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Jio’s fibre-to-home services may be launched by year-end

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Mumbai :Jio will woo consumers with new products as well as technology, offering them quadplay services – TV, data, voice and mobile – seamlessly working across the platforms, with a single bundled offer and just one bill.
Reliance Jio, which is set to disrupt the fixed broadband as well as media and content delivery platform segments with the launch of fibre-to-home (FTH) services, will invest Rs 50,000 crore on last-mile connectivity of 50 million homes with fibre over the next two to three years, according to sources close to the company.
A team of around 10,000 people was being put in place for the FTH roll-out, said sources, adding this would be one of the largest and fastest deployments of FTH broadband services anywhere in the world.
Jio’s target is to ensure that customers use an average of 500 GB a month, nearly 200 times more data than they currently use on their mobile devices.
The network will offer customers speeds up to 1 gigabit per second.
The commercial launch of these services, though not officially announced, could happen by the end of this year.
At present, India has 18 million fixed broadband homes and only 1.25 million are connected with fibre broadband, though it has over 180 million TV households.
On the other hand, China has over 120 million homes connected with fibre broadband.
A Reliance Jio spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani announced during the company’s annual general meeting earlier this month that Jio would offer services in over 1,100 cities in the country.
Jio will woo consumers with new products as well as technology, offering them quadplay services – TV, data, voice and mobile – seamlessly working across the platforms, with a single bundled offer and just one bill.
Because devices will be interconnected, a consumer can take his mobile call on his smartphone or vice versa.
A TV can also be used to make multiple video conferences on Jio’s 4G network. By using a cloud-based app, a Jio Cloud customer will be able to instantly broadcast photos taken on his smartphone from far away to a TV set at home.
Jio will also offer services that will ensure that a consumer holidaying can view CCTV footage of his home as well answer the doorbell through a smartphone.
A quadplay offering ensures more stickiness of the customer, better pricing and easy payment. For Jio, it will mean multifold increase in data usage.
Jio is also going beyond offering media and entertainment content for which it has tied up with content partners and broadcasters.
It is also planning to offer a suite of educational content as well as connect institutions.
And to do so, it has recently acquired a majority stake in edutech firm Embibe for $180 million.
The aim is to connect over 1.9 million schools and 58,000 universities across the country with fibre.
Sources say a similar strategy is being worked out to provide healthcare content as well as connectivity, and talks are on with hospitals.


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After demonetisation, 50 lakh lost jobs over 2 years: report

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Mumbai: As per a report released by the Centre for Sustainable Employment, Azim Premji University, almost 50 lakh people lost their employment between 2018 and 2019 after November 8, 2016, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes would not be considered as legal tender.

As per the report, the beginning of the decline in employment rate coincides with the government’s note ban in 2016 but no “causal link” can be built up based on the information, says the report titled ‘State of Working India 2019’.

The employment losses are higher when women are taken under consideration. The women workforce participation has also lowered, the report said.

 

According to the report, “Whether or not this decline was caused by demonetisation, it is definitely a cause for concern and calls for urgent policy intervention,”

A government report which was leaked in January this year also recorded that the unemployment rate in India rose to a 45-year high in 2017-2018.

The overall unemployment rate was pegged at around 6 per cent in 2017-2018, according to the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) Periodic Labour Force Survey, held between 2017 and 2018.

But NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said the report was “not verified” and the “veracity of the data was not known”.

The report said unemployment has largely been driven by higher-educated men in both urban and rural areas, those in the age group of 20 to 24.

“Clearly, there is a large differential impact by level of education. This is consistent with the idea that the informal sector, where we can expect the share of less educated men to be higher, was hit hardest by demonetisation as well as the introduction of GST,” the report noted.

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Mallya laments ‘airline karma’ in message for cash-strapped Jet Airways

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London: Embattled liquor tycoon Vijay Mallya on Wednesday took to social media once again, this time to express his solidarity with Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and repeat his own offer to repay all the money he owes to India’s public sector banks.

The 63-year-old, fighting his extradition to India on charges of fraud and money laundering amounting to an alleged Rs 9,000 crores, claims private airlines were discriminated against by the Indian government, which bailed out state-owned Air India but did not assist his own Kingfisher Airlines and now Jet Airways.

“Even though Jet was a major competitor to Kingfisher at the time I feel sorry to see such a large private airline on the brink of failure when government used 35K crores (Rs 35,000 crores) of public funds to bail out Air India. Just being a PSU is no excuse for discrimination,” Mallya wrote on Twitter. He added: “I invested hugely into Kingfisher which rapidly grew to become India’s largest and most awarded airline. True, Kingfisher borrowed from PSU Banks as well. I have offered to pay back 100 per cent but am being criminally charged instead. Airline Karma?”

 

The former Kingfisher Airlines boss took yet another swipe at the media as well, claiming every offer he makes to pay back funds owed by his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines to PSU banks resulted in reports that claim he is “spooked, terrified etc” of being extradited from the UK back to India. “I am willing to pay either way whether I am in London or in an Indian Jail. Why don’t Banks take the money I offered first,” he questioned.

On a more personal note directed at Jet Airways founder Goyal and his wife Neeta, the UB Group chief expressed his sympathy for the troubles being faced by the cash-strapped private airline, which has been forced to cancel a string of flights amid a mounting crisis. “Even though we were fierce competitors, my sympathies go out to Naresh and Neeta Goyal who built Jet Airways that India should be extremely proud of. Fine Airline providing vital connectivity and class service. Sad that so many Airlines have bitten the dust in India. Why,” Mallya questioned.

Mallya remains on bail as he awaits an oral hearing to be listed by the UK High Court for his appeal against his extradition ordered by Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London last December and then signed off by UK home secretary Sajid Javid in February. A first level of that written appeal has already been rejected by the High Court, where it will now be considered during a brief hearing to determine any grounds to grant permission for Mallya’s appeal to proceed to appeal substantive hearing.

The businessman faces a series of unrelated legal battles in the UK courts, including a USD 40-million claim brought by drinks giant Diageo and an attempt by Swiss bank UBS to repossess his posh London home overlooking Regent’s Park. Meanwhile, a State Bank of India (SBI) led consortium of 13 Indian banks continue their attempt to enforce a worldwide freezing order upheld by the UK High Court in May last year through a number of follow up court orders to try and recoup some of the GBP 1.145 billion owed to them.

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BMW to recall 360,000 China cars over Takata airbags

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Shanghai: Germany’s BMW will recall 360,000 vehicles in China as part of the worldwide effort to root out defective airbags made by now-defunct Japanese supplier Takata, regulators in Beijing said.

Around 20 people have died in accidents linked to defects in Takata airbags since 2013, prompting a massive worldwide recall of at least 100 million cars from a wide range of manufacturers.

The recall will affect nearly 273,000 models built by BMW’s joint venture with Chinese manufacturer Brilliance Automotive and more than 87,000 imported BMW cars, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said.

 

The agency said in statement posted on its website late on Tuesday that a defect could cause the airbags to eject debris at passengers if deployed. It did not mention any specific incidents caused by the BMW-installed airbags.

The China recall affects more than two dozen different BMW models built between 2000 and 2018, including several each in the i, X and M series, along with other models.

The suspect parts will be replaced for free, the notice said. Founded in 1933, Takata went out of business in 2017 because of the airbag crisis.

The BMW announcement came as global carmakers were gathered for the Shanghai Auto Show amid a rare sales slump in the world’s largest vehicle market.

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