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BSNL Gave Undue Favour To Vendors : CAG

BSNL

National auditor CAG came down heavily on state run operator BSNL for its poor performance and malpractices and said it had given undue favour to some vendors.

“In procurement, there were instances of non- ensuring of supplies in a timely manner and extending undue favour to vendors,” CAG said in its report tabled in the Parliament in the ongoing session.

The auditor referred to BSNL’s performance for the year ended 30 March 2016.

The company has been doing losses for around a decade now and at present sitting on a debt of over a billion dollars.

CAG also said that despite broadband being a prominent segment for the state run firm, the company has not focused on improvement the services.

The CAG said issues relating to maintenance of the broadband equipment such as delay in entering into Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC), non-levy of penalty on defaulting vendors, etc. hampering quality of broadband services were also noticed.

The auditor also found asymmetry in company’s expansion policies. It said BSNL has shown unnecessary haste in capacity building despite half of its resources remained unutilised.

“The Company, despite having 50 per cent of its wireline broadband capacity lying unutilized, went into unwarranted augmentation of capacity,” the CAG said in its report tabled on 21 July.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) also raised questions on the telco’s quality of service policies.

“As regard s compliance with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) parameters on Quality of Services (QoS), there was scope for further improvement on part of the Company,” it said.

The CAG said inspite of the fact that broadband being a prominent segment, BSNL did not specifically focus on promotion and marketing of broadband services.

“Despite identifying the reasons for heavy disconnections through a survey, the company failed to address the causes and prevent further disconnections,” said the CAG. “There were indications to show that the tariff planning was not aligned to consumer behaviour and extant guidelines of the Company which may lead not only to non-retention of existing consumers but also non-expansion of existing consumer base. The social objective of providing broadband connections in rural areas and colleges under various Government schemes were also not met.”

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BroadbandNews

Vodafone Further Expands 4G Network In UP East

Vodafone-sakhi

Vodafone India has announced that it has extended its 4G services to cover 311 towns in UP East. Besides major towns and cities including Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Gorakhpur and Faizabad, Vodafone SuperNetTM 4G coverage now is being widened to bring the rest of the towns and villages in UP East, within its 4G network.
Vodafone is rapidly expanding its 4G footprint in UP East in a phased manner. Vodafone SuperNet4G service in UP East is built on a fiber backhaul, enabling better connectivity on 4G and is supported by its 3G services.

Nipun Sharma, Business Head-UP East, Vodafone India said, “We are proud to expand Vodafone SuperNet4G to cover 311 towns in UP East, a strong leadership market for Vodafone India. We have won hearts by consistently bringing the finest connectivity solutions relevant to the dynamic needs of an increasingly data savvy customer base”.

Company claimed in a press release that, UP East is a significant growth market for Vodafone India and its network
covers 97.08% of the population in the circle. Vodafone M-Pesa has also tied up with the State Govt. to ensure timely and transparent digital transfer of monthly disbursement to pensioners.

Vodafone has invested INR 1361 Crores in 2016-17 to expand, modernize and build a more technology and energy
efficient network. In UP East, Vodafone has retail footprint with 617 Vodafone branded stores spread across urban and rural areas.

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AppsBroadbandNews

India’s App Economy To Touch Rs 18 Lakh Crore By 2020

india-app-economy

The potential of India’s internet based app economy is estimated to touch Rs 18 lakh crore in next three years or by 2020. In other way this represents half of India’s internet based contribution to country’s GDP.

This report was presented jointly by ICRIER, one of India’s leading think tanks, along with Broadband India Forum. The report was released by telecom minister Manoj Sinha.

As per the study, a 17% increase in the total internet traffic in India in 2015-16, contributed to an increase of Rs. 7 lakh crore in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), of which at least Rs 1.4 lakh crores (US$ 20.4 billion) was due to Internet based app services. This puts the Internet’s contribution to India’s GDP at about 5.6% in 2015-16.

“The contribution is estimated to grow to nearly 16% of the country’s GDP by 2020 or Rs 36 lakh crores ($ 534 billion), of which apps will contribute about half,” the report named ‘Estimating the Value of New Generation Internet based Application Services in India’ revealed.

“With internet penetration and the start-up ecosystem achieving critical mass, we felt the time was right to study the micro level impact of the internet services and apps on the country and define interventions needed for long term growth. Interestingly, we found that the ecosystem’s contribution went beyond just economic into social areas such as mainstreaming the differently abled and enabling women safety among others,” said Dr. Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, ICRIER.

Kathuria was also supported by four other researchers including Mansi Kedia, Gangesh Varma and Kaushambi Bagchi for this report on India’s app economy.

The study, beyond econometric estimations, also captures in-depth case studies of 16 service/app companies capturing impact generation at a micro level in key sectors of travel, healthcare, education, entertainment, utilities, digital payments, social, navigation and Government services.

The report covered companies including Makemytrip, Practo, PayTM, Urbanclap, Netflix, Wynk, Byju’s, Truecaller, farMart and MP Mobile. The case studies bring alive different aspects of impact created, such as potential for increased income and job creation, easy access to credible information and Government services, lowering costs for buyers and sellers, creating a platform for smaller businesses and individuals to market their products and services, popularizing the use of vernacular language and enabling women safety among others.

“Internet apps and services are disrupting traditional industries. Regulation, globally, is evolving to strike the right balance between protecting consumer/business interests and encouraging the ecosystem to innovate further. India needs to chart its own course from a policy/regulation perspective considering the significant higher impact on its economy. It needs to resist the temptation to follow global precedence or come up with defining laws without active stakeholder discussion,” said TV Ramachandran, President, Broadband India Forum.

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Zyxel launches multi service Wireless router for service providers

Zyxel PMG2006-T20A

Zyxel, has launched PMG2006-T20A Wireless router which is GPON HGU embedded with a 4-port GbE Switch enabling it to connect to peripherals such as IP cameras, Network Data Storage, computer servers and Wi-Fi access points to share data in high speeds.

The switch furnishes numerous integrated services via a single optical fiber to support existing deployments of triple-play services such as data, video/ HDTV, VoIP as well as interactive games.

The Zyxel PMG2006-T20A can be connected to the GPON OLT to offer network operators with management and provision features that support ONT Management and Control Interface (OMCI) and TR-069 management functions as well.

As higher bandwidth and greater efficiency of Ethernet cannot guarantee delivery of high-quality voice, data and video across a GPON network, service providers can freely design their Advanced Quality of Service (QoS) policies and prioritize mission-critical services such as IPTV and VoIP based on their service plan offerings.

This switch is aimed at service providers who want to offer a multi-play solution that truly meets of residential user needs. This switch supports DS/US transmission rate to 2.488 Gbps/1.244 Gbps and can be installed up to 20KMs away from consumer premises.
PMG2006-T20A Wireless Router is available exclusively at Zyxel website at a price of INR 13,000.

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BroadbandCorporateInfrastructureNews

Nokia and WorldLink build Nepal’s first 100G optical network

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Nokia and WorldLink have announced that they are upgrading 650-km-long backbone network with Nokia’s 1830 PSS (Photonic Service Switch) DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology this will provide high speed international connectivity between Nepal and other countries including India.

This new network will support bandwidth-hungry entertainment and enterprise services across the country. The intercity network stretches from Kathmandu to Bhairahawa and Birgunj.

WorldLink, is the largest fixed broadband operator in the Himalayan country, has 120,000 residential broadband subscribers and 5,000 enterprise broadband circuits. It is now connecting 10,000 residential Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) service subscribers every month.

Nokia claims that its optical network technology will allow WorldLink to flexibly increase its network capacity, reach and density as the technology is powered by the industry’s most programmable chipset, Nokia’s Photonic Service Engine-2 with super coherent technology (PSE-2s).

Samit Jana, CTO, WorldLink, said: “WorldLink has a commitment to Nepal to transform the communications landscape so that our people and enterprises thrive. This is our largest project to date and it will allow us to provide ultra-fast broadband services for our mobile and fixed network subscribers in cities as well as rural areas across the country.”
Sanjay Malik, head of India Market, at Nokia, said: “We are proud to be part of WorldLink’s vision to transform Nepal’s communications architecture by providing the first 100G transport network. Nokia’s highly scalable optical platform will ensure low latency and high resiliency, and allow WorldLink to cost-effectively increase network capacity as needed.”

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TRAI plans Nationwide WiFi hotspot network

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TRAI, Telecom regulatory body of India, has invited businesses both small and big to become part of Pilot of what it calls PDO (Public Data Office), Network. PDO is essentially WiFi hotspot, but these will part of a wider network which will take care of authentication and payment, this will allow users to make single payment and authentication to use a network of WiFi hotspots.

Regulator has devised a framework under which these PDOs will operate, it is called WiFi Access Network Interface (WANI). This interface will allow business to easily setup public WiFi hotspots without bothering about setting up payment and authentication systems and allow users one click payment and authentication and usage of one or more hotspot in a single session.

TRAI wants prices to be available in small sachet of Rs 2 to Rs 20 per session, it also wants the Public Wi-Fi Hotspots to store community interest data locally, and allow access to it through negligible costs.

In this WiFi Hotspot Network three entities will be involved, first being Public Data Office Provider/Aggregator, it will provide one or more WiFi hotspots to the public on free or paid model, second will be App provider whose role will be to manage user’s KYC (mobile or Aadhaar) backed profile, allow all digital payment methods, and allow users to easily connect to hotspots. and Third and final part will be played by Hardware, software and service provider they will form the back end of the network.

TRAI will release WANI technology Architecture Document in next couple of days for the entities which wants to participate in the Pilot project.

TRAI has said “This Pilot aims to demonstrate that un-bundling of services reduces rework, speeds up development and hence is the most effective way to tackle this complex problem”.

It goes on to add “PDOs will be akin to the PCOs that connected all of India, even when tele-density was less than 7 telephones per 100 people. It is also suggested that the Public Wi-Fi Hotspots store community interest data locally, and allow access to it through negligible costs. Overall, these suggestions encourage the PDOs to become bustling centers of economic activity, where consumption of data for the average Indian becomes as common as consuming a cup of hot chai”.

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BroadbandNews

Reliance Jio Data Speed Almost Double Of Airtel In May : TRAI

Reliance-Jio-data-speed

Data released by sector regulator TRAI showed that 4G data speed of Reliance Jio for the month of May was highest beating its rivals by a margin. The company recorded average data speed of 19.1 Mbps on its network.

In contrast, Jio’s biggest rival in 4G space, Bharti Airtel, has recorded a data speed of 10.15 Mbps, for the same month. The other two operators – Idea Cellular and Vodafone – are ahead of Airtel in average 4G speed for the same month.

Idea Cellular, that became the third pan-India 4G player with the launch of operations on Mumbai, showed average 4G data speed of 13.7 Mbps – second in the chart. Vodafone’s data speed on its network was pretty close to Idea – at 13.4 Mbps.

If data speed of last three months was taken into consideration, Reliance Jio has consistently stayed ahead of its rivals with 18.4 Mbps followed by Idea at 11.8 Mbps, Vodafone at 11.5 Mbps and Airtel is at the bottom of the list with 9.9 Mbps.

While Airtel was the slowest in download data speed for the month of May, Jio was the slowest in terms of upload speed. Idea’s upload on its 4G network was highest at 7.2 Mbps followed by 6.8 Mbps by Vodafone. Airtel’s upload speed was at 4.4 Mbpas whereas the same of Reliance Jio was at 4.3 Mbps.

For consumers, download speed of their data matters more than the upload speed.

Though Airtel and Jio are the biggest rivals in Indian mobile broadband space, both claim to have the fastest 4G network in the country by citing data from various sources.

In February this year, Airtel was certified by Ookla of having the fastest network, though Jio had contested the same.

In a letter to advertising watchdog Advertising Standards Council of India, Reliance Jio had said Airtel’s claim and the related advertisement that its the fastest telecom network in India is misleading and incorrect. The new operator has also asked ASCI to consider withdrawal of the said ad.

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BroadbandNews

India Has More Gigabit Internet Users Than China

india-gigabit-internet-users

Though China is the world’s largest internet market with more than 750 million users, more than double that of India, in terms of high speed broadband, India has more Gigabit internet users than China.

India has a total of 9.5 million Gigabit internet users or those who use broadband speed of more than 1000 Mbps compared to China’s 7.9 million such users. In terms of population coverage, India’s Gigabit internet users represent 0.7% of the country where as the same for China is at 0.5%.

The top three broadband providers that offer internet at Gbps speed in India are Spectranet with 6 million customers, ACT Fibernet with 3 million customers and Hayai Broadband with 10,000 customers, according to Viavi Gigabit Monitor.

This data is revealed by test and measurement company Viavi’s upgraded Gigabit Monitor portal that tracks the world’s Gigabit internet users as well as the service providers.

According to this portal 219 million people globally now have gigabit internet available to them, representing roughly 3 percent of the global population. There are currently 603 gigabit internet implementations, a jump of 72 percent since June 2016.

The United States has the highest number of people with access to gigabit internet (56.4 million) with a population coverage of 17 percent. Singapore currently has the highest proportion of citizens with gigabit internet availability at 95 percent. South Korea has the second highest number of citizens with gigabit availability (46.7 million), representing 93 percent of its population.

According to its data, a total of 41 countries offer Gigabit broadband to their citizens.

Of the current gigabit installations tracked by Gigabit Monitor, unsurprisingly, 91 percent are based on fiber – with cellular connections accounting for 3.65 percent, HFC accounting for 5.26 percent, and WiFi making up less than 1 percent. However, with many launches of gigabit LTE and 5G expected in the near future, the scale of cellular gigabit connectivity is expected to change significantly. This is reflected in Viavi’s State of 5G Trials, which shows that 25 mobile operators are currently lab-testing 5G, with 12 of those reporting that they have progressed to field trial.

The Gigabit Monitor is a web-based tool intended to showcase the state-of-play of gigabit internet provision across the world, based on publicly available data. The new Gigabit Monitor has been upgraded to display dynamically updated infographics showing the current state of gigabit internet provision in all 41 countries where it is available. Each country’s profile displays the estimated population coverage, global ranking, gigabit launches over time and a listing of local gigabit providers.

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Broadband

Konkan Railway Opens Free WiFI Facility At 28 Stations

free-wifi-konkan-railway

Konkan Railway that connects Maharashtra to Karnataka has started offering free wifi services at 28 stations across the route. This free wifi service was inaugurated by Railways minister Suresh Prabhu on 21 May from Kudal Railway station.

The free wifi facility has been set up by Mumbai based ISP Syscon/Joister. Indian Railways has tied up with the ISP to offer wifi with 2 Mbps data speed  and will be offered completely free.

In line with Government’s Digital India Initiative, Syscon/Joister are providing the JoiSpot brand wifi in Pune & Mumbai educational institutes in Maharashtra state and have now undertaken as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity of providing free wifi bandwidth to the rural area on the Konkan route.

JoiSpot free wifi mobile app provides 2 mbps high speed Wireless internet with unlimited uploads.

Unlimited free wifi facility will be provided at 28 stations from Kolad to Madure in the initial phase with a peer to peer speed of 2 Mbps. The system can provide access to about 300 users at bigger stations and about 100 users at smaller stations.

This facility will help travelling public, commutes & tourists on Indian Railways to access essential information and they could use their time productively while waiting for trains at railway stations. This initiative of corporation is a steps towards making a smarter India.

Konkan Railway always believes in providing better passenger amenities to its passengers for their comfortable journey.

The free wifi Internet bandwidth is provided at the following Railway stations of Konkan Railway.
The stations are Kolad, Mangaon,Veer,Karanjadi, Vinhere, Diwankhavati, Khed, Anjani, Chiplun, Kamthe, Sawarda, Aravali Road, Sangameshwar, Ukshi, Bhoke, Ratnagiri, Nivasar, Adavali, Vilavade, Rajapur Road, Vaibhavwadi Road, Nandgaon Road, Kankavali, Sindhudurg, Kudal, Zarap, Sawantwadi Road and Madure⁠⁠⁠⁠,

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BroadbandNews

Airtel Broadband Offers 100% More Data For Same Price

airtel-broadband

Country’s largest telecom player Bharti Airtel today upgraded its broadband plans and announced to offer 100% more data at the existing data plans. It is applicable across the operators home broadband plans.

For instance, the Rs.899 plan in Delhi now offers 60 GB high speed data compared to 30 GB earlier, while the Rs.1099 plan will now offer 90 GB of high speed data compared to 50 GB earlier. The Rs.1299 plan now offers 125 GB compared to 75 GB and the Rs.1499 plan offers 160 GB compared to 100 GB.

Airtel said existing customers will be upgraded to the new benefits automatically within the current bill cycle while new customers can choose from a host of plans that offer great value backed by best-in-class high speed broadband experience.

The operator said there is a huge demand for data consumption at homes for customers looking to stream HD/4K content, download heavy file across a variety of connected devices like smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs, Internet TV solutions, and security solutions etc.

It also said Fixed broadband (Wi-Fi) continues to be the preferred mode of high speed data delivery given its consistent speeds and in the near future will also enable the IoT play for homes with connected appliances and much more.

“To serve this growing demand and enable a seamless high speed data experience in a multi-device environment, Airtel has built a future ready network and introduced ‘V-Fiber’ that delivers consistently superfast broadband speeds of up to 100 Mbps to homes. The ‘V-Fiber’ high speed broadband experience is available to customers within the same plan rentals and requires only a quick modem switch,” the company said in a statement.

“Our new plans are aimed at putting India onto the digital superhighway and complement our superfast broadband offerings like ‘V-Fiber’. At Airtel, our mission is to enable a superior digital experience and offer great value to our customers. Our customers can now add to their online experience with exciting speeds backed by unmatched service reliability. We believe these new plans will also drive the adoption of high speed broadband in the country,” said Hemanth Kumar Guruswamy, CEO – Homes, Bharti Airtel.

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