Convergence Plus
Sunday, June 16, 2019
Mukesh Ambani bets big on Uttarakhand

Mukesh Ambani bets big on UttarakhandAmbani said that the telecom company will boost tourism, improve healthcare, education and is committed to a ‘Digital Uttarakhand’ where every citizen can have the best quality digital connectivity and services. MukeshAmbani, chairman of Reliance Industries, said that after investing Rs 4000 crore in Uttarakhand in the last few years, his telecom firm Reliance JioInfocomm (Jio) will work towards boosting education, healthcare and digital facilities in the state.

“The state government’s pro-business policies combined with Jio’s investment will surely open up new avenues for growth of hi-tech industries in the state. For all of us at Reliance, Uttarakhand is an attractive investment opportunity,” said Ambani, the head of the oil to telecom conglomerate at the Uttarakhand Investors Summit on Sunday.

Ambani said that the telecom company will boost tourism, improve healthcare, education and is committed to a ‘Digital Uttarakhand’ where every citizen can have the best quality digital connectivity and services.

These investments will also bring in employment in the state and connect most of the 2385 plus government schools colleges in the state within next 2 years.Reliance also has over 100 retail stores and plans to continue grow these at a healthy rate, he added.

. “…this will help create additional employment and earning opportunities for the people of Uttarakhand. We plan to connect most of the 2185 government schools and 200 plus government colleges in the state within next 2 years. Reliance has over 100 retail stores and we plan to continue grow these stores at a healthy rate,” said Ambani on Sunday. (Source:ETTelecom)

Qualcomm to invest $400 mn for setting up campus in Hyderabad

Qualcomm to invest $400 mn for setting up campus in HyderabadQualcomm has outlined plans to invest $400 million (about Rs 3,000 crore) to set up their campus in Hyderabad. This will be one of the largest investments by a marquee company, after the formation of Telangana in June 2014. Phase-1 of the project will include built-up space of 1.7 million sqft, housing about 10,000 employees. Vice-President of Engineering for Qualcomm, Shashi Reddy, and Director for Operations, Chandra ShekarKumili, informed State IT Minister, K. T. Rama Rao, about growth plans for Qualcomm in the city during a meeting on Saturday. Qualcomm, as a leading tech innovator, has played a key role in driving the wireless revolution by making mobile communications more accessible and affordable.

The facility in Hyderabad will be Qualcomm's largest campus globally after its San Diego headquarters, and the $400 million investment would be its largest globally.

The tech major leads in 5G and it envisions the next big change in cellular technology, spurring a new era of intelligent, connected devices and new opportunities in connected cars, remote delivery of healthcare services and IoT.

Qualcomm, which proposes to start work on its campus in 2019, has a presence in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai. In Hyderabad since 2004, the company has expanded across multiple floors in six leased buildings, with a head-count of about 4,000 employees. Qualcomm’s campus and investment plan would give a boost to electronics and semi-conductor investment in the city. Earlier Micron, a semiconductor and a storage solutions company, had announced plans for a big presence in the city.

K.T. Rama Rao said: “By setting up its mega campus in Hyderabad and its largest globally after its headquarters in San Diego, Qualcomm now joins an elite list of companies to have their largest presence globally outside their headquarters, in Hyderabad. We have Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and now Qualcomm. This list will only increase as there are a few more companies that we are working with actively. This is indeed a big boost to the state of Telangana, the electronics and semiconductors industry and the ecosystem of operators, OEMs, regulators, start-ups and R&D engineers.”

Qualcomm Development Center engages in the areas of driving technology leadership in 5G, IoT, and Mobile Platforms (Snapdragon) Research, development of Qualcomm chipsets and support in commercialisation of advanced wireless modems and satellite communication, among other areas.

Headquartered in San Diego, Qualcomm has a market capitalisation of over $100 billion and has 167 offices and R&D and development centres around the world, including multiple sites in the US, India, Israel, Singapore, China, and Western Europe. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

Huawei gets government nod for 5G trials

Huawei gets government nod for 5G trialsTo start tests from December, says CEO Jay Chen NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 5. Chinese telecom-gear maker Huawei said it will start 5G trials in India from December with a leading telecom operator, as it recently received the ‘go-ahead’ from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). On September 27, the DoT invited the company for the trials. Huawei is awaiting for 100MHz of 3300-3600 MHz bands for the initial trials, Jay Chen, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei India told BusinessLine.

“We have got the invitation for the 5G trials from the government and through the proposed trials, we plan to contribute for development of timely and high-quality 5G technology and use cases that will enable social and economic development,” he said. The initial trials will begin with fixed wireless access, enhanced mobile broadband, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), WTTx (advanced wireless access), which is delivering fibre quality broadband in wireless mode, and ultra high definition video transfer in one of the metro cities (Delhi), followed by a few more cities, Chen said.

Laboratory testing
The company had already partnered with Bharti Airtel in February to complete 5G laboratory testing and is in talks now with other operators including Reliance Jio.

Chinese vendors including Huawei and ZTE were barred by the government for various telecom projects including the 5G trials because of security concerns.

However, now the government has given a ‘thumbs up’ to Huawei along with its local partners. There is no clarity about ZTE yet. Both the Chinese companies were recently barred by the US and Australia from 5G roll-outs due to possible cyber snooping by China.

On asked about such concerns, Chen said the Indian government is open and transparent and, Huawei also abides by the law of the land.

“There is a close relationship between the government, operators and the vendors to grow the ecosystem in the industry. Huawei is committed to ‘Digital India’ and will actively cooperate with the 5G planning and preparation of Indian government and industry,” Chen said adding that there lies a lot of opportunities in the telecom industry in the next five years.

Other players
Apart from Huawei, the DoT has already approached other telecom gear makers including Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Cisco and NEC for development of 5G applications and running trials on the suggestion of Stanford University Professor Emeritus Arogyaswami J Paulraj.

Paulraj is a member of the 5G panel that recently suggested spectrum roadmap for the technology. The TRAI has recommended auction of about 8,644 MHz of telecom frequencies at an estimated base price of ₹4.9 lakh crore. The government is expected to auction spectrum in various bands including those for 5G towards the end of next year. (Source: The Hindu BusinessLine)

DoT to ask Trai about suitability of 28 GHz band for 5G services

DoT to ask Trai about suitability of 28 GHz band for 5G services  The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is preparing to open up new bands to support 5G services. It will shortly seek suggestions from the telecom regulator on the suitability of the 28 GHz band for 5G commercial deployments, along with its views on pricing such airwaves, said people aware of the matter. The government is examining the feasibility of allocating this spectrum band in India for 5G, close on the heels of South Korea auctioning these airwaves and the decision of the US Federal Communications Commission planning to do so from November 14.

The DoT plans to constitute a panel soon to examine whether 5G systems can be deployed in the 28 GHz band and co-exist with the current fixed satellite services in the same band.

“It is mandatory to refer the matter of assessing suitability of a specific bandwidth and its pricing to Trai (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), and the government shall do so before taking a call on allocating millimetre spectrum in 28 GHz band for early 5G deployments in India,” said a senior DoT official, who did not wish to be identified.

He said the government would ensure the business interests of current users of the 28 GHz band in India such as the Indian Space Research Organisation are protected if a decision is taken to allocate these airwaves for 5G services.

India, he said, had signalled its interest in these potential 5G airwaves at a recent meeting of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity wireless group in Bangkok, especially since 28 GHz is seen globally as “a frontier 5G band” and considered essential for early 5G deployments.

India’s new telecom policy – the National Digital Communications Policy 2018 – has recognised mid-band spectrum in the 3 GHz to 43 GHz range as central to India’s 5G strategy, and has called for identifying new bands for access and backhaul segments for timely deployment of 5G networks. The 28 GHz spectrum band would be within the mid-band range.

The quest for new 5G bands comes at a time when the government is looking to auction a mix of 4G and 5G airwaves in late 2019 and showcase the first batch of India-relevant 5G use cases by the year-end.

Analysts cautioned though that the pace of 5G adoption in India would hinge on the timing of the auctions and pricing of 5G airwaves.

Experts have pointed out that Trai’s suggested base price of Rs 492 crore per unit of 3500 MHz 5G spectrum – which was part of its spectrum pricing recommendations for the next sale – is much higher than Rs 65 crore a unit at a recent 5G auction in South Korea. Therefore, they said, India’s financially stressed older carriers such as Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel could give 5G airwaves a miss in the next sale if pricing is exorbitant, given that device ecosystems are yet to mature. (Source: Economic Times)

Amazon India creates 50,000 jobs for festive season

Amazon India creates 50,000 jobs for festive seasonAmazon India has created more than 50,000 seasonal positions across its network of fulfilment centres in the country this year ahead of the festive sale as the e-commerce major jousts for leadership position against rival Flipkart. Amazon India has a network of over 50 fulfilment centres, multiple sortation centres and close to 150 delivery stations spread across the country.

"In our effort to provide a seamless shopping experience, we have enhanced our teams significantly with more than 2X the number of seasonal associates working in the Amazon fulfilment network and customer service sites compared to the last festive season... The 50,000 seasonal associates will help us in augmenting our capabilities," Amazon India Vice President (India Customer Fulfilment) Akhil Saxena told .

He added that this enhancement will play an "instrumental" role in "driving an exceptional experience" during Amazon India's Great Indian Festival Sale that is slated to be held between October 10-15.

Amazon India has, throughout the year, been investing heavily in ramping up its infrastructure and delivery network.

Saxena said these seasonal positions have been created across its network of fulfilment centres, sortation centers, delivery stations and customer service sites in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Pune and others ahead of the festive season.

He added that these recruits will join the thousands of associates to help pick, pack, ship and deliver customers' orders more efficiently.

A section of these recruits will also work with the 20 customer service sites (across 16 cities) that provide voice support for customers in vernacular languages like Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. These customer service sites support Amazon customers in India with pre and post order service through email, chat, social media and phone.

E-tailers like Amazon and Flipkart usually hire thousands of people in delivery and support roles to handle the high volume of orders during sale period.

Flipkart has also significantly expanded its infrastructure and delivery operations ahead of its Big Billion Days (BBD) sale that will be held from October 10-14 this year.

The Walmart-backed company has doubled its warehousing capacity and now has over 65 fulfilment centres and more than 60 'mother hubs' that will cater to the expected spike in demand during the festive sale. It has also onboarded about 30,000 new delivery staff over the past many weeks, including freelance workers to help with deliveries. About 20 million people are expected to shop on various e-commerce platforms during the festive sale next month, translating into sales of around USD 3 billion for players like Amazon and Flipkart, according to a report by research firm RedSeer.

Like in offline retail, e-commerce companies see a significant jump in sales during Dussehra and Diwali. The September-November period typically generates a majority of the annual sales of these companies, which prepare months in advance for the sale event. (Source: Times of India)

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