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Telefonica partners with Japan’s Rakuten to develop open 5G network

The technology promises to radically cut costs for telecom operators as it uses cloud-based software and commoditized hardware instead of proprietary equipment supplied by companies such as Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei.

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Stockholm: Spain’s Telefonica has signed a pact with Japan’s Rakuten to develop a 5G radio network system that uses an open platform and artificial intelligence, the companies said on Wednesday.

The Japanese firm has become the first mobile operator to deploy a network based on a technology called Open Radio Access Network (RAN) that uses software to run network functions on the cloud, which requires less physical equipment.

Rakuten plans to launch 5G services in Japan later this month, Rakuten Mobile’s Chief Technology Officer Tareq Amin said on a call with journalists, after it was forced to delay the introduction by months due to disruption from the coronavirus outbreak.

The technology promises to radically cut costs for telecom operators as it uses cloud-based software and commoditized hardware instead of proprietary equipment supplied by companies such as Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei.

The companies plan to develop a joint procurement scheme for Open RAN software and hardware that will increase volumes and reach economies of scale.

“We are not building a competitive tool with Open RAN. We are trying to build an ecosystem,” said Enrique Blanco, chief technology & information officer at Telefonica, adding that they are open to working with other operators.

Telefonica has been deploying Open RAN pilots in Brazil, Germany, Spain and Britain, and plans to ramp up deployments in 2021 and significant rollouts in 2022.

The Spanish group plans to phase Huawei equipment out of the sensitive core for its 5G network in order not to run the performance and data protection risks that come with relying on one sole supplier, although it has repeatedly said it has no evidence to support U.S. President Donald Trump’s accusations that the Chinese firm’s kit is unsafe.

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“How To Destroy An Economy”: Rahul Gandhi’s Latest Swipe At Government

Kaushik Basu, who served as Chief Economic Adviser to the Finance Ministry, tweeted a warning to the centre: “Don’t be in data denial… take corrective action…”

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New Delhi: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi this afternoon cited figures collated by renowned economist Kaushik Basu – which project India’s GDP as contracting the most among a selection of 11 Asian nations, including China – to take yet another swipe at the government.

“How to completely destroy an economy and infect the maximum number of people really quickly,” Mr Gandhi tweeted, with a data table showing projected GDP growth (for 2020) for 11 Asian countries and the number of coronavirus-related deaths (per million) for each.

India, with a projected GDP contraction of 10.3 per cent (according to a IMF report released ealier last week) and 83 Covid-related deaths per million, is at the bottom of a list that includes China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), in a report released last Tuesday, said it expected India’s economy to shrink by 10.3 per cent – a huge downward revision from its June prediction for a government under pressure over its handling of the pandemic and the economic fallout.

Kaushik Basu, who served as Chief Economic Adviser to the Finance Ministry, tweeted another warning today: “Don’t be in data denial. Mistakes happen-admit & take corrective action…”

In August the government said India’s GDP had contracted by 23.9 per cent – much worse than expected – in April-June, as the pandemic brought key industries to a halt and left millions jobless.

Mr Gandhi tore into that revelation, accusing the government of ignoring repeated warnings from experts on the extent to which the coronavirus pandemic had affected the economy

The government has since claimed a recovery of sorts – on both fronts.

Earlier this month the Finance Ministry said “demand resurgence is palpable in many sectors” and yesterday a government-appointed committee said the country had crossed the coronavirus peak.

One of the points claimed by the committee was that the early lockdown, which triggered the economic problems – had significantly helped reduce the number of deaths due to the virus.

Meanwhile, apart from highlighting a potentially difficult 2020 for India’s GDP (something several economists and reports have already flagged), the IMF report triggered another row when it suggested that India’s per capita GDP is set to drop below that of Bangladesh.

Rahul Gandhi pounced on that as well, tweeting: “Solid achievement of 6 years of BJP’s hate-filled cultural nationalism. Bangladesh set to overtake India”.

Shortly after that government sources issued a clarification, claiming that in terms of purchasing power parity – a measure of GDP that accounts for relative differences between countries – India’s per capita GDP in 2019 was actually 11 times higher than that of Bangladesh.

China, which according to the data sheet shared first by Mr Basu and then Mr Gandhi, is projected to record positive GDP growth – 1.9 per cent – this year.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, is to record an impressive 3.8 per cent GDP growth for 2020.

This afternoon China released its July-September GDP figures and said its economy had grown by 4.9 per cent – the same as last year and only marginally below the expected 5.2 per cent.

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Adani, Piramal among bidders for bankrupt DHFL

In November last year, the Reserve Bank of India referred DHFL for bankruptcy under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

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Mumbai, Oct 18 : Adani Group, Piramal Enterprises, US-based Oaktree and Hong Kong-headquartered SC Lowy have submitted their bids for the insolvent Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL), sources said.

The deadline to submit bids for DHFL ended on Saturday.

According to sources, Adani Group has bid for the wholesale and slum rehabilitation authority portfolio. Piramal Enterprises, on the other hand, has bid for its retail business.

Further, Oaktree has submitted a resolution proposal for the entire company with a bid value of Rs 20,000 crore.

The admitted debt of the insolvent NBFC is over Rs 90,000 crore.

In November last year, the Reserve Bank of India referred DHFL for bankruptcy under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Its resolution is now underway at the Mumbai bench of NCLT.

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Weak institutional participation leading to consolidation of equity markets

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Mumbai, Oct 18 : Weak institutional investment from domestic institutional investors (DII) and foreign portfolio investors (FPI) since September have led the Indian equity markets into a consolidation phase, according to a report by ICICI Securities.

The report noted that the sharp bounce back by the market after the lows in March was in anticipation of normalising economic activity, which has shown up in terms of high frequency data in September including PMI, GST collection, electricity demand, improving exports, wholesale auto sales.

“Institutional flows both from DIIs and FPI’s have turned weak since Sep as sharp upside in stocks since March lows turns equity valuations expensive. Weak institutional participation is resulting in a consolidation phase for equity markets currently,” it said.

It noted that current market behaviour of muted flows by institutional investors and the resultant consolidation in stock prices imply economic activity may plateau going forward after normalising to pre-Covid levels.

Expecting economic activity to rise beyond pre-Covid level without large fiscal and monetary stimulus would be erroneous as aggregate demand in the economy was already weak before the impact of the pandemic, it said.

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