India

India’s state-owned 4G carrier to stop getting gear from Huawei, ZTE

India wants to actively reduce dependence on China

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India’s Department of Telecommunication (DoT) is set to ask state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to stop using Chinese telecom gear in its 4G up-gradation process. While the current boycott is limited to 4G equipment right now, it could cover future wireless standards like 5G as well.

A report in NDTV said it has been decided that BSNL will be asked not to use Chinese equipment in up-gradation to 4G networks.

However, the most interesting part is, DoT is also considering the inclusion of private operators to avoid Chinese gear from companies like Huawei and ZTE.

The anti-China sentiment is at an all-time high in India right now. The Indian and Chinese armies are engaged in a standoff in Galawan Valley, Eastern Ladakh. The mountainous region has no particularly drawn border and regular patrols of both the countries mutually ensure the Line of Actual Control is respected (LAC).

However, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese troops on Monday evening. For the first time in five decades, a fatality has been reported in the region. With an ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the anti-China sentiment was on the rise and people were already trending topics that discouraged the use of Chinese products.

Huawei has been in a pickle for a long time now. The U.S. barred the company from doing business with American counterparts and is actively lobbying allies to avoid its equipment for 5G infrastructure. The Chinese company has invested billions in the next generation of wireless communication and relies on foreign markets like India and Europe to make a mark.

India

Google to invest US$10 billion in India over 5-7 years

Tech companies are bullish about India

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Benjamin Dada on Unsplash

alAt its annual Google for India event, Google announced it will be investing INR 75,000 crore (US$ 10 billion) within the next five to seven years. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the investment will be via multiple channels. This includes direct investments, partnerships, and infrastructure.

“Investments will focus on four areas important to India’s digitization,” he said emphasizing on infrastructure.

He added that the recent pandemic has shown the need for technology and the adoption of new digital tools. Google will focus on improving internet access and offer more information in regional languages like Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, and more.

Secondly, it will focus on building new products and services that will empower India’s businesses. Leveraging AI in the fields of health, education, and agriculture is a priority.

Google added that its Internet Saathi has already helped more than 30 million women across India. It’s an initiative that strives to spread internet awareness.

The tech giant has also increased its focus on India in the last few years since the market is hugely untapped. One of its most successful launches has been Google Pay. It leverages the country’s UPI (Unified Payments Interface) to transfer money instantaneously to friends, businesses, and even online services.

Pichai lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Digital India stating that India has made huge progress.

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India

Samsung starts making smartwatches in India

Includes an entire range of 18 smartwatches

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Samsung has launched the Galaxy Watch Active 2 4G Aluminium edition in India. The Galaxy Watch Active 2 has been available in the country for quite some time, but there’s something special about the Aluminium edition.

It’s the first Samsung smartwatch to be built in India. The brand said it has started manufacturing its entire range of 18 smartwatches in India as part of the Make for India program. The company has been making phones in India for years, but wearables were usually imported.

Samsung has a huge production facility in Noida, India. Smartphones are also built for export and the plant can be expanded further depending on demand. Amid the call to avoid foreign goods, Indians are actively looking for options that are made or designed in India.

Coming to the watch, it’s priced at INR 28,490 (US$ 378) and shall be available in Cloud Silver, Aqua Black, and Pink Gold color options.

It sports a 1.4-inch Super AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass DX+ for protection. The smartwatch is IP68 certified and rated to work at a maximum pressure of up to 5ATM. It runs on Tizen OS with 1.5GB RAM and 4GB internal storage.

Once connected to a phone, it can also access the smartphone camera, videos, and use Wireless PowerShare to transfer data quickly.

It has e-SIM connectivity that enables calls, messages, and notifications on-the-go. Lastly, it’s equipped with a heart-rate sensor, ECG sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, and ambient light sensor.

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India

POCO M2 Pro launches with Snapdragon 720G, quad cameras

A Redmi Note 9 Pro look-alike?

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After becoming an independent brand, POCO has focused on the affordable segment and is gradually expanding. Today, the brand launched the POCO M2 Pro in India and it’s the most affordable phone to sport a Snapdragon 720G chipset.

The phone looks eerily similar to the Redmi Note 9 Pro. In fact, the new phone directly undermines Redmi’s offering. It’s no surprise the two brands are leveraging Xiaomi’s supply chain perfectly.

Coming back to the phone, it has a 6.7-inch Full HD+ display with a punch-hole cut-out and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 720G processor with up to 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The phone has a P2i coating that enables dust and water resistance.

On the rear is a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens, a 5-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, a 16-megapixel selfie shooter is located on the front.

It ships with POCO Launcher 2.0 out-of-the-box. Powering the phone is a 5020mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging.

The phone is available in three configurations. The first one with 4GB+64GB costs INR 13,999 (US$ 186), followed by 6GB+64GB at INR 14,999 (US$ 200), and lastly, the 6GB+128GB options goes for INR 16,999 (US$ 226). Color options are called Out of the Blue, Green and Greener, and Two Shades of Black. The phone will be up for purchase via Flipkart from July 14.

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