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Monday, July 22, 2019
Vodafone Idea's ₹25,000 crore rights issue oversubscribed nearly 1.08 times

Besides a public participation of 1.2 times the offering, the promoters, too, applied for ₹90 crore higher than their aggregate rights entitlement. The promoters, Aditya Birla Group and UK's Vodafone Group, were allotted ₹17,920 crore increasing their shareholding to 71.57% over 71.33% earlier

Vodafone Idea Ltd.'s ₹25,000 crore rights issue-- the largest so far by the company, received a good response from both foreign and public shareholders as the issue was oversubscribed nearly 1.08 times.

Besides a public participation of 1.2 times the offering, the promoters, too, applied for ₹90 crore higher than their aggregate rights entitlement. The promoters, Aditya Birla Group and UK's Vodafone Group, were allotted ₹17,920 crore increasing their shareholding to 71.57% over 71.33% earlier.

"The successful closure of rights issue is a clear indication of the investors’ belief in our post-merger strategy and our ability to leverage the growth opportunities offered by the sector," said Balesh Sharma, chief executive officer of the company. "We are progressing well on integration and are well on track to deliver our synergy targets. Our ongoing investments are improving broadband coverage and capacity, enabling us to offer a superior network experience to our customers as well as enhancing our ability to win new broadband customers," he said.

India's largest telecom firm by subscribers, Vodafone Idea's board of directors, in a May 4 meeting, had approved the rights issue for about 2,000 crore equity shares of ₹10 each at a price of ₹12.50 per share. The paid-up equity capital of the company post the rights offer would stand at ₹28,735 crore shares of face value of ₹10 each. The company looks to list the new shares on the bourses on May 10.

Under rights issue, existing shareholders are offered to purchase additional stock shares, known as subscription warrants, in proportion to their existing holdings. Rights are often transferable, allowing the holder to sell them in the open market.

The telecom operator's rival, Bharti Airtel Ltd. had also announced a ₹25,000 crore rights issue at a price of ₹220 per share, which opened for subscription on May 3 and will close on May 17, according to the company's exchange filings.

Vodafone Idea has been losing a large chunk of its subscriber base to other telecom operators, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio. While Vodafone lost 35.87 lakh users taking its total base to 41.52 crore, both Jio and Airtel added to their subscriber base.

Besides loss of subscribers, the company’s losses widened to ₹5,004.6 crore in the December quarter, compared with ₹4,973.8 crore in the preceding quarter. It also needs resources to meet its spectrum liabilities to the government and expand its 4G network coverage from the existing 62%. Its most immediate payment for ₹6,300 crore to the telecom department was due in April.

Vodafone Idea also plans to raise up to ₹5,000 crore by monetizing its 11.5% stake in Indus Towers and has also separately announced plans to sell its fibre network comprising more than 156,000km of intra- and inter-city fibre routes. (Source:Mint)


DoT asks Karnataka to align infra roll out policy with RoW policy

The DoT in a letter dated May 1 to the state government said that the proposed regulation in Karnataka for telecom infrastructure roll out is not aligned with the Right of Way policy notification of November 2016.

The Karnataka government has been asked by the telecom department to align its infrastructure roll out policy with the Centre's following incidents of cable cutting by the local municipal body in Bengaluru. The DoT in a letter dated May 1 to the state government said that the proposed regulation in Karnataka for telecom infrastructure roll out is not aligned with the Right of Way policy notification of November 2016.

Referring to a communication last month, the DoT Advisor for Karnataka telecom circle said, "it has been requested to pursue with state government for implementing the state RoW policy aligned with the central (Indian Telegraph) Right of Way policy."

Recently, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had ordered to cut down telecom cables laid over the ground, citing them to be non-compliant with existing norms, and has demanded fees from companies to lay them underground.

However, telecom service providers said the cables were laid overhead temporarily due to road construction work and they had already paid the fees for laying them under the ground.

Telecom cables connect mobile towers with each other and also provide bandwidth for broadband connections.

Industry group Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) had alleged that cable were cut in areas like Sarjapur Road, Whitefield, Marathahalli, Bellandur and Sarjapur without any prior intimation to the telecom industry.

The letter from advisor said that the action from the BBMP had adversely impacted the network connectivity and also seriously affected digital transactions and other emergency services.

The DoT has requested the state government to conduct workshop to create awareness about radiation, finalise the state RoW policy aligned with central (Indian Telegraph) Right of Way policy.

According to a DoT letter issued to telecom circle head in states , only 13 states have aligned their RoW policy with that of the central government including Haryana, Odisha, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Assam, Tamil Nadu Uttar Pradesh. (Source:ETTelecom)

How YouTube engineers plotted to kill Internet Explorer 6

A former Google employee has revealed how a group of engineers plotted to kill Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 on its YouTube platform nearly 10 years ago.

A former Google employee has revealed how a group of engineersplotted to kill Microsoft's Internet Explorer 6 on its YouTube platform nearly 10 years ago.

According to a report in The Verge on Saturday, YouTube in 2009 started displaying a banner to Internet Explorer 6 users, warning that support for Microsoft's browser would be "phasing out" soon.

Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006.

Frustrated by supporting the aging browser, "we began collectively fantasizing about how we could exact our revenge on IE6", revealed Chris Zacharias, a former Google and YouTube engineer.

"The plan was very simple. We would put a small banner above the video player that would only show up for IE6 users," he was quoted as saying.

The message appeared on all YouTube pages - "at a time when IE6 users represented around 18 per cent of all YouTube traffic".

YouTube engineers created a special set of permissions called "OldTuber", so they could bypass Google's code enforcement policies and make changes directly to the YouTube codebase with limited code reviews.

"We saw an opportunity in front of us to permanently cripple IE6 that we might never get again," Zacharias said.

Two Google lawyers wanted to know why YouTube had the banner in place.

"They immediately demanded that we remove the banner," said Zacharias.

"The lawyers were worried that Chrome was being promoted first as an alternative browser, prompting fears about EU regulators looking for anti-competitive behavior," the report noted.

YouTube engineers, however, had programmed the banner to randomly display browsers like Firefox, Internet Explorer 8 and Opera.

The result was a massive dip in Internet Explorer 6 traffic to YouTube.

"Within one month, our YouTube IE6 user base was cut in half and over 10 per cent of global IE6 traffic had dropped off while all other browsers increased in corresponding amounts," informed Zacharias.

Google Chrome web browser, which is the leader today, was first released in September 2008 for Windows XP and later, with 43 supported languages, in December 2008. (Source: ETTelecom)

France Telecom goes on trial over wave of suicides

A decade after a wave of suicides at France Telecom in which 35 employees took their own lives, the telecoms giant and its former CEO go on trial Monday for "moral harassment".

A decade after a wave of suicides at France Telecom in which 35 employees took their own lives, the telecoms giant and its former CEO go on trial Monday for "moral harassment".

The case will look at what was behind the deaths that occurred between 2008 and 2009 when Didier Lombard was at the helm of the company, which is today known as Orange.

The trial opens at the Paris criminal court nearly seven years after Lombard and France Telecom were charged with harassment in what was a first in France.

Also in the dock are a handful of former senior executives accused of harassment and others facing charges of complicity in a trial which will likely be closely followed by business, unions and workforce experts.

Expected to last more than two months, it could result in a conviction for institutional psychological harassment.

Despite France's labour laws, which are some of the strongest in the world, depression, long-term illness, professional burnout and even suicide have become increasingly common.

Unions and management accept that 35 France Telecom employees took their own lives between 2008 and 2009 and Lombard stepped down as a result of the deaths.

Formerly a public company, France Telecom was privatised in 2004, a move which led to major restructuring and job losses.

Prosecutors say the company and its chief executive at the time introduced a policy of unsettling employees in order to induce them to quit.

- 'Climate of anxiety' - During the investigation, magistrates focused on the cases of 39 employees, 19 of whom killed themselves, 12 who tried to commit suicide and eight who suffered from acute depression or were signed off sick as a result of it.

In July 2008, a 51-year-old technician from Marseille killed himself, leaving a letter accusing the bosses of "management by terror". Two months later, a 32-year-old woman jumped out of the window of her Paris office as horrified colleagues looked on.

Lombard, who served as chairman and chief executive between 2005-2010, inflamed the situation with remarks that came off as extremely callous, admitting he had committed "an enormous gaffe" when he speaking of a "suicide fad".

The remark was seen as a final straw, and he resigned in March 2010.

The investigating magistrates' summary of charges, a copy of which was seen by AFP, it says Lombard put in place "a corporate policy aimed at undermining the employees. by creating a professional climate which provoked anxiety".

It outlined multiple haphazard restructures, forcing people to move around geographically and repeatedly pushing incentives for them to resign. - 'Management through social violence' - Also on trial is Louis-Pierre Wenes, Lombard's former number two and Olivier Barberot, who handled human resources, with another four facing charges of "complicity".

If convicted, they could face a year behind bars and a 15,000-euro fine.

And France Telecom could be slapped with a 75,000-euro sanction if found guilty of "moral harassment" which is defined as "frequently repeated acts whose aim or effect is the degradation of working conditions".

Sebastien Crozier, who heads the CFE-CGC Orange union said the trial was about the use of "social violence as a method of management".

For Marie Peze, a psychologist who specialises in workplace distress, the trial raises one key question.

"In 2019, with suicides among farmers, police and nurses.. what is the human cost of work?" (Source:ETTelecom)

Telecom companies stop user poaching as stability returns to industry

Older telcos, Vodafone Idea & Airtel and latest entrant Jio are close in terms of revenue & subscriber share. A decade after a wave of suicides at France Telecom in which 35 employees took their own lives, the telecoms giant and its former CEO go on trial Monday for "moral harassment".

The case will look at what was behind the deaths that occurred between 2008 and 2009 when Didier Lombard was at the helm of the company, which is today known as Orange.

The trial opens at the Paris criminal court nearly seven years after Lombard and France Telecom were charged with harassment in what was a first in France.



Also in the dock are a handful of former senior executives accused of harassment and others facing charges of complicity in a trial which will likely be closely followed by business, unions and workforce experts. Expected to last more than two months, it could result in a conviction for institutional psychological harassment.

Despite France's labour laws, which are some of the strongest in the world, depression, long-term illness, professional burnout and even suicide have become increasingly common.

Unions and management accept that 35 France Telecom employees took their own lives between 2008 and 2009 and Lombard stepped down as a result of the deaths.

Formerly a public company, France Telecom was privatised in 2004, a move which led to major restructuring and job losses.

Prosecutors say the company and its chief executive at the time introduced a policy of unsettling employees in order to induce them to quit.



- 'Climate of anxiety' - During the investigation, magistrates focused on the cases of 39 employees, 19 of whom killed themselves, 12 who tried to commit suicide and eight who suffered from acute depression or were signed off sick as a result of it. In July 2008, a 51-year-old technician from Marseille killed himself, leaving a letter accusing the bosses of "management by terror". Two months later, a 32-year-old woman jumped out of the window of her Paris office as horrified colleagues looked on.

Lombard, who served as chairman and chief executive between 2005-2010, inflamed the situation with remarks that came off as extremely callous, admitting he had committed "an enormous gaffe" when he speaking of a "suicide fad".

The remark was seen as a final straw, and he resigned in March 2010.

The investigating magistrates' summary of charges, a copy of which was seen by AFP, it says Lombard put in place "a corporate policy aimed at undermining the employees.. by creating a professional climate which provoked anxiety".

It outlined multiple haphazard restructures, forcing people to move around geographically and repeatedly pushing incentives for them to resign.

- 'Management through social violence' - Also on trial is Louis-Pierre Wenes, Lombard's former number two and Olivier Barberot, who handled human resources, with another four facing charges of "complicity".

If convicted, they could face a year behind bars and a 15,000-euro fine.

And France Telecom could be slapped with a 75,000-euro sanction if found guilty of "moral harassment" which is defined as "frequently repeated acts whose aim or effect is the degradation of working conditions".

Sebastien Crozier, who heads the CFE-CGC Orange union said the trial was about the use of "social violence as a method of management".

For Marie Peze, a psychologist who specialises in workplace distress, the trial raises one key question.

"In 2019, with suicides among farmers, police and nurses. what is the human cost of work?" (Source:ETTelecom)

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