BEL signs MoU with Saab for radar

Defence undertaking BEL has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saab, Sweden for jointly marketing the L-Band 3D Air Surveillance Radar, RAWL-03. Bharat Electrical Limited (BEL) is engaged in the design, manufacture & supply of radars such as like weapon locating, surveillance & communication systems. RAWL-03 will be offered in both ship-borne and land-based configurations.

China to launch 300 satellites

China plans to launch 300 low-orbit satellites to provide worldwide communication services, with the first in the series to be launched later this year. The first in the 300-satellite array — known as the Hongyan constellation — is set to be launched by the end of this year. China is already developing BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) to rival America’s Global Positioning System.

1st land-based comm. link between Pak and PRC

An optical fiber cable project that would be the first land-based communication link between China (PRC) and Pakistan has been launched. It will help develop the telecom sector in the Gilgit-Baltistan region and enhance the security of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The project includes an 820-km-long underground optical fiber cable from Rawalpindi to Khunjerab.

Golden Globe Race 2018

Commander Abhilash Tomy of the Indian Navy will be participating in the prestigious Golden Globe Race that commences from Les Sables d’Olonne harbour in France on 1st July. The uniqueness of the race is that use of GPS, satellite communication, navigational aids, etc is forbidden. Cdr Tomy will be sailing in sailing vessel ‘Thuriya’ has been built by M/s Aquarius Shipyard Ltd at Goa.

ROK & DPRK reopen maritime communication

North Korea and South Korea Sunday reopened maritime communication channel for the first time in 10 years with vessels from the 2 countries making contact. North Korean patrol boat responded immediately when the South Korean Navy contacted it via an international radio channel in the western sea. The Korean govt on both sides are working on confidence-building measures to boost cooperation.

Pipeline across Maha Prosperity Corridor

29 : Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan has proposed setting up a natural gas pipeline along the Maharashtra Prosperity Corridor. The corridor will be an eight-lane 701-km hi-speed super communication expressway between Nagpur and Mumbai. The Rs 46,000 crore project is being planned to boost agro-industries and port-led developments in the state.

India cuts export quotas for Maldives

India has lowered the limits on the export of certain essential commodities such as potatoes, onions, and eggs to the Maldives. According to a bilateral pact that came into effect in 1981, India exports essential commodities in line with the requirement as communicated by the govt of Maldives. Maldives was lowered to 9,892.03 MT for 2018-19 compared with the 10,259.59 MT exported in 2017-18.

New Telecom Policy by July

Communications minister Manoj Sinha has announced that new telecom policy is likely to be in place by July 2018. The government on May 1 had released the draft National Telecom Policy 2018 aiming to attract investment of $100 billion (roughly Rs. 6.7 lakh crores) in the Digital Communications sector. Govt. also aims to reform the licencing and regulatory regime to promote ease of business.

U.S. extradites Panama ex-President Martinelli

12 : Former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli returned home to face political espionage and embezzlement charges after being extradited from the United States. He had been jailed in Miami since his arrest at his home in June 2017. The 66-year-old Martinelli, who was Panama’s president from 2009 to 2014, is accused of embezzlement and illegally monitoring phone calls and other communications

TRAI moots network to help in disaster relief

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended setting up of a pan-India broadband public protection disaster relief (PPDR) communications network based on 3GPP PS-LTE technology. It will be used for an ‘advanced, reliable, robust and responsive communication networks’ to be used during disasters. PPDR communication supports services such as maintenance of law and order.

Malaysia gets its first Sikh minister

Gobind Singh Deo, an Indian-origin Sikh politician in Malaysia, has become a cabinet minister. He is the first member of the minority community in Malaysia’s history to be appointed as a minister. He has been given the communications and multimedia portfolio. He is among the two politicians of Indian descent that have been included in the Pakatan Harapan coalition’s Cabinet.

Satellite to explore dark side of moon

China has launched a relay satellite “Queqiao” designed to establish a communication link between earth and a planned lunar probe that will explore the dark side of the moon. The launch is a key step for China to realize its goal of being the first country to send a probe to soft-land on & rove the far side of the moon. It will be the world’s 1st communication satellite operating from moon.

China’s first privately developed rocket

China has launched its first privately developed rocket from a launchpad in northwestern China on 17 May. The launch of the “Chongqing Liangjiang Star” rocket marks the first launch of a non-state Chinese rocket. The rocket was launched by OneSpace Technology and it uses energy-saving technology, such as wireless communications.

Cabinet okays defence spectrum budget hike

The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved increasing the budget for laying of ‘alternative communication network’ for defence services. The alternative communications network is being set up in lieu of airwaves vacated by the Defence Ministry for civilian use. The project is being implemented by state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

India 3rd largest solar market in world

According to Mercom Communications India, India emerged as the third largest solar market in the world in 2017 behind China and the US. As per the report, India set a new record with 9.6 GW of solar installations in 2017, which was more than double the 4.3 GW installed in 2016. The robust growth boosted the country’s total solar installed capacity to 19.6 GW as of December 2017.

SpaceX launched most powerful Falcon 9 yet

SpaceX blasted off its newest & most powerful Falcon 9 rocket, known as the Block 5, carrying the first high-orbit communications satellite for Bangladesh.The satellite will provide broadband connectivity to rural areas throughout Bangladesh. Block 5 Falcon 9 is eventually meant to carry astronauts to the International Space Station, with the first launch tentatively planned for Dec 2018.

China Launches ‘APSTAR-6C’ Communication Sat

China has launched a new communication satellite “APSTAR-6C” at the southwestern Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The satellite will provide TV transmission, communication, Internet and multimedia services to customers across the Asia-Pacific region. Both the satellite and the rocket were developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

DoT releases draft National Telecom Policy

The draft of National Telecom Policy (NTP) 2018 aka National Digital Communications Policy 2018 has been uploaded for public consultations on the Department of Telecom’s (DoT). One of the key strategies in the draft talks of recognising spectrum as a key natural resource for public benefit The draft proposes one Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats by 2020 and 10 Gbps by 2022.

Paytm introduced ‘Tap Card’

Paytm has announced the launch of its offline payments solution – the Paytm Tap Card.The card uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to enable safe and convenient digital payments, completely offline at Paytm-issued, NFC PoS terminals. Tap Card has been launched to provide seamless payments solutions for non-internet customers.

Paytm Payments Bank registers 100M KYC wallets

Paytm Payments Bank claims that it now has over 100 million KYC -registered wallets which includes both complete & minimum KYC.This development comes even as there have been indications in digital payments industry of a sharp fall in mobile-wallet users as customer authentication did not take off. Paytm Payments Bank is owned 51% by Paytm founder Vijay Sharma & 49% by One97 Communications.

DARPAN-PLI App launched by Manoj Sinha

MoS for Communication, Manoj Sinha launched DARPAN-Postal Life Insurance App in New Delhi.The App will help in collection of premium for Postal & Rural postal life insurance policies at Branch Post offices anywhere in India, with online updation of policies. It will help Department of Posts in providing better after-sales service to customers, particularly those living in rural areas.

IndusInd-Samsung tie up for ‘tap and pay’

IndusInd Bank announced a collaboration with Samsung Electronics to enable its MasterCard and Visa credit card customers to use ‘Samsung Pay’.The Samsung Pay allows customers to simply tap and ‘pay on the go’ using their registered IndusInd Bank credit cards. The platform works with patented Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology as well as Near Field Communication (NFC).

SpaceX launches 10 satellites

SpaceX has confirmed successful deployment of all 10 communications satellites to low-Earth orbit. The Iridium-NEXT satellites were launched for satellite operator Iridium Communi-cations. The Iridium-5 NEXT Mission marked the fifth set of 10 satellites that SpaceX has launched for its customer‘s Iridium NEXT global satellite constellation.

ISRO’s GSAT-6A placed in orbit

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully placed a communication satellite GSAT-6A in a geosynchronous transfer orbit. The GSAT-6A is a communication satellite that will complement the GSAT-6, which is already in orbit. The satellite will be placed at a height of 36,000 km in a geostationary orbit.

ISRO to launch communication satellite

GSAT-6A, the 2nd S-band communi-cations satellite, is set to be launched from Sriharikota on March 29. It is designated for the use of the Armed Forces and will not add any transponder capacity for general uses. A special feature of the GSAT-6A is its 6-metre-wide umbrella-like antenna, which will be unfurled in space. The S-band‘s antenna was developed by ISRO‘s Space Applications Centre.

‘Indian Sign Language Dictionary’ Launched

‘First Indian Sign Language Dictionary of 3000 words’ was launched by Government of India on 23rd March. The dictionary has been developed by Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre under Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment. The basic aim of developing the Indian Sign Language Dictionary is to remove communications barriers between the deaf and hearing communities.

Vivo signs Aamir Khan as brand ambassador

Chinese smartphone maker Vivo announced the appointment of Bollywood actor Aamir Khan as its brand ambassador for India. Aamir has been signed for future brand and product communication initiatives of Vivo India. Vivo is also associated with popular sports platforms such as Indian Premier League (IPL) and Pro-Kabaddi League in the country. Vivo entered India in late 2014.

Aircel files for bankruptcy

India‘s sixth-largest telecom operator Aircel filed for bankruptcy at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) claiming that it has a debt of Rs.15,500 crore. This comes after the Ananda Krishnan-owned Malaysian parent Maxis Communications refused to infuse more funds into Aircel. Notably, Aircel‘s proposed merger with Anil Ambani‘s Reliance Communications had failed last year.

Nepal ends India’s internet monopoly

15 : Nepal has joined hands with China to offer internet services to its citizens, ending India’s decades-long monopoly of the Himalayan nation’s cyber connectivity network.For years, Nepal depended on Indian companies, such as Airtel and Tata Communications for access to the worldwide web. China Telecom Global, has teamed up with Nepal Telecom to provide alternative cyber connectivity to Nepal.

NASA fires up Voyager 1 thrusters

NASA told a set of thrusters aboard the Voyager 1 spacecraft, the only human-made object in interstellar space, have been successfully fired up after 37 years without use. The spacecraft has been using small devices called “attitude control thrusters” to orient itself so it can communicate with Earth. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched 16 days apart in 1977.

RCom to shut voice calls from Dec 1

Reliance Communications will shut down voice call service from 1st December 2017 and its customers can move to other networks by the end of 2017. It will provide only 4G data services to its customers. RCom is led by Anil Ambani. RCom will be upgrading CDMA network of Sistema Shyam Teleservices, which has been merged with it, to provide 4G services. It is under debt of around Rs 46,000 crore

Naval commanders’ conference 2017

During the ongoing Naval Commanders’ Conference, Indian Navy has approved a “new mission-based deployment” plan. Under the plan, mission-ready ships and aircrafts will be deployed along critical sea lanes of communications. Several operational issues and efforts to make Indian Navy self-reliant and modernise its warfare capability were also discussed. Conference is being held in Delhi.

Govt launches Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana

The Modi govt has launched Sampoorna Bima Gram Yojana and expanded the coverage of Postal Life Insurance. With this, apart from government employees, PLI will now cover professionals also. Under this yojana, at least one village (having a minimum of 100 households) will be identified in each of the revenue districts of the country. This was done by Minister for Communications Manoj Sinha.

RCom-Aircel merger collapses

Reliance Communications has called off the merger of its wireless services business with Aircel, citing regulatory delays &opposition from some creditors. RCom has been trying to reduce its debt by Rs. 250 bn by merging its wireless business with Aircel and by selling a stake in its mobile masts arm to Brookfield Asset Management. Merger had already been approved by SEBI, CCI & stock exchanges.

Intercontinental quantum video call

China has held the world’s first quantum intercontinental video conference between laboratories in Beijing and Vienna. The call was held using a new world first space-ground quantum communication network that experts say could revolutionize how humans connect. The encrypted communication system was being trialed for potential ‘real-world applications by govt, banks & insurance companies.

Agreement with Ethiopia in media field

The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of an agreement with Ethiopia to increase cooperation in the field of information, communication, and media. The agreement would provide an opportunity to both the nations to share best practices and innovations in the field of information, communication, and media. It will also help enhance people-to-people contact through exchange programmes.

Aeris Communications partners with BSNL

Aeris Communications has entered into a partnership with BSNL to provide packaged Internet of Things solutions & services to small, medium businesses & PSUs in India. Collaboration is aimed at propagating IoT projects across India as part of digital transformation drive. Aeris will leverage BSNL’s wide network coverage, to provide end-to-end IoT services platform for OEMs & service providers

Trai inks cooperation pact

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has inked an agreement with Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission to deepen bilateral cooperation in telecom & broadcasting regulation. The 2 telecom regulators signed a letter of intent, under which they will exchange information & regulatory best practices. Pact came amid ongoing Asia-Pacific regulators’ roundtable organised by ITU & TRAI.

No sustained rollout of DAS in Chennai

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recently expressed serious concern over the tardy implementation of DAS (Digital Addressable System) in Chennai, and has asked broadcasters, multi system operators (MSOs) and local cable operators to take immediate action or face blackouts. In a press release issued earlier this week, TRAI noted that the deadline for implementation of DAS for all metros was Nov. 1. Though the other metros – Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata had strictly implemented the system Chennai was yet to seen a sustained rollout. Many Channels were still being shown in the city through the analog unencrypted mode.

Ups and downs of MRTS escalators

The recent repair of lifts and escalators in many Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) stations has brought some relief to commuters, especially senior citzens. However, commute  note that the facilities are working only sporadically and worry in the light of past experience that the facilities may get damaged soon. Around 80,000 passengers commute by the MRTS network in 134 services operated daily through 17 stations. 13 stations-between Chintadripet and Perungudi-have lifts and escalators as they are on an elevated level.

Lawyers, defence personal mourm the death of telegram

The telegram will became history from July 15, but many who depend on that service are left wondering what they will do for an alternative means of communication. While individuals have enough modern options, telegrams remain an indispensable service for lawyers, litigants, armed forces and the police. Although court notices and communications are sent by speed post and fax, urgent interim orders are normally directed to be communicated telegraphically at the parties cost. Such order may not be communicated with the same urgency any more.

No more ‘stops’ in city’s communication

For senior citizens in Chennai, it is the end of an era. The announcement that Chennai Telephones of BSNL will discontinue the telegram services the fastest mode of communication until a decade ago rekindled fond members of this harbinger of good and bad news. Several govts. depts. also used to use the service to convey news of job-transfers to employees.

Mobile coverage in sea will help fishermen

Mobile phone coverage in Indian waters will help fisherman in distress to send alert messages to coastal alert message for relief/ reserve operations; Since a majority of fishermen carry phones while going to sea, it would be useful if connectivity was provided upto 12 nautical miles where most of the fishing activity takes place Commander Sharma said DAT’s costing about  4,000 were linked to satellite and had an inbuilt Global positioning system.” There are four types of distress calls, including engine failure, capsize and fire, that can be communicated by pressing the button. We can launch relief/reserve operation in co-odination with other agencies”. The installation of DATs would pave the way for the Maritime Rescue co-ordination centre monitoring the movement of fishing boats since their time of setting out sea, location and return would be known.

BSNL sheds voice for data in new scheme

For the first time since its inception state-owned BSNL will go without a voice call feature in a new scheme. The ‘Broadband only’ scheme being launched in select suburban and rural pockets around Chennai has been conceived by Chennai Telephones to cota to the demand for DataOne services in ‘shadow’ areas which have been ruled as technically non-feasible spots to lay underground copper cables. Under the new ‘broadband only’ scheme, Chennai Telephones will install Digital subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM) equipment at the nearest Bast Station Transceiver (BTS) in the GSM network and loop a few metres of copper cable to the customer premises to offer uninterrupted  broadband in these areas.

Reliance Communication contract enter to French telecom

French telecom equipment major Alcarel-Lucent announces that it has entered into an eight-year $1 billion contract with Reliance Communications. Under the deal, Alcatel-Lucent will manage Reliance’s telecom networks in eastern and southern India.