Connect with us

News

AGR ruling: COAI ignores Jio’s protest; seeks full waiver of telcos’ dues

Published

on

NEW DELHI: Ignoring its member Reliance Jio’s contentions, telecom industry association COAI has shot off an ‘addendum’ to its earlier demands and has now sought a complete waiver of statutory dues that its other members such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-Idea owe to the government following the Supreme Court ruling.

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) director-general Rajan S Mathews on October 31 shot of a second letter in as many as days to Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad seeking waiver of the “entire” amount of Rs 1.42 lakh crore due to its principal members Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Ltd and other telecom operators “given the poor financial state of the sector.”

The Supreme Court on October 24 upheld the government’s position on including revenue from non-telecommunication businesses in calculating the annual gross revenues of telecom companies, a share of which is paid as licence and spectrum fee to the exchequer. It directed the telcos to pay the principal due together with interest and penalties within three months.

“However, if such a step (complete waiver of all dues) is not possible, we request that the government waive off the interest, penalty and interest on penalty. Since the disputed payments go back to accumulation over the past 14 years, we request that the principal repayment of past dues be done over a period of 10 years, with a two-year moratorium,” he wrote.

The demand made by COAI is exactly the same as the one made in an unsigned paper submitted to the Telecom Ministry on the day Bharti Airtel chief Sunil Bharti Mittal and his brother Rajan Mittal met Prasad and Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Jio, which is also a member of COAI, has been contesting claims of the inability of telcos to pay the statutory dues, for which they ideally should have provisioned in accounts in view of a legal dispute.

Jio says COAI shot off the first representation to the government on October 30 without waiting for its comments. It feels COAI for the benefit of some of its members is using a “threatening and blackmailing” tone in its communication to the government on the non-existent crisis in the sector following the Supreme Court ruling on payment of statutory dues.

Jio has separately written to Prasad opposing any bailout to telecom companies at taxpayer’s expense and asserted the COAI should not be considered an association representing the industry.

It has accused COAI of writing to government “under the influence of two of its members in furtherance of their vested interests” and accused the association of acting as a “mouthpiece of two service providers” and harboring a negative bias towards Jio.

There was no case for seeking any financial support from the government after the industry exhausted all its legal recourse, it feels.

Mathews in the October 31 letter stated that the support “will go a long way to ensure that the sector can start the path of recovery from the current situation over time and serve the cause of Digital India.”

With the telecom sector staring at a massive Rs 1.4 lakh crore payout following a Supreme Court order, the unsigned memorandum to the government had asked it not to press for adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dispute payment in its entirety, sources said adding the note argues that it could not be the intent of the government to enrich itself by charging licence fee and SUC on non-licensed revenue or income.

In the worst-case scenario, it has requested the government to levy only the principal amount (without any interest or penalty) pertaining to only license fee (not spectrum usage charges) that should be allowed to be paid over a period of 10 years without interest.

It sought a two-year moratorium on spectrum payments beyond April 2020 till March 2022, to ease the cash flow pressures on the industry without compromising the net present value of spectrum dues to the government. This will allow continuity of business investment in critical network deployment and purchase of additional spectrum, it said.

It further sought a reduction in licence fee from 8 per cent of annual revenues to 3 per cent, and said that the balance 5 per cent representing USO contribution be waived or suspended till the current unutilised fund of Rs 50,000 crore is used.

Source: Press Trust of India

5g

Ericsson signs $8.3 billion 5G deal with Verizon

Published

on

NEW DELHI:Ericsson said that it has signed $8.3 billion agreement with Verizon to provide its industry-leading 5G solutions to accelerate the deployment of Verizon’s world-class next-generation 5G network in the U.S.

Niklas Heuveldop, President and Head of Ericsson North America, says: “This is a significant strategic partnership for both companies and what we’re most excited about is bringing the benefits of 5G to U.S. consumers, enterprises and the public sector. We’re looking forward to working with Verizon to leverage solutions like Cloud RAN and our Street Macro, adding depth and versatility to 5G network rollouts across the U.S.”

“With this new agreement, we will be able to continue driving innovation and widespread adoption of 5G,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer for Verizon. “We are pleased to continue this work through our long-standing relationship with Ericsson.”

Under this $8.3 billion USD agreement, Verizon will deploy Ericsson’s 5G MIMO C-band, low-band and millimeter wave (mmWave) solutions to enhance and expand Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband coverage, network performance and user experience. Ericsson’s technology solutions, including Massive MIMO, Ericsson Spectrum Sharing and Ericsson Cloud RAN, complement the high-performing Ericsson Radio System portfolio to support 5G services. Ericsson’s industry-leading software functionality provides end-users with the speed and performance they expect from 5G networks.

In 2020, Verizon was the first communications service provider to receive a commercial 5G mmWave Street Macro base station from Ericsson’s award-winning new state-of-the-art U.S. smart factory in Lewisville, Texas. Ericsson is committed to building and accelerating the nationwide build-out of 5G across the country.

Continue Reading

Mobile Services

Comviva launches next gen digital wallet and payment platform-mobiquity Pay X

Published

on

NEW DELHI: Comviva, the global leader in mobility solutions, today announced the launch of mobiquity Pay X, its next generation digital wallet and payment platform.

Mobiquity Pay is amongst the world’s largest digital financial services platforms, powering over 70 digital wallets and payment services for 130+ million consumers and processing over 7 billion transactions exceeding USD 130 billion annually in more than 50 countries.

With its new next generation mobiquity Pay X platform, Comviva has enhanced all aspects of digital financial solution, including scalability, faster deployment and time to market, simpler user lifecycle management & experience and enhanced security.

This new platform is completely built on microservices based architecture with fully independent and reusable components. The enhanced modularity facilitates faster time to market and greater scalability.

Mobiquity Pay X has enabled Open APIs to easily integrate with third party systems and extended financial ecosystem. To enhance user experience, the platform now offers a revamped slicker mobile app for consumers, agents, merchants and other business users and provides an advanced User Management System (UMS) that allows back-office users to easily manage the complete lifecycle of consumers, agents, merchants, and other business users seamlessly. Its intuitive user-interface, predefined templates and real-time feedback help quickly perform operations.

The new platform significantly strengthens security with robust authentication and authorization modules. It provides complete flexibility to easily configure various PIN, password and access rules as per the requirements. Its advanced session management capabilities help identify all active sessions and logins from a user through multiple devices and takes corrective action to prevent frauds.

Speaking on the launch, Srinivas Nidugondi, EVP and Chief Growth and Transformation Officer at Comviva, said, “COVID has significantly accelerated the growth of digital financial services and the entire financial ecosystem is growing at its fastest pace ever. Customer demand and public health priorities are pushing contactless payment adoption and our next generation mobiquity Pay X platform shall help financial service providers scale their digital wallet and payment services faster and seamlessly. With this new platform, Comviva has completely automated the software delivery process. The time to market has improved significantly with continuous product development, integration, testing, release and deployment.”

Mobiquity Pay X offers Order and Payment System that provides consumers a unified view of transactions performed by various payment instruments. It provides end-to-end tracking of entire payment transaction across all stages. It also enables back-office users to view status of payment transactions and identify failed and ambiguous transactions to take corrective actions like refund to complete the order-payment cycle.

The new mobile app is built using best-in-class design practices and has rich features including self-registration, biometric login, profile personalization, payment through multiple instruments (prepaid wallet, card, bank account), favourite transactions, multi-currency support, currency conversion, real time transaction tracking, referral bonus, merchant/agent locator, dynamic QR Code and many more.

With an enhanced monitoring and alerting system, mobiquity Pay X quickly aggregates system logs and key performance indicator data and provides a real-time bird’s eye view of critical operational parameters through visual dashboards. mobiquity Pay X has capability of proactive disaster management by identifying threshold breaches for critical application and system parameters in advance and providing real-time notifications for corrective actions.

Comviva has pre-integrated best-in-class technology in the areas of digital KYC and Personal Financial Management (PFM) to offer unparalleled value to consumers. These pre-integrated solutions in addition to offering enhanced experience to consumers, also significantly cut down cost and time to market while launching a digital wallet service. The platform also offers a document management system that provides flexibility to back-office users to quickly retrieve KYC documents a centralized repository for regulatory and business purpose.

 

Continue Reading

News

IT rules 2021 empowering, protecting users, asserts Ashwini Vaishnaw

Published

on

NEW DELHI: IT and communications minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday said the new information technology rules are empowering and protecting users.

He added that the new IT rules will ensure a safer and more responsible social media ecosystem in India.

“Reviewed the implementation and compliance of Information Technology Rules, 2021 along with my colleague Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar ji. These guidelines are empowering and protecting users and will ensure a safer and responsible social media ecosystem in India,” Vaishnaw said on a social media account.

The new rules which came into effect from May 25 mandate social media companies to establish a grievance redressal mechanism for resolving complaints from the users or victims.

All significant social media companies, with over 5 million user base shall appoint a grievance officer to deal with such complaints and share the name and contact details of such officers.

The big social media companies are mandated to appoint a chief compliance officer, a Nodal Contact Person and a resident grievance officer. All of them should be a resident in India.

Twitter, which had been in the eye of the storm over its alleged failure to comply with the new IT rules in India, has named Vinay Prakash as its Resident Grievance Officer for India, according to the company’s website.

However, Facebook-owned Whatsapp has challenged the new IT rules for social media intermediaries requiring the messaging app to trace chats and make provisions to identify the first originator of information, saying they violate the right to privacy and are unconstitutional.

Whatsapp further alleged the requirement of intermediaries enabling the identification of the first originator of information in India upon government or court order puts end-to-end encryption and its benefits at risk.

Some of the media houses have also challenged the new IT rules and the matter is sub-judice.

Source: Press Trust of India

Continue Reading

Trending