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Spectrum auction in Mar, DoT to seek cabinet nod in Dec

Any telecom player interested in buying spectrum for 5G service in 3,300-3,400 Mhz and 3,425-3,600 Mhz band will need to shell out at least Rs 9,840 crore as per TRAI’s proposal.

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New Delhi, Nov 28 : Department of Telecom is targeting spectrum auction in mid March, 2020, after its high powered committee on spectrum pricing decided in favour of TRAI’s recommended base price. The decision will be placed before the Cabinet for approval in December, official sources said.

“We are targeting March for spectrum auction for 5G and others. We will push for cabinet approval next month after taking Digital Communications Commission nod on prices. Our internal committee has cleared the TRAI base prices for all the bands, all processes are concurrently going on. The auctioneer will also be appointed shortly,” official sources said.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had also in a written reply said on Wednesday that there is no reduction on prices for the spectrum auction envisaged.

The minister said: “The value of unsold spectrum as on date as p er valuation by TRAI in its recommendations on Auction of Spectrum in 700 MH z, 800MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2,500 MHz, 3,300-3,400 MHz, 3,400-3,600MHz Bands dated August 1, 2018 is Rs 4.9 lakh crore,” Prasad said.

Any telecom player interested in buying spectrum for 5G service in 3,300-3,400 Mhz and 3,425-3,600 Mhz band will need to shell out at least Rs 9,840 crore as per TRAI’s proposal.

The minister also said the 275 megahertz of available radiowaves frequency between 3,300-3,400 Mhz and 3,425 to 3,600 Mhz band for 5G auction which is enough to launch 5G services in the country.

Industry bodies and telecom operators have been demanding a reduction in the proposed base price for 5G spectrum auction, claiming that the rate was t oo high.The DoT has set a target to roll out 5G in 2020. Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson in its global study published early this week said that 5G connections are likely to be available in India from 2022.

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Tesla delivers over 90K vehicles in Q2 2020, stock up 9%

Tesla’s revenue in Q1 2020 reached $5.9 billion, an increase of nearly $1.5 billion a year ago. The company ended the quarter with $8.1 billion of cash.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk

San Francisco, July 2 : Tesla stocks were up 9 per cent on Thursday after the electric car maker posted stronger-than-expected quarterly deliveries.

The Palo Alto-based company said it delivered 90,650 vehicles in the June quarter. It achieved the feat despite its Fremont, California based factory was out of action owing to Covid-19 lockdown for most part of the quarter.

Tesla delivered 80,050 Model 3s and Model Ys in the quarter and 10,600 of its Model S luxury sedan and Model X SUVs.

“In the second quarter, we produced over 82,000 vehicles and delivered approximately 90,650 vehicles,” Tesla said in a statement.

Tesla market cap was over $200 billion and its stock closed at a record $1,133.36 on Wednesday.

“While our main factory in Fremont was shut down for much of the quarter, we have successfully ramped production back to prior levels,” it added.

Tesla reopened its Fremont, California-based factory after a long fight with the local authorities as sheltering-at-home rules were in place in May.

The company posted a surprise profit of $16 million in the first quarter of 2020 despite temporary disruptions in productions due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Tesla’s revenue in Q1 2020 reached $5.9 billion, an increase of nearly $1.5 billion a year ago. The company ended the quarter with $8.1 billion of cash.

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Zuckerberg refuses to bow down, expects advertisers to return ”soon”

American food company Chobani, drug maker Pfizer and software major SAP were among the latest brands pulling who joined Coca Cola, adidas, cleaning supply firm Clorox, Conagra (the maker of Slim Jim, Duncan Hines and Pam), fast food chain Denny’s, Ford and Starbucks to pull their ads from the platform.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

San Francisco, July 2 : As hundreds of companies halt advertising on Facebook and Instagram, Its CEO Mark Zuckerberg is confident the brands would soon return on the platform.

According to a report in The Information, Zuckerberg told employees he was reluctant to bow to the threats of a growing ad boycott, saying “my guess is that all these advertisers will be back on the platform soon enough.”

“We”re not gonna change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue,” he apparently told the employees, according to the report on Wednesday.

Of the 25 largest spenders on Facebook ads, only three companies Microsoft, Starbucks and Pfizer have confirmed pause ads on Facebook.

As Facebook ad boycott by more than 400 brands officially began on Wednesday, the social networking giant said it was getting better at removing harmful content and that the platform does not in any way profit from hate speech.

Writing an open letter to address concerns of advertisers, Nick Clegg, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications on Wednesday said that “platforms like Facebook hold up a mirror to society”.

“I want to be unambiguous: Facebook does not profit from hate,” said Clegg, who is a former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The call to boycott ads on Facebook started after the social networking giant decided to allow controversial posts by US President Donald Trump to stay up.

Facebook said that when it finds hateful posts on Facebook and Instagram, it takes a zero tolerance approach and removes them.

Facebook saw its market cap eroded in billions as more big brands boycotted its platform against the unchecked spread of hateful and disinformation on its platforms.

American food company Chobani, drug maker Pfizer and software major SAP were among the latest brands pulling who joined Coca Cola, adidas, cleaning supply firm Clorox, Conagra (the maker of Slim Jim, Duncan Hines and Pam), fast food chain Denny’s, Ford and Starbucks to pull their ads from the platform.

Facebook’s digital advertising accounted for more than 98 per cent of the company’s nearly $70 billion in revenue last year.

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Congress alleges PPP model in Railways is “jugglery of words”

It said that it plans to allow private entities to operate passenger trains and the project would entail private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore.

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Abhishek Manu Singhvi

New Delhi, July 2 : The Congress has said that the government is pushing railways into private hands and the Public Private Partnership is just “jugglery of words” after the government invited private participation in passenger train operations on 109 pairs of routes.

“Why did the government decide on privatisation in the midst of corona” asked Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

He said that “on March 17, 2020 the government said in Parliament that it is not going to privatise railways.”

The Congress apprehended that the government is moving towards retrenchment of employees. The Indian Railways employs up to 1.5 crore people.

“Is retrenchment next?” asked Singhvi.

The Congress said that Railways ferry 2.5 crore passengers daily and 7.5 billion annually.

“Rail is the only lifeline of the poor and the government is taking it away from them. Snatch whatever you want to. But remember – the people of the country will give a befitting reply,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet.

The Railways on Wednesday announced that it has invited request for qualifications for private participation in passenger train operations on 109 pairs of routes through 151 modern trains.

It said that it plans to allow private entities to operate passenger trains and the project would entail private sector investment of about Rs 30,000 crore.

According to the railway ministry, this is the first initiative for private investment for running passenger trains on the Indian Railways network. The move was initiated last year with the introduction of the Lucknow-Delhi Tejas Express by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

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