Convergence Plus
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Idea Cellular to launch payments bank operations in June

Idea Cellular to launch payments bank operations in JuneThe company, that recently received the Reserve Bank of India's final approval to open its payments bank, is in the process of integrating its systems with those of the National Payments Corporation of India and the RBI. Joining the network will allow it to facilitate interbank electronic transactions

Idea Cellular has set itself a June target to launch payments bank operations and is signing up retailers who sell its telecom services to also double up as banking touch points to allow customers to carry out transactions.

The company, that recently received the Reserve Bank of India's final approval to open its payments bank, is in the process of integrating its systems with those of the National Payments Corporation of India and the RBI. Joining the network will allow it to facilitate interbank electronic transactions.

The company hopes a significant part of its telecom subscribers to enroll for the banking services.

“We have an existing customer base of 20 crore (for telephone services) ... hence we start off with a huge potential customer base which is a big positive for our payments business,“ said Sudhakar Ramasubramanian, the chief executive-designate of Aditya Birla Idea Payments Bank. “We will also convert our 20 lakh retailer base across the country into banking touch points to take financial services to the rural areas.“

Payments banks aren't allowed to lend, but can take deposits, facilitate remittances and dispense payments to recipients. The RBI had devised payments banks and small finance banks as tools to take formal banking to the unbanked.

For telecom companies like Idea and Bharti Airtel, this offered a new business opportunity as they already have extensive networks across the country and a huge potential customer base for the banking services in their existing users.

Bharti Airtel, the telecom market leader, launched its payments bank in January. To attract customers, it is offering an interest rate of 7.25% on savings deposits, which is more than that offered by conventional banks. (Source: ETTelecom)

Emergency Management: Oracle

Emergency Management: Oracle“Emergencies wait for no one and we have to be prepared to face it at all times. A city can face an emergency situation in the form of a flood, an earthquake or man-made forces, which may be out of the city administration’s control. Therefore, they need to be equipped not just to face these emergencies, but also to foresee these situations ahead of time. . This is where Smart City technologies are going to play an extensive role in changing the scenario. Technologies like Business Intelligence, predictive analytics and more enable city administrators to foresee emergencies and take remedial steps to keep the losses to the bare minimum.

It is unbelievable how technology is empowering the entire world to deal with some of the greatest challenges of Mother Nature and those triggered by the mankind as well. You can read about how Buenos Aires is using the same technology to monitor rainfall, river water levels to avert flood-like scenarios in the city. Oracle Open World is happening in Delhi on May 9-10, where you will get the opportunity to witness these smart technologies and how they are contributing to this change. The event is round the corner, hurry and register yourself here. (Source: Convergence Plus)

Ciudad de Buenos Aires Gains Visibility into Storm Water Runoff and Flood Preparedness Systems”

RCom, Aircel seek shareholders’ approval as merger hits last lap

RCom, Aircel seek shareholders’ approval as merger hits last lapThe mega merger between Reliance Communications (RCom) and Aircel to create the country’s third-largest operator is entering the final phase, with both companies seeking shareholder approval in the coming days.

Aircel will hold its shareholders’ meeting on April 22, while that of RCom will be on April 24. The meetings have been convened following a direction by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), according to the notices posted on the companies’ websites. Following the shareholder meetings, NCLT will hear the merger application filed by the companies on April 24 itself. Shareholder and NCLT approvals are the statutory requirements for the merger.

In March, the companies received Competition Commission of India’s approvals for the merger, prior to which approvals the companies had got permission from capital markets regulator SEBI, and the BSE and NSE.

The merger was announced in September 2016, under which RCom and Aircel’s Malaysia-based promoters Maxis Communications Bhd will hold 50 per cent each in a newly-created venture, with equal representation on the board.
Helping pare debt

The merger would help both players pare debt by ₹14,000 crore each, which will be transferred to the new entity. At present, RCom’s debt stands at ₹42,000 crore, while that of Aircel is at about ₹18,500 crore. (Source:The Hindubusiness Line)

'Tower industry to see boost in M&As this year'

'Tower industry to see boost in M&As this year'The year 2017 will see change and consolidation in the telecom towers industry, according to a top official of the Towers and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA).

"The year 2017 will be the year of innovation, disruption and transformation. It will also witness mergers and acquisitions (M&As)," Tilak Raj Dua, Director General, TAIPA, told IANS in an interview. Asked where the towers industry was headed, Dua said that rural telephony will see a fillip as an investment of $2 billion from USOF (Universal Service Obligation Fund) would facilitate expansion into non-urban areas.

"It will bridge the rural-urban digital divide," he said. Investments in telecom infrastructure will see a rise, and expansion of public WiFi will take place, Dua added.

He said the development of robust telecom infrastructure with the proliferation of in-building coverage, ICT, 4G and public WiFi will lead to accessibility to affordable high-speed internet for the common man. "This is likely to transform society into a knowledge-led and a connected one," Dua said.

The expansion of 4G networks, affordability, penetration of smartphones and surge in data demands have opened up new opportunities for the telecom tower industry.

"In the next few years, growth in data demands will pave the way for infrastructure providers to establish and maintain in-building solutions, small cells, public Wi-Fi and fiberisation of backhaul networks," Dua said.

All these opportunities for tower companies will play a significant role in reducing rental and energy costs besides many other advantages like savings in capital expenditure and faster rollouts.

Regarding the much talked-about issue of call drops, Dua said the Indian telecommunication sector has significantly picked up to curb call drop issues by adding around 1,500 BTS (base transceiver stations) per day.

The sector has installed additional 212,917 such stations across the country during the period from June 2016 to February 2017, taking the total number to 1.5 million, he said.

Further, to ensure quality of service, seamless connectivity and spectrum efficiency India would need around 100,000 towers in the north-east alone, in addition to the 450,000 in operation.

The tower roll-out is increasing at a rate of 3-5 per cent year-on-year.

Talking about the Right of Way (RoW), Dua said the delay in providing RoW by the state is adversely affecting the development of telecom infrastructure and services.

The government unveiled the RoW policy in November 2016 which allows only a licensee to deploy telecom infrastructure.

"The policy needs to be extended to IP-1 companies too. IP-1s are formed with the sole mandate of servicing telecom operators and providing shared infrastructure. We are seeking clarification from DoT and persuading them for the same," Dua said.

Infrastructure Providers category 1 (IP-1) policy was launched by DoT in 2000. (Source: ETTelecom)

VMware bets big on telecom industry for growth in India

Viavi releases results of State of the Network global studyVirtualisation service provider VMware believes the growth of Indian telecommunication industry will be a major growth driver for the company in the coming year.

“The consolidation of the telecom market coupled with the digital transformation of banks and financial services sector presents a compelling business opportunity for tus in India,” said Rajiv Ramaswami, COO, products and Cloud services of VMware. The publicly traded company is a subsidiary of Dell Technologies and provides cloud and virtualisation software and services.

Reliance Jio’s entry has made India one of the top countries in mobile data usage with Jio users consuming more than 100 crore GB per month. This has ushered in a data war in the space with incumbents starting to consolidate in a bid to protect and scale their customer base. “From a vertical stand point, this is the year of Telco. With the entry of Jio and the consolidation in the telecom industry significant amount of network infrastructure is being built [by telecom companies. Data volumes are through the roof and service providers are desperately ramping up their infrastructure to cope with all the data that is coming in,” Ramaswami said, adding, “This provides a huge opportunity for the network virtualisation service providers like VMware”.

In addition to telecom, VMware has a strong footprint in the BFSI sector helping banks make the digital transformation straddling legacy systems with the with new age systems. VMware helps build new architecture and upgrade banks’ IT and security infrastructure to support these offerings. (Source: Economic Times)

Confused netizens uninstall Snapdeal app instead of Snapchat

Confused netizens uninstall Snapdeal app instead of SnapchatSome of the people eager to distance themselves from Snapchatamid the "app for rich people" controversy ended up deleting the app for the e-commerce platform Snapdeal instead.

This came to light after netizens started posting pictures of the blunder on Twitter. As more people deleted their app, Snapdeal co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl tweeted, "Ppl asking us to make a statement that @snapdeal is not @snapchat was possibly the last thing I thought I would ever need to do."

Many users also explained how the two apps were different. The social media went abuzz with criticism against Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel after a report quoted one of the company's former employees as saying that the top executive told him that the "app is only for rich people" and that he (CEO) was not interested in expanding the business to "poor countries" like India and Spain.

Snapchat, on its part, has rubbished the allegations. (Source: Times of India)

Rahul Commerce
ITU Telecom World 2018
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