Convergence Plus
Friday, June 5, 2020
Google postpones Android 11’s beta release slated for June 3

Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Tata Tele likely to pay AGR dues on Monday: DoT source Google has postponed the launch of the beta version of its latest OS for Android, Android 11 which was slated for June 3.

“We are excited to tell you more about Android 11, but now is not the time to celebrate. We are postponing the June 3rd event and beta release. We'll be back with more on Android 11, soon,” the Android Developers account tweeted.

The search giant has decided to postpone the public launch of its of Android 11 beta version given the situation. Thought the search giant has not specified an explicit reason for the delay, it is likely owing to the nationwide protests across the United States following the death of George Floyd, the Verge reported.

Protests have erupted across the country after a black individual named George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. According to media reports, there have been multiple instances of protests, looting, and fires including conflicts in the Bay area where Google and most of its employees are based, the report said.

Given the current situation, the search giant is likely to have cancelled the event for humane reasons.

Google had announced the event earlier this month and had said that it will introduce a ‘host of other things' alongside the new update.

Google had released its earliest Android 11 for developers back in March. Last month, it had released the third update for developers which included features such as app exit reasons updates, Android Debug Bridge (ADB) Incremental, wireless debugging, and data access auditing among others. The new date for the launch of Android 11 beta version has not been specified yet. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)

ByteDance digs deep; second corporate entity in India soon

HealthifyMe The new entity, according to two sources with knowledge of the developments, is likely to provide Information Technology and IT enabled services support to all of ByteDance’s platforms worldwide, including in India.

ByteDance is setting up a second corporate entity in India, as the Chinese multinational internet technology company looks to deepen its roots in Asia’s third-largest economy, among its most active markets globally.

The new entity, according to two sources with knowledge of the developments, is likely to provide Information Technology and IT-enabled services support to all of ByteDance’s platforms worldwide, including in India.

It will also include working on content generated across its various platforms, issues that the startup has been facing across geographies. An email sent to ByteDance spokespersons in India, on Saturday evening, did not elicit any response till the time of going to press.

The company, which commands a secondary private market valuation of about $110 billion, owns and operates popular short-form mobile video app TikTok and social media platform Helo apps. It also has content discovery platform Toutiao and Douyin, the Chinese twin of TikTok, as well as Xigua Video, among others in its portfolio.

Sources said ByteDance was expected to formally file an application with the government and regulators, including the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade in the next few weeks.

Last month ET reported that in India, fewer people downloaded Tik-Tok in April and May compared to the previous two months, amid reduced marketing and ad-budgets due to the Covid-19 pandemic, along with a persistent anti-China sentiment that saw users calling for a ban.(Source: The Economic Times)

Oppo suspends Noida factory operations, to screen 3,000 employees for coronavirus

Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Tata Tele likely to pay AGR dues on Monday: DoT source Chinese handset maker Oppo on Sunday suspended operations at its Noida factory till the time it completes screening of all 3,000 employees at the plant.

The company had resumed the operations on Friday after it got permission from the UP government for it with around 30 per cent of employees.

The company has sent the sample of all employees who have to join work for coronavirus testing.

“As an organisation that places the safety of all employees and citizens at the forefront, we have suspended all operations at our manufacturing facility in Greater Noida and initiated the COVID 19 testing for over 3,000 employees, for which results are awaited,” Oppo said in a late-night statement on Sunday.

Oppo said it would only allow employees with negative test results to resume office following all safety protocols.

“We are undertaking stringent measures to keep the employees safe and disinfecting the premises,” the statement said. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)

Anritsu Achieves 3GPP Approval for World’s First 5G New Radio Standalone Mode Carrier Aggregation Test

Pre-Bookings open for Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 UltraAnritsu Corporation is pleased to announce that it has achieved approval for the world’s first 5G New Radio (NR) Standalone (SA) test for Carrier Aggregation. The tests are based on 3GPP TS 38.523 and was approved by 3GPP RAN5 working group in Frequency Range 1 (FR1).

Anritsu has subsequently also achieved 3GPP approval for Carrier Aggregation testing for NR Non-Standalone (NSA) in Frequency Range 1. All these test are available on Anritsu’s 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR.

The ME7834NR is registered with both the Global Certification Forum (GCF) and PCS Type Certification Review Board (PTCRB) as Test Platform (TP) 251.

Paytm temporarily adjusts employee leaves for smoother ops

Sony India Feels the Heat from Chinese Cos, Cuts Over 120 Jobs Paytm said this move will not only have a positive impact on the balance-sheet but will also help the company ensure that it continues with its growth drive.

Digital payments major Paytm on Saturday said it has requested all its employees to contribute some of their leaves to ensure that its operations run smoothly as the government eases restrictions through parts of the country under lockdown 4.0.

Under the new rules, employees will be able to contribute their Privilege Leave (PL) accumulated up to 35 days and all currently accumulated Casual Leave (CL).

Paytm said this move will not only have a positive impact on the balance-sheet but will also help the company ensure that it continues with its growth drive.

"Ensuring that our employees are safeguarded from the current global crisis is of utmost importance to us," Rohit Thakur, Chief Human Resources Officer, Paytm said in a statement.

"We believe that this is the right step to effectively accommodate the short term impact and the long term interests of our company and all employees," Thakur said.

This decision, Paytm said, was taken after due discussions and it was agreed that in the post-COVID world it would be important to have all hands on deck so that the company can go on supporting citizens who will rely even more on the digital economy and payments.

This is a temporary measure as employees would be again entitled to collect PL and CL going forward, Paytm added.

The company believes that this move will help the company keep its costs under check without adversely affecting employee morale.

Amid widespread layoffs across industries due to the COVID-19 induced economic downturn, these cost-saving measures are designed to ensure that Paytm's workforce is cushioned from the current crisis, the company said. (Source: Economic Times)

Apple may Take a Bigger Bite of India’s Manufacturing Pie

HealthifyMe US co could make handsets worth $40b, becoming country’s largest exporter. Several meetings between Apple’s senior executives and top ranking government officials over the last few months have paved the way for the iPhone maker examining the possibility of shifting nearly a fifth of its production capacity from

China to India and scaling up its local manufacturing revenues, through its contract manufacturers, to around $40 billion over the next five years, say officials familiar with the matter.

If this happens, iPhone maker could become India’s largest exporter, say experts.

“We expect Apple to produce up to $40 billion worth of smartphones, mostly for exports through its contract manufacturers Wistron and Foxconn, availing the benefits under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme,” a senior government official told ET.

Cupertino-based Apple didn’t respond to ET’s emailed queries.

However, sources close to the company’s plans said there were some irritants in the government’s ambitious PLI scheme — recently announced to incentivise local handset manufacturing and exports — which still needed to be ironed out.

“There are some problems with some of the clauses. For instance, valuing the entire plant and machinery already in use in its plants across China and other places at 40% of that value and the extent of the business information sought under the scheme are some of the irritants,” a person said. (Source: Economic Times)

TechM is Ready to Cash in on New Normal, Says CEO

HealthifyMe Gurnani sees more firms going digital in a post-pandemic world. IT services provider Tech Mahindra expects to benefit from various industries such as healthcare going digital in a post-pandemic world, the company's chief executive told ET. CP Gurnani said the ‘new normal’ would include more businesses going digital – early signs of which are already visible.

“These are best guesses, but I think most of the world would want to start declaring that things are becoming normal in the next 4-6 weeks… the new normal is recognising that we all have to change,” he said.

This would include expansion in health systems, with more out-patient departments going digital and diagnostic solutions moving to department stores.

“I don’t remember the last time I went to a bank – the way banking became digital, I see a lot of businesses becoming digital and hence, the need for 5G becoming much higher,” Gurnani said.

Telecom forms about 40% of Tech Mahindra’s revenue and the company is betting on telecom operators and enterprises going ahead with their 5G implementation plans this year.

While most industry sectors are likely to be impacted in the short term, especially travel and hospitality, Gurnani said telecom clients may not see much change.

“Their requirement to provide services has increased manifold. Most of us are surviving work from home because of telecom companies,” he said.

Once things start to normalise, Gurnani says the pharma industry globally will work towards becoming self-sufficient. Similarly, the mining and minerals sector will start to be substituted as countries work to cut down reliance on others for critical supplies.

Tech Mahindra recorded deal wins worth $3.7 billion in the previous fiscal year, with new signings worth $500 million in the first 45 days of this calendar year, before it was impacted by the Covid-19 related disruptions. Most clients have cut down on discretionary spends, said Gurnani.

Clients were only looking to keep the ‘lights on’ and want to go online. “It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, everybody wants to go online. So, my digital marketing business is doing very well,” he said.

There have been conversations with customers on reducing pricing, but there is little scope for price discounts with its current Ebitda margins, he said. (Source: Economic Times)

JioMart starts home delivery in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan

Pre-Bookings open for Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 UltraPost the Facebook-Jio Platforms deal, Reliance Industries (RIL) has started home delivery of essentials by tying up with local kirana stores in Navi Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan. The services are being provided under JioMart, an e-commerce venture of Reliance Retail, an RIL subsidiary.

This is the first of the deal with Facebook to use WhatsApp under the deal signed on April 22. Orders placed by 5 pm everyday would be available for pick up from the customer’s nearest JioMart Kirana store within 48 hours, as per a message sent to customers across these locations.

Customers have to register first providing details such as mobile number, area, locality, society name and customer details, the message said.

As per sources, these are the first locales where the services are being launched. The services would be extended to other cities in the country in a phased manner.

Customers can send a “Hi” message to JioMart's WhatsApp number (88500 08000) on their phones, following which the company will send a link to take orders.

On Tuesday, global tech giant Facebook signed a binding agreement to invest ₹43,574 crore in RIL wholly-owned subsidiary Jio Platforms.

Facebook’s WhatsApp which has more than 400 million users in India, while the company is readying to insert payments feature in the messaging and Voice over IP service platform. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)

Paytm in Funding Talks with Microsoft to Build War Chest

Sony India Feels the Heat from Chinese Cos, Cuts Over 120 Jobs Proposed fundraise of $100m may be extension of $1b round led by T Rowe Price last year. Digital payments firm Paytm has held talks with US technology giant Microsoft for fresh funding as the company looks to increase its war chest to fight growing competition in the sector, two people in the know said.

The proposed fundraise, which may amount to around $100 million (₹760 crore), is likely to be an extension of a planned $1 billion (₹7,600 crore) fundraising which the company had initiated last year, people briefed on the matter told ET.

In November last year, US asset manager T Rowe Price had come in as a new investor, investing $150 million (₹1,140 crore) into Paytm valuing the company at $16 billion. The entire sum from this round is yet to come in, as per regulatory filings by the Noida-based company.

“The talks with Microsoft began last year when Paytm was in the middle of raising funds. While Microsoft could not participate in the funding then, it is likely to pump in cash now,” said a person familiar with the talks.

A Paytm spokesperson declined to comment on ET’s query seeking comments while a Microsoft spokesperson said, “At this moment, we do not have any comments on your proposed story.”

In November last year, the Indian company said it had raised $1 billion in a financing round led by T Rowe Price, with existing investors Ant Financial and SoftBank Vision Fund also participating. However, only about $720 million (Rs 5,472 crore) of that capital has so far come through, as per regulatory filings.

Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial, the largest investor in Paytm, will now need the Indian government’s approval for the proposed investment, according to the new foreign direct investment guidelines issued recently.

Microsoft had earlier taken a wager on Flipkart in 2017 and has held discussions with cab aggregrator Ola for a potential fundraise.

The firm also partnered with Reliance Jio for its cloud business Azure in August last year. The Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft has been striking partnerships with Indian startups and technology companies as it doubles down on its cloud service and seeks to corner market share against arch rival and the largest player in this segment — Amazon’s Web Service (AWS). Presently, Paytm used AWS cloud services. Paytm would gain in a big way from bringing on board Microsoft onto its investor list as it gets access to the firm’s connectivity, computing, and storage solutions. This also comes at a time when Paytm has already been fighting a bruising online payments battle with the likes of Google Pay.

Paytm has been losing ground in the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) segment to rivals like Google Pay and Walmart-owned PhonePe. Over the last year, the company has focussed on introducing services including payments infrastructure for offline merchants, in a bid to shore up revenues. It has also launched mutual funds, insurance, merchant and consumer lending, gaming and advertising. These services come under the firm’s financial services division headed by Amit Nayyar while Madhur Deora leads its consumer internet arm. ET was the first to report on T Rowe Price leading the latest funding round at Paytm on October 15 last year.

One97 Communications, the holding company of Paytm, posted Rs 3,959.6 crore net loss in FY19 against Rs 1,490 crore a year earlier, according to details the company shared with investors, ET reported in September last year. Its standalone revenue rose marginally to Rs 3,319 crore from Rs 3,229 crore in FY18.

The losses its competitors posted have been equally steep. PhonePe’s losses amounted to Rs 1,904.72 crore with revenue from operations at Rs 184 crore while Amazon Pay reported a loss of Rs 1,160.8 crore for FY19. (Source: Economic Times)

JATE Adopts Anritsu 5G NR Test System for Japanese Regulatory Test Based on Telecommunications Business Law

HealthifyMe Supports Start of 5G NR Device Sales in Japan. Anritsu Corporation is pleased to announce that the Japan Approvals Institute for Telecommunications Equipment (JATE) incorporated foundation has adopted Anritsu's 5G

NR protocol test solution as its measurement system for the 5G NR device Japanese regulatory test. Terminal equipment sold in Japan must receive certification of conformity with the technical standards based on the Telecommunications Business Law to ensure the safety and reliability of communications infrastructure. Immediately following promulgation of this Law (April 1985), JATE became the designated organization for implementing Japanese regulatory test of terminal equipment, and it has been a world leader in this field for many years.

Anritsu test equipment has previously supported LTE device regulatory tests in JATE, leading to this adoption of the Radio Communication Test Station MT8000A and Carrier Acceptance Test Core Software (CATCS) MX783480A for test certification of 5G NR devices based on the Telecommunications Business Law.

With this JATE test system adoption, Anritsu hopes to assist commercial rollout of stable and high-reliability 5G services as soon as possible.

The MT8000A and MX783480A are key components of Anritsu's 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR, which can also be upgraded to support Protocol Conformance and Carrier Acceptance tests. (Source: Convergence Plus)

Anritsu Achieves Leading Coverage of 5G NR Protocol Conformance Tests at PTCRB PVG#88 Meeting

HealthifyMe Anritsu Corporation is pleased to announce that the PTCRB (PCS Type Certification Review Board) Validation group (PVG) has agreed the highest number of 5G New Radio (NR) Protocol Conformance tests on Anritsu’s 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR at their PVG#88 meeting in February, and these were subsequently approved in the PTCRB#103 meeting in March.

Anritsu validations included tests for Non-Standalone (NSA) mode, Standalone (SA) mode, and frequency bands covering Time Division Duplex (TDD), and Frequency Division Duplex (FDD). As a result, the Anritsu ME7834NR has strengthened its position as the leading Protocol Conformance Test Platform, providing the best test coverage in the industry enabling chipset suppliers, device manufacturers, and test houses to accelerate the certification, and introduction of new 5G devices and services.

The conformance tests are defined by 3GPP in TS 38.523, and have been validated on multiple Sub-6 GHz Frequency Range 1 (FR1), and millimeter-wave (mmWave) Frequency Range 2 (FR2) frequency bands. The 5G NR Mobile Device Test Platform ME7834NR is registered with both the Global Certification Forum (GCF), and PCS Type Certification Review Board (PTCRB) as Test Platform (TP) 251. The ME7834NR is a test platform for 3GPP-based Protocol Conformance Test (PCT) and Carrier Acceptance Testing (CAT) of mobile devices incorporating Multiple Radio Access Technologies (RAT). It supports 5G NR in both Standalone (SA) and Non-Standalone (NSA) mode in addition to LTE, LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), LTE-A Pro, and W-CDMA. When combined with Anritsu’s new OTA RF Chamber MA8171A and RF converters, the ME7834NR covers the Sub-6 GHz and mmWave 5G frequency bands. (Source: Convergence Plus)

Apple to host WWDC 2020 event online owing to coronavirus outbreak

Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Tata Tele likely to pay AGR dues on Monday: DoT source Apple on Friday announced that it will host its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which was scheduled to be held in California in June 2020 “on an entirely new online format.” The announcement came amid the news of many tech giants cancelling on-ground activities for mega tech events, and moving them entirely online.

Apple’s WWDC 2020 event will be conducted entirely virtually for the first time in 30 years. The announcement has been made keeping in mind the “current health situation across the globe.” “We are delivering WWDC 2020 this June in an innovative way to millions of developers around the world, bringing the entire developer community together with a new experience,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “The current health situation has required that we create a new WWDC 2020 format that delivers a full program with an online keynote and sessions, offering a great learning experience for our entire developer community, all around the world. We will be sharing all of the details in the weeks ahead.”

“The online event will be an opportunity for millions of creative and innovative developers to get early access to the future of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS, and engage with Apple engineers as they work to build app experiences that enrich the lives of Apple customers around the globe,” Apple said in an official statement.

The tech major had pledged $1 million to local San Jose organisations to offset associated revenue loss as a result of WWDC 2020’s new online format.

The event is meant for 23 million registered iOS developers in more than 155 countries and regions. Another tech giant Microsoft, earlier this week, announced that it will also be shifting one of its biggest events of the year, the annual Build developer conference’ online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was earlier scheduled to be held in Seattle from May 19.

Apart from this, Facebook, Amazon, Cisco-20 and more have transitioned to virtual events keeping in mind the health risks.

The death toll from the coronavirus worldwide has surpassed 5,000 with confirmed cases around the world topping 134,000, according to reports. (Source: The Hindu Businessline)

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