India

Jio GigaFiber aims to disrupt the broadband industry in India

After rattling the wireless data industry, Jio is now eyeing broadband

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In 2016, Jio revolutionized wireless data in India after it rolled out 4G services for free in India. The initial six months saw the company offering unlimited data, voice, and text messaging services to all new users. Even after the free period ended, the pricing was and still is dirt cheap.

Before the rollout, 1GB of 4G data cost at least INR 250 (US$ 3.6) and maximum bandwidth offered by any operator was capped at 10GB per month. Jio brought down the cost to nearly INR 2 to 5 (US$ 0.03 to 0.08) per GB and offered as much as 5GB data per day. Such an offering was unheard of not just in India, but everywhere around the world. It’s no surprise Jio managed to bring in more than 100 million users within just 170 days of public launch.

Now, the Mukesh Ambani-led telecom giant aims to bring a similar revolution to India’s broadband market with the launch of GigaFiber. It is a Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband service offered to users via fixed lines that are capable of speeds as fast as 1 gigabit per second.

The company is working on rolling out services from “early November” with “disruptive price plans in the INR 500 to 700 (US$ 7.3 to 10.2) per month bracket” while offering speeds of 100Mbps up to 100GB. The company isn’t charging any installation fees, but will be taking INR 4,500 (US$ 66) as a refundable deposit.

Using the new GigaFiber services, users will be able to connect surveillance cameras, smart speakers, Wi-Fi extenders, GigaTV, and many more utilitarian devices. The company has confidently announced it can set up the devices at any domestic or commercial place within an hour and is already in talks with builders to establish infrastructure beforehand.

Starting August 15 (India’s Independence Day), interested users can start registering for GigaFiber through the MyJio app as well as Jio.com.

“Jio GigaFiber will be the largest greenfield fixed-line broadband rollout anywhere in the world, with rollout happening in 1,100 cities of India simultaneously,” Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, said at the company’s 41st Annual General Meeting.

India

How to identify counterfeit Xiaomi products

Always purchase via official channels

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Xiaomi is most popular for its smartphones, but the brand makes a wide range of other products that range from lifestyle to smart home. It has also invested in a lot of companies like Yee Light, Amazfit, Huami, and more.

Most of the quirky products are sold exclusively in its home market of China, though the brand is slowly trying to get them to other markets. Accessories like power banks and earphones are among the fastest-selling and Xiaomi is often unable to match the demand.

This has created a huge vacuum for counterfeit products. Recently, fake Xiaomi products worth INR 13 lakh (US$ 18,200) were seized by the local police in New Delhi, India. Even in Mumbai, counterfeit copies are sold widely on the streets as well as reputed offline stores.

These counterfeit products are not trust-worthy because they barely have any quality norms. Using fake copies can also be hazardous in case of powerbanks or charging bricks.

If you’ve recently purchased a Xiaomi product or intend to buy something in the future, follow these steps to ensure you’ve received a genuine offering.

  • Mi Powerbanks come with a security code that can be used to verify its authenticity. Just enter the code on Xiaomi’s website here.
  • Ensure that the packaging is original. Makers of counterfeit products are trying to replicate the original packaging, but often fail.
  • Mi Band will have no compatibility issue and will seamlessly connect to Mi Fit app.
  • Lastly, purchase products via authorised channels only. These include Mi.com, Mi Stores, and Mi Partner Stores.

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India

Vivo V17 launches with quad-cameras and Snapdragon 675

But is it better than Xiaomi or Realme’s offering?

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Vivo’s V-series has been a top-seller for a few years and the brand has positioned it perfectly in the midrange segment. The brand unveiled the phone in India today and it’ll be going up against the Redmi Note 8 Pro, Realme XT, and Nokia 7.2.

The phone’s unique selling point is its quad-camera setup on the rear, a punch-hole camera on the front, and 4500mAh battery. It’s elder sibling — the Vivo V17 Pro, has already been launched in the Philippines and we expect it to come to India soon.

On the front is a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with better screen-to-body ratio thanks to a punch-hole cutout. Other additions include a blue-light filter and a wide color gamut.

Powering the phone is a Snapdragon 675 processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. Similar to other phones in the segment, it also gets a microSD card slot and dual SIM support.

The rear sports a quad-camera setup consisting of a 48-megapixel primary lens, an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. The punch-hole cutout houses a 32-megapixel selfie camera. Night mode is now supported on the front as well as the rear and other additions include AR stickers and portrait mode.

Backing these internals is a 4500mAh battery with Vivo’s proprietary dual-engine fast charge technology. For gaming, a dedicated mode has been provided that optimises the system and controls heating.

The phone is priced at INR 22,990 (US$ 320) and will be available for purchase from December 17 via all major online as well as offline retailers.

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India

WhatsApp could go under a government audit

1,400+ users were affected worldwide

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A few weeks ago it came to light that spyware named Pegasus had hacked more than 1,400 users worldwide via a WhatsApp vulnerability. A huge chunk of the users were from India and included prominent journalists as well as activists.

Following the revelation, the Indian government wants to conduct a security audit of WhatsApp. The government has also sent a notice to Israeli technology firm NSO Group, which had created the Pegasus spyware.

In response, WhatsApp last month sued Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group, accusing it of helping clients break into the phones. NSO has previously denied snooping allegations and said it sells technology to governments for counter-terrorism.

The Indian Computer Emergency Team (CERT-In) “sought submission of information from WhatsApp on November 9, 2019, including a need to conduct an audit and inspection of WhatsApp’s security systems and processes,” Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and IT, told parliament in a statement.

WhatsApp has responded to CERT-In’s queries and patched the vulnerability. However, the government requires further clarification.

According to a report, officials close to the matter said that the government believes that if WhatsApp’s data is stored in the country, it would have helped the authorities to carry out their own investigation related to Pegasus snooping case.

The minister said the government plans to introduce the Data Protection Bill soon, and warned companies of action if they fail to provide cybersecurity to their users.

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