Govt notifies rules for in-flight, maritime mobile phone services

Source: LiveMint.com, Dec 17, 2018

New Delhi:People will soon be able to make calls and access internet through their phones during air travel and ship voyage within Indian territory as the government has notified rules for providing such services.

Indian and foreign airlines and shipping companies operating in the country can provide in-flight and maritime voice and data services in partnership with a valid Indian telecom licence holder.

“These rules may be called the Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018. They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette,” the notification dated December 14 said.

The in-flight and maritime connectivity (IFMC) can be provided using telecom networks on ground as well as using satellites.

The services can be provided by a valid telecom licence holder in India through domestic and foreign satellites having permission of the Department of Space, it said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trai amends MNP regulations to ease, quicken the process of portability

Source: Business Standard, Dec 13, 2018

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) amended the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) regulations to ease and quicken the process of portability.

The timeline for porting a mobile number within the Intra-Licensed Service Area (Intra-LSA) or the same circle has been limited to two days and that in a different circle or an Inter-Licensed Service Area (Inter-LSA) has been kept at four days.

Further, the regulator also said a telecom operator would have to pay a penalty of not exceeding Rs 10,000 for any misinformation about the portability and each wrongful rejection of portability request.

“If any access provider or mobile number portability service provider contravenes the provisions… (it shall) be liable to pay an amount, by way of financial disincentive not exceeding Rs 10,000 for each wrongful rejection of the request for porting,” the TRAI circular said. Read the rest of this entry »

Reliance Jio board approves plan to hive-off fibre, tower assets to separate entities

Source: LiveMint.com, Dec 12, 2018

New Delhi: Telecom operator Reliance Jio Infocomm Tuesday said its board has approved schemes to spin off the company’s fibre and tower assets to separate entities. “The board of directors of the company, at its meeting held today, accorded its approval to a scheme of arrangement for transfer of its fibre undertaking, on a going concern basis, to a separate company,” Jio said in a regulatory filing on ‘restructuring/reorganisation proposals’.

The board also cleared a similar proposal pertaining to transfer of its tower infrastructure “on a going concern basis, to a separate company”, it added.

The schemes are subject to statutory and regulatory approvals, it added but did not provide details. Read the rest of this entry »

Qualcomm hopeful of faster 5G deployment in India

Source: LiveMint.com, Dec 10, 2018

New Delhi: Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm is hopeful that 5G technology would be deployed in India at the same pace 4G networks were rolled out and noted the new-age technology offered great potential for consumers and enterprises alike.

Speaking to PTI, Qualcomm Incorporated President Cristiano Amon said he is extremely happy with the pace at which India transitioned from 3G to 4G.

“When it happened, it happened very very fast. It’s remarkable what Reliance Jio has done and I think it clearly surprised everyone in the industry,” he noted.

Emphasising that 5G is going to have a “more profound impact on the industry”, Amon said he “would like India to be a 5G market as fast as we saw with 4G”. Read the rest of this entry »

India will be our largest R&D base in next 3 years: OnePlus CEO

Source: IBEF.org, Dec 03, 2018

New Delhi: Premium smartphone maker OnePlus is betting on the engineering talent pool in the country to drive innovation and expects India to become its largest research and development (R&D) base in the next three years.

The company, which has recently set up its R&D centre in Hyderabad, has similar facilities in Shenzhen, Taiwan and the US. It has about 700 people globally working in its R&D teams.

“We are looking at India as a global talent hub for the company. The idea is to have a long-term approach, bringing the best of talent and training them and have them work with us over the long term…. We anticipate that India will be our largest R&D base in three or more years,” OnePlus co-founder and CEO Pete Lau told PTI.

He added that the company is engaging with the top engineering colleges like IITs to scout for talent. The India R&D team has under 100 people currently. Read the rest of this entry »

Reliance Jio to take over as service provider for Indian Railways

Source: Financial Express, Nov 22, 2018

Pre Reliance Jio Infocomm will serve the country’s largest and most sought-after accounts in telecom — the railways — from January 1, with officials saying it is likely to slash the national transporter’s phone bills by around 35% at least.

Railways has been using Bharti Airtel for over six years as its telecom provider for 1.95 lakh mobile phone connections used by its employees in closed user group (CUG) across the country for which the railways paid around Rs 100 crore bill per year, they said. Its validity will expire on December 31 this year.

A Railway Board order issued on November 20 said it ‘had assigned the responsibility to RailTel (railway PSU) for finalisation of fresh CUG scheme for Indian Railways as the validity of the existing scheme is expiring on December 31, 2018. Fresh CUG scheme had since been finalised by RailTel and Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited has been awarded the contract to implement the scheme’. Read the rest of this entry »

Government mulls relief package for telecom industry

Source: The Economic Times, Nov 21, 2018

The government is considering a relief package for the telecom industry that’s laden with debt and hit by earnings woes amid a two year-long price war, after certain companies sought support, said people with knowledge of the matter.

Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the country’s largest telecom operator, Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL), met top finance ministry officials in this regard, they said, adding that it’s seeking a deferral on Rs 900 crore that it has to pay the government in March.

A senior official told ET that Birla appraised officials about the danger of Vodafone Idea, which posted a loss of Rs 4,974 crore for the quarter ended September 2018, missing a Rs 900-crore spectrum linked payment. One official said Birla had sought to make the payment in 12 instalments. Finance and telecom ministry officials met subsequently to discuss the health of the industry and devise a rescue plan, a second official told ET. Read the rest of this entry »