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5 tech trends that will fuel the green transition of society in 2022:Telenor

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NEW DELHI: As the climate change alarm bells get louder, technology and digitalisation will come to our aid in 2022, predicts Telenor Research in its latest Tech Trends report. Green clouds, a battle for optimisation, and climate enlightenment through digital micro degrees and greenfluencers are some of the trends that will deliver a more sustainable future.

2021 is yet another year of extreme weather events and record-breaking temperatures. These underline the challenges humans, wildlife, and nature come face to face with a changing climate. Yet, despite the gloomy outlook, technological advancements and an accelerating digitalisation of society give reasons for hope.

“People everywhere are waking up to the need to act on climate change and environmental degradation. For us in Telenor, it is key to understand how technology can both avoid being part of the problem and help in the transition,” says Bjørn Taale Sandberg, Head of Telenor Research.

In the seventh edition of Telenor’s Tech Trends report, Sandberg and his team of researchers have taken a stab at forecasting how technological progress in 2022 can enable green transformation. The report also provides three tips to businesses on how they can avoid becoming victims of the ‘great resignation’ when the pandemic hopefully comes to a close:

The immense growth in data usage drives demand for energy. Edge data centres and 5G will help make data transfer more energy efficient.

As the digitalisation of society continues to accelerate, cloud computing has seen explosive growth. Moving data requires energy, and data centres globally account for more than one per cent of the world’s energy consumption. The good news is that Edge computing is expected to take over some of the workloads in the coming year.

“We predict that 5G networks worldwide will have the capability to do local breakout of data traffic to and from Edge data centres,” says Sandberg, who adds that the data centres themselves can be made energy efficient in many ways, including utilisation of excess heat and through sustainable local power harvesting, using solar panels and small windmills.

“We believe that energy efficient Edge data centres reachable from mobile devices over 5G networks will start popping up, at an increasing rate, in 2022. As a result, energy will also be saved in electricity and data distribution networks since part of the data traffic and electricity will be transferred locally only,” explains Sandberg.

Employees are not willing to wait for their companies to get climate friendly. They want to act, and they are impatient to learn how.

Just as modern careers require people to upskill continuously, climate change will require people, businesses, and societies to adapt to lifelong learning on sustainability. Environmental policy and regulation will also increase the demand for green job skills in 2022.

“A growing number of businesses will implement green micro-degrees and courses as part of their ‘curriculum’ to slake the green knowledge thirst among employees. The businesses that fail to facilitate opportunities to acquire green online learning credentials on-the-job risk being perceived as less attractive in the eyes of new talent,” predicts Sandberg.

Therefore, a wave of micro-degrees with a green shape will flood out through learning systems like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, Udacity, and Khan Academy, the same way we see more educational institutions embrace planet-friendly values in their programs. We already see such online courses and degrees being offered and promoted by organisations worldwide, not least the United Nations and its agency UNESCO.

The greatest machine – the human brain – runs on a modest 20 watts. Now, the heat for optimisation is on for our electron guzzling gadgets and servers.

While ever greater numbers of electronic devices and solutions are enabling humans to lead more convenient lives, the International Energy Agency calls for smarter and more efficient electrical appliances. We believe the global need for greater energy efficiency will trigger an “optimisation of everything” battle between consumer electronics manufacturers.

“Devices consuming electricity now outnumber humans by four, and they will become even more dominant in the future. Since transforming our energy supply will take time, we need to optimise everything – not least the use of energy by our devices,” warns Sandberg.

Competition is already ongoing between chipmakers to reduce their products’ energy demand. One example is the M1 chipset used in Apple’s newest computers. We expect that this will be taken up in the much greater PC market – giving us both more efficient devices and devices that can run far longer on battery.

“Going forward, more companies will put enormous sums of money on the table to acquire the knowledge and assets needed to come out on top of the optimisation battle,” says Sandberg.

Influencers who ignore young people’s climate engagement dig their own social media grave.

While most social media trends serve little purpose other than to entertain, some, like the #BlackLivesMatter, bring about profound societal changes. In 2022, with recent disappointments from the UN’s Climate Conference (COP26) and a grim outlook in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report fresh in memory, we expect to see a new movement shape the world of social media – greenfluencing.

“An undergrowth of climate aware influencers and activists has emerged across niches on social media, and we believe their growing follower bases will be duly noticed by the influencer universe’s established elite,” explains Sandberg.

By tapping into both marketing and – hopefully – social considerations, the big social media stars in every sphere, from cooking and fashion to travel, makeup, and fitness, will start to greenfluence their millions of followers.

“Influencers who appear oblivious or indifferent to climate challenges will be perceived as outdated. Instead, followers will flock to influencers who demonstrate climate awareness regardless of niche. Marketers will turn their attention in the same direction,” predicts Sandberg.

Companies that don’t take the next generation’s expectations seriously risk facing the great resignation.

The home office is here to stay, but despite the benefits and obvious positive climate impact we get from reduced travel, research indicates that the pros do not outweigh the cons for everyone, especially the young. During the continuation of the pandemic, it will be tough for the young to establish and grow a personal network and acquire a general understanding of the corporate lingo and culture, as forming new social relations using only digital communication is much more challenging.

“As a consequence, many companies will in 2022 find that large groups of young employees who never got a proper onboarding are likely to struggle – unless good leadership is exercised,” says Sandberg, and points to the following three tips on how to lead the next generation through the future way of work:

Bring joy to the office: Engineer social interaction across generations through events that trigger joy, discussion, and knowledge and insight transfer.
With age and tenure comes responsibility: Make it clear that the company veterans have a special obligation to include, mentor, and guide the new employees.
Make them shine: Be vocal and public when praising the newcomers for their efforts and provide them with the opportunities to speak and find their voice.

Mobile Phones

India seeks to block Chinese firms from sub-Rs 12,000 phone market: Report

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NEW DELHI: India seeks to restrict Chinese smartphone makers from selling devices cheaper than Rs 12,000 ($150) to kickstart its faltering domestic industry, dealing a blow to brands including Xiaomi Corp.

The move is aimed at pushing Chinese giants out of the lower segment of the world’s second-biggest mobile market, according to people familiar with the matter. It coincides with mounting concern about high-volume brands like Realme and Transsion undercutting local manufacturers, they said, asking not to be identified discussing a sensitive matter.

Exclusion from India’s entry-level market would hurt Xiaomi and its peers, which in recent years have increasingly relied on India to drive growth while their home market endures a series of Covid-19 lockdowns that crippled consumption. Smartphones under $150 contributed to a third of India’s sales volume for the quarter through June 2022, with Chinese companies accounting for up to 80% of those shipments, according to market tracker Counterpoint.

Xiaomi’s shares extended losses in the final minutes of trading in Hong Kong on Monday. It slid 3.6%, extending their decline this year to more than 35%. It’s unclear whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will announce any policies or use informal channels to convey its preference to Chinese companies, the people said.

“Xiaomi smartphone shipments may fall by 11-14% a year, or 20-25 million units, with sales decreasing by 4-5%, we calculate, if India enacts a ban on China-made mobile phones retailing under $150. It accounts for 25% of the segment in India, which is Xiaomi’s most important overseas market, with 66% of its smartphones priced under $150,” according to IDC’s analysts.

New Delhi has already subjected Chinese firms operating in the country, such as Xiaomi and rivals Oppo and Vivo, to close scrutiny of their finances, which has led to tax demands and money laundering allegations. The government has previously employed unofficial means to ban Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. telecom equipment. While there’s no official policy prohibiting Chinese networking gear, wireless carriers are encouraged to purchase alternatives.

The move shouldn’t affect Apple Inc. or Samsung Electronics Co., which price their phones higher. Representatives from Xiaomi, Realme and Transsion didn’t respond to requests for comment. Spokespeople from India’s technology ministry also didn’t respond to Bloomberg News inquiries.

India amped up pressure on Chinese firms in the summer of 2020 after more than a dozen Indian soldiers died following a clash between the two nuclear-armed neighbors on a disputed Himalayan border. It has since banned more than 300 apps, including Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat and ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok, as relations between the two countries fray.

Homegrown companies such as Lava and MicroMax comprised just under half of India’s smartphone sales before new entrants from the neighboring country disrupted the market with cheap and feature-rich devices.

Chinese smartphone players now sell the vast majority of devices in India, but their market dominance has not been “on the basis of free and fair competition”, MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar told Business Standard last week. Recurring annual losses posted by most Chinese handset makers in India, despite their leading position, add to criticism of unfair competition.

In private, the government continues to ask Chinese executives to build local supply chains, distribution networks and export from India, suggesting New Delhi still very much wants their investment, the people said.

Source: Bloomberg

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Airtel to commence 5G Deployment from August 2022

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NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel, India’s premier communications solutions provider, today announced that it has signed 5G network agreements with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung to commence 5G deployment in August 2022.

Airtel has had a long-standing relationship for connectivity and Pan-India managed services with Ericsson and Nokia while the partnership with Samsung will begin this year onwards. The 5G partnerships follow closely on the heels of spectrum auctions conducted by the Department of Telecom in India, where Airtel bid for and acquired 19867.8 MHZ spectrum in 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz frequency

Speaking about the agreements, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, Airtel said, “We are delighted to announce that Airtel will commence roll out of 5G services in August. Our network agreements are finalized and Airtel will work with the best technology partners from across the world to deliver the full benefits of 5G connectivity to our consumers. India’s transition into a digital economy will be led by telecom and 5G presents a game-changing opportunity to drive the digital transformation of industries, enterprises and the socio-economic development of India.”

Choice of multiple partners will enable Airtel to roll out 5G services spanning ultra-high-speeds, low latency and large data handling capabilities, which will enable a superior user experience and allow the pursuit of new, innovative use cases with enterprise and industry customers.

Speaking about the agreement, Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, said: “We look forward to supporting Bharti Airtel with its deployment of 5G in India. With Ericsson’s unrivalled, global 5G deployment experience, we will help Bharti Airtel deliver the full benefits of 5G to Indian consumers and enterprises, while seamlessly evolving the Bharti network from 4G to 5G. 5G will enable India to realize its Digital India vision and foster inclusive development of the country.”

The multi-year deal will see Nokia provide equipment from its market-leading AirScale portfolio along with solutions and services for network management, deployment, planning and optimization services to ensure the best end-user experiences.

Speaking about the partnership, Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO of Nokia said, “This landmark deal reinforces our long-standing partnership with Bharti Airtel. We are delighted that they have chosen Nokia’s best-in-class AirScale baseband and radio portfolio to deliver superior 5G performance in one of the world’s largest networks. I look forward to our continued successful long-term collaboration in this vital and dynamic market.”

Airtel will also bring in South Korean Major Samsung as a network partner to deploy #Airtel5G. This is the first time that both companies will work together.

Speaking about the partnership, Paul (Kyungwhoon) Cheun, President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics said, “5G will have a powerful impact on India’s consumers and businesses—taking mobile experiences to a new level, introducing a gamut of enhanced capabilities and expanding what is possible. As a global leader in 5G, Samsung is excited to embark on this 5G journey with Airtel to deliver innovative solutions that will help advance India’s entrepreneurial spirit and open up a new paradigm for the country.”

Over the past year, Airtel has led the industry and spearheaded 5G technology in India testing several use cases with multiple partners at many locations. From demonstrating India’s first 5G experience over a live 4G network in Hyderabad to India’s first rural 5G trial to the first cloud gaming experience on 5G to the successful deployment of India’s first captive private network on the trial spectrum, Airtel has created and nurtured a vibrant ecosystem of partners and start-ups to support faster adoption of next-generation technologies.

 

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Ericsson gets 5G contract from Airtel

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NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel, India’s premier communications solutions provider, today announced that it has awarded its first 5G contract in the country to Ericsson, with deployment to get underway in August 2022.

Ericsson is Airtel’s long-standing connectivity partner and pan-India managed services provider, with a partnership spanning more than 25 years and covering every generation of mobile communications. The latest 5G partnership follows the close of 5G spectrum auctions in India on July 26.

Gopal Vittal, MD and Chief Executive Officer, Airtel, says: “As our trusted, long-term technology partner, we are delighted to award our first 5G contract to Ericsson for 5G deployment in India.

“5G presents a game-changing opportunity to drive the digital transformation of industries, enterprises and the socio-economic development of India. With our 5G network, we aim to deliver the full benefits of 5G connectivity, fuel India’s journey towards a digital economy and strengthen the country’s position on the world stage.”

Airtel will deploy power-efficient 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) products and solutions from the Ericsson Radio System and Ericsson microwave mobile transport solutions. Ericsson will be providing 5G connectivity in 12 circles for Bharti Airtel.

In addition to an enhanced user experience for Airtel customers – spanning ultra-high-speeds, low latency and large data handling capabilities – Ericsson 5G network products and solutions will also enable Bharti Airtel to pursue new, innovative use cases with its enterprise and industry customers.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, says: “We look forward to supporting Bharti Airtel with its deployment of 5G in India. With Ericsson’s unrivaled, global 5G deployment experience, we will help Bharti Airtel deliver the full benefits of 5G to Indian consumers and enterprises, while seamlessly evolving the Bharti network from 4G to 5G. 5G will enable India to realize its Digital India vision and foster inclusive development of the country.”

With 125 live networks in 55 countries to date, and around 50 percent of the world’s 5G traffic outside China now carried over Ericsson’s radio networks, the company is at the forefront of 5G around the world. Ericsson is independently recognized as a 5G industry leader, having recently topped the Frost Radar™: Global 5G Network Infrastructure Market ranking for second year in a row. The company was also named a Leader in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for 5G Network Infrastructure for Communications Service Providers report by Gartner.

From setting up the very first switch in India, in 1903, to providing connectivity across 2G, 3G, 4G – and now 5G – Ericsson continues to play a pivotal role in powering virtually every facet of telecommunications in the country.

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