for short business visits, to bring workers to the US for long-term stays.

Asked about the investigation, Infosys said it was committed to complying with US immigration laws. “The US department of labor (DOL) regularly selects a percentage of visa and labour condition applications for extra scrutiny in this industry, and we work closely with the DOL to assist them in this activity in the ordinary course of our business. We have received no indication of any broader investigation of Infosys visa practices,” it said.

A TCS spokesperson said the company maintains rigorous internal controls to ensure it is fully compliant with all regulatory requirements related to US immigration laws. R Chandrasekhar, president of Nasscom, said Indian IT companies were fully compliant with US visa regulations. “Immigration is a politically-charged issue and we need to make sure that technically-skilled immigrants don’t become collateral victim of politics that goes on in the US,” he said.

He said attempts by some quarters to portray the contribution of Indian IT companies negatively “would have serious detrimental impact on the strategic partnership and mutually beneficial economic and trade relationship that the two countries are striving to nurture.”

The precise nature of the allegations in the latest issue is not clear. But activists in the US typically argue that those on H-1B are often not paid the minimum salary as required by law, and that often H-1Bs are brought in even when similar talent is available in the US, which again is said to be violative of regulations.

But Cyrus Mehta, founder and managing attorney of New York law firm Cyrus D Mehta & Associates, wrote in his blog last week: “Lower costs, as is commonly believed, is not the driving factor in hiring H-1B workers. The employer has to pay the higher of the prevailing wage or the actual wage it pays similarly situated workers, and so it is generally difficult for an H-1B worker to replace a US worker because they are cheaper.”

Data shows that salaries that top Indian IT companies pay to those on H-1Bs are invariably higher than $60,000.