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Tata Communications, Zain KSA to bring Smart City Solutions to Saudi Arabia

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NEW DELHI: Tata Communications, a global digital ecosystem enabler, and Zain KSA, today announced they have entered a strategic engagement to fuel digital transformation journeys of enterprises and government organisations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

With this collaboration the combined ecosystems will deliver solutions and platforms to remodel cities with smart street lighting, smart waste management, connected workplace, healthcare and connected cars.

The flagship project where Tata Communications and Zain KSA are working together to bring smart street lighting solution for one of the key cities in KSA. Tata Communications IoT ecosystem will serve as one-stop-shop to provide the hardware, platform, application and insights while Zain KSA will expand the footprint with its business-to-business (B2B) offerings through joint projects related to software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) and global contact centres, as well as the application of smart transport and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions enabling smart waste handling, smart metering and other smart city use cases, to name a few.

“The strength of the reach of Zain KSA and cutting-edge infrastructure combined with our ecosystem of advanced technologies will strengthen the country’s shift to becoming a sustainable economy,” said Vaneet Mehta, Region Head, Middle East, Central Asia & Africa, Tata Communications.

“This is a demonstration of our both organisations commitment to enable reimagining of cities in the Middle East by operating on smarter and cost-efficient models. This is a milestone project for Tata Communications for transforming the city into an intelligent and energy efficient metropolis, reducing its carbon footprint and charting the path for other cities to replicate,” he added.

“Building on our pioneering and internationally renowned 5G network and in line with our vertical expansion strategy to drive 5G applications such as IoT we will work together to contribute to our comprehensive digital solutions offering and transformation services under one roof to enterprises and governments across the kingdom,” said Eng. Saad A. Al-Sadhan, Chief Business and Wholesale Officer, Zain KSA.

“The confluence of reliable connectivity, agility and trust will converge to better serve communities, businesses and governments. Together we will strengthen the digital core of the country to reinforce Saudi Vision 2030 and provide businesses the tools to embrace innovation and disruption to succeed in a rapidly evolving environment,” he added.

The Tata Communications and Zain KSA strategic engagement will serve Saudi’s enterprises and government institutions with advanced technologies such as IoT, 5G, Low Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN specification), Managed Security Services, SDWAN and many others. It will also support environmental sustainability measures and digital transformation of the region.

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Nokia to showcase 5G private wireless at 2022 TISSOT UCI Track World Championships

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NEW DELHI: Nokia has announced that it has become an official partner of the 2022 TISSOT UCI Track World Championships being held near Paris in October. Nokia is working with the French Cycling Federation to deploy a 5G private wireless network solution at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines National Velodrome.

The deployment will enable an immersive digital experience for fans and enhance security and safety at the event.

Nokia is already partnering with the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Community on 5G projects in the 26 Ghz band at the National Velodrome. With 25,000 spectators expected over five days, the event provides a platform to showcase how 5G private wireless can meet the demands of thousands of people in an arena as they simultaneously access data and video over their devices. The low-latency and high-bandwidth capabilities of 5G will enable the arena owners and communications service providers to offer new data-driven services at similar events.

The private wireless network using mmWave for 5G will be deployed with Nokia Modular Private Wireless (MPW) solution. It will demonstrate how enterprises in France can leverage 5G mmWave to advance their digital transformation.

By harnessing the high-quality TV production and the different streams available and thanks to the deployment of new technology solutions, Nokia will contribute to enhance the viewing experience for fans in the arena and millions watching at home around the globe.

French Cycling Federation teams will benefit from enhanced video capture and real-time processing of data. Greater situational awareness and the ability to instantly share data and video will enhance maintenance and security efforts and ensure the smooth and safe running of the event. In addition, sports teams can benefit, as more wearable technology is connected, allowing them to access real-time health and performance data and video to help them better prepare for races.

Michel Callot, President of the Fédération Française de Cyclisme, said: “As the eyes of cycling fans across the globe turn to France for this high-profile event next year, we are excited to work with Nokia to showcase how 5G technology can augment the digital experience for those at the stadium and for people watching at home.”

Chris Johnson, Head of Global Enterprise business at Nokia, said: “As a worldwide leader in private wireless technology, Nokia is excited to take part in this awesome opportunity to transform the digital experience for everyone at the event. The implementation of high-speed, high-bandwidth connectivity will allow spectators to experience the event like never before.”

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Public wifi hotspots can generate 20-30 million jobs this year

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NEW DELHI: Setting up of 1 crore public wifi hotspots across the country by this year as envisaged under the present telecom policy has the potential to create 2-3 crore job opportunities, a senior government official said on Saturday.

Telecom Secretary K Rajaraman while speaking at Broadband India Forum (BIF) event called upon wifi equipment makers to lower the cost of their products for the expansion of Prime Minister’s Wi-Fi Access Network Interface (PM-WANI) scheme which aims to set up wifi hotspots across the country.

“Given by conservative estimate of each hotspot enabling 2-3 direct and indirect employment opportunities, the creation of 10 million hotspots as per the NDCP (National Digital Communications Policy) target by 2022 would potentially generate 20-30 million job opportunity in the small and medium scale sectors,” Rajaraman said.

Public wifi hotspots have immense potential to act as catalysts for rural economy and as a means of rural livelihood besides propelling socio-economic growth by providing employment opportunities for millions of small local and village entrepreneurs.

“Sprawling manufacturing units will be needed to produce millions of access points for PM WANI which is the core of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Mission and would lead to therefore more job creation,” Rajaraman said.

According to the PM-WANI portal, over 56,000 wifi hotspots have been deployed across the country till date. Rajaraman said that he wants more entrepreneurs to join PM-WANI programme facilitated by C-DoT.

“We also want local communities to join PM-WANI scheme wholeheartedly. We will be happy to facilitate existing entrepreneurs in local neighborhoods especially local cable operators, internet service providers, tourism operators etc to come forward and help proliferate WANI access points across the country,” he said.

BIF announced the launch of BIF Connectivity Accelerator Programme in partnership with Meta (formerly Facebook) to enable entrepreneurs and startups build innovative connectivity solutions and support the public wifi ecosystem.

“This (BIF Connectivity Accelerator) virtual programme will give startups the opportunity to partner with BIF to help develop relevant use cases and help scale their businesses. We appeal to all stakeholders to come together and join hands with us to expeditiously and effectively implement this national mission,” BIF president TV Ramachandran said.

Source: Press Trust of India

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Jio pays Rs 30,791 crore to clear bulk of spectrum dues

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NEW DELHI: Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL), has announced that it has paid Rs.30,791 crore (including accrued interest) to the Department of Telecom (DoT) towards prepayment of the entire deferred liabilities pertaining to spectrum acquired in auctions of year 2014, 2015, 2016 and the spectrum acquired in year 2021 through trading of right to use with Bharti Airtel Limited.

The company had acquired 585.3 MHz spectrum in the said auctions/trading.

“RJIL had executed the first tranche of prepayment on the anniversary date in the month of October 2021 pertaining to spectrum acquired in auction in the year 2016. Subsequent to Department of Telecom’s decision in the month of December 2021 providing the telcos the flexibility to prepay their deferred spectrum liabilities on any date, RJIL has now prepaid in the month of January 2022, the entire deferred liabilities acquired in auction in the year 2014 and 2015 as well as spectrum acquired through trading,” Jio said in a statement.

“These liabilities were due in annual instalments from FY 2022-23 to 2034-2035 and carried interest rate between 9.30% to 10% p.a. with an average residual period of 7+ years. The company estimates that the above prepayments will result in interest cost savings of around Rs. 1,200 crores annually, at the current interest rates,” it added.

But the company still has spectrum dues pertaining to last year, when it acquired spectrum in the 800 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2300 MHz bands for a total consideration of Rs 57,123 crore.

While it made an upfront payment of Rs 19,939 crore, it still has to pay the remaining Rs 37,184 crore. According to the terms of last year’s auction, the deferred payments have to be made over 18 years (two-year moratorium plus 16-year repayment period) with interest computed at 7.3 per cent per annum.

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