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Why Wi-Fi connectivity is still limited in India

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New Delhi, July 12: One of the key reasons for the relatively low Wi-Fi connectivity in India is the limited penetration of home broadband, says an analyst with London-based OpenSignal, which specializes in crowdsourced wireless coverage mapping all over the world.

Wi-Fi connectivity in India is still well below more developed markets such as the US where it has reached around the 50 per cent mark, said Peter Boyland in a blog post on Thursday.

In Europe in particular, large numbers of subscribers buy their mobile, broadband, and TV services from one operator.

But this business model is simply not affordable for most Indians. So the operators have largely chosen to concentrate on mobile as opposed to fixed-line networks, resulting in low penetration of home broadband connectivity in the country, Boyland said.

This may also explain why subscribers on Jio’s mobile network spend significantly less time on Wi-Fi compared to its rivals, he added.

Of India’s four biggest mobile operators, Vodafone subscribers spend the most time connected to Wi-Fi networks, at 20 per cent of the time, according to OpenSignal data, which covered the 90 days from March 1 of this year.

Reliance Industries (RIL) Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D. Ambani last week said the company was all set to launch a fibre-to-the-home broadband services, JioGigaFiber, soon.

“We will now extend fiber connectivity to homes, merchants, small and medium enterprises and large enterprises simultaneously across 1,100 cities to offer the most advanced fiber-based broadband connectivity solutions,” Ambani said while addressing the shareholders at the 41st Annual General Meeting of RIL.

Starting this Independence Day, August 15 people can start registering for JioGigaFiber through both MyJio and Jio.com.

A joint report by Google and global research firm Analysys Mason released earlier this month showed that public Wi-Fi alone in India has the ability to capture 40 million new connected users by 2019, resulting in at least $20 billion being added to the country’s GDP.

The government is planning to provide public Wi-Fi coverage to some 250,000 Panchayats and 5,000 railway stations within the next two years.

But even though the focus on Wi-Fi has been renewed, Wi-Fi connectivity among mobile users is still relatively low in India, Boyland said.

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Instagram down, users reporting issues worldwide

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Instagram Data Leak

New Delhi, Sep 18 : Instagram users, including from the US, the UK, Middle East and India, took to Twitter on Friday to report problems while using the photo and video sharing app.

According to Downdetector website, which monitors online outages, the outages did not appear to hit the entire Instagram network but several places reported disruption in services.

Nearly 72 per cent faced problems with their news feed, 12 per cent had problems in logging in while 14 per cent mentioned website issues.

“Everybody running to twitter to see if Instagram is really down or the wi-fi is not working,” a user said.

“Refreshing my feed on Instagram since its not loading,” replied one user.

“Me on my way to twitter after Instagram went down for the 178th time this year #instagramdown,” another user said.

“Twitter was invented to check if Instagram and Facebook are not working for other people,” tweeted one user.

The social media giant was yet to update about the reason for the outage.

On April 2, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp went down for millions of users in North and South America and Europe.

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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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Huawei Technologies

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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Zhenhua data leak: Govt sets up expert panel to study reports of China snooping on VIPs in India

The Government of India has constituted an expert committee under the National Cyber Security Coordinator to study reports released earlier this week saying that a China-based company is mining data and snooping on hundreds of Indian politicians and leaders.

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The Government of India has constituted an expert committee under the National Cyber Security Coordinator to study reports released earlier this week saying that a China-based company is mining data and snooping on hundreds of Indian politicians and leaders, including the Prime Minister, President, Chief Justice of India and other chief ministers.

The panel will study these reports, evaluate their implications, assess any violations of law and submit its recommendations within 30 days.

“Government of India is deeply concerned with any report that suggests that foreign sources are accessing or seeking to access the personal data of our citizens without their consent. The government takes very seriously the protection of privacy and personal data of Indian citizens,” news agency ANI reported quoting sources.

The sources said that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has also raised the issue of Zhenhua Data Information Technology Co. allegedly spying on prominent Indians with the Chinese Ambassador on Wednesday. China reportedly said that Zhenhua is a private company and has made clear its position publicly.

The decision about the constitution of the expert panel was communicated to Congress MP KC Venugopal by Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar in response to the former’s demands to protect the data of Indian leaders and others from spying by Chinese companies. Several other MPs raised this demand in the Parliament on Wednesday.

A Shenzen-based technology company with links to the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party is keeping an eye on more than 10,000 Indians and organisations. The company calls itself a pioneer in using big data for ‘hybrid warfare’ and the ‘great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation’.

Meanwhile, China has reportedly taken down one of its website after a detailed questionnaire was sent to the email ID mentioned on contact section of the website.

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