Beijing hit out at Canada for banning telecoms giants Huawei and ZTE from Canadian 5G networks on Friday, calling Ottawa’s concerns for security risks “groundless” and warning of retribution.
Canada’s long-awaited measure on Thursday follows the United States and other key allies, and comes on the heels of a diplomatic row between Ottawa and Beijing over the detention of a senior Huawei executive on a US warrant, which has now been resolved.
The United States has warned of the security implications of giving Chinese tech companies access to telecommunications infrastructure that could be used for state espionage.
Both Huawei and Beijing have rejected the allegations.
“China is firmly opposed to this and will conduct a comprehensive and serious assessment,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters in response to the 5G block.
“The Canadian side has excluded these Chinese companies from the Canadian market under the pretext of groundless security risks and without any solid evidence.”
He added that Beijing would “take all necessary measures” to protect Chinese companies.
“This move runs counter to market economy principles and free trade rules,” he said, accusing the Canadian government of “seriously damaging the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”
Canada had been reviewing the 5G technology and network access for several years, repeatedly delaying a decision that was first expected in 2019.
It remained silent on the telecoms issue after China jailed two Canadians – diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor – in what observers believed was in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wangzhou in Vancouver in December 2018 at the request of the United States.
All three were released in September 2021 after Meng reached a deal with US prosecutors on the fraud charges, ending her extradition fight.
But Canadian Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne made the 5G announcement on Thursday, citing the “intention to prohibit the inclusion of Huawei and ZTE products and services in Canada’s telecommunication systems.”
Champagne said Canadian telecommunications companies “will not be permitted to include in their networks products or services that put our national security at risk.”
“Providers who already have this equipment installed will be required to cease its use and remove it,” he said.
Huawei already supplies some Canadian telecommunications firms with 4G equipment.
Most, if not all, had held off using Huawei in their fifth-generation (5G) wirelesss networks that deliver speedier online connections with greater data capacity. Others have looked to other suppliers while Ottawa hemmed and hawed.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino warned Thursday of “many hostile actors who are ready to exploit vulnerabilities” in telecom networks.
The United States, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, Japan, and Sweden have already blocked or restricted the use of Huawei technology in their 5G networks.
The US government considers Huawei a potential security threat due to the background of its founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, a former Chinese army engineer who is Meng’s father.
The concern escalated as Huawei rose to become the world leader in telecoms networking equipment and one of the top smartphone manufacturers.
Beijing also passed a law in 2017 obliging Chinese companies to assist the government in matters of national security.
The decision could prove to be “a major expense for Canada,” Kendra Schaefer, tech policy researcher at consultancy Trivium China, told AFP.
“Not only have local telecom providers already invested… in Huawei equipment, but additionally they are going to go back and have to rip out everything they’ve already installed,” she added.
Airtel Shareholders Approve to Reappoint Gopal Vittal as Managing Director
Bharti Airtel’s shareholders have approved the re-appointment of Gopal Vittal as managing director of the company for a period of five years with effect from February 1, 2023.
Over 97 percent of total votes polled were in favour of the resolution, and the same “has been passed with requisite majority”, Airtel said in a regulatory filing on the outcome of its Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The shareholders also approved a special resolution related to payment of remuneration to Vittal as managing director and CEO of the company, with 89.57 percent votes in favour and 10.42 percent against the proposal.
“Therefore the above resolution has been passed with requisite majority,” the filing said.
The AGM of the company was held on Friday (August 12).
As per the notice of AGM dated July 21, 2022, shareholders’ nod was sought for “re-appointment of Gopal Vittal as Managing Director (designated as Managing Director and CEO) for a further period of five (5) years with effect from February 1, 2023, liable to retire by rotation…” Vittal was re-appointed as the managing director and CEO with effect from February 1, 2018 for a period of 5 years, (upto January 31, 2023). His re-appointment was due for another term of five years (that is from February 1, 2023 to January 31, 2028).
The AGM agenda circulated earlier, giving out the details of the proposed remuneration to be paid to Vittal, mentioned the fixed pay to be Rs. 9.6 crore per annum “or such other amount as may be determined by the Board of Directors of the company, provided that increment, if any, during the subsequent years, shall not exceed 15 percent per annum of the fixed pay of preceding financial year.” It further said the variable pay (Performance Linked Incentive) to be paid annually after the end of the financial year is Rs. 6.2 crore (at 100 percent performance). The total variable pay shall not exceed 90 percent of the annual fixed pay for any financial year, it added.
For 2021-22, Vittal’s fixed pay (excluding perquisites) stood at Rs. 9.1 crore, in addition to a variable pay component.
MTNL Consolidated Loss Widens to Rs. 653 Crore in June Quarter: All Details
State-owned telecom company MTNL on Friday reported narrowing of consolidated loss to Rs. 653 crore in the June quarter. The company had posted a loss of Rs 688.69 crore in the same period a year ago. The consolidated revenue from operations of MTNL fell by about 17 per cent to Rs. 250.72 crore in the first quarter of the current fiscal, according to a regulatory filing.
In the year-ago period, the same stood at Rs. 301.15 crore.
In a note, auditors of MTNL have previously stated that the company’s net worth has been fully eroded.
The note said the Department of Public Enterprises has declared the company as an incipient sick Central Public Sector Enterprise and the same has been confirmed by the Department of Telecom.
The consolidated financial result of the holding company has been prepared on a going concern basis keeping in view the majority stake of the government, the note said.
In July 2022, the Union Cabinet approved raising of sovereign guarantee bonds for MTNL for an amount of Rs 17,571 crore for the next two financial years.
On August 8, Bharti Airtel revealed that consolidated revenue from operations rose to Rs. 32,805 crore in the June quarter. The telecom operator reported a 22.2 percent increase in quarterly revenue, on the back of new 4G subscriber additions and increased data consumption.
A month ago, India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio Infocomm reported a nearly 24 percent year-on-year rise in its standalone net profit to Rs. 4,335 crore for the June 2022 quarter. Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio clocked revenue from operations of Rs. 21,873 crore in the just-ended quarter, which was 21.5 percent higher than the year-ago period, according to a filing.
5G Will Help Overcome Connectivity Barriers Faced by India
Four days of intense bidding and India’s leading telcos and other entities committed over $19 billion (roughly Rs. 1,50,460 crore) in the 5G auctions initiated by the government of India. A total 72 GHz of radio waves worth at least $54 billion (roughly Rs. 4,27,600 crore) had been on offer for sale in the world’s second-largest telecom market. The excitement for 5G is palpable and comes at a time when both urban and rural are neck to neck when it comes to driving growth in internet users – at 351 million versus 341 million respectively. A recent report by IAMAI and data analytics firm Kantar has revealed that while rural internet penetration has increased to 37 percent in 2021, urban penetration has remained between 66 percent – 69 percent since 2019.
5G services are expected to be rolled out as early as September this year and there is both enterprise and consumer excitement around the rollout. Riding on the back of gigabit speeds – expected to be around 10x of current 4G speeds, 5G is expected to deliver enhanced user experience, as well as help create new business models and services, in addition to improving network performance, and reliability. 5G also comes at a time when satellite broadband is coming into its own – led by global brands such as OneWeb (owned by Intelsat and Bharti Airtel), Elon Musk’s Starlink and Amazon’s Project Kuiper and will provide competition to terrestrial networks especially in remote regions where terrestrial networks have operational challenges.
While the two technologies can complement each other (satellite broadband is used to provide backhaul services to terrestrial networks), the two will also compete with one another specific to providing high speed data services to enterprises and subsequently, even to individual households. While it stands to reason that 5G networks will benefit individual subscribers, it will also provide a plethora of connectivity options to enterprises as well – enabling them to offer a host of connected services to customers that was simply not possible with 4G networks earlier. Examples of this could be sectors linked to IoT networks, connected vehicles and traffic systems, or advanced mobile cloud gaming.
So, what makes 5G significantly superior to previous generation networks? As the fifth-generation cellular network, 5G can offer speeds that are up to 100x faster than that offered by previous generation 4G networks – this in turn will give rise to new opportunities for both individuals and enterprises. This ultra-fast connectivity combines with ultra-low latency and higher bandwidth and will help advance societies, transform industries and dramatically enhance day-to-day experiences.
5G’s low latency and high bandwidth speeds offer improved support for real-time applications and data-rich mobile apps, thereby resulting in better overall UX.
While the 5G auctions have just happened in India, 2022 actually marks two years since 5G was launched. Elsewhere and in India as well, its transformative effects on communication and connectivity will only be felt when legacy 4G/LTE networks are completely done away with. The possibilities are endless – a world where cars never have accidents; a world where diabetic patients can use technology to monitor their health round-the-clock with real time interventions if needed; where smart homes, smart factories and even smart cities become the norm and not the exception – 5G can be the catalyst that enables all this and more.
A new development enabled by the government when auctioning 5G spectrum, which will have profound impact on private industry is the enablement of highly secure and private networks. These are networks that will be leveraged for use by a single operator and not for the public. It could be a manufacturing organisation, a logistics operator or an infrastructure company (such as an organisation that manages airports) or any other enterprise that has mission critical operations that require 24-7, always-on and reliable connectivity – where any bandwidth downtime is unacceptable. This is where a private network would be the ideal option to go with. While this isn’t unique to 5G and can also be deployed leveraging 4G LTE and satellite broadband, 5G with its high latency, higher speeds and higher bandwidth will be more compatible and better suited for third party operations.
The area where 5G will be transformative is on the Internet of Things (IoT) domain. Though 4G/LTE is currently being used to support industry and consumer IoT applications, 5G has key advantages which cannot be matched by the earlier cellular technologies. The domain where it will be most applicable is meters, tracking devices and sensors that are currently the most widely used IoT devices. By 2022, Ericsson suggests that over 29 billion connected devices will be using 5G with 18 billion of these being IoT related.
As more people are coming online, devices are consuming more amount of data than ever, which has become the topmost issue for telecom operators as it crams the bands of the radio frequency spectrums. 5G will overcome this barrier through network slicing, which will allow operators to “slice” up resources wherein they will be able to share more idle resources and increase overall usage. Thus, operators will have better utilisation of their networks and would be able to handle more users and transfer more data simultaneously. Security, a primary concern for both carriers and businesses, is the other area where 5G will have an upper hand when compared to legacy networks. 5G architecture is designed to provide opportunities for better and more granular security capabilities on the carrier side. It addresses threats faced by 4G/3G/2G networks and its security architecture enables significant performance benefits and diversity of applications as it utilises network slicing, cloud-based resources, and virtualization. Another powerful impact 5G brings is that it is capable of protecting customer identity meaning that individual connections are better safeguarded from rogue devices that might try to capture phone calls by mimicking cell towers. Understanding these new security measures will be critical to ensuring businesses build better, more comprehensive and secure services.
Overall speaking, telecom operators and businesses are now better positioned to reap the benefits 5G brings that can improve mobile communications. The long-term advantages of 5G will outweigh the disadvantages of 5G, and the technology is bound to introduce new opportunities for businesses to become more agile and competitive over time.
The author is the CEO, Realme India, VP, Realme, and President, Realme International Business Group.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. Gadgets 360 is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Gadgets 360 and Gadgets 360 does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
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