Mobile phone operator Play seeks $1.4 billion in Warsaw IPO

Play Communications, the owner of Poland’s second biggest mobile network operator Play, plans to raise up to 5.2 billion zlotys ($1.40 billion) in an initial public offering (IPO) in Warsaw, it said on Monday.

The flotation would be the biggest in Warsaw since 2011, according to Warsaw Stock Exchange data.

The mobile operator, owned by Greek fund Tollerton and Icelandic investor Novator, will sell up to 121,572,621 existing shares, or 48.6 percent of its total equity, including the over-allotment option. The company will not issue new shares.

Play said that a maximum price has been set at 44 zlotys per share for retail and institutional investors, but authorized employees will be entitled to buy the shares for up to 37.4 zlotys.Image result for Mobile phone operator Play seeks $1.4 billion in Warsaw IPO

Play said its implied market capitalization based on the maximum price would be around 11.2 billion zlotys, with analysts betting it would make it to the WIG20 index, comprising the 20 biggest and most liquid companies listed in Warsaw.

Play, mainly competes against the Polish mobile network operating arms of Deutsche Telekom and France’s Orange .

The company has hired J.P. Morgan, BofA Merrill Lynch and UBS Investment Bank as global coordinators, as well as Bank Zachodni WBK and DM PKO BP as co-offering and book building co-managers.

nstitutional bookbuilding starts on Monday and is expected to close on July 13 when the final pricing will be announced. Play expects to debut on the Warsaw exchange on July 27.

Part of the IPO proceeds will be used to redeem 500 million euros bonds due in 2022 issued by Play’s parent company. It also plans to pay a dividend of 650 million zlotys next year.

“With the IPO we have a very good platform to raise financing in future if necessary,” Play Chief Executive Jorgen Bang-Jensen told a news conference.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Marcin Goettig, editing by Louise Heavens)


Nokia Seeks Core Router Boost With World’s Fastest Network Chips


Nokia launched the world’s fastest router network chips
Nokia also said it is introducing its latest FP4 silicon chipset
The FP4 chips are capable of processing data at 2.4 terabits per second
Nokia launched the world’s fastest network chips on Wednesday, breaking into the Juniper and Cisco dominated core router market and giving its existing network business a boost.

The new traffic routers can handle the greater demands of virtual reality programming, cloud-based internet services and next-generation mobile communications, the Finnish company said.Nokia Seeks Core Router Boost With World's Fastest Network Chips

Nokia’s new products, which grew out of its 15.6 billion-euro ($17.5 billion) 2016 acquisition of Alcatel and its IP network gear business, should help it win business from companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon.

For these “web-scale” customers speed is everything and unlike Nokia’s traditional telecoms customers they are still increasing spending on network gear.

The routers are compatible with older products and will also serve Nokia’s existing customers who want speed but must still contend with legacy gear needed to run existing services.

“Nokia will have the highest-performance system capacity in the market, and a lot of those web-scalers, they just want speed,” Ray Mota, principal analyst at ACG Research, told Reuters.

The former Alcatel IP networks business is already the world’s No. 2 player in edge routers behind Cisco, having displaced Juniper Networks, which is now No. 3.

The Nokia business also competes with Huawei in router markets outside the United States, where the privately-held Chinese firm is barred for national security reasons.

Nokia executives expect to take market share from all the big competitors, including Cisco and Juniper as well as Huawei.

“Whether its web-scale or vertical markets (such as banks, transportation, energy and public sector), where we have been less exposed in routers, clearly we will gain share,” Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri told Reuters in an interview.

“This gives us momentum in core routing.”

Simon Leopold, a financial analyst with Raymond James, said Juniper, which depends for around a quarter of sales from web-scale customers such as Facebook could be hardest hit. “There is at least headline risk to Juniper, once Nokia ships,” he said.

nokia fp4 silicon Nokia FP4
Shares of Juniper Networks fell 2.4 percent to $28.60, while Cisco fell 1 percent to $31.38. Nokia’s US-listed shares dipped a little under 1 percent.

nokia fp4 silicon Nokia FP4

Nokia said it is introducing its latest FP4 silicon chipset capable of processing data at 2.4 terabits per second. The new chipsets are set to ship in the fourth quarter, with routers running FP4 chips ready in the first quarter of next year.

These will be built into routers to operate both ultra high-speed “core” networks at the heart of the biggest internet services and also “edge” networks that link datacenters to front-line customer services on mobile or fixed-line networks.

Telecom operators’ capital spending is rising by just 2-3 percent a year which means Nokia is turning to web-scale players whose spending on new network gear is growing by double-digits.

FP4 chips, which are manufactured for Nokia by Taiwan’s TSMC are designed using circuits as narrow as 16 nanometers apart, skipping 22- and 28-nanometer-sized circuits compared to the prior FP3 processor built at 40-nanometer scale, Nokia said.

Nokia is introducing the 7950 petabit-class router aimed at the core routing market to help it win business from customers such as Apple and Facebook. A petabit can transmit 5,000 two-hour-long high-definition videos every second.For edge network customers, Nokia is introducing its 7750 router, offering the highest traffic capacity on the market.

Mota said the Nokia 7750 can deliver speeds of up to 4.8 terabits per slot, compared with Juniper’s 3 terabit edge router speeds, which had been the industry’s fastest. A terabit can transfer a high-definition Netflix TV episode in one second.

Beyond sheer speed, there is enough processing power head-room in its new chipset to offer built-in security features to fend off distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

BT managing director and chief network architect Neil McRae said the British telecoms operator, an early customer of Nokia’s new products, is already running thousands of 7750 edge routers and hundreds of 7950 systems in its core network.

“If you look at London, one of the busiest parts of our network, we need this platform today,” McRae said.


Google Fiber Phone Service Launched With Unlimited Domestic Calling

Google Fiber Phone Service Launched With Unlimited Domestic Calling

Many people can already buy TV and Internet service from Google Fiber. Now, the company that brought gigabit speeds to Austin and Kansas City is moving deeper into the telecom industry by offering its own bundled telephone service.

For $10 (roughly Rs. 660) a month, Google Fiber customers soon will be able to buy an add-on known as Fiber Phone – a service that, according to a company blog post, appears to mimic much of the functionality of Google Voice. Voicemail on Fiber Phone can be automatically transcribed and sent to your email. You’ll get unlimited domestic calling, as well as international calls at Google Voice’s rates. And you’ll have access to one phone number that can be set up to ring all of your phones – whether landline or mobile.

A series of leaked emails in January first uncovered Google Fiber’s plans to move into phone service. But now the decision is official: Fiber Phone will roll out gradually across all of the company’s existing markets. The company declined to name the initial launch markets, saying those details will come later.

The service comes with a little black box that sits beside your home phone. It has both ethernet and phone jacks, and will work with most handsets except for old rotary phones, according to Kelly Mason, a company spokesperson.

Google Fiber’s effort to draw in phone customers highlights how the company is becoming more like traditional service providers even as many telecom companies are looking to become more like Internet content firms. Even providers of cellphone service have been shifting their focus away from voice and toward the more lucrative provision of mobile data. Reports this week suggest T-Mobile may soon unveil new phone plan options that eliminate voice service entirely to give you a bigger bucket of data.

Fiber Phone fits within these trends in that it would help customers add some cloud-based functionality to their home phones. But it’s not immediately clear why consumers would pick Fiber Phone over Google Voice. The two services share many of the same features, but Fiber Phone carries a subscription cost and requires an at-home installation that you don’t need with Google Voice. In this respect, Google Voice might be considered a “better” service.

Fiber Phone could be appealing to those who currently buy their Internet and television from Google Fiber, but still have their landline phone tied to another provider, such as Verizon. Signing up for Fiber Phone would allow those Americans to eliminate one more bill from their lives and consolidate their services into a double- or triple-play deal with Google Fiber.

But federal statistics show Americans are largely moving away from landline service anyway, embracing a cellphone-only approach. Forty percent of US adults now use their cellphones exclusively.

Fiber Phone is more than a simple landline substitute, of course. But to really make the most of it, it seems like you would A) need to be already subscribed to a landline service with another provider and B) want to continue having landline service.

US Firm Alleges China’s Government Colluded With Local Competitor ZTE

When an American company named Vringo discovered that ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications giant, had been using patented mobile technology for years without paying license fees, the US firm sought what it considered appropriate compensation.

What followed, the company says, was an extraordinary mixture of deceit, protectionism and collusion on behalf of the Chinese company by Beijing government regulators, who then launched a retaliatory investigation into Vringo.

The US company’s complaint, now being heard by a New York court, shows how China’s government, companies and even courts sometimes collude to abuse patent protection, discriminate against foreign firms and unfairly protect local businesses, US business leaders say.

While US industry groups have expressed similar concerns in the past, it is rare for individual American companies to publicly air grievances about Chinese practices for fear of losing business. This complaint, however, brings the allegations into the open.

It also shows, business leaders say, how China’s industrial policy – and particularly its policy toward the technology sector – has become more nationalist and protectionist under President Xi Jinping, a development likely to cloud his state visit to Washington later this month.

“What is clear is that this is part of a mercantilist, industrial policy that, on behalf of their global champions, they will work very closely hand-in-glove with them,” said Randal Phillips, a vice chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China and managing partner for Asia for the Mintz Group.

“ZTE is clearly being favoured,” he said, adding that the Chinese government was doing “whatever it can do” to support the company against US firms. It is a trend that has been going on for years but has intensified since Xi took office, he said. “It’s a combination of the new assertiveness that you see across the bureaucracy and certainly on the IT front since 2013,” when Xi became president.

Vringo’s business involves the development and monetization of intellectual property and mobile technologies. After purchasing a patent portfolio from Nokia in 2012, it says it discovered that ZTE had been using patented mobile technology to develop and sell telecommunications equipment for a decade – without paying a license fee.

In an effort to seek a settlement with ZTE, Vringo says it entered into a non-disclosure agreement with the Chinese company, sharing confidential business information. But, Vringo says, instead of negotiating in good faith, ZTE breached the terms of the agreement, using the confidential information to launch a separate court case against the US company in Shenzhen without informing Vringo.

ZTE also illegally shared the confidential information with the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic policy-making body, in its effort to persuade Chinese state regulators to punish Vringo for overcharging to license the patent, the US company says.

ZTE and lawyers acting on its behalf declined to comment, citing pending litigation. The Chinese commission did not respond to requests for comment. But in an answer filed in federal court in August, ZTE denied infringing Vringo’s intellectual property rights and said it had acted “in good faith” and in compliance with US and Chinese laws. ZTE also disputed the validity of Vringo’s non-disclosure agreement, claiming it is “illegal or against public policy to the extent its enforcement would have the effect of suppressing evidence.”

ZTE and Vringo also have fought court battles over patent licenses in other countries. In January, a court in Germany ruled that ZTE did not infringe a pair of Vringo’s patents, but a British court ruled that one patent was infringed.

In a news release last year, ZTE also said it “steadfastly opposes” all abuses of intellectual property.

“As one of the world’s leading technology innovators, ZTE respects the intellectual property of other companies,” it said. “ZTE has signed dozens of global intellectual property licensing agreements with holders including Qualcomm, Siemens, Ericsson, Microsoft and Dolby Laboratories.”

Vringo says ZTE’s actions have allowed confidential, proprietary information that would be extremely valuable to its competitors to be widely disseminated. Vringo faces the prospect of having to defend itself in a Chinese court and faces a possible Chinese government probe.

“Vringo’s economic worth as an enterprise is based in substantial part on the value of its patent portfolio, which it licenses to third parties,” its then chief operating officer, Alexander Berger, told the US District Court in New York last year in a written statement. “If this information is ever made public, it will have lasting, irreparable harm on Vringo because every other third party will be aware of what Vringo was willing to offer in compromise and will use that in negotiations against Vringo.”

China’s development and reform commission appears to have backed ZTE completely, even advising the company to launch a campaign against Vringo in Chinese state media to influence “mass public opinion” into believing the US company was overcharging for its licenses.

Indeed, Vringo’s complaint alleges that the head of the commission yelled at the US company’s chief legal officer, David Cohen, during one meeting for not showing government officials “proper respect and obsequiousness.”

Among Cohen’s supposed offences: “not sitting with a straight back and not exhibiting a sufficiently deferential demeanour.”

During the meeting, the commission head frequently mentioned the presence of armed guards outside the office; that and the yelling made Cohen “significantly concerned about his personal safety,” Vringo’s complaint alleges.

That was in March.

Three months later, the commission allegedly threatened to bar Vringo’s employees from entering China, bring criminal charges against Cohen and others, seize Vringo’s assets in China and auction off its patents in China, starting at one penny.

China has been relentlessly promoting its domestic IT sector and making life difficult for US technology firms in recent years. That is partly a reflection of the increasingly fraught relationship between the two countries in cyberspace, as each accuses the other of cyber-espionage on a wide scale.

The promotion of Chinese IT companies also reflects an obsession with national security under Xi and an increasingly nationalist tone in policy-making, experts say.

ZTE, which is 30-percent-owned by a Chinese state-owned company, is already embroiled in an FBI and Commerce Department investigation into allegations that it shipped millions of dollars of banned US surveillance equipment to Iran. A grand jury has been empanelled in Texas to look into those charges.

The Chinese company has refused to send its general counsel, Guo Xiaoming, to New York to appear in the Vringo case, saying it believed he could be questioned or detained in relation to the criminal investigation.

That argument, though, has not impressed US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who said last month that there was no evidence of an arrest warrant for Guo. Kaplan repeated his order for Guo to appear and accused ZTE of a “lack of candour” and of “stalling and game playing.”

On Tuesday, Vringo filed a motion for the New York court to decide the case and impose “litigation-ending ” sanctions on ZTE because of Guo’s failure to appear and because it had neglected to produce documents under court orders.

Airtel 4G: Here’s everything you should know

airtel 4g

Airtel launched its 4G services across 296 cities in India last week, making it the first telecom operator to roll-out the next-generation mobile Internet technology in most parts of the country. This move also keeps Airtel ahead in the competition where Reliance Jio is expected to start its 4G operations around December. If you’re wondering what Airtel 4G is all about, read on to know more.

What is 4G?

4G is the fourth generation standard for mobile communication. A successor to 3G, 4G technology offers ultra-fast broadband Internet with higher data transfer speeds and improved services. Also referred to as LTE (Long Term Evolution), Airtel network is equipped to offer max speeds of up to 45Mbps (megabits/seconds). With such high download speeds, users can enjoy zero buffering while streaming high-definition videos. Also, a 1GB file would take roughly about three minutes to download. But of course, these are peak speeds.

As an introductory offer, Airtel is offering its 4G services at the cost of 3G; with plans starting as low was Rs 23. Once the Airtel 4G SIM card gets activated, you can subscribe to the 4G data services right away and experience high-speed internet connectivity and download speeds. Some of the interesting data plans are as mentioned below:-

Airtel 4G Postpaid(Per Billing Cycle) 1GB 2GB 4GB 8GB
Delhi Rs 300 Rs 500 Rs 900 Rs 1,550
Mumbai Rs 250 Rs 450 Rs 750 Rs 1,250
Kolkata Rs 250 Rs 450 Rs 750 Rs 1,250
Airtel 4G Prepaid(Validity – 28 days) 1GB 2GB 3GB 5GB
Delhi Rs 299 Rs 497 Rs 699 Rs 1,099
Mumbai Rs 296 Rs 499 Rs 696 Rs 1,097
Kolkata Rs 251 Rs 455 Rs 652 Rs 849


Airtel is also offering some value added services to its new subscribers. For starters, you’ll get six months of unlimited music streaming and download on Wynk Music app. Users get to stream five free movies every month for six months on Eros Now channel in Wynk Movies. In order to use these services, users will have to download these apps on their handset. Both these apps can be downloaded from Google’s Play Store and Apple’s iTunes Store, on Android and iOS devices, respectively.

Airtel Infinity – Get more from these all-in-one combo packs!

Airtel has also come up with infinity plans for both prepaid and postpaid customers. These plans are different from the usual billing plans and include goodies such as unlimited Airtel-to-Airtel local calls, music and movies streaming, roaming and much more. To offer unlimited music and video streaming services, Airtel has also bundled Wynk Music and Wynk Movies. The benefits, however, differ based on the plan you choose. Here are some of the postpaid plans you can choose from.

Airtel Infinity @ Rs 999/month

This is the base plan in which you get goodies such as unlimited Airtel-to-Airtel local calls, free unlimited music streaming on Wynk Music and 3GB of data for surfing and downloading.

Airtel Infinity @ Rs 1,499/month

In this plan, you get unlimited local calls both Airtel-to-Airtel and other local mobile operators as well. You also get unlimited music on Wynk Music, unlimited video streaming on Wynk Movies, and 5GB of data for surfing and downloading.

Airtel Infinity @ Rs 1,999/month

With this plan you get unlimited local and STD calls, unlimited music and video streaming on Wynk Music and Wynk Movies, and unlimited national roaming. You also get 7GB of data for surfing and downloading. If you’re one of those who makes too many phone calls, have your emails configured, do a lot of web surfing and call across India, this plan might be apt for you.

Airtel Infinity @ Rs 2,999/month

This is the most expensive plan of the lot and offers the same goodies as the Rs 1,999 plan. You get to enjoy unlimited local and STD calls, unlimited national roaming, unlimited music and video streaming on Wynk Music and Wynk Movies. This plan also includes 15GB of data for Internet surfing and downloading, which is more than double of what you get in the Rs 1,999 plan.

The prepaid infinity plans also offer the same benefits as the postpaid ones, it’s just that they are a little on the expensive side. Here are some of the prepaid infinity plans you can choose from.

Airtel Infinity Prepaid @ Rs 1,749/28 days

This plan includes unlimited local calls both Airtel-to-Airtel and other local mobile operators as well. You also get unlimited music on Wynk Music, unlimited video streaming on Wynk Movies, and 5GB of data for surfing and downloading.

Airtel Infinity Prepaid @ Rs 2,249/28 days

With this plan you get unlimited local and STD calls, unlimited music and video streaming on Wynk Music and Wynk Movies, and unlimited national roaming. You also get 7GB of data for surfing and downloading. If you’re one of those who makes too many phone calls, have your emails configured and use a lot of Internet on your phone, this plan might be apt for you.

Airtel Infinity Prepaid @ Rs 3,249/28 days

This is the most expensive plan of the lot and offers the same goodies as the Rs 2,249 plan. You get to enjoy unlimited local and STD calls, unlimited national roaming, unlimited music and video streaming on Wynk Music and Wynk Movies. This plan also includes 15GB of data for internet surfing and downloading, which is more than double of what you get in the Rs 2,249 plan.

While both prepaid and postpaid infinity plans look a little expensive, they are perfect for those people who pay roughly the same amount of bills. The only difference here is, instead of subscribing to four different services, such as a roaming plan, data and voice plan, you get all the benefits combined in one single plan.

So which plan to go for?

While choosing a particular infinity plan will purely be based on your budget, we feel the Rs 1,999 plan on postpaid and Rs 2,249 one on prepaid seems like a cracker of the deal – in terms of unlimited local calls, free music and movie streaming, 7GB mobile data along with free national roaming services.

Airtel 4G services can be availed by those residing in New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Nagpur and Pune among 296 cities across India.

How to upgrade your old SIM to Airtel 4G?

To make the process simpler, Airtel has launched a dedicated website where you can check if your number is eligible for the 4G upgrade. If yes, you can request for a free 4G SIM right way, which will be delivered at your doorstep within four hours.

Step one:

Visit the dedicated Airtel page and enter your Airtel contact number. If it shows that your number is eligible for the 4G upgrade, click on next and fill in the required details. Depending on the availability and your locality, the new 4G enabled SIM card will be delivered to your doorstep within four hours, or on the next day.

Step two:

Once you have the SIM card, you will have to text the 20-digit SIM number to 121. It will ask you to confirm SIM number change, just select 1 to confirm and within the next one hour, your new 4G enabled SIM card will get activated.

Step three:

Insert the new SIM card in your handset and you shall get a welcome message along with Internet settings. Once all this is done, just make the top-up data refill (on prepaid) and you’re good to go and use the high-speed 4G services.

Government to Notify Spectrum Sharing Rules in a Week


The Department of Telecom (DoT) is expected to notify within a week spectrum sharing rules while implementation of trading regulations will take some more time. “It (spectrum sharing notification) should happen within a week,” a senior DoT official told PTI.

The government on August 12 approved long-awaited spectrum sharing guidelines that provide operators an alternative to acquire more airwaves than only through auction. Once these guidelines are notified, telecom operators will be able to share their spectrum holding that will help them in decongesting their networks and provide quality phone call services.

When asked about notification of spectrum trading guidelines, the official said that Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg will meet DoT officials on Monday to assess details and due processes. “Only after the meeting, a tentative timeline can be decided,” the official said.

Spectrum trading is also an alternative for operators to acquire more spectrum. In this case, a telecom operator can sell its right to use spectrum to another mobile service provider, which is not allowed under spectrum sharing rules. Telecom operators have asked for clarifications in spectrum trading, like method for determination of price at which they can sell, spectrum cap and if there will some offset allowed on revenue they will earn by trading airwaves. The DoT has set up a committee for the issue of spectrum cap.

Spectrum cap, or the limit on airwaves an operator can hold for providing wireless service, is 50 per cent in a spectrum band identified fit for transmitting mobile signals and 25 percent of the total such spectrum assigned in a telecom circle.

Telecom operators feel that the present cap will deter spectrum trading as big companies, which are potential buyers, will not be able to acquire more spectrum.

Trai Dispels Fears About Mobile Tower Radiation

Sectoral regulator Trai Friday sought to dispel fears of mobile tower radiation causing serious health problems and said the studies conducted by it do not corroborate this claim.

“There are 300 towers in Himachal and during the study conducted by Trai no radiation was detected and the myth has been exploded,” Trai adviser SK Gupta who had convened a meeting of all major telcom service providers in Shimla on Friday, said.

Referring to call drops and weak signal problem, he said that it is due to absence of towers and once the towers are put up in shadow areas, the problem would be resolved.

Meanwhile, he said that the last date of installing the set-up box have been extended to December 31, 2015 and there would be no further extension.

Trai this week also notified two tariff amendment orders as per which it has allowed broadcasters to enter into tripartite agreements with distribution platform operators (DPOs) and “commercial” subscribers for supply of signals of TV channels.

Separately, Trai on Thursday said it will come out with recommendations on call drops and compensation to consumers by mid-October.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has already floated a consultation paper in the regard. The regulator this week also held a meeting with CEOs of telecom operators to address the problem. Trai Chairman RS Sharma said after 15 days, drive tests will be conducted in Delhi and Mumbai to determine if there is any improvement in services provided by operators.

Telecom Operators Approach DoT, Trai for De-Sealing Mobile Towers

Leading operators Friday sought intervention of the Department of Telecom (DoT) and sector regulatorTrai on the issue pertaining to sealing of mobile towers by three Municipal Corporations of Delhi, saying this “unilateral activity” is leading to increase in call drops.

“It must be noted that with every 40 sites being sealed, there is an average of 20 per cent increase in call drops. In the last two days itself, the MCD has gone ahead and sealed 16 sites across Delhi. In the last month, 70 sites have been sealed,” country’s top six telecom operators said in a joint letter.

The letter was jointly written by Bharti Airtel Joint Managing Director and CEO Gopal Vittal, Vodafone India CEO and MD Sunil Sood, Idea Cellular’s Himanshu Kapania, Reliance Communications CEO for Consumer Business Gurdip Singh, Sistema Shyam CEO Sergey Savchenko and Tata Teleservices MD N Srinath.

This is the second letter from telecom companies to government authorities in a month seeking their intervention to de-seal mobile towers being locked by local bodies.

(Also see:  DoT Reportedly Calls Owners of Telecom Firms on Call Drop Issue)

The letter said that sites have been shut down in Mumbai also due to arbitrary actions by municipal corporation and resident welfare associations.

“In many instances, the MCD has been sealing the Telecom Towers despite operators having the due permissions and / or after having encashed the requisite fee. Further, the orders of the Delhi High Court to not seal the sites where there are due permissions have been ignored,” the letter said.

The CEOs said that MCDs have not implemented the High Court order to de-seal some of the sites.

It said that in the last year alone, about 1,700 sites have been shut down all over India.

“…we are constrained to bring to your notice that despite your good efforts and intervention to assist the Operators deal with the issue of call drops, this continuing unilateral activity of the Delhi Municipalities of sealing our cell sites will cause increase in call drops and inconvenience to consumers,” the letter said.

Call drops during peak hours have increased about two-fold in one year across the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also expressed concern over the call drop issue and asked the telecom minister to take all possible measures to address the problem as soon as possible.

“The industry has been mandated by your good-self and the Hon’ble Prime Minister to ensure no call drops, but the MCD actions are at cross purposes with this objective and hamper the efforts of the industry to address the issue,” the letter said.

Both, the government and Trai have said that telecom operators need to invest in their network to address call drop problem.

“…we shall continue our investment and optimisation programme. We are hopeful that with your kind support, we will find immediate relief of de-sealing sites and through dialogue find lasting solution to this issue,” the CEOs said.

Alcatel-Lucent Cuts CEOs Golden Parachute Following French Pressure

Telecoms equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent said Friday it had nearly halved the compensation due to its former chief executive after the EUR 14-million (roughly Rs. 104 crores) payout sparked an uproar in France.

The French-US company said its board of directors and former chief executive Michel Combes had agreed to reduce his compensation to a maximum of EUR 7.9 million.

The payout, coming as Combes jumps ship to a telecom operator while troubled Alcatel-Lucent’s buyout by its Finnish rival Nokia has not been completed, sparked a storm in France where executive compensation is a sensitive issue as unemployment hovers around 10 percent.

(Also see:  Alcatel-Lucent Chief Defends EUR 14-Million Payout)

Combes had insisted that most of the compensation was not a golden parachute but instead a reflection of the increased value of the company’s stock following the Nokia buyout as, like most executives, he received shares as compensation.

He had given up in April a EUR 2.4-million payment due to him when leaving the company.

However the package sparked not only criticism from ministers in France’s Socialist government, but also investigations by authorities.

Alcatel-Lucent said it took into account recommendations from two government bodies as well as trade associations, including cutting a planned EUR 3.1-million payment as part of a non-competition agreement into line with the level prevalent in France.

Some of the compensation will also be made contingent on the successful completion of Nokia’s purchase of Alcatel-Lucent.

Telecom Operators Pay $15 Royalty for Every Mobile Line: IT Secretary

Expressing concerns over rising royalty payments mainly to foreign equipment makers, a senior DoTofficial said Thursday about $15 goes out of India for every mobile telephony service line added by an operator.

The royalty payment for mobile services providers runs into crores of rupees as each operator has millions of service lines to support voice services. A single mobile service line ideally supports a single call at a given point of time. The industry needs to invest in research and development for intellectual property rights as these are going to be lifeline of the Indian electronics industry, IT and

Electronics Secretary JS Deepak said at an event in New Delhi. “IPR or royalty payments are problem for country. Every line of mobile capacity that telecom service providers add in India, $15 (roughly Rs. 1000) goes out as royalty for equipment purchased by them. That is macro-perspective and it happens in other space as well,” Deepak said.

He said that Taiwan has all kind of manufacturing capacities but it has not been able to command leadership in various segments due to lack of IPRs. “Research and Development for IPR is going to be lifeline for Indian electronics ecosystem. Focus on developing IPR, if you have to access high end of Defence electronics,” Deepak said.

He said government is running an ambitious programme for defence manufacturing as it seeks to provide jobs to 12 million more people.

“Defence manufacture and more specifically manufacturing of defence electronics will remain priority for government for this,” Deepak said.