Bharti Airtel first to demo 5G

23 February 2021

Bharti Airtel became the first telecom operator to demonstrate its capability to roll out 5G wireless services in India, beating rival Reliance Jio Infocomm in the process.

The former said it conducted on-field trials in Hyderabad to establish its ability to launch 5G, or fifth generation, services. This new wireless service will pave the way for super-fast internet speeds and power internet of things (IoT) applications, such as driverless cars and smart cities.

Airtel’s achievement is also a boost for the company, which has been struggling to play catch-up with Jio for the past few years and has ceded its leadership in the Indian telecom market. The latter plans to launch the service later this year but has yet to complete trials.

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Myanmar's telcos restore internet services

17 February 2021

Internet access in Myanmar has been restored after authorities ordered the country’s operators to turn off data services, following widespread anti-government protests after a military coup.

Telenor Myanmar issued a short statement saying its data network is now back online. The company said the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) directed all mobile operators to temporarily shut down data networks, noting voice and SMS services remained open.

Telenor Group said in a separate statement it complied with the directive, as required by its licence, but added it “views this development with deep concern. We have emphasised to the authorities that access to telecom services should be maintained at all times, especially during times of conflict, to ensure people’s basic right to freedom of expression and access to information”.

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BSNL deploys ST Engineering iDirect’s dialog platform to connect remote Indian islands

17 February 2021

Remote Indian islands are being connected 

Remote Indian islands are being connected 

India’s state-owned telecom giant company BSNL will deploy solutions from ST Engineering iDirect to augment satellite bandwidth to the Indian islands of Andaman, Nicobar and Lakshadweep.

The deployment is part of a Universal Service Obligation (USO) project funded by the country’s Department of Telecommunications. Utilising the Newtec Dialog platform to provide internet and 2G, 3G and 4G services, the connectivity will boost social and economic activity to islands that previously had limited access to bandwidth.

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Network automation: learnings from the Covid-19 pandemic

10 February 2021

The use of collaboration tools has increased dramatically. For instance, Microsoft alone saw an increase of 12 million new users on Teams as companies shifted to remote work during the pandemic. This change, together with the increased use of video streaming, gaming, and social media platforms, has driven bandwidth needs up abruptly.

Telia Carrier owns and operates one of the world’s most extensive fiber backbones and recently reported that “every day of the week now looks like a Sunday” in terms of backbone network load, with Sunday evenings being the traditional traffic peak. Verizon has revealed that its overall data volume increased by 19% when compared to pre-COVID-19 levels, with peak web traffic increasing by 30%. Data demand spikes have been documented in India and in Malaysia as well.

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