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Telecom sector bets big on NTP 2018: COAI



NEW DELHI: Industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) shared their detailed submission on NTP 2018 which is an opportunity for the government to bring in the much-needed fundamental change required by the Indian Telecom sector for it to recast and revive. To ensure a sustained, rapid socio-economic growth of the country, the Government has previously rolled out four such policies in the past.

COAI’s recommendations include, enhancing telecom and broadband penetration, simplifying licensing and regulations, efficient spectrum management, uniform Telecom Infrastructure and RoW Policies, lowering of existing levies and taxes, and ensuring ease of doing business by providing an impetus to R&D, skilling, adoption of emerging technologies. With all this, however, increasing Telecom Network Security, while minimizing compliance and cost burden and ensuring privacy of citizens while enabling Digital Revolution in the country, is paramount. If the “digital India” dream is to be realised, telecommunications as a sector and technology democratisation as a tenet, cannot and should not be ignored.

Highlighting the current asks, Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI, said, “At this time, the industry is in a downward spiral. Cumulative debts amounting to Rs 4.6 lakh crore on revenues of under INR 1.8 lakh crore are forcing the industry to question the long-term prospects and viability of the sector. The industry has suggested a number of options to the telecom regulator when it was conducting the consultation process, including reduction of Spectrum Usage Charge to a uniform 1% (of AGR) and create a Telecom Finance Corporation as a vehicle to mobilize and channelize financing. Other submissions included the USO fund contribution be rationalised to 3% and ultimately be done away within 2-3 years. The financial health and longer term sustainability of the sector are paramount, without which, there can be no futuristic technologies or scalable innovation.”

“Creating an enabling environment for technologies considered science fiction, just a few years ago – AI, AR, IoT, Smart city, smart homes, 5G so on and so forth. It will focus on simplifying the regulatory frameworks to aid in quality connectivity-for-all and easing the turf for ease of doing business, make way for foreign investments and strengthen the existing infrastructure.” Mathews added.

The sector is seeking resolution of a number of issues, including a single unified licence across the country where every service provider offering the same service must adhere to the same rules – One Nation One License for services and making available funds for communication infrastructure projects, on the same lines as that for road and rail networks.

Huge investments of over Rs 2-3 lakh crores over the next couple of years would be required for a fully connected and an empowered Digital India. To achieve this goal, urgent support of the Government and the private sector is necessary to improve the already deteriorating financial health of the sector.

COAI, recommends an investment friendly and stable policy environment where telecom operators can be sustainable enough to invest cash into their business and work together with the Government to connect over 1 billion people to the internet. A report suggests that a 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration leads to a 1.4% growth in GDP. Hence, reviving the sector by enabling existing players to earn profit and make the sector viable for driving foreign investment to boost the overall infrastructure has to firmly be one of the top priorities of the Govt. at present.

While there have been a number of opportunities for the Government in the last few months, including the reduction in the GST rate and the IMG’s recommendations, to bring about systematic changes, but not much has been done yet, while the industry continues to ask for relief. A sharp focus on infrastructure development towards encouraging innovation, indigenous manufacturing and skilling the workforce to make them ready for the next generation of technology, are vital.

For India to be a front-runner in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, the telecom sector need to be profitable and move away from the current financial instability and regulatory bottle-necks.



Ericsson signs $8.3 billion 5G deal with Verizon



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.

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Mobile Services

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



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.


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IT rules 2021 empowering, protecting users, asserts Ashwini Vaishnaw



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

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