Tag Archive: Telecom



Chipmaker Intel Corp said on Thursday that it was updating 5G equipment that will allow telecom companies like AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications Inc to run trials based on standards to be released later this year.

A 5G network is expected to offer faster speeds, more capacity and shorter response times while supporting uses ranging from self-driving cars to remote surgeries. Telecom companies and their suppliers consider it to be a multibillion-dollar revenue opportunity.

Intel has five 5G trials with global service providers and 15 more in the pipeline, Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich said on a post-earnings conference call in July.

One such trial, with wireless carrier AT&T, involves a 5G broadband service that could be introduced as soon as late 2018.

Intel’s mobile trial equipment, which looks like a large box, handles the processing needs for a 5G connection. The updated version, slated for the fourth quarter, will support new 5G standards that the Third Generation Partnership Project, a telecom group known as 3GPP, is expected to release in late 2017.

As a result, the new platform will allow Intel’s partners to “really see what works and what doesn’t,” Rob Topol, general manager of 5G business and technology, said in an interview.

Intel participated in 3GPP’s working groups to develop the 5G standards, Topol said. 3GPP also developed current mobile phone standards for 4G LTE.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)

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Jio users can receive up to 25GB of additional 4G data on purchase of Intex smartphones as part of a partnership between the two companies. As part of the offer, Reliance Jio consumers can get 5GB data on top per recharge of Rs. 309 or above, valid for maximum of five recharge cycles. This is the latest such partnership Jio has made with smartphone brands operating in the country. The telecom operator – which has 130 million consumers on its network – just had the first anniversary of its operations earlier this week, where Chairman Mukesh Ambani congratulated the employees for creating several records over the past year.

“The world’s largest end-to-end IP network of Jio and Intex’s pan-India mobile distribution network will together be a delight for consumers,” said Nidhi Markanday, Director and Business Head, Mobiles, Intex Technologies, in a statement. The offer is limited to a maximum of five recharges.

Late last month, Chinese manufacturer Oppo also partnered with Reliance Jio – which has the fastest 4G download speeds in the country – to offer data benefits to its smartphone customers. Those customers who purchase an Oppo smartphone and enrol themselves in Jio Prime membership will get additional data benefits.

As per the new offer, buyers of Oppo’s F3, F3 Plus, and F1 Plus smartphone models can get additional data up to 10GB on every recharge of Rs. 309 or above (making it up to 60GB of additional data). On the other hand, those customers who purchase Oppo F1s, A57, A37, and A33 models can get additional data up to 7GB on every recharge (making it up to 42GB of additional data). Notably, customers can avail these additional data benefits for a maximum of six Jio recharges.

The company is also launching its own 4G feature phone – named Jio Phone – that offers high-speed Internet access with recharge packs of Rs. 153 per month. The handset is “essentially free” though consumers need to pay Rs. 1,500 as security deposit; deliveries begin on September 21.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Finnish telecoms giant Nokia said Thursday it planned to cut around 600 jobs in France as it seeks to make cost-savings and refocus its loss-making businesses.

The group said it planned to reduce its headcount in France by 597, a little over 10 percent of its total workforce in the country. French trade unions (CFDT, CFE-CGC, CGT, CFTC unions) called the move “unacceptable,” and asked for a meeting at the Economy Ministry.

The Ministry told Reuters it would convene in the coming weeks a committee made of union and company representatives to monitor the issue.

The job cuts would concern central and support functions within Alcatel-Lucent International and Nokia Solutions Networks France, which employ a combined 4,200 people in the country, a Nokia spokeswoman told Reuters in an e-mail.

R&D functions were excluded from the plan and Nokia will seek to limit as much a possible forced redundancies, she said.

Nokia, which no longer makes handsets having sold that business to Microsoft, bought French-American telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent in 2015 in a deal that was expected to lead to savings.

The cuts in France will be focused on administrative and support services and will not effect research and development as it refocuses on high-speed 5G telecom networks, cyber-security and Internet-linked appliances, the group said.

Nokia is aiming to make EUR 1.2 billion ($1.4 billion) in total cost savings by the end of 2018 following net losses of EUR 766 million last year.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


The new telecom policy in the works should ensure equal policies for competing technologies, an advance yearly road map for spectrum allocation, and cut levies for operators, industry body COAI has said.

The policy should have some “permanent fixes” for the failing financial health of the sector and the industry cannot be treated “as a place to go for revenue”, COAI Director General Rajan Mathews told PTI.

The policy – the work on which has already started at the telecom department – should ensure level-playing-field between mobile operators and over-the-top players (Internet-based calling and messaging providers like WhatsApp).

Having equal policies for competing technologies would protect investments made by licensed mobile operators by ensuring regulatory predictability and consistency, according to COAI, whose members include operators Airtel, Vodafone, Idea as also newcomer Reliance Jio.

Propagating the “same service same rules” principle, Mathews said the new policy should bring OTT communication services under the licensing ambit just as mobile operators or else “deregulate” everyone.

“There should be same-service-same-rules principle. If such players are deregulated, then deregulate us as well. If they are offering voice too, why is it that only mobile operators are paying levies like licence fee and spectrum charge?” Mathews wondered.

He said COAI has placed its submissions on the new policy before the Department of Telecom.

Terming a robust policy on spectrum as “necessity” in ensuring its efficient management and allocation, the association has sought a long-term and clear road map for releasing radio waves for cellular technologies.

The same should be reviewed every five years or earlier, the industry body added.

COAI has also asked the government to ensure there is no delicensing or free allocation of spectrum, particularly below 1GHz bands, which are critical and more valuable.

Mathews felt that the new policy should be a vehicle for returning industry to financial health.

Accordingly, COAI has renewed some of its past demands like reduction of spectrum usage charge to uniform 1 percent and lowering of Universal Service Obligation (used for rural rollout) contribution to 3 per cent before the phasing out of the levy in 2-3 years.

Alternatively, COAI has said the USO Fund levy can be rationalised as per rural rollout done by an operator, or USO contribution can be kept in abeyance till the entire amount of available corpus gets fully disbursed.

The comments come at a time when mobile operators – large and small – are reeling under a massive Rs. 4.6 lakh crores debt burden and the industry’s revenue, profitability and key operational metrics are under pressure hurt by competition and freebies from newcomer Jio.

An inter-ministerial group, which has been constituted to look into the financial issues of the telecom sector and suggest remedial measures, is expected to submit its report later this month.

DoT has, meanwhile, also started consultations with the industry and academia on the new telecom policy and hopes to finalise it by March 2018.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


BSNL, which has maintained an aggressive stance to retain market share since Reliance Jio started operations, has launched a new ‘Rakhi pe Saugaat’ plan for prepaid users. The state-owned telecom operator is offering with this plan unlimited on-net calls, and bundled talk value and talk time at Rs. 74. As this BSNL plan has been launched to celebrate the festival of Rakhi, it comes with short-term validity of five days. This offer can be availed starting August 3, and will go on for 12 days.

With the new recharge pack, BSNL users can make unlimited on-net voice calls for the five-day period. Furthermore, they will also get 1GB of data benefits for those five days, with a talk value of Rs. 74 as well.

“Maintaining its tradition BSNL is offering such cheapest tariffs on festivities,” R.K.Mittal, Director (CM) BSNL Board said in a statement. Additionally, few combo offers worth Rs. 189, Rs. 289, and Rs. 389 have also been launched, and it offers 18 percent extra talk value and 1GB of free data.

BSNL recently also launched the ‘Sixer 666’ pack for prepaid subscribers with 120GB data. Under the plan, BSNL prepaid users got data in allowances of 2GB per day and the plan had a validity of 60 days.

Also, BSNL recently announced a data-focused plan for its postpaid subscribers as well, in an attempt to counter Reliance Jio. Under the new offer, BSNL postpaid customers get additional data benefits on their existing plans. BSNL customers who were enrolled under Plan 99 will now get 250MB of data compared to zero data benefit previously. Similarly, those with Plan 225 now get 1GB data compared to 200MB, and Plan 325 will offer 2GB of data compared to just 250MB data. Users enrolled under Plan 525 and 725 will now get 3GB (earlier 500MB) and 5GB data (earlier 1GB).

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Ahead of Raksha Bandhan, state-owned telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has launched a new ‘Rakhi pe Saugaat’ recharge plan for its prepaid customers. The recharge plan, priced at a Rs. 74, offers unlimited on-net calls, talk value, and data benefits to its prepaid customers looking for short-term validity.

The new recharge plan launched by BSNL is worth only Rs. 74, and only prepaid users of the carrier can take advantage of it. The validity of this plan is for five days only, but it offers unlimited voice calls on-net to its customers. Furthermore, users also get 1GB of data benefits for those five days, with a talk value of Rs. 74 as well. This offer can be availed starting August 3, and will go on for 12 days.

“Maintaining its tradition BSNL is offering such cheapest tariffs on festivities,” R.K.Mittal, Director (CM) BSNL Board said in a statement. Additionally, few combo offers worth Rs. 189, Rs. 289, and Rs. 389 have also been launched, and it offers 18 percent extra talk value and 1GB of free data.

BSNL recently also launched the ‘Sixer 666’ pack for prepaid subscribers with 120GB data. Under the plan, BSNL prepaid users got data in allowances of 2GB per day and the plan had a validity of 60 days.

Also, BSNL recently announced a data-focused plan for its postpaid subscribers as well, in an attempt to counter Reliance Jio. Under the new offer, BSNL postpaid customers get additional data benefits on their existing plans. BSNL customers who were enrolled under Plan 99 will now get 250MB of data compared to zero data benefit previously. Similarly, those with Plan 225 now get 1GB data compared to 200MB, and Plan 325 will offer 2GB of data compared to just 250MB data. Users enrolled under Plan 525 and 725 will now get 3GB (earlier 500MB) and 5GB data (earlier 1GB).

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Telecom major Bharti Airtel plans to roll out VoLTE service, that enables phone calls using 4G technology, across India by end of the current financial year, a top official of the company on Wednesday said.

“We have done (VoLTE) trials in 5-6 cities. Towards the end of this fiscal year, we will be taking VoLTE everywhere.

The uptake of VoLTE devices will depend on certification…We should be very much national in the coming 6-9 months,” Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel said during earnings call.

At present, Mukesh Ambani controlled Reliance Jio is the only operator in India offering voice on 4G network using VoLTE technology, while the incumbent telcos have been offering voice calls to their 4G customers with support of their other established networks – 2G and 3G.

Vittal said that 3G networks in India will be phased out faster than other parts of the world and “India will get to a situation where 4G and 2G will co-exist for a while.”

Bharti Airtel on Tueday reported its smallest profit in 18 quarters as the price war triggered by newcomer Reliance Jio led to a massive 75 percent fall in its April-June earnings.

The net profit for the first quarter of 2017-18, at Rs. 367 crores, was 74.9 percent lower than the year-ago period, and the company blamed the disruptive pricing of the new entrant for continued “turbulence” and stress in the market.

The net income for the Sunil Mittal company stood at Rs. 1,462 crores in the first quarter of 2016-17.

To questions on Airtel’s strategy to counter the new 4G feature phone announced by Jio, Vittal said Airtel will not be taking a similar route.

“One of the things that we have stayed away and have no intention to get into is subsidising device, managing device inventories and running these devices as they belong to us,” he said.

Reliance Jio has announced that it will launch a 4G feature phone against one-time refundable deposit of Rs. 1,500 a unit. It will come pre-loaded with applications with the option of unlimited data usage and free calling service starting at Rs. 24.

Vittal said that Jio’s feature phone will open up new segment for 4G services.

“We believe that this could propel the launch of cheaper phones in the market and that is something that we embrace. We will work with all the device companies to encourage this. We will continue to look at opportunity where we can bundle,” he said while raising uncertainty over pick up of JioPhone.

Vittal said that the price of the feature phone is on the higher side than what is being sold in the market.

“60-65 percent feature phones are sold below Rs. 1,000 in India. This is higher end of that. We need to understand what the terms and conditions are and how customers respond. We will respond at the right point of time,” he said.

Vittal said that aggressive plans of Jio may lead to further consolidation which will benefit Airtel.

He, however, said that company will respond with competitive strategy to increase its market share. “You have seen action in the market already. We have lost ARPU over last few quarters, we have seen revenue erosion. This is simply because we have responded in the marketplace with aggressive pricing in order to compete and grow our market share. That aspect will continue,” Vittal said.

The total customer base of Airtel in India increased by 9.7 percent to over 28 crore but its average revenue per user (ARPU) declined by 21.1 percent to Rs. 154 from Rs. 196 on YoY basis.

“The reason that is important is as you come out of this war that is currently on, we believe that this market will consolidate behind three players plus the government player, may be four, but perhaps three. We believe our objective is to consolidate and grow our market share,” Vittal said.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications on Tuesday blamed “freebies” offered by a new telecom operator – an apparent reference to Mukesh Ambani-run group firm Reliance Jio – for woes of the sector even as it denied having delayed any payment by more than three months.

Debt-ridden RCom said that for the first time in history, the debt of listed telecom operators has exceeded their market capitalisation.

“As a result of increase in debt and decline in revenue, the debt servicing capabilities of telecom companies have been adversely impacted.

“The telecom industry’s current financial problem to some extent can be attributed to the entry of a new telecom operator and its strategy of freebies to gain customer and market share,” RCom said in a regulatory filing.

“The ‘go-slow approach by domestic banks is not only adversely impacting the corporate in making investment decision but also important refinancing programmes, which is not only creating a mismatch in cash flows of corporate but also impacting the bank’s financials due to increased provisioning,” RCom said.

The company has defaulted on some of the payments to lenders and it has received time till December for strategic restructuring plan under which it will get a 7-month standstill to service loans amounting to Rs. 45,000 crores.

The company shared details of debt raised along with due dates adding that “in no case, the delay has exceeded three months” and hence it was not required to sent any intimation to stock exchanges for delay in payments.

RCom said that lenders have granted it standstill period of seven months from June 2017 to service obligations related to existing debts.

RCom said that it has already announced sale of mobile towers to Brookfield Infrastructure and combination of its wireless business with Aircel group which, on completion of the deal, will reduce existing debt by up to Rs. 25,000 crores.

Shares of RCom on Tuesday closed at Rs. 20.9 a unit, down by 4.35 percent compared to previous close, at BSE Tuesday.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Nokia 3 customers will get 4GB of free Vodafone 3G/ 4G data as part of the partnership between the telecom operator and HMD Global, the new custodian of the Nokia mobile phone brand. In addition to this, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 buyers will also get 4GB and 9GB of free data from Vodafone when the two smartphones become available to purchase in July. Of the three Nokia Android phones, only the Nokia 3 is available to purchase at present. The free Vodafone data will be available for both prepaid and postpaid customers buying the smartphones.

Nokia 3, Nokia 5, Nokia 6 free Vodafone data offer
With the new Vodafone India offers, Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 users will be able to avail additional 4G or 3G data. Prepaid subscribers with Nokia 3 or Nokia 5 phones will get 4GB additional data with the purchase of a 1GB recharge, for 3 months or 3 recharges (whichever comes first) at Rs. 142; this means they will get 5GB data at the price of 1GB. Similarly, Nokia 6 users will get total of 10GB data from Vodafone on purchase of a 1GB recharge, for 3 months or 3 recharges at Rs. 251. The company notes that prices will vary depending on the circle.

As for postpaid subscribers, Vodafone says Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 users will also get the same extra 4GB data for three consecutive billing cycles, if they have a minimum of a 1GB data plan activated. Nokia 6 users will likewise get 9GB of additional 4G or 3G data.

Vodafone adds that the additional data offers for Nokia 3, Nokia 5, and Nokia 6 smartphone users are valid across all Vodafone circles, while customers in Vodafone’s ICR circles (AP & Telangana, MP & CG, Bihar & Jharkhand, HP & J&K) will get the data at 2G speeds.

Announcing this initiative, Sandeep Kataria, Chief Commercial Officer, Vodafone India said, “We are delighted to partner with HMD Global to roll out this exciting offer that enables our customers to get the most out of their new Nokia smartphones.”

Commenting on the partnership, Ajey Mehta, Vice President India, HMD Global, said, “This partnership showcases our commitment to provide the best possible experience to our Nokia smartphone consumers who are Vodafone subscribers.”

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Google’s vice-president for South East Asia and India, Rajan Anandan has been appointed new chairman of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI).

 

He took over charge from FreeCharge’s co-founder and chief executive officer Kunal Shah.

MakeMyTrip Chairman & Group CEO Deep Kalra has taken over as vice chairman from music app Saavn co-founder and President Vinodh Bhat.

Facebook’s Managing Director – India & South Asia, Umang Bedi has been elected as the new Treasurer of the Association. Subho Ray continues to be the President of the Association, IAMAI said in a statement.

The tenure of the new council is for two years.

“Anandan assumes office at a time when the industry is going through a growth trajectory with more than 400 million Internet users and with more than 300 million mobile Internet users,” the statement said.

In rural India, with an estimated population of 906 million, have only 156 million Internet users.
“Thus, there are potential 750 million users still in rural heartlands; if only they can be reached out properly. Thus, the new council will work towards increasing the Internet users’ base, especially in rural areas,” the statement said.

Another key focus area of work for the new council would be the promotion of local language content. Currently, much of the content on the Internet is in English. English language accounts for nearly 56 percent of the content on the worldwide web, while Indian languages account for less than 0.1 percent, the statement said.

Enabling Indic content on the Internet will lead to a growth of 39 percent with the current Internet user base of India.

IAMAI, which helps Internet based firms in handling industry and policy issues, said that the new council would also work towards promoting the digital startup ecosystem in India.

“The Council believes that apps economy in India will drive the next level of Internet growth, along with Indic. With over 300 million mobile Internet users and more than 200 million local language consumers on the Internet, the growth trajectory for apps development is bound to be exponential,” IAMAI said.

The companies in the new council include Times Internet, OLX, Policy Bazaar, Yatra, Paytm, Hungama, Mobikwik, Indiamart, Itzcash and Pepperfry.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)