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Saturday, March 23, 2019
Cloud-based training for Swachh Bharat

TRAI to decide on rules for internet calling, messaging firms soon Besides helping the Ministry in running community training courses and track their performance, it also provided video-based learning for users. Microsoft India has joined hands with the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) to roll out its cloud-based solution Project Sangam to train stakeholders on Swachh Bharat e-Learning Portal.

The project is a cloud-hosted, mobile-first community learning platform, using which the ministry trained over 1.1 lakh municipal staff and relevant personnel in best sanitation practices in 4,000 cities.

“The Ministry wanted to standardise, centralise, modernise, and establish systems for knowledge exchange and capacity development to train the staff,” senior Microsoft executive said in a statement on Sunday.

Besides helping the Ministry in running community training courses and track their performance, it also provided video-based learning for users. In the phase two of Swachh Bharat e-learning mission, the Ministry will soon roll out Citizen Training programme to educate people on public toilets hygiene, waste management, household hygiene and sanitation practices. An app is available on the android platform Google Play. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)


Thousands of Russians protest against internet restrictions

Bagged 75 contracts in India last year, most non-telecom: Nokia RUSSIA-INTERNET-Thousands of Russians protest against internet restrictions. MOSCOW: Thousands of people took to the streets of Moscow and two other cities on Sunday to rally against tighter internet restrictions, in some of the biggest protests in the Russian capital in years.

Lawmakers last month backed tighter internet controls contained in legislation they say is necessary to prevent foreign meddling in Russia's affairs. But some Russian media likened it to an online "iron curtain" and critics say it can be used to stifle dissent.

People gathered in a cordoned off ProspektSakharova street in Moscow, made speeches on a stage and chanted slogans such as "hands off the internet" and "no to isolation, stop breaking the Russian internet".

The rally gathered around 15,300 people, according to White Counter, an NGO that counts participants at rallies. Moscow police put the numbers at 6,500.

"If we do nothing it will get worse. The authorities will keep following their own way and the point of no return will be passed", said 28-year-old protester Dmitry, who declined to give his full name.

Opposition activists said on Twitter that police had detained 15 people at the Moscow rally, confiscating their banners and balloons. Police have not announced any detentions.

The protests in Moscow, the southern city of Voronezh and Khabarovsk in the far east had all been officially authorised. A handful of activists in St. Petersburg took to the streets without the authorities' consent.

Russia has in recent years attempted to curb internet freedoms by blocking access to certain websites and messaging services such as Telegram.

February's bill passed in the Russian parliament on the first reading out of three.

It seeks to route Russian web traffic and data through points controlled by the state and proposes building a national Domain Name System to allow the internet to continue functioning even if the country is cut off from foreign infrastructure.

The second reading is planned in March after which, if passed, the bill will need to be signed by the upper house of the parliament and then by President Vladimir Putin.

The legislation is part of a drive by officials to increase Russian "sovereignty" over its Internet segment.

Russia has introduced tougher internet laws in recent years, requiring search engines to delete some search results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services and social networks to store Russian users' personal data on servers within the country. (Source: ETTelecom)

Data usage in India to grow at 73 per cent CAGR by 2022: Study

Vodafone CEO raises embarrassing issues for govt: Will Trai ever get it right?The average monthly spend on voice services in 2013 was Rs 214 compared to Rs 173 spent on data. India’s data consumption is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 72.6 per cent to 10,96,58,793 million MB by 2022, according to a study.

“With lower than ever data tariffs and increasing number of smartphone penetration in the country, which is around 40 per cent as of 2017, it is safe to assume that the Video on Demand (VoD) market will be a significant beneficiary of these developments. Internet consumption is clearly on the rise in India,” according to the ASSOCHAM-PwC study.

Data consumption in India will grow from the level of 71,67,103 million MB in 2017 to 10,96,58,793 million MB (megabytes) in 2022, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 72.6 per cent, it said.

While the average Indian used to spend more on voice services than on mobile data services until 2013, the majority of an average mobile bill is now spent on data.

The average monthly spend on voice services in 2013 was Rs 214 compared to Rs 173 spent on data. In 2016, the spend on voice fell to Rs 124, while data spend rose to Rs 225, according to the report.

Video streaming constitutes roughly 65—75 per cent of the traffic, as per the Nokia Mobile Broadband Index 2018.

While internet penetration is increasing in India, with mobile internet penetration set to reach 56.7 per cent in 2022 from a mere 30.2 per cent in 2017, connectivity and consistency in speed issues need to be addressed, said the study titled ‘Video on Demand: Entertainment reimagined’. It further said that in a country where approximately 65-70 per cent of the population resides in rural areas, no service meant for the masses can afford to ignore this market.

Internet connectivity and speed issues are significant in rural areas as against urban areas. It is important for OTT (over-the-top) players to cater to the rural market if they wish to stay relevant. Thus, apps like YouTube, which support low Internet connectivity, will be able to penetrate faster into rural areas, according to the study.

The report also noted that there has been a value shift to platforms.

“Social media and technology platforms, instead of content creators and packagers, have emerged as the primary beneficiaries of the increase in user time and spending,” it added.

Another major aspect in the journey of OTT players will be the ability to personalise experiences. Emerging technologies would help companies create unique experiences that add value to the services provided to users. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

MNP service providers to push for Rs 120 crore arrears

Huawei CFO sues Canada for wrongful detention The move comes after High Court on Friday junked Trai’s move to cut porting fee by 80%. Mobile number portability (MNP) service providers Syniverse Technologies India and MNP Interconnection Telecom Solutions India will push to recover an estimated Rs 120 crore from telcos after a court quashed the regulator’s decision to slash a key porting fee by 80% over a year ago.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India cut per port transaction charge to Rs 4 from Rs 19 in January 2018, a move that hurt revenue flows of both MNP service providers, prompting them to move court. The Delhi High Court junked Trai’s regulation on Friday, calling it illegal and unsustainable.

MNP refers to the facility allowing a user to switch telco operators without changing the mobile number. The recipient operator pays a fee to the MNP service provider for processing the request.

Trai secretary Sunil Gupta said Trai “would examine the (court) order before making any comments.”

Syniverse will start the process of recovering arrears retrospectively from February 2018 through talks with Trai and telcos, Himanshu Goel, managing director (India, Middle East & Africa), told ET. A global spokeswoman of iconectiv, US parent of MNP Interconnection, declined comment, saying the company “is in the process of getting information.”

While the service providers are still calculating dues, industry estimates peg them at roughly Rs 120 crore, including fees related to unsuccessful ports from February 2018.

MNP was first offered in India in November 2010. About 412 million subscribers have availed of the facility as of December 2018, Trai said in a consultation paper on February 22, which seeks to review per port transaction and other charges related to MNP.

Last January, Trai said Rs 4 per transaction would be payable only for successful porting. This meant MNP service providers would be unpaid if a porting request wasn’t successful, even after the use of their resources, experts said.

The Delhi High Court criticised Trai’s decision to “limit” the payments to successful requests, calling it “inconsistent” with the definition of the term in the MNP rules, which say such fees are payable to the MNP service provider for processing a request.

“Even where a porting request is unsuccessful, the MNP service provider would necessarily have expended resources in processing it,” the court said. Accordingly, both MNP service providers are likely to include fees linked to failed porting requests in their calculation of arrears.

However, Syniverse’s Goel said “a possible challenge” in recovering the arrears would be “the exit of several fringe carriers” following consolidation in the telecom industry. Recovery would “hinge on how Trai responds to the court verdict and eventually supports the two MNP service providers,” another top industry executive said.

Syniverse and MNP Interconnection had approached the telecom department last year, saying the sharp reduction in porting processing fees had led to losses and would compel them to shut services in India on the expiry of their permits in March 2019. However, both companies are said to have applied to DoT for licence renewals. (Source: Economic Times)

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