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Nokia leads Google-certified Android phones for enterprises

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Gurugram, Oct 9 : When it comes to Android Enterprise Recommended (AER) smartphones validated by Google, Nokia leads the race among organizations as security become paramount, a new report said on Wednesday.

In India, there are only 40 smartphones which comply to AER norms, which makes it simple for businesses to confidently select, deploy and manage Android devices and services that meet elevated enterprise requirements validated by Google.

Nokia leads the choice with 16 such smartphones, followed by Motorola and Google with nine and eight options, respectively.

Out of these 40 AER-compliant smartphones, around five are not being sold anymore as they reached their end-of-life cycle. This leaves organistions with only 35 models to choose from in the country, said the report from market research firm techARC.

“It is important for CIOs to ensure enterprise-grade security and manageability of smartphones even if the ownership and possession may rest with the employees,” said Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst, techARC.

Android Enterprise Recommended (AER) norms help ensure that devices are up-to-date with regular security patches delivered within 90 days. These are rugged devices built to handle tough environments with protection against drops, dust and more.

Globally, there are 140 smartphones which are AER compliant as per Google guidelines. Out of these Nokia has 17 models, followed by Motorola with 15 models.

Although there are 22 brands selling AER compliant smartphones, there are not more than six popularly known brands like Nokia, Motorola, Google, Blackberry, LG and Sony Xperia.

Smartphones have graduated from add-on to default office communication device which means employees are using it for official correspondences, accessing enterprise apps, syncing data and contacts as well as downloading important, including confidential documents.

“This means potential threat to data privacy of organisations as well as chances of exploiting the whole IT infrastructure through one or the other vulnerability,” said Kawoosa.

For CIOs to strictly implement AER smartphones policy in their organisations, they need to ensure that brands are available across price-points catering to the entire hierarchy of an organization,” said the report.

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Polish children biggest consumers of sugar in Europe

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Sugar Production-wefornews-min

Warsaw, Feb 21 (IANS) Polish children are the biggest consumers of sugar in Europe with those under 10 eating 95 grams per day, or 19 teaspoons, doctors of the Alliance of Health Care Employers (PPOZ) said.

The draft law on the so-called sugar tax was adopted by the ‘Sejm’ or the lower house of Polish Parliament last week, Xinhua news agency reported.

The bill drafted by the Health Ministry was aimed at imposing additional fees on soft drinks containing sugars as a tool to fight the rapidly increasing problem of Poles being overweight or obese and diseases caused by excessive sugar consumption.

“The introduction of the sugar tax, supposed to discourage Poles from drinking sweet drinks, was advocated by the Ministry of Health, the National Health Fund, the Ministry of Finance, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO),” doctors from PPOZ said on Thursday.

They added that excessive consumption of sugar-based products was a cause of many diseases of civilization.

A diet high in sugar increases the risk of diabetes. Furthermore, sugar consumption is addictive, like alcohol.

It also disturbs the endocrine system, increases oxidative stress and leads to metabolic diseases.

Research has shown that increased glycolysis (carbohydrate metabolism) can cause breast cancer, PPOZ board member Jaroslaw Krol said.

A maximum of 12 teaspoons of sugar should be consumed per day – up to 50 grams, according to the WHO, whereas the American Society of Cardiology recommends a maximum of six teaspoons per day (up to 25 grams) for women and nine (up to 37 grams) for men.

Meanwhile, the average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, and the Poles 24.

The PPOZ doctors added that a sugar tax was already in force in some European Union countries, and according to research, it has significantly reduced sales of sweetened drinks.

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AGR an unprecedented crisis, sought cut in taxes for industry: Mittal

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New Delhi, Feb 20 : Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal on Thursday met Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in the wake of the current AGR payment to be made by the telcos, saying he suggested that for the overall health of the industry, taxes needed to be brought down.

Mittal, however, said the issue of AGR payment per se did not figure in the talks. The discussion was on the overall industry, he said.

“Adjusted Gross Revenue has been an unprecedented crisis for the telecom industry. I made certain suggestions on the overall health of the industry. Industry has been heavily taxed and taxes need to be looked at. The issue of very low revenues left in the kitty of the industry needs to be addressed and the AGR also need to be dealt with”, he said after the meeting with Prasad.

He said Airtel will make the balance payment expeditiously .”The demand for reduction in taxation for the telecom sector has been for a long time. The regulator has been supporting it”, he said in response to a query if he has sought any cut in levies.

Mittal met the minister amid reports that said government was looking at some form of relief for the sector in view of huge AGR dues to be paid by telcos.

The telcos, particularly Vodafone Idea, which is severely hit by the AGR payment, has sought a bailout. The options here before the government are limited. There could be a cut in licence fee and spectrum usage charges, staggered payment of AGR over long years with interests, a waiver of interest and penalties on AGR dues.

So far the Government has neither stated nor indicated any relief for the telcos. On Wednesday, Mittal met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and sought sustainability for telcos in the stressful times. He had said Indian telecom industry has been under stress for the last three-and-a-half years and the government should ensure sustainability of the sector.

“The only thing government needs to do is to focus on how to ensure sustainability of the sector,” he said after meeting the FM.

Airtel faces Rs 35,500 crore AGR dues. The company has already announced its plans to pay the dues that arose from the Supreme Court ruling.

Earlier this week, Bharti Airtel had paid Rs 10,000 crore to the telecom department as part of its AGR dues. The company plans to pay the balance amount before the next date of Supreme Court’s hearing which is on March 17.

Former Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg has said in a blog that telecom crisis is not limited to AGR and that the problems are much deeper.

Vodafone Idea Chairman Kumar Managalam Birla, had also met the Finance Minister on Wednesday. The troubled telecom major has also paid Rs 2,500 crore to the Department of Telecom (DoT) earlier this week and paid another Rs 1,000 crore on Thursday.

Vodafone Idea has an AGR bill of Rs 53,000 crore. The company has sought relief from government to remain a going concern.

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Vodafone Idea condition extremely precarious: Citi

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IDEA VODAFONE

New delhi, Feb 20 : Vodafone Idea’s situation remains extremely precarious given its net debt/EBITDA of 20 times, analyst firm Citi has said in a report.

The company has admitted that its ability to continue as a going concern remains at risk in the absence of relief on its over $6billion AGR liability. While some green shoots were visible in 3Q (+2 per cent qoq revenue growth, 4G sub adds accelerated, tariff hike benefits to be visible from 4Q), this could come to naught without any relief.

The company has, for now, announced that it intends to make a part-payment towards its dues shortly (quantum still being assessed), the report said.

The deleveraging depends on Relief on the company’s AGR liability, either in terms of quantum or in payment terms, further relief measures from the government which could reduce levies and improve the balance sheet and cash flows and better than expected execution on synergy extraction and better than expected pace of 4G subscriber additions.

The risks Vodaofne Idea currently faces are that the company being made to bear the entire AGR liability, depressed India mobile revenues resulting from competitive intensity worsening and increase in subscriber churn and lower than expected pace of 4G subscriber additions.

We struggle to see what the next recourse could be for VIL with most legal options appearing to be exhausted. While it may still be possible for the government to offer relief perhaps via some legislative/policy action if it so chooses, we are yet to see any such indication or willingness from the government. Given the heightened uncertainty, Potential market share gains on further industry consolidation could drive upsides for Airtel & RIL while further tenancy exits could create downside risks for Infratel (Neutral). We keep our estimates unchanged for the moment as the situation remains extremely fluid and uncertain.

The report said Airtel has begun clearing its dues following the strong and unforgiving stance that SC has adopted. Airtel has made a partial payment of $1.4billion of its $5billion dues and will pay the balance well before the next date of hearing on March 17 post self-assessment. Following its $3billion capital raise in Jan and $2+billion of cash on books as of Dec, this should not be a stretch for the company.

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