Sachin Tendulkar Backed Smartron Signs License Agreement With Qualcomm



Sachin Tendulkar backed technology firm Smartron, perhaps India’s sole original technology manufacturer, Monday signed a patent agreement license with Qualcomm to use the later’s 3G/4G technology to develop its own devices.

Under the terms of this agreement, Qualcomm has granted Smartron a royalty-bearing patent license to develop, manufacture and sell WCDMA, CDMA2000, and 4G LTE devices. With this agreement, the Hyderabad based manufacturer joins the growing list of key Indian OEMs to have direct access to Qualcomm’s technology.

As per the agreement, Qualcomm and Smartron will also strategically collaborate on early technology access and advancements in RF, camera testing and tuning and other critical calibrations required for smart devices. This enables Smartron to be in the top of the technology curve, thereby offering cutting-edge experiences to its end users. It also enhances the product company’s core competency and vision of developing innovative and world-class products across different markets.

“We are pleased to enable Smartron to create compelling products with our industry leading mobile technologies,” said, John Han, senior vice president, Qualcomm Incorporated and general manager, Qualcomm Technology Licensing.

“Qualcomm is passionate about innovation and is committed to help enable Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India vision and lay the foundation for a Digital India. We are thrilled to enable Smartron in its mission to create technologies that advance the mobile industry.” said, Jim Cathey, senior vice president & president, Asia Pacific & India, Qualcomm International, Inc.

“We are excited to collaborate with a global technology leader like Qualcomm to bring new and powerful products that delight our customers. As India’s first premier technology OEM and IoT brand, we are committed to developing next generation of smart devices based on our tronX platform to deliver intelligent experiences to our customers” said Mahesh Lingareddy, Founder and Chairman, Smartron.

Smartron is a Hyderabad based technology company having interest in smart phones, innovative personal technology products and IoT. The firm founded by Mahesh Lingareddy has also backing from cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.

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L&T Bags Multi-million Dollar Smart City Project In Israel


Indian engineering and consulting firm L&T Technology has bagged a multi-million dollar contract in Israel to deploy some of its smart city solutions. The firm has partnered with Microsoft to deploy Smart City & Campus solutions that will be used to develop a smart office campus in Israel for a leading technology company in that country.

The smart office campus being developed by the firms will use IoT- enabled sensors and predictive analytics. L&T Technology Services’ smart buildings i- BEMS platform will provide energy saving technology and cloud-based asset management that complement Microsoft’s Digital User Experience design solutions. Used together, LTTS and Microsoft technologies can lower customer energy bills by up to 40 percent, provide ‘Net-Zero’ energy generation management, and extend the asset life for cities, campuses and buildings.

The multi-year project was awarded shortly after L&T and Microsoft expanded their existing partnership for Smart City, Campus & Building (SCCB) solutions based on Microsoft Azure. That collaboration will drive joint solution innovation for campuses of the future, leveraging Azure as well as HoloLens Mixed Reality to enhance LTTS’ Digital Engineering Solutions such as i-BEMS.

Last October, LTTS and Microsoft entered into a strategic partnership to enable enterprises around the world to leverage L&T Technology’s cutting-edge IP-led Digital Engineering solutions hosted on Microsoft’s Azure enterprise cloud- first, mobile-first infrastructure.

“This multi-million dollar landmark smart office project demonstrates the synergies in technologies between L&T Technology Services and Microsoft and the proof of things to come in smart campus solutions,” said Amit Chadha, President, Sales & Business Development and Member of the Board, L&T Technology Services Limited.

“Our digital engineering partnership with Microsoft will enable the next level of personalized user experience, occupant safety and predictive diagnostics and usher in a new era of carbon light and sensor enabled Smart Cities,” Chadha said.

The Smart Campus will be the centerpiece for a new era of modern Smart City technologies that open numerous opportunities to provide repeatable solutions around energy efficiency systems, lighting controls, thermostats, sensors, and alarms – all connected to an intelligent software IoT platform.

By 2021, the global Smart Campus & Building market size is expected to grow from $ 5.73 billion in 2016 to $ 24.73 billion, at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.0% during 2016–2021, according to research firm Markets & Markets.

“We are now working with LTTS to set the trend for Smart Cities and campuses of the future,” said Mr Rimes Mortimer, General Manager of Applied Innovation, Worldwide Services. “At Microsoft Services, we believe in seeding disruptive digital technologies and solutions that transform businesses.”

The i-BEMS solution will save substantial energy costs and boost employee productivity and experience for customers. Going forward, LTTS and Microsoft will continue to empower customers to harness new technology, which can transform their organizations.

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Ericsson To Deploy HD Delivery Solution For Mexican Broadcaster Televisa


Ericsson today announced it is implementing a new end-to-end primary distribution system for Televisa, Mexico’s leading broadcaster and content provider.

The system selected by Televisa features Ericsson’s AVP Encoder with the latest HEVC compression module, the MX8400 Multiplexer and many RX8200 HEVC receivers with integrated DVB-S2X de-modulator.

By deploying both DVB-S2X and HEVC, Televisa can increase the number of high definition services it distributes while maintaining the best picture quality and without requiring additional bandwidth. Televisa has also selected Ericsson’s system management platform nCompass Director, which features conditional access and software download capabilities to offer a more flexible approach to managing and protecting content delivered to its affiliates.

This new primary distribution system enables the Mexican broadcaster to efficiently deliver content to ATSC stations distributed throughout Mexico.

Elisabetta Romano, Vice President and Head of Media Solutions at Ericsson, says: “This new agreement is the next milestone in our long-standing relationship with Televisa. Ericsson’s latest portfolio incorporating HEVC HD compression technology and DVB-S2X transmission technology will play a fundamental role in enabling more expansive HD content delivery without increasing demand on valuable satellite bandwidth.

Televisa has a reputation for being a pioneer in the Mexican TV and media industry, deploying new standards based technologies including MPEG-4 AVC, DVB-S2 and now both HEVC and DVB-S2X. We look forward to growing our relationship with them even further over the coming years.”

Ericsson has worked with Televisa for over 25 years. Nearly a decade ago, Ericsson helped the broadcast to migrate from its original Ericsson supplied MPEG-2 SD system to an MPEG-4 AVC SD and HD architecture, enabling the broadcaster to become the first to market with HDTV in Mexico.

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Airtel To Bring Baahubali 2 To Its Customers, Launches Baahubali Branded SIM


Bharti Airtel today said it has partnered with the makers of Baahubali 2, the sequel of India’s highest grossing mythological movies, to roll out special products for the fans of the movie ass well as for Airtel customers.

A range of Airtel ‘Baahubali 2’ products were unveiled by the upcoming film’s star cast today to add to the excitement around the arrival of the one of the most anticipated films in the country.

Not only that, for Baahubali fans Airtel has launched a special ‘Baahubali-2’ 4G SIM with free 4G data benefits to enable customers to experience the epic drama. In addition, the company launched special ‘Baahubali -2’ 4G recharge packs that offer great value to customers.

The partnership also enables customers to access content like the making of the film and a host of such other videos from the film on Airtel Movies. Besides, Airtel’s Wynk Music app will have the star cast of ‘Baahubali -2’ as ‘Guest Editors’ on the app and users can enjoy specially curated Playlists.

“As India’s largest and fastest mobile network, Airtel is thrilled to partner with ‘Baahubali 2’ to deliver an exciting experience to our customers. We invite Baahubali fans to get up close with the epic on their smartphones with Airtel and enjoy great content backed by a superior mobile broadband experience,” said Raj Pudipeddi, Director – Consumer Business & Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel.

Shobu Yarlagadda, CEO – Arka Mediaworks said, “We are excited about the partnership as it makes brand Baahubali more accessible to our audience. Currently Baahubali has expanded into a big franchise that includes comic books, novels, animated TV series, mobile game and a first of its kind virtual reality experience. Through this partnership with Airtel, we will expand our ability to provide the Baahubali phenomena and entertainment on-the-go, anywhere, and anytime to our audience.”

In addition to these, Airtel will introduce an online engagement program across various digital platforms to bring the exciting world of Baahubali closer to its consumers. An outdoor campaign will also be live soon making the movie and Airtel 4G come alive across customer touch points in the country.

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Jio’s 4G Network Most Available, Airtel’s Least : OpenSignal


OpenSignal that said Airtel has the fastest data network, has also said that Reliance Jio has the maximum 4G signal availability in the country. 4G signal availability defines the amount of time the network is available on the user’s access device.

According to OpenSignal, a third party global data and signal tester, 4G signal on Reliance Jio network is available 91.6% of time, the highest, whereas Airtel’s 4G network is available on 54.72% of time, the least.

“Jio may have only launched LTE in September, but its 4G service appears astonishingly pervasive. Our testers on Jio’s network were able to find a 4G signal 91.6% of the time, an exceptional availability measurement by any global standard,” said OpenSignal in a statement.

“In comparison, no other Indian operator scored higher than 60% in our availability tests,” it further added.

Idea Cellular is placed in the second position with its signals available 59.5% of time whereas Vodafone is placed next with 59.05% of time.

Heaping praise on the newest 4G operator, OpenSignal said Jio’s network is of global standards and at in some metrics better than some of them.

“That availability score isn’t just impressive for India — more than 30 percentage points ahead of Jio’s rivals — but it’s an exceptional score on the global level. Only a handful of operators have crossed the 90% availability threshold, showing that Jio has lived up to its promises to build a far-reaching 4G service in a relatively short amount of time,” it said.

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Procera Networks Bags Multi-million Dollar Deal From Vodafone Egypt


California based Procera Networks Thursday said it has bagged a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract from Vodafone Egypt to enhance the subscriber experience for its fixed and mobile subscribers.

Procera Networks was selected for the deployment after a competitive evaluation due to the strength of their virtualized solution offering for subscriber experience analytics, even as encryption becomes prevalent on the Internet.

Vodafone Egypt is the largest mobile operator in Egypt with a customer base exceeding 39 million.

According to the contract Vodafone Egypt will deploy Procera’s analytics solutions including PacketLogic’s DRDL engine, which identifies traffic signatures and makes it possible to deliver fine-grained application identification despite the increasing use of encryption on the Internet.

Besides, it will also deploy Procera’s ScoreCard technology that provides a unique view of quality, with high frequency measurements of quality in categories that subscribers can relate to. These include: web surfing, streaming video, social media, real-time gaming, upload, download, and voice applications. By analyzing results from ScoreCard, the data can be used to guide investment into network capacity and idenitify service creation opportunities for the network planning teams at Vodafone Egypt.

“Procera’s virtual solutions delivered on the promise of Network Functions Virtualization for Vodafone Egypt today, enabling us to accelerate our NFV deployment timelines,” said Osama Siad, Vodafone Egypt’s Technology Director.

Osama added: “Procera’s PacketLogic solutions, especially ScoreCard, enable us to dynamically deploy analytics capacity to ensure our customers are receiving a high quality broadband experience across our entire network footprint, to be the number one network in Egypt, and reach our main goal which is securing the best service quality for our customers’ satisfaction.”

Lyn Cantor, President and CEO at Procera Networks, said: “Procera is pleased to provide solutions that enable Vodafone Egypt’s to deliver a high quality broadband experience to their subscribers. We believe that our strategic focus on virtualization use cases for fixed and mobile network will enable both operators and subscribers to benefit from their broadband networks.”

“Virtualization of analytics is a key initiative for the Middle East region,” said Hashem Eid, Procera’s Managing Director of Sales for Middle East. “With regional operators competing on network quality, reducing the cost and increasing the deployment flexibility of analytics through virutualization is a business imperative.”

Procera’s subscriber and network intelligence technology is the choice for hundreds of fixed, mobile, and Wi-Fi operators around the world. From giving operators the tools to tackle encryption, to managing content filtering and enforcing parental restrictions, or helping meet regulatory requirements, Procera is giving back the network visibility and control that has otherwise been lost in recent years.

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Airtel Has Fastest 4G Data Speed, Jio Slowest : OpenSignal


Putting the data speed controversy to rest, global signal and data speed testing platform, OpenSignal has said Airtel has the fastest data speed network with average 4G data speed of 11.5 Mbps.

In contrast Reliance Jio’s 4G data speed was recorded at 3.6 Mbps. In fact Airtel’s 4G data speed was 3 Mbps faster than its nearest rivals Vodafone and Idea. Jio was placed at a distant fourth position.

“Airtel didn’t just win our 4G speed award, it wound up on top of our 3G and overall rankings as well. We measured Airtel’s average LTE download speed at 11.5 Mbps, which was 3 Mbps faster than the results we measured on its nearest rivals Vodafone and and Idea.

Not only that, country’s largest operator also wins Opensignal’s overall top ranking that included Airtel’s 3G speed and coverage as well.

In terms of 3G, Airtel has th ehighest data rate, at around 5 Mbps where as Vodafone is placed at second position at 4.4 Mbps. State run operator BSNL is placed at third position in 3G data speed followed by Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications. Jio does not offer services on 3G technology.

In overall data speed, that includes 3G data as well 4G data speed, Airtel tops the chart with 6.15 Mbps followed by 5.13 Mbps. Idea, placed at third place, has an over all data speed of 4.16 Mbps. Jio, however, recorded an overall data speed of 3.92 Mbps.

The network tester alaso said Jio scored highest in the network latency test. However, the winner in latency test is who scores the least or the network that goes off the signal for the least amount of time. Vodafone with latency of 54.27 milliseconds has the best network where as 86.61 milliseconds has the highest latency, means the data delay is higher in Jio compared to other operators. Airtel has a latency of 63.86 milliseconds.

In a separate development, Jio came on top beating its nearest rivals in terms of 4G data speed. According to country’s telecom regulator TRAI, Jio’s data speed for the month of march was highest in comparison to market leadr Airtel, Vodafone or Idea Cellular.

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Airtel Offers 35 GB Free Data As Against 28 GB By Jio


So, you have been addicted to free data for the last 6 months, thanks to Jio. But the road does not end at Jio only. Keep your eyes and ear open, almost all the operators are doling out free data, mostly 4G, to lure as well as retain their customers.

The latest offering comes from Bharti Airtel that announced to give you 35 GB 4G data free. Reliance Jio, in comparison, offers 28 GB free data per month to its customers against its Prime plan.

So, how do you get this 35 GB free data from Airtel?

In a recent announcement, country’s largest operator said Airtel Home Broadband customers can avail this offer if they subscribe to Amazon’s newly launched Fire TV Stick. Both the firms have recently joined hands to promote the Amazon Fire TV stick as well as the data offerings.

“Customers purchasing Amazon Fire TV will get free 100 GB high speed data via Airtel Broadband/Airtel 4G Home Wi-Fi to enable them to enjoy online content on their TV,” Airtel said in a statement.

In addition, Airtel Movies, the OTT app from Airtel, will offer Airtel mobile and broadband customers access to an exciting collection of thousands of popular Bollywood movies & premium TV shows across a host of genres.

The data quota can be availed in buckets of 35GB per month for three months from the date of activation. To activate the Airtel offer, customers of Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote have to just launch Airtel Movies and follow a few simple steps.

While the data offer can be availed by existing as well as new Airtel home broadband and 4G home Wi-Fi customers, free access to content on Airtel Movies will be available to all Airtel mobile customers as well.

“We are delighted to partner with Amazon to enable a superior online content experience through our platforms. We invite customers to experience the Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote Fire TV on Airtel and also enjoy thousands of movies with Airtel Movies. Airtel has consistently innovated to delight the Indian consumer and has been rated as the top broadband network and the fastest mobile network in the country,” said Raj Pudipeddi, Director – Consumer Business & Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel.

Airtel Broadband is available to customers in 87 cities and offers high speed broadband with speeds up to 100 Mbps with cutting edge offerings like V-Fiber that power digital homes of the future.

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Sunil Mittal Meets UN Secretary General On Sustainable Development Goals


Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal who also holds the prestigious position as Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Thursday met the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, to discuss the role of world businesses in achieving the UN sustainable development goal (SDG).

Mittal met Guterres at the UN headquarters in New York. It was their first meeting since ICC gained the Observer Status at the UN General Assembly last December.

During the meeting, Mittal underscored ICC’s commitment to use its newly granted status in the UN system to “deploy fully the resources, expertise and knowledge of world business” in the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are the most ambitious development agenda ever agreed at the international level—and it is widely recognised that their successful implementation will hinge on widespread business action.

The UN Secretary General Guterres welcomed ICC’s commitment to the SDGs and noted that partnerships with the private sector would be vital to address major global challenges from as climate change to mass-migration.

The Bharti Group Chairman highlighted the importance of rules-based policy making to enable trade, innovation and job-creation in the context of the SDGs. The two also discussed the challenges posed by growing populism and anti-globalisation sentiment.

“Given the complexity of today’s global challenges, it’s vital that business has a clear voice in UN decision making. We look forward to using the unique platform that Observer Status provides to positively shape important debates on issues such as trade, financing, technology and corporate responsibility,” said Mittal post meeting with the UN General Secretary.

The meeting was part of the ICC Chairman’s mission to New York where he is meeting with senior UN officials and national ambassadors. Earlier in the day, Mittal, joined ICC’s Secretary General, John Danilovich, at a ceremony to confirm the appointment of ICC’s first-ever Permanent Observer to the UN, Dr Louise Kantrow. ICC also announced the development of a new partnership with the UN Refugee Agency to enhance business engagement in the international response to the global refugee crisis.

Sunil Mittal had taken over as the Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), one of the world’s oldest and most respected global business organisations in June 2016. He is only the third Indian business leader to hold this prestigious position in ICC’s near -100 year history.

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Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ With Digital Assistant Bixby To Launch Today


After a disastrous 2016, South Korean phone maker Samsung wants to regain its lost pride in the smartphone business in 2017. Though that started with the launch of Samsung Pay in India, the company wants to create some ripples with its latest smartphones- Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. Both the phones are set for a launch in India today.

Though the India price of the Samsung S8 or S8+ are not known, it is believed the new devices would cost between Rs 45,000 to Rs 55,000.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 is a 5.8 inch device with QHD Super AMOLED display with resloutions of 1440×2960 pixels. The Galaxy S8+, however, is a 6.2 inch device with similar display configurations. The S8 and S8+ are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.35 GHz octa core processor. The South Lorean firm is also believed to launch one more variant of both the devices with its own Exynos processor.

Both the smartphones carry 12 megapixel rear camera and 8 megapixel front camera alongwith features like PDAF and dual tone flash.

Though the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ come with 3000 mAh and 3500 mAh battery, the company is believed to have done significant improvement in the battery technologies, both at hardware and software front. A lesson well learnt from the Note 7 debacle.

Both the phones come with iris scanner and you can use it for locking or unlocking your phone.

With Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, the company also introduces its digital assistant called Bixby, in lines of Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa.

Besides, both the phones come with regular features like Bluetooth, WiFi, all necessary sensors, and are VoLTE enabled 4G phones. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ have smart charging and SamsungPay compliant, means you can use these devices to make online shopping etc using the recently introduced SamsungPay.

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