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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

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Mobile tariff hike:Congress blames NDA government for Rs 34,824 crore burden on public

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NEW DELHI: Hitting out at the NDA-led Narendra Modi government over three private firms increasing mobile service tariffs, the Congress on Friday accused it of “fleecing” 109 crore cell phone users and asked how can the firms be permitted to unilaterally increase rates without any oversight and regulation.

Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala said it may be Modi 3.0 but the thriving of “crony capitalism” continues.

The Narendra Modi government is fleecing 109 crore cell phone users by sanctioning profiteering by private cell companies, he said at a press conference at the AICC headquarters here.

“Effective July 3, the three private cell phone companies, i.e. Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, have increased their tariffs by an average of 15 per cent. The three private cell phone companies have a market share of 91.6 per cent, or 109 crore cell phone users out of a total of 119 crore cell phone users as on December 31, 2023,” Surjewala said.

The total additional yearly payment from the pockets of the common man and woman of India seeking connectivity is Rs 34,824 crore, he said, citing TRAI.

Cell phone market in India is an ‘oligopoly’ – Reliance Jio (48 crore cell phone users), Airtel (39 crore cell phone users), Vodafone Idea (22.37 crore cell phone users), Surjewala said.

Out of these, Jio and Airtel have a customer base of 87 crore making them a virtual duopoly, he said.

Effective July 3, 2024, Reliance Jio has increased its cell phone user’s charges from 12 per cent to 27 per cent and the average increase is 20 per cent, Surjewala said.

Effective July 3, 2024, Airtel has increased its cell phone user’s charges from 11 per cent to 21 per cent with the average increase being 15 per cent, he said.

Effective July 4, 2024, Vodafone Idea has increased its cell phone user’s charges from 10 per cent to 24 per cent with the average increase being 16 per cent, Surjewala said.

“Two things stand out ‘“ Firstly, the date of announcement of increase of tariffs, appears to be clearly in consultation with each other by the three private cell phone companies. Secondly, the date of effective implementation of increased tariffs is the same,” he said.

Surjewala claimed that the additional per year burden of tariff increase is Rs. 34,824 crore for 109 crore cell phone users of these three private cell phone companies.

How can private cell phone companies be permitted to unilaterally increase cell phone tariffs by Rs 34,824 crore annually without any oversight and regulation by the Modi government, he asked.

Surjewala also asked why have the Modi government and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) abdicated their duty and responsibility towards 109 cell phone users.

“Wasn’t the increase in cell phone prices withheld till the conclusion of the Parliament elections as the Modi government would have been questioned on the justification for burdening 109 crore cell phone users and fleecing them of an extra Rs 34,824 crore?” Surjewala said.

Did the Modi government or TRAI conduct any study on need of CAPEX or impact on profitability by purchase of spectrum through auction after taking into account the previous set of concessions on AGR payable under Telecom Policy, 1999 or deferring of “Spectrum Auction Installments” by Modi 2.0 on November 20, 2019 or other related factors, he asked.

“How can all Private Cellphone Companies increase their average tariffs by the same range of 15per cent-16per cent, despite the fact that their profitability, investment and CAPEX requirements are completely different? Why is the Modi government is then turning a blind eye to the same?” Surjewala said.

“Isn’t it correct that the Supreme Court of India, in “Delhi Science Forum versus Union of India” clearly stated that ‘the central government and the Telecom Regulatory Authority have not to behave like sleeping trustees, but have to function as active trustees for the public good’?” he said.

Surjewala asserted that the prime minister must answer to the people of India, including the 109 crore affected cell phone users.

Bharti Airtel last month announced a 10-21 per cent hike in prepaid and postpaid mobile tariffs from July 3, a day after larger rival Reliance Jio announced an increase in rates.

Later that day, loss-making telecom operator Vodafone Idea (Vi) also announced its plan to raise mobile tariffs by 11-24 per cent from July 4.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Indian Tech Startups Surge Ahead with $4.1 Billion in Funding for H1 2024

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NEW DELHI: Indian tech startups have secured an impressive total of $4.1 billion in funding during the first half of 2024, reflecting a 4% increase from the latter half of 2023, according to Tracxn’s latest report. Although this figure represents a notable decline from the $4.8 billion raised in H1 2023, India continues to hold its position as the fourth-highest funded country globally.

The United States remains the leader in overall funding volumes, followed closely by the UK and China. Tracxn’s India Tech Semi-Annual Funding Report H1 2024 offers insights into funding trends, sectoral performances, and major developments within the Indian technology sector for the specified period.

Notable increases were observed in seed-stage funding, which climbed to $455 million, marking a 6.5% rise from H2 2023 but a 17.3% decline from H1 2023. Late-stage funding also saw a modest increase of 3.8%, amounting to $2.4 billion. The period also witnessed eight significant funding rounds exceeding $100 million each, including Flipkart’s $350 million and Meesho’s $275 million rounds.

 

Source: Press Trust of India

 

 

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Ericsson has been ranked as the leader in the Frost Radar 5G Network Infrastructure Market 2024

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For the fourth consecutive year, Ericsson has been ranked as the leader in the Frost
Radar™ 5G Network Infrastructure Market 2024 analysis, highlighting the impact of the
company’s strategy to meet the evolving needs of communications service providers (CSPs).
Maintaining top ranking in the Frost Radar™ report over the past years has shown that
Ericsson’s investments in R&D and across a wide product portfolio – which includes all areas
of 5G network infrastructure as well as previous generations of network infrastructure – is
valued in a market where technology is constantly evolving.
The report has also acknowledged Ericsson’s sustained focus on offering the latest and
lightest energy-saving products and solutions. It also touched on the company’s Open RAN
plans.
Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks at Ericsson, says: “The
latest Frost Radar report highlights our unwavering commitment to innovation and technology
leadership through the most competitive portfolio. In a challenging market, we remain
focused on our customers and move forward with even greater determination.”

Commenting on Ericsson’s top ranking, Troy Morley, Industry Principal, at Frost & Sullivan’s
Information & Communication Technology group, says: “Ericsson has done an excellent job
keeping its current customers and adding new customers, including significant replacement wins over competitors. Ericsson has a significant pipeline of customers that have yet to move
to 5G but will over the coming years.”


Ericsson currently powers *160 live 5G networks in 68 countries, which is the highest level
that Frost & Sullivan has seen publicly reported.
“Ericsson’s strategy continues to center on CSPs’ evolving needs in all areas of the world,”
Morley says. “However, with its 2020 acquisition of Cradlepoint, Ericsson also is expanding
its role with enterprise customers.”

The report has also discussed the importance of the open and virtual RAN movement and
the belief that eventually open and virtual RAN will be the norm. “Ericsson’s step into offering
Open RAN solutions in 2024 will help make this movement a reality,” Morley says. “The
company plans to offer O-RAN-compliant solutions in 2024; Frost & Sullivan believes this will
result in significant growth in open and virtual RAN revenue.”

Commenting further on the report, Morley says: “Energy efficiency has been a buzzword for
a few years and Ericsson continues to tout solutions that are smaller and lighter and that
save energy, answering its customers’ needs. This will continue with its traditional RAN
solutions and accelerate with its new Open RAN offerings.”

The Frost Radar report measures growth rates in addition to absolute revenue and combines
them with several other factors to measure companies’ performance along the Growth Index.
The report also measures innovation for each company by assessing its product portfolio, the
scalability of its innovations, the efficacy of its R&D strategy, and several other factors.
The latest report from business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan reaffirms Ericsson’s
leadership in the 5G network infrastructure market, which spans radio access networks
(RAN), transport networks, and core networks.

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