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US $ 300 mln infrastructure investment to set foundation for Digital Pakistan



US $ 300 mln infrastructure investment to set foundation for Digital Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: A telecommunications infrastructure services provider would invest up to US$ 300 million in next five years to introduce innovations and support faster, better and more cost-efficient shared network throughout Pakistan.

The edotco group has already invested US $ 100 million to establish and grow local operations and planning to invest around US $ 50-60 million annually for next five years to transform the telecommunication industry towards achieving digital Pakistan ambitions with smart solutions.

Chief Executive Officer and other senior officials for edotco Group while talking to mediapersons claimed to be Pakistan’s largest independent tower operator with 850 towers to date and envisaging having 20,000 to 30,000 towers i.e. 20-30 per cent in near future to enable telecom services providers to efficiently meet their growing infrastructure requirements.

“We want to pay taxes and we need a conducive environment for investment, cost-effective infrastructure system i.e. incentives for infrastructure,” the CEO said.

The edotco official said that 3G/4G is faster in Pakistan but urged for sharing telecom infrastructure to make tower infrastructure cost-effective.

The Group is committed to laying foundations of a 5G-ready Pakistan but it requires prerequisites including fiberization, better smartphone penetration as well as spectrum availability and policies on part of government.

They said currently, around 6 percent of towers in the country are fiber connected while smartphone penetration stands at 31 per cent. 5G would help in fast technology-based facilities.

They said that with an encouraging rise in Pakistan’s smartphone penetration and increase in overall mobile and data usage, edotco sees potential to advance current telecommunication landscape to meet growing demands.

With a strong presence and committed investment in the country, edotco has reaffirmed its plans for creating an agile and future-ready telecommunications infrastructure industry in Pakistan, said edotco’s officials while sharing Group’s strategy to improve country’s telecommunications sector whilst setting foundation for a Digital Pakistan.

Moreover, they said to meet projected fivefold spike in mobile data usage, Pakistan’s telecommunications industry will need over 30,000 new tower sites by 2022, double of what it has now.

The new sites will be coverage sites to extend connectivity to rural and hard to reach areas, as well as capacity sites, to meet increasing data usage growth, as more users transition from 3G to 4G and beyond.

The Group is keen to partner with local ecosystem towards transforming telecommunications landscape. To date, edotco has invested over US $ 100 million to establish and grow its local operations.

Pakistan and Malaysia have shared a healthy bilateral relationship and we look forward to leading
way in telecommunications investment while playing a part in achieving the country’s digital agenda, they added.





Facebook says it stored ‘millions’ of unencrypted Instagram passwords



SAN FRANCISCO: “Millions” of Instagram users had their passwords stored in unencrypted form on internal servers, Facebook said Thursday, raising its original estimate of tens of thousands.

“We discovered additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format. We now estimate that this issue impacted millions of Instagram users,” Facebook said in a blog post.

“We will be notifying these users as we did the others. Our investigation has determined that these stored passwords were not internally abused or improperly accessed,” the social network said.

Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, revealed last month that the unencrypted passwords of hundreds of millions of users had been stored, putting the number of Instagram users affected in the tens of thousands.

The social network’s handling of user data has been a flashpoint for controversy since it admitted last year that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, used an app that may have hijacked the private details of 87 million users.

Facebook has announced a series of moves to tighten handling of data, including eliminating most of its data-sharing partnerships with outside companies.

The California firm reaches an estimated 2.7 billion people with its core social network, Instagram and messaging applications.







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Samsung to inspect Galaxy Fold phones after reviewer complaints



SEOUL: Samsung announced Thursday it will inspect units of its highly anticipated folding smartphone after some reviewers reported screen damage.

A handful of US-based reporters were given the flagship Galaxy Fold phones, priced at $1,980, ahead of the model’s official release next week, and they reported screen issues within days of using the devices.

“The screen on my Galaxy Fold review unit is completely broken and unusable just two days in,” Bloomberg’s Mark Gunman tweeted.

And Dieter Bohn of The Verge said: “Something happened to my Galaxy Fold screen and caused a bulge… It’s broken.”

Samsung spent nearly eight years developing the Galaxy Fold, which is part of the South Korean tech giant’s strategy to propel growth with groundbreaking gadgets.

“We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter,” Samsung said in a statement after reports of the screen damage emerged.

The firm suggested some reviewers encountered screen failures because a section of the display was removed.

“The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches,” it said.

“Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.”

Some of the reviewers, including Bloomberg’s Gunman, had removed this layer.

CNBC’s Steve Kovach said he had not, but still faced major problems with the device.

Samsung is the world’s biggest smartphone maker, and earlier this month launched the 5G version of its top-end Galaxy S10 device.

But despite the recent announcements about its new high-end devices, Samsung has warned of a more than 60 percent plunge in first-quarter operating profit in the face of weakening markets.

The firm is also no stranger to device issues.

Its reputation suffered a major blow after a damaging worldwide recall of its Galaxy Note 7 devices over exploding batteries in 2016, which cost the firm billions of dollars and shattered its global brand image.
Samsung has said it will release the Galaxy Fold as scheduled on April 26.






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Ericsson, Swisscom launch Europe’s first large scale 5G network



STOCKHOLM: Telecom equipment manufacturer Ericsson said Wednesday it had launched the first European large scale commercial 5G network together with Swiss operator Swisscom, as Ericsson posted a first quarter profit boosted by sales in North America.

The Swedish supplier of network equipment said in a statement that the 5G network, launched in 54 cities in Switzerland, had been switched on just after midnight on April 17, after Swisscom secured a license to operate a 5G network in the country.

Ericsson made the announcement as it reported a first quarter net profit of 2.4 billion kronor ($260 million, 230 million euros), compared to a net loss of 725 million kronor in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

Net sales grew to 48.9 billion kronor, up from 43.4 billion in Q1 of 2018.

Chief executive Borje Ekholm said growth had primarily been driven by sales in North America.

“To date we have publicly announced commercial 5G deals with 18 named operator customers, which, at the moment, is more than any other vendor,” Ekholm said in a statement.

Ekholm also said that as 5G technology was being rolled out, the company would continue to incur costs for field trials and they were expecting large-scale deployments of 5G to begin in parts of Asia by the end of 2019.

“Combined, this will gradually impact short-term margins but strengthen our position in the long term,” he said.

Shares in Ericsson traded up more than three percent on the Stockholm stock exchange following the release of the earnings report, hitting a four-year high in early trading on Wednesday.

Ericsson, one of Chinese telecom giant Huawei’s main rivals in the 5G market, said earlier this year it hadn’t felt any effects from US pressure on countries to ban Huawei’s equipment amid fears that it could compromise the security of the mobile phone networks.







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