QBiz: Govt Targets 5G Rollout By 2020; India’s WEF Ranking

Read The Quint’s compilation of all top business stories in dailies across the country.

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Are we ready for 5G already? Photo used for representational purpose.
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1. Targeting 5G Rollout By 2020, Government Plans Rs 500-Crore Fund

The government has formed a high-level forum which will guide India to start 5G services by 2020, a technology that will deliver wireless broadband speed of about 10,000 mbps in urban areas and 1,000 mbps in rural belts, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday.

We have created a high-level 5G forum that will work on vision mission and goals of 5G service in the country. When the world will roll out 5G in 2020, I believe India will be at par with them.
Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha

In a bid to facilitate research and development activities for the 5G service rollout, the Centre is also looking to set up a Rs 500-crore support fund.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

2. Tata Group Weighs Retaining Part of Telecom Business

The Tata group is not looking to sell its telecom business in its entirety, but will retain some valuable segments within the business, said a person familiar with the company’s plans on condition of anonymity.

While the group will exit mobile telephony, a business that has been under tremendous pressure with heightened competition from new entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, it is evaluating other options for more profitable businesses such as the optic fibre unit, this person added.

“There is a lot more to Tata Teleservices than just the mobile telephony business,” the person said. “There’s a huge loss in subscriber base month-on-month and revenue reduction as well. This started ever since Reliance Jio came into existence,” this person said.

(Source: Livemint)

3. Under Investor Pressure, IDFC & Shriram to Redo Merger Formula

IDFC Ltd and the Shriram Group have decided to abandon the merger plan worked out in July this year as shareholder pressure and dilution fears force them to examine a new, less complicated structure.

People close to the situation said the two sides are planning to work on a new formula to salvage the deal that was supposed to bring two non-banking financial companies, one bank and an infrastructure finance company under one roof.

Fears of a sharp dilution in IDFC Ltd and IDFC Bank and protests by shareholders of Shriram Transport Finance (STFC) over the prospect of suffering `holding company discount’ have prevented the parties from continuing with the previous arrangement.

4. India Improves on Global Competitiveness: WEF

India remains the most competitive country in South Asia, appearing at no 40 in the global competitiveness ranking of 137 countries by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The ranking is one lower than last year’s, but the two rankings are not comparable because of a change in the methadology, the WEF said.

(Source: Livemint)

5. Navin Budhiraja, Infosys Senior VP and Head of Technology, Resigns

A little over a month after Vishal Sikka stepped down as chief executive of Infosys Ltd, another of his key lieutenants who had followed him from German software giant SAP SE to India’s second largest software services firm has resigned.

According to three people directly familiar with the development, architecture and technology head Navin Budhiraja put in his papers over the weekend – making him at least the 12th former SAP executive to have left Infosys since March last year.

A senior vice-president, Budhiraja joined Infosys in August 2014, and was one of at least 16 executives from SAP to join Infosys at the rank of associate vice-president and above.

6. GE Says Upending $2.5 Billion Rail Deal Risks Jobs in India

General Electric Co said if Indian officials walk away from a multibillion-dollar locomotive contract, the move would damage efforts to create jobs and chill foreign investment.

Altering the deal would “undermine one of the most promising infrastructure projects in the country,” GE said Tuesday by email. India may also be on the hook for “substantial fees associated with this project,” the company said.

The pointed comments underscored the stakes of possible changes to the 2015 agreement, which called for GE to establish a factory in Bihar and build 1,000 diesel locomotives for Indian Railways. 

The roughly $2.5 billion contract marked a major victory for GE Transportation, which has been struggling recently with a downturn in the market.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

7. GST Collections Slow Down in August to Rs 90,669 Crore

The government collected Rs 90,669 crore goods and services tax (GST) for August, a little lower than the Rs 94,063 crore collected in July. This is also lower than the Rs 91,000 crore which should have come to the Centre and states in a month, given the Budget Estimates and assumed growth rates in receipts for 2017-18.

Only 55 percent of assessees paid taxes for August, compared to 64 percent for July.

But, the figures should be compared cautiously. About Rs 92,283 crore GST was collected for July till 29 August, while Rs 90,669 crore was garnered till 25 September. Hence, growth in collections was flat in August, compared to July. As much as Rs 94,063 crore was paid till 31 August.

8. Telecom Moving Towards Monopoly: Anil Ambani

RCom chairman Anil Ambani said he would fight attempts to thwart the company's revival strategy and warned that the wave of consolidation in telecom would lead to a drastic reduction in choice.

From a customer-friendly, choice-driven market, (sector) is moving towards oligopoly, duopoly or potentially a monopoly. Is that something people deserve?
RCom chairman Anil Ambani

9. Paytm Mall looks to raise Rs 4,000 crore

Paytm Mall has initiated discussions to raise a fresh round of Rs 3,000-4,000 crore ($460610 million), said two people aware of the development.

“Paytm Mall is planning to close the new round of funding by end of this year and is talking to financial investors from Asia and the US,” said one of the persons.

The Noida-based etailer, in which China’s Alibaba and its payments affiliate Ant Financial own a majority stake, has ambitious growth targets as it jostles for third place in a market dominated by India’s Flipkart and the US-based Amazon.

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