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Jio says Airtel, Vodafone Idea partners sabotaging network;Airtels says Jio’s allegations ‘baseless’,

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NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL) has said that there are “blatant efforts” to sabotage its network in the garb of farmers’ protest by the channel partners of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

In letters sent to Anshu Prakash, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and P.D. Vaghela, Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI, Reliance Jio said that a grave situation has emerged in Punjab and Haryana amid the ongoing farmers’ protest.

“As a result of false and frivolous communication that Reliance will be an undue beneficiary of the farm bills passed by Parliament, Jio’s telecommunications network is being targeted by the protesters and the same is being disrupted and permanently damaged,” Reliance Jio said.

Reliance Jio has asked the TRAI and DoT to take action against Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel for these unethical and unscrupulous practice of their channel partners. It has also demanded that mobile number portability (MNP) process in Punjab and Haryana be suspended for the time being till the situation stabilises.

It said that the gravity of the situation can be gauged from the fact that there is an outage of 1,504 Jio towers in Punjab which represents 15 per cent of the total number. Similar outages have been reported for 85 Jio towers in Haryana. Reliance Jio said the situation is worsening every hour and it fears that attempts are being made to spread similar situation in more circles.

It said that the damage to the Reliance Jio network in Punjab, Haryana and some other parts is due to the blatant efforts by the distributors, channel partners and retailers of Airtel and Vodafone in a malicious and inciteful campaign to capitalise on the ongoing farmers protest. “The target of the campaign is to disrupt RJIL services and leverage this disruptions to promote MNP to their TSP networks,” Jio said.

This is evident from the now common modus operandi of first inciting agitators to disrupt Jio towers and then immediately setting up an MNP camp by them in the vicinity, Jio said.

“Thus it is evident that the process of MNP is being misused by channel partners of these TSPs for undue enrichment and creating unrest,” the letter said.

It further said Airtel and Vodafone Idea channel partners are seen among the protesters spreading anti-Jio hate speech and boasting about disrupting Jio towers.

“We fear that post tasting of success in their ominous campaign, these miscreants have started spreading similar tactics of hate speech in other states as well,” Reliance Jio said.

Airtels says Jio’s allegations ‘baseless’, condemns tower damage

Telecom major Bharti Airtel has said that Reliance Jio’s allegations claiming sabotage of the latter’s tower infrastructure by its rivals are baseless and outrageous.

In a letter to the Anshu Prakash, Secretary of Department of Telecommunications, Airtel also condemned the disruption of telecom networks and the instances of vandalism.

“We have always advocated firm government action to ensure 100 per cent continuity of networks. We would in fact go so far as to say that the department must bring forward a policy to mandate ICR in such situations of vandalism and network outages as a matter of course so that customers are never inconvenienced,” it said.

“The baseless allegation made by Jio that Airtel is behind the farmer agitation to ‘sabotage’ their network and to force customers to switch to Airtel is therefore simply outrageous,” the letter added.

It also said that Jio’s annexure to the complaint did not demonstrate any evidence that Airtel has hand in the ongoing issues faced by Jio.

“The irony of the situation is that while the operating teams were having several conversations over the last few days on how to provide support to the Jio teams based on their request, Jio was actually spending time drafting frivolous letters and making scurrilous allegations,” the letter said.

 

Source: IANS

Mobile Services

Kumar Mangalam Birla tells government he is willing to give up promoter stake in Vodafone Idea

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NEW DELHI: Kumar Mangalam Birla has told the government of India he his willing to offer his stake in Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) to any state-owned or “domestic financial entity” to keep the stressed telecom company afloat.

Birla, VIL’s promoter and chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, made the suggestion in a letter to union cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba on June 7. VIL has a debt of around Rs 1.8 trillion, which includes deferred spectrum obligations and adjusted gross revenue liabilities. Its board had last September announced a plan to raise Rs 25,000 crore but investors have not been forthcoming in the absence of government support.

Birla’s letter highlighted the need for urgent measures from the government while offering to give up control of the company. “It is with a sense of duty towards 27 crore Indians connected by VIL, I am more than willing to hand over my stake in the company to any entity-public sector/government/domestic financial entity or any other that the government may consider worthy of keeping the company as a going concern,” Birla said in his letter.

Birla owns over 27 per cent stake in VIL, while Vodafone Plc holds over 44 per cent. The current market capitalisation of VIL is over Rs 24,000 crore. The two promoters have decided against infusing fresh funds in the company. Vodafone Plc has already written off all its investment in VIL following continuous

losses.

“To actively participate in the fund raising, the potential foreign investors want to see clear government intent to have a three player telecom market (consistent with its public stance) through positive actions on long-standing requests such as clarity on AGR liability, adequate moratorium on spectrum payments and most importantly, a floor pricing regime above the cost of service. In the absence of definitive steps in this regard, the potential investors have understandable hesitation to invest,” Birla wrote.

Birla further said that VIL’s financial situation will drive its operations to an irretrievable point of collapse without immediate active support from the government on these three issues.

Last month the Supreme Court dismissed petitions of VIL and Bharti Airtel seeking correction in alleged errors in calculating the AGR. VIL had calculated its remaining AGR dues at around Rs 21,500 crore after making a payment of Rs 7800 crore. However, the department of telecommunications concluded the company’s total AGR liability of around Rs 58,000 crore.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Aeris Communications joins hands with Sobus Insight

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NEW DELHI: Aeris Communications has announced its collaboration with Sobus Insight Forum – a holistic, collaborative platform and ecosystem for sustainable, scalable, social impact creation by nurturing social entrepreneurship in the country among students, social entrepreneurs, and the larger community.

The MoU establishes Aeris as the IoT Technology Innovation Partner of Sobus. Aeris’ IoT platform, IoT solutions, and services, as well as applications and interfaces, will be used in the technology-driven, current, and future social projects launched by Sobus in their Centre of Excellence (CoE) operational at multiple locations across the country for accelerating social business.

At Aeris Communications, we are determined to lead and show that IoT can change the world in amazing ways. We help to connect communities, create positive social impact, and bring smart solutions to some of the world’s most challenging environments. Aeris strongly believes in making the world a better place through our partnerships with NGOs, social entrepreneurs, internships, respecting diversity, promoting inclusion, and more.

Both Aeris and Sobus believe that, by working together, they can prepare talented students and social entrepreneurs to have skills with greater technical relevance to the IoT market and possibly develop IoT applications relevant for various verticals including small scale industries, agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and more, that could be brought to market. Aeris IoT Technology will be deployed at Sobus CoEs being set up at multiple locations across the country. This partnership will usher in an innovation-driven environment where the students and the social entrepreneurs can work with Aeris personnel and technology on multiple projects for building IoT applications.

Social entrepreneurship is not a new concept. It is an approach by individuals, groups, start-up companies, or entrepreneurs, in which they develop, fund, and implement solutions to address social, cultural, or environmental issues. With a blend of optimism and pragmatism, social entrepreneurs are bringing about broad transformation in India.

On signing the MoU, Dr. Rishi Bhatnagar, President, Aeris Communications India Pvt. Ltd, said, “The social innovation segment in India requires support in capacity building and go-to-market strategies, leveraging new-age technologies. Our partnership with Sobus Insight Forum will help in unleashing technological and social innovations that can usher in a new developmental model the world has not seen before. We are totally committed to bringing a positive impact by technologically empowering social entrepreneurs to fill in the gap which is left unattended by economic entrepreneurship.”

On the occasion, Digvijay Choudhari, CEO & Managing Director, Sobus Insight Forum, said, “The Sobus Center of Excellence (CoE) works in areas to create entrepreneurship and livelihood with a focus on underserved geographies. To facilitate that, the CoE works with educational institutes to build capacity and implement solutions. This partnership with Aeris will augment the capacity of such centers with appropriate technologies, especially with IoT relevant to those areas. This partnership will play an instrumental role in empowering changemakers to create sustainable impact at scale leveraging the extended and connected network for grassroots reach, robust infrastructure, and critical market linkages with best in class connected IoT technology from Aeris.”

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Kaspersky partners Bharti Airtel for selling cybersecurity software

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NEW DELHI: Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky has partnered with Bharti Airtel to reach out to its over 34 crore customers for selling its security softwares at lower prices.

The collaboration between the two companies will allow Airtel customers to purchase Kaspersky Total Security solutions directly from the Airtel Thanks app exclusive deals on them, a joint statement by Kaspersky and Airtel said.

“We are very much looking forward to supporting Bharti Airtel in its goal to protect their users, create a more secure internet, and build a safer digital world together with Kaspersky.

“I am convinced that this partnership will further contribute to establishing Airtel as an innovational pioneer and a leader in its industry,” Kaspersky CEO Eugene Kaspersky said in the statement.

According to Kaspersky, mobile threats in India have drastically increased since 2019 and are becoming more targeted and sophisticated in nature. India ranked seventh among the countries attacked with mobile threats in 2020, Kaspersky said.

“Airtel is working round the clock to deliver a secure network experience through world-class infrastructure and partnerships.

“We are delighted to partner with Kaspersky and make their solutions easily accessible for Airtel customers, who can purchase and install these in a matter of minutes and enjoy complete peace of mind,” Bharti Airtel Chief Information Officer Pradipt Kapoor said.

Source: Press Trust of INdia

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