Delhi Metro’s Blue Line Gets Free Public Wi-Fi Facility at All 50 Stations

Delhi Metro on Friday launched free high-speed Wi-Fi service at all 50 stations of its Blue Line service.

Passengers can now use the service between Dwarka Sector 21 and Vaishali/ Noida City Centre stations by searching for Wi-Fi options and selecting ‘Oui DMRC Free Wifi’ for one-time registration, a DMRCstatement said.

“With this facility, passengers will be able to use all standard Internet applications inside the station premises,” said the Delhi Metro Rail Corp.

Delhi Metro's Blue Line Gets Free Public Wi-Fi Facility at All 50 StationsThe transporter would provide Wi-Fi on its entire network in a phased manner and was hopeful of starting it on the Yellow Line (HUDA City Centre-Samaypur Badli) and in Airport Line metro trains in six to nine months.

Wi-Fi service was started at all six stations of the Airport Line in October last year.

Back in July, Delhi Metro commuters were offered the facility to buy tokens and recharge their smart cards through their mobile banking application, the Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC) said on Sunday.

“The DMRC today launched the cashless token sale/smart card recharge facility by using the Bharat Quick Response (QR) code displayed at the token counters and customer care centres of metro stations,” said a DMRC statement.

The service can be availed through any bank application and has been provided by HDFC Bank. The passenger would have to select ‘pay through QR’ option in the app and then direct the smartphone camera-wise to the QR code displayed at the ticket counter. He or she can then enter the fare and make the payment.

Google Station Wi-Fi Service, YouTube Go Launched in Indonesia After India Debut

After a successful run in India, Google has brought its public Wi-Fi programme Google Station to Indonesia that will help improve access to Internet at railway stations and other locations. Alongside, the company had 10 other announcements to make on Thursday at its Google for Indonesia event.

“We are partnering with CBN and Fiberstar to bring high-speed public Wi-Fi to hundreds of locations across Indonesia,” Google said in a blog post on Friday.

“Soon, we will be bringing Google Station to even more places around the world. We are also continuing our work to expand Google Station across India,” it added.

Google Station Wi-Fi Service, YouTube Go Launched in Indonesia After India DebutGoogle, in collaboration with RailTel, has rolled out free Wi-Fi service at several railway stations in India, offering high-speed Internet to millions of people. Google launched its first free Wi-Fi services at Mumbai Central station in January 2016. The company would continue to deploy high speed Wi-Fi in 300 more stations across the country.

Other announcements at Google for Indonesia included the launch of YouTube Go (an offline-centric app initially launched for India), Google Assistant with Bahasa Indonesia language support, tappable shortcuts in Search (again, only recently rolled out in India), health answers in Google Search, and Waze updates.

Google also had announcements surrounding its digital training and empowerment initiatives in the Southeast Asian country. These include the announcement that it had trained 25,000 developers in the country, the launch of the Primer training app, as well as 4,500 sign-ups milestone for its SMB programme.

Tesla ‘Autopilot’ Crash: US NTSB Board to Vote on Likely Cause

The US National Transportation Safety Board will vote at a September 12 hearing on the probable cause of a May 2016 crash that killed a man using the semi-autonomous driving system on his Tesla Model S sedan, the agency said on Monday.

The fatal incident raised questions about the safety of systems that can perform driving tasks for long stretches with little or no human intervention but which cannot completely replace human drivers.

In June, the NTSB said the driver, Joshua Brown, kept his hands off the wheel for extended periods of time despite repeated automated warnings not to do so. Brown was killed near Williston, Florida, when his Model S collided with a truck while it was engaged in the “Autopilot” mode.

Tesla Inc did not immediately comment on Monday but said in 2016 that Autopilot “does not allow the driver to abdicate responsibility.” A lawyer for Brown’s family, Jack Landskroner, declined to comment on Monday on the forthcoming hearing.

During a 37-minute period of the trip when Brown was supposed to have his hands on the wheel, he apparently did so for just 25 seconds, the NTSB said in June.

Tesla 'Autopilot' Crash: US NTSB Board to Vote on Likely CauseTesla in September 2016 unveiled improvements in Autopilot, putting new limits on hands-off driving and other features that its chief executive officer said likely would have prevented the crash death.

A board spokesman, NTSB Board, said the NTSB could use the September board meeting to make policy recommendations. The board cannot order recalls or force regulatory changes.

In January, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had found no evidence of defects in the aftermath of Brown’s death.

The NHTSA said Brown did not apply the brakes and his last action was to set the cruise control at 74 miles per hour (119 kph), less than two minutes before the crash – above the 65-mph speed limit.

Vodafone Offers Unlimited Voice Calling, 1GB Data Per Day at Rs. 348

In a bid to combat the Reliance Jio competition, Vodafone has now launched a special recharge plan for prepaid users in Rajasthan. The Vodafone 348 Prepaid Recharge offer comes with unlimited voice calling benefits and 1GB of 4G data per day.

As mentioned, the prepaid recharge plan is only for Vodafone users in Rajasthan for now. This recharge plan is priced at Rs. 348 and comes with 28 days of validity. It gives users 1GB of 4G data daily with unlimited voice calls (local and national). This plan can be activated regardless of whether a subscriber is using 4G/3G or 2G enabled handsets.

The company noted that the plan is now available at all the leading Vodafone Stores, Mini stores and multi brand retail outlets across the state of Rajasthan. For those who prefer online recharge, they can find this new recharge plan on the MyVodafone app.

Vodafone Offers Unlimited Voice Calling, 1GB Data Per Day at Rs. 348Amit Bedi, Business Head – Rajasthan, Vodafone India, said in a statement, “Vodafone has always taken the lead in coming up with innovative products and services that also offer the finest value to our customers. With Vodafone 348 Prepaid Recharge Offer users can explore internet elements like video, music, live TV, chats, with 1 GB data each day for 28 days. Additionally, our customers can also enjoy unlimited conversations with their loved ones anywhere in the country. These benefits can be accessed by our customers on 4G/3G or 2G handsets. Now always be in touch with your near and dear ones with Vodafone 348 Prepaid Recharge Offer.”

This plan will compete with Reliance Jio’s Rs. 309 and Rs. 399 plans directly. However, Reliance Jio offers the same benefits to its subscribers for 56 and 84 days validity respectively, while Vodafone Rajasthan subscribers get to enjoy only 28 days of validity.

Ericsson Could Shed 25,000 Jobs in Cost-Cutting Drive: Report

Mobile telecom gear maker Ericsson may lay off around 25,000 employees outside Sweden as part of its savings programme, Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet reported on Thursday, citing unidentified sources at the company.

Ericsson said in July it would accelerate measures to meet a target of doubling its 2016 underlying operating margin of 6 percent and that it aimed to reach an annual cost reduction run rate of at least SEK 10 billion ($1.2 billion) by mid-2018.

Ericsson has said actions will be taken primarily in service delivery and common costs while research and development would be largely unaffected.

Ericsson Could Shed 25,000 Jobs in Cost-Cutting Drive: ReportThe company faces mounting competition from China’s Huawei and Finland’s Nokia as well as weak emerging markets and falling spending by telecom operators with demand for next-generation 5G technology still years away.

Svenska Dagbladet said it was not clear whether the planned layoffs included employees within its media operations, which are up for strategic review and seen by analysts as likely to be sold by the group.

“Ericsson has not communicated which specific units or countries could be affected. It is too early to talk about specific measures or exclude any country,” Ericsson said in a statement on its website.

Ericsson has around 109,000 employees.

MTNL Boosts 3G Data Limits Up to 3 Times at the Same Price

State-run telecom firm MTNL said it has increased 3G mobile Internet data limit by up to three times at the same price for its prepaid customers.

“Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) has decided to offer up to three times free data on existing prepaid 3G data coupons available in the market,” the public sector firm said in a statement.

The company announced that customers buying its Rs. 99 data coupons will get 1.5GB data with a validity of 30 days against 500 MB earlier. Similarly Rs. 19 coupon will now provide triple data at 750MB.

MTNL Boosts 3G Data Limits Up to 3 Times at the Same PriceThe scheme has been in effect from August 7, the company said. MTNL customers recharging with Rs. 319 will get 2GB of 2G or 3G data every day, unlimited free calls on MTNL network in Delhi and Mumbai and daily free 25 minutes on other networks, with a validity of 28 days, the statement said.

Consulting firm Deloitte last week submitted its report on restructuring and revival of debt-laden MTNL, and a panel has been set up in the Telecom Department to study it, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said.

A household telephony brand in the 90s and early 2000, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has been making losses since 2009-10 after it was asked to pay Rs. 11,000 crores for mobile airwaves, and incurred additional expenses on account of second wage revision leading to payouts to employees. Its total debt stands at over Rs. 15,000 crores now.

Idea, Vodafone Lose Customers as Airtel Adds Users in July: COAI

Four private telecom operators, including Idea Cellular and Vodafone, lost 43.7 lakh customers while Bharti Airtel added 6 lakh new users in July 2017, the data published by industry body COAI showed on Tuesday.

Total mobile customer base of five COAI members that include Aircel and Telenor declined by 37.74 lakh to 82.6 crore in July from 83 crore at the end of June.

“…the extreme financial stress being experienced by the industry currently is likely to show its impact in these numbers. The industry is undergoing a phase of hyper competition and at the moment it is reeling under a debt of over Rs 4.5 lakh crore,” COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said in a statement.

He said the industry further needs an additional investment of over Rs 2.5 lakh crore for infrastructure roll-out and expansion are required especially in the far flung areas of the country.

Idea, Vodafone Lose Customers as Airtel Adds Users in July: COAIThe subscriber base of Bharti Airtel reached 28.12 crore in July.

Idea lost the most 23 lakh customers in the month, followed by Vodafone that lost 13.89 lakh customers. Aircel lost 3.91 lakh and Telenor 2.75 lakh customers.

UP (East) circle remained at the top with over 8.41 crore subscribers. It was followed by Maharashtra circle with a total of 7.87 crore mobile subscribers. Bihar was a close third with total 7.62 crore subscribers.

Maharashtra and UP East led in the number of new additions with 5.1 lakh and 4.7 lakh new subscribers respectively, the report said.

Verizon Tweaks Prices, Cuts Video Quality on Unlimited Plans

Verizon is raising the price of its unlimited plan while introducing a slightly cheaper, more limited version as wireless carriers battle each other for customers.

All major carriers now offer unlimited plans after years of steering people toward paying extra for using more data. Verizon, like its rivals, will start charging more for higher-quality video while hoping to attract cost-conscious customers with a cheaper plan.

Verizon’s unlimited plan had cost $80 (roughly Rs. 5,130) a month for one line for those who sign up for automatic payments with a checking account or debit card. Beginning Wednesday, it’ll cost $85 (roughly Rs. 5,550) with high-definition video – capped at 720p for phones. Plans with DVD-quality streaming will cost $75 (roughly Rs. 4,800). For a family of four, the higher-quality version costs $200 (roughly Rs. 12,820) a month; the cheaper plan is $160 (roughly Rs. 10,230).

Existing customers can keep their unlimited plans, but their video quality is now limited to 720p on phones as well. That rules out 4K-resolution video, but many people probably won’t notice a difference and there isn’t much 4K content yet.

Verizon will also slow the speeds of people on the cheaper unlimited plan when the network is congested. It will do that on the pricier plan only when a customer uses more than 22 gigabytes in a month. The cheaper unlimited plan won’t have data, texts or calls in Mexico and Canada included.

Verizon’s changes are meant to preserve the quality of its network after the return of unlimited plans in February, Jefferies analyst Mike McCormack said in a research note.

Verizon Tweaks Prices, Cuts Video Quality on Unlimited PlansThe popular plans have “undoubtedly placed a heavy burden on the network,” he said. Having unlimited data means customers can watch all the network-taxing high-resolution video they want.

Charging customers who want high-resolution video also lets Verizon make more money off the unlimited plans. The company has had to deal with less money coming in from fees charged when customers go over data limits, as unlimited plans don’t have those fees.

Verizon says the changes reflect its desire to bring unlimited plans to more people.

Verizon’s cheaper unlimited plan costs more than T-Mobile’s $70 (roughly Rs. 4,4870) plan with DVD-level video streaming. AT&T’s economy version is $60 (roughly Rs. 3,850), but it caps data speeds at a slow 3 megabits per second. Sprint has a $50 (roughly Rs. 3,200) promotional plan that includes HD video streaming, but prices go up to $60 after a year.

Huawei Unveils 5G-Oriented ‘X-Haul’ Solution for Operators

Chinese tech company Huawei on Wednesday released its 5G-oriented mobile bearer solution “X-Haul” to help operators build end-to-end 5G networks.

The solution provides flexible access capabilities that can match the scenario of any site and implements agile network operations based on a cloud architecture, the company said in a statement.

“X-Haul” also enables new service innovation through end-to-end network slicing and supports smooth evolution from 4G bearer networks to 5G bearer networks.

Huawei Unveils 5G-Oriented 'X-Haul' Solution for Operators“The Huawei ‘X-Haul’ solution fully supports 4G/5G bearing, so as to effectively support operators’ new service development and expand the business blueprint,” said Jeffrey Gao, President Huawei (Router and Carrier Ethernet Product Line).

“X-Haul” also introduces a cloud-based architecture that enables agile operations on 5G bearer networks.

Huawei has currently deployed over 190 mobile bearer networks in more than 100 countries, which bear more than 2.8 million base stations, serving one-third of the world’s users.

“Huawei is dedicated to providing innovative 5G bearer solutions, and working together with industry partners to promote 5G bearer-related technologies to be standardised by international standards organisations,” the company said.

Reliance Jio Offers Up to 10GB of Additional Data to Oppo Smartphone Customers

Before the bookings of Jio Phone start, Oppo announced on Thursday that the company has joined hands with Reliance Jio to offer special benefits to those customers who will purchase the company’s smartphones. With this partnership in place, those customers who purchase an Oppo smartphone and enrol themselves in Jio Prime membership will get additional data benefits.

As per the new offer, buyers of Oppo’s F3, F3 Plus, and F1 Plus smartphone models can get additional data up to 10GB on every recharge of Rs. 309 or above (making it up to 60GB of additional data). On the other hand, those customers who purchase Oppo F1s, A57, A37, and A33 models can get additional data up to 7GB on every recharge (making it up to 42GB of additional data). Notably, customers can avail these additional data benefits for a maximum of six Jio recharges.

Reliance Jio Offers Up to 10GB of Additional Data to Oppo Smartphone CustomersFurther, these benefits will be available to all eligible subscribers from June 30, 2017 till the validity of their Prime Membership lapses on March 31, 2018, Oppo clarified in its release.

In order to activate the additional data vouchers and avail the benefits, the eligible subscriber are required to download the MyJio app on their device. Then, they need to open the MyJio App and head to the My Vouchers section. The users then need to go to the View Voucher option and go to Recharge my number option and confirm the recharge. Users should be able to see the additional data vouchers then under the My Plans section.