That ‘Alien Megastructure’ Star Just Kicked Into Action Again, And Scientists Are Freaking Out

That ‘Alien Megastructure’ Star Just Kicked Into Action Again, And Scientists Are Freaking Out

The strangest star in the universe soon recovered its efforts, researchers reporting that its light began to darken strange – just as it did two years ago when he baffled scientists of their uneven light emissions.

This time, we are witnessing the ongoing research, because over the weekend, astronomers began to run on Twitter, telling everyone: a telescope big enough to agree on the star and help them understand what it’s happening.
In late 2015, a team of astronomers led by Tabetha Boyajian of Yale University noticed something peculiar – a strange light pattern surrounding the star that no one could explain now.

One of the best ways for scientists to locate and study distant stars is to follow the path they emit light – light and glow periodic gaps can reveal the existence of one or more large objects in orbit regularly .

These immersions in brightness are usually very light, stars usually reduce to less than 1% every few days, weeks or months, depending on the size of the orbiting planets.

The 2015 models were so bizarre that they even led a scientist who suggests the possibility of “getting alien” as a Dyson sphere has broken its broadcasts.

“Foreigners should always be the last case you are considering,” said Jason Wright, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University, in the Atlantic at the time, “but it seemed like something that’s just waiting for an extraterrestrial civilization buildup.”

Others suggested comet swarms, the remaining feces of a devoured planet, or even a scenario in which KIC 8462852 is so deformed, becomes a form that gives it a greater radius at the equator than on poles, but none has been widely Accepted by the scientific community.

The problem was the lack of data – it is more than enough to test or reject the deployment scenarios.

“We embarrassed ourselves in a place where we could do nothing,” Boyajian told the Verge. “We had all the data we could, and to learn more, we had to catch it again.”

Humanity’s ‘doomsday’ seed vault is probably still safe

Humanity’s ‘doomsday’ seed vault is probably still safe

On Friday, a multitude of alarming newsletters emerged

on Svalbard’s Global Seed Vault. Apparently, the water had violated this type of “security” of the planet’s seeds that are supposed to protect the food supply of the earth in the case of a “judgment day” scenario.

The alleged failure of the vault, buried deep in the Arctic slope, occurred after warmer than usual temperatures, which caused the formation of a permafrost layer, “sending cast water that gushes into the entrance tunnel” and Assuming the collection of the world’s most diverse crop seeds at risk, according to the Guardian.

“The seeds of the Arctic fortress of the world flooded after permafrost pétrissement,” the newspaper said.

“Doomsday dome of Arctic Seeds flooded. Thank you, global warming,” said Wired.

Although the water has exceeded the threshold of the vault, no seeds were damaged. However, a spokesman for Statsbygg – a group advising the Norwegian government, which owns the safe – warned that it would be a matter of time before they were.

“A lot of water occurred early in the tunnel, then it froze on the ice, so it was like a glacier when it arrived,” said spokesman Statsbygg, Heja Njaa Aschim in The Guardian of the Water Rape.

Saturday Statsbygg looked back at some of these comments in a statement posted on the secure website. Yes, there was a “water intrusion depending on the season” on the outside of the seed vault, but the group was already taking precautionary measures to improve the external tunnel to prevent future events.

“The seeds in the seed vault were never threatened and will remain safe during the implementation of measures,” the statement said.

According to the statement, proposed improvements include the removal of heat sources such as a transformer station, tunnel and the construction of drainage ditches on the side of the mountain to prevent accumulation of the water melting around the entrance. In addition, the waterproof walls were built inside the tunnel. Finally, being “better than cure” said Statsbygg researchers will monitor the development of permafrost in Svalbard.

“The seeds are safe and sound,” wrote the Crop Trust, an international non-profit group that helped establish Svalbard’s vault in 2008.

So who is it? Is that part of the water leaked in a safe “to safety test” is not serious? Or are we as a human race condemned to die, starve and cross, in case of global catastrophe?

The answer is measured. Representatives of Statsbygg and Crop Trust did not immediately respond to an interview request via e-mail Saturday. However, Confianza crops resumed an article twice in Popular Science magazine on Saturday, which seemed to indicate that the situation was not as serious as initially reported.
“In my experience, it was not the water intrusion into the face of the tunnel every year,” said Cary Fowler, an American farmer who helped create the seed vault. Although he was not in the vault watching the incident, he noted that “flooding” was probably not the most accurate word to describe what happened.

“The tunnel was never designed to be water resistant in the front because I do not think we would need it,” Fowler said in Popular Science. “What happens in the summer, the permafrost melts and the water, and when it goes, it freezes. Usually, it is not far.”

However, this does not mean that the underlying cause of warming of permafrost temperatures – should be ignored.

“At the end of the day, we have to realize that, in a sense, everything is relative to this initiative,” Fowler magazine said. “This whole planet is warming up, and that includes Svalbard.”

Global warming has been particularly notable in Arctic regions, and the melting of permafrost is only one consequence; The other includes the melting of larger glaciers, which could result in a dramatic rise in sea level, as reported by Chris Mooney of the post.

On Friday, a multitude of alarming newsletters emerged on Svalbard’s Global Seed Vault. Apparently, the water had violated this type of “security” of the planet’s seeds that are supposed to protect the food supply of the earth in the case of a “judgment day” scenario.

The alleged failure of the vault, buried deep in the Arctic slope, occurred after warmer than usual temperatures, which caused the formation of a permafrost layer, “sending cast water that gushes into the entrance tunnel” and Assuming the collection of the world’s most diverse crop seeds at risk, according to the Guardian.

“The seeds of the Arctic fortress of the world flooded after permafrost pétrissement,” the newspaper said.

“Doomsday dome of Arctic Seeds flooded. Thank you, global warming,” said Wired.

Although the water has exceeded the threshold of the vault, no seeds were damaged. However, a spokesman for Statsbygg – a group advising the Norwegian government, which owns the safe – warned that it would be a matter of time before they were.

“A lot of water occurred early in the tunnel, then it froze on the ice, so it was like a glacier when it arrived,” said spokesman Statsbygg, Heja Njaa Aschim in The Guardian of the Water Rape.

Saturday Statsbygg looked back at some of these comments in a statement posted on the secure website. Yes, there was a “water intrusion depending on the season” on the outside of the seed vault, but the group was already taking precautionary measures to improve the external tunnel to prevent future events.

“The seeds in the seed vault were never threatened and will remain safe during the implementation of measures,” the statement said.

According to the statement, proposed improvements include the removal of heat sources such as a transformer station, tunnel and the construction of drainage ditches on the side of the mountain to prevent accumulation of the water melting around the entrance. In addition, the waterproof walls were built inside the tunnel. Finally, being “better than cure” said Statsbygg researchers will monitor the development of permafrost in Svalbard.

“The seeds are safe and sound,” wrote the Crop Trust, an international non-profit group that helped establish Svalbard’s vault in 2008.

So who is it? Is that part of the water leaked in a safe “to safety test” is not serious? Or are we as a human race condemned to die, starve and cross, in case of global catastrophe?

The answer is measured. Representatives of Statsbygg and Crop Trust did not immediately respond to an interview request via e-mail Saturday. However, Confianza crops resumed an article twice in Popular Science magazine on Saturday, which seemed to indicate that the situation was not as serious as initially reported.
“In my experience, it was not the water intrusion into the face of the tunnel every year,” said Cary Fowler, an American farmer who helped create the seed vault. Although he was not in the vault watching the incident, he noted that “flooding” was probably not the most accurate word to describe what happened.

“The tunnel was never designed to be water resistant in the front because I do not think we would need it,” Fowler said in Popular Science. “What happens in the summer, the permafrost melts and the water, and when it goes, it freezes. Usually, it is not far.”

However, this does not mean that the underlying cause of warming of permafrost temperatures – should be ignored.

“At the end of the day, we have to realize that, in a sense, everything is relative to this initiative,” Fowler magazine said. “This whole planet is warming up, and that includes Svalbard.”

Global warming has been particularly notable in Arctic regions, and the melting of permafrost is only one consequence; The other includes the melting of larger glaciers, which could result in a dramatic rise in sea level, as reported by Chris Mooney of the post.

Climate change is increasingly turning Antarctica green

Climate change is increasingly turning Antarctica green

The mental image that most of us have of Antarctica is a marked earth gelatin, white as far as the eye can see. But according to new research it might not be the case in the future as the continent becomes more and more green in response to rising temperatures. Researchers at the University of Exeter have taken moss banks of core samples along the Antarctic Peninsula and found that biological activity has increased dramatically in the last 50 years or so.

The study follows the previous work of the team in 2013, which revealed that the warming of the periodic region causes changes in ecology which are largely unprecedented parts. However, although this study focused only on the southern part of the Antarctic Peninsula, this time the team sampled a greater number of sites and found even more consistent results at all times.

“This gives us a much clearer picture of the scale of these changes,” says Matthew Amesbury, lead author of the study. “Previously, we had identified such a response in one place at the southern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, but we now know that moss banks respond to recent climate change across the peninsula.”

The annual average temperatures rising in the region of about 0.5 ° C (0.9 ° F) every decade since the 1950s, the Antarctic peninsula is one of the fastest places on earth. To study the effect it might have on the weakness of plant life calling the continent home, the Exeter team has sampled the basic foam benches. With the deepest sections dating back 150 years, these samples have a detailed picture of biological activity during this period.

As we have seen in the previous study, this biological activity has increased rapidly in the last 50 years. But this time, five samples were taken at three sites – Elephant Island, Ardley Island and Green Island – located 600 km (373 miles). Even at this distance, the samples showed very consistent results, indicating that these changes apply to a much wider area than previously thought.

“The temperature increases in approximately the last half century in the Antarctic Peninsula have had a dramatic effect on foam banks in the region, with a rapid increase in growth and microbial activity,” said Dan Charman, lead researcher of the study. “If this continues, and with increasing amounts of land without permanent ice receding glaciers, the Antarctic Peninsula will be a much greener place in the future.”

In the future, the team plans to expand its study of foam cores for thousands of years to get a long-term picture of Antarctica’s ecology dating back to before human activity begins to have an impact on the climate.

New workout suit by MIT breathes out body’s heat, sweat

New workout suit by MIT breathes out body’s heat, sweat

MIT scientists have designed an exercise suit with breathable ventilation valves that open and close in response to the heat and sweat of an athlete. These components, ranging from the thumbnail image to the size of the fingers align with the microbial cells that shrink and grow in response to changes in living moisture.
The cells act as sensors and small actuators, causing the fins to open when athlete sweat and retains when the body cools.
Researchers have also fabricated a running shoe with an inner layer similar to the flaps of the cells to get out of the air humidity and discharge. Moisture sensitive cells require no additional elements to detect and respond to moisture. The microbial cells they use have also been found to be safe to touch and even to consume.
In the study published in the journal Advances Science, researchers designed moisture-sensitive cells not only to pull open blinds, but also illuminated in response to moisture conditions.
“We can combine our cells with genetic tools to introduce other characteristics of these living cells,” said Wen Wang, a former Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) scientist in the United States.
“We use fluorescence as an example, which allows people to know it again in the dark. In the future, we can combine the aroma release capabilities through genetic engineering. So maybe after after having done The gym, the shirt can release a pleasant odor to the smell, “Wang said.
The researchers first worked with the most common non-pathogenic E. coli strain, which has been shown to swell and shrink in response to changes in moisture.
We then designed the cells to express the green fluorescent protein, which allows the cell to glow when it detects moisture conditions. It then uses a cell printing method that previously developed for E. coli printing on the rough and natural latex sheets.

The team printed parallel lines of E. coli cells on the latex sheets, creating two-layer structures and exposing the tissue to changing wet conditions.
When the tissue was placed on a heating plate for drying, the cells began to reduce, which caused the surface layer of latex to curl. When the tissue is then exposed to vapor, the cells began to glow and expand, causing the elasticity of the latex.
After undergoing 100 wet / dry cycles, Wang said that the fabric had “no dramatic deterioration” either in its cell layer or in its overall performance.
The researchers worked on bio-cloth in a portable garment design of a racing suit with latex fins stamped cells on the back of the suit lined up.
“People may think that heat and sweat are the same, but in fact, some areas like the lower spine produce a lot of sweat, but not a lot of heat,” said Yao Liner, a former student Graduated from MIT.

NASA names newly discovered organism after APJ Abdul Kalam

NASA names newly discovered organism after APJ Abdul Kalam

In the incredible news for India, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has decided to name a newly discovered body after one of the oldest ancient Indian presidents APJ Abdul Kalam.
The new body, a type of bacteria found on the International Space Station (ISS). NASA’s premier Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is working on the interplanetary voyage. The researchers discovered this new bacterium, which they called kalamii Solibacillus in honor of the late president of India, in the filters of the ISS.

APJ Abdul Kalam, himself an eminent aerospace scientist, had trained at NASA in 1963. This was before setting up the first kneading facility to launch in India at Thumba in Kerala. According to the Hindu, the principal investigator in biotechnology and global projection group at JPL, Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran said:

ISS had the insect filter discovered on board for 40 months. The filter in which it was found is the anti-particulate with high efficiency filter (HEPA) and is part of the routine cleaning system in the ISS. The analysis was then performed on the filter in the JPL and the results were published only this year in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

Venkateswaran mentions how bacteria and fungi coincide with station astronauts living and working at the ISS. He also said that even if bacteria has not been found on Earth, it can not be called an extraterrestrial life form. According to the Economic Times, he said,

Calling all Hyderabad starters! The unit’s economy and customer experience are key areas that can make or break its start-up. Join the yourstory Meetup on “Building a Customer-centric Business” and how your start-up can win this special advantage

Dalit meal row: BJP says allegations on Yeddyruppa ‘politically motivated’

Reducing allegations against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief BS Yeddyurappa to take breakfast offered at a nearby hotel in a Tumakuru Dalit home, the BJP, while defending its leader, said the allegations were purely political. “Congress and the JD (T) are losing ground in Karnataka, and to make up for it, they make accusations against Yeddyurappa. BJP leader, S Prakash, ANI says here. Due to the efforts of the former head of government in raising the socially backwards strata in the state, Prakash said the former has always propagated social harmony, rather than gaining support only as a means of “voting policy bank “. “During his tenure as CM Yeddyurappa he has put in place some 25 to 30 schemes for the well-being of castes and registered tribes, it is this popularity that is led by the opposition.” I am sure that the Dalit community is not well understood, “he added. During his visit in the Tumakuru district Friday, the former prime minister who was accompanied by other members of the group visited the residence of a Dalit family where he ate “idle” in a nearby hotel and not the food prepared by the family, inviting the Problems of promotion and the cast of untouchable discrimination. The creation of his act triggers negativity in the community, a young man from the family filed a complaint with the police.
In rejecting family-infringement claims, a spokesman for the BJP painted the allegations as a political movement, adding that those who raised the issue should apologise immediately to the family.
Yeddyurappa had received bullet-proofs in a similar situation early in Tumakuru, where it was photographed eating “unused flavour” among the Dalits to Gubbi.

Aircel-Maxis: After ED, CBI moves Delhi HC on dropping charges against Marans

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Monday brought the Supreme Court against a Delhi charge to bring charges against former telecom minister, Dayanidhi Maran and other defendants in the Aircel-Maxis agreement. The Central Investigation Agency has done in court within two days of the Directorate of enforcement (ED) have been brought before the courts to challenge the same opinion. Recite ES Mehta, before introducing the subject, requested an answer Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran and others who have been released from their accusations. The former Grover appearing by CBI has requested that the case be heard by the emergency department. For similar commands, it would be adopted in both cases. On February 2, a special IWC court has issued an order to all the defendants – effectively giving Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and another coup to possess indictments to the CPI and erectile dysfunction. If Aircel-Maxis is related to allegations that, as Minister of Telecommunications, Dayanidhi Maran has used his influence to force Aircel’s owner, C. Sivasankaran, to sell his stake in Maxis Communications Berhad, led by T Ananda Krishnan. This would have been done instead of investing in Malaysian society by an arm in Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd. Dayanidhi Maran is one of the direct solar developers and was Minister of Telecommunications in 2004-2007. The CBI had filed an opposition lawsuit against the Maran brothers, Ralph Marshall, owner T. Ananda Krishnan of Maxis and four companies – Sun television direct, Astro All Asia PLC networks, Maxis Communications Berhad and South Asia Entertainment Holdings Ltd in Malaysia . Marshall was the CEO of Astro All Asian Networks.
They were charged with offenses punishable under section 120-B (criminal association) of the IPC and under the relevant provisions of the 1988 Act on the Prevention of Corruption.

Hassan Rouhani bullish after re-election: But does the President of Iran have any real powers?

However, he remains a member of the conservative Association of Clergy Combatants, although his position on demonstrators seems to have matured in recent years. Rouhani has always tried to rebuild relations with the United States and became the first Iranian leader to speak to his counterpart in Washington when Barack Obama phoned in September 2013.
It was never an illusion about the difficulties of the relationship, telling US journalists in 2002: “America is not willing to independent countries … America is interested in countries that go completely and act in accordance with the requirements of States United “.
It is therefore not surprising that the conservative establishment rooted in Iran – especially in the judiciary and the elite of the Revolutionary Guards – remains deeply suspicious of Rouhani’s involvement in civil liberties and the establishment of ties with West. “Unelected institutions try to prevent Rouhani from implementing its reform program,” said Clement Therme, an Iranian analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “Therefore, it will focus on the economic aspect. If the daily life of the population improves, it will be in a stronger position to push for structural reforms in civil rights.”
Fixing the economy will not be easy. Despite a nuclear deal with world powers, Washington still maintains a series of sanctions that scare global banks and foreign investors.
US President Donald Trump went further, threatening to break the nuclear deal and visit Iran’s ambitious regional rival Saudi Arabia this weekend, where he signed an 110 billion dollars in weapons to target qualified “evil Iranian influence” in the region.
However, the governments of Europe and Asia are determined to keep the nuclear agreement alive and make the most of the lucrative investment opportunities in Iran. They are encouraged by the victory of Rouhani hardly Ebrahim Raisi, who had threatened a tougher approach and more island foreign relations.
“Many investors who had heard for three months suddenly called me on the phone this morning. Some are already booking their tickets,” said Farid Tierramuerta, international adviser to the Organization of Iranian privatisation, after results have announced on Saturday. “Rouhani pursues more actively his economic program: investing in factories, production and absorption of foreign capital I think it will make his office more youthful and aged,” he said.

COVERSTORY BSNL/Bharti Reliance Tata Reliance Vodafone Idea Aircel Trik

more evolved for 4G, while Jio ini­tially took on 2,300 MHz. Only later did Jio apply and securel,800 MHz in the auction of February 2014 by paying Rs 11,100 crore as spectrum fees. In the auction this year in March, Jio secured spectrum in the 800 MHz band for another Rs 10,100 crore. The spectrum auction fees are not paid in one go, but is spread over the licence period. And yet, it is still a substantial cost to op­erators and the reason why their in­vestment in infrastructure is low.

Jio employees say they have been able to integrate the 1,800 MHz and 2,300 MHz bands for rolling out their services. Industry sources say this integration is not easy and is a technology challenge. Industry ob­servers say the company is still work­ing on the integration of800 MHz, while the 1,800 MHz and 2,300 MHz integration is complete. This means the rollout will not be a big one of both voice and data across the country. The first phase will be in those 13 circles in which Jio has both 1,800 MHz and 2,300 MHz. This will be followed later with a rollout in circles where Jio has just 800 MHz.

Data Is King

Jio may roll out over the coming years and cover 800 cit­ies, but it is not seen as a challenge for voice services. Its biggest advantage is that it is a data network and offers far superior speed than anything else (The Thrills of Speed).

Data revenues are growing fast for all the operators. In

RISING RETURNS

Data revenues are growing fastforalloperators

fact, the smaller operators with lim­ited circles sell more data packages than voice. For instance, if you notice the advertising of Sistema Shyam Teleservices, which sells telecom ser­vices under the brand name MTS, you would think it is an Internet ser­vice provider, selling dongles. Simi­larly, Tata-DoCoMo also positioned itself as a data service provider. Air- tel’s data revenue as a percentage of total mobile revenue is in the range of 16 per cent to 17 per cent and growing much faster than its voice revenues. Every operator is witness­ing a similar growth in data volumes and revenues. This is the low hang­ing fruit that Jio is expected to capture by becoming the second SIM in existing handsets. Consumers may con­tinue to use voice with their existing providers, but for heavy data usage they will shift to a Jio SIM.

Which is why one of the first apps that Jio launched is a WhatsApp clone called, uninspiringly, Jio Chat. The app allows users to video chat, besides a few other bells and whistles. It may not have caught popular attention but it did trigger an action from operators, who first began fa­vouring some apps and choking bandwidth for others. While the issue was labelled as a Net Neutrality battle, it was really more of a peremptory strike by incumbents against Jio’s app-based strategy.

Jio’s strategy is not just about apps; it includes a combi­
nation of products and services. Jio Chat is an example of one such product, which can be downloaded on any phone and can work with any operator, though to realise its true potential you might need a second SIM card from Jio.

Breaking Out In Hotspots

A similar product is offering broadband wi-fi services in select locations. Jio has been studying user behaviour pat­terns in Ahmedabad by offering broadband wi-fi services in six-eight locations. These services are in malls and open public spaces. The company may offer more such hotspots to let people experience Jio services.

Wi-fi is an important area for all telecom operators. Vodafone, Airtel and even Idea seem to be developing hot­spots or working with wi-fi operators. Jio is using a blend of LTE and wi-fi networks to provide connectivity in select spots, but this will only proliferate. It is working with state governments and city authorities to provide wi-fi services, according to the Reliance Industries annual report for 2014-15.

 

RAMPING UP APPS        Another product that Jio is

Jio s WhatsApp clone, Jio planning to launch is My-fi, a Chat, triggered action       „              …             , . , , .

from rival operators               small credit card-sized device

that one can carry to create small wi-fi zones. This is a product for todays digital connected- everywhere generation. Jio officials confirm the device ex­ists and there are pictures of it floating online. The pricing for My-Fi is said to be Rs 1,800-2,000 but this is conjec­ture. Technically, people could use their existing phones combined with My-Fi to make voice or video calls, pro­vided the data charges are low; so low that users won’t think about their consumption patterns while using it.

High-speed broadband connectivity over fibre and wireless-to-home is another product that the company is developing, according to its annual report and other
sources. One of its breakthrough products uses a micro base station installed outside the home. This will provide a number of services. Technically, this base station can provide video content for IP-enabled TVs and of course, broadband into the house. This is expected to disrupt DTH service providers, who are the only HD quality TV services providers.

Jio has also developed a bigger version of its micro base station to service a whole colony. This unnamed station can also function as a wi-fi hub like the GBM towers. It is small enough to be placed on an electric pole and has been developed by Cisco under its small cell network. It covers a radius of50-60 metres.

Within its content services, Jio is also planning to launch a set-top box that can replace existing DTH boxes. With these, one can watch the past seven days of pro­gramming from the cloud. It also allows people to buy and download movies and keep them in the cloud to watch later. To make this possible the company has invested in a data centre to host these services. While the size and ca­pacity of the centres is not known, its existence gives Jio a big edge and pitches them against not just telecom opera­tors, but also digital services providers like Googles You­Tube or even Facebook’s WhatsApp Messenger. Both these Internet companies are not able to offer high quality HD content as their data centres are outside the country.

The data centre is also important as Jio is offering VoLTE that perforce requires a telecom cloud. Sandeep Girotra of Nokia says, “For VoLTE to successfully take off in India, an underlying IMS (IP multimedia systems) net­work is a must. This also requires a gradual shift towards Telco Cloud, where many of the IMS infrastructure can be on a cloud platform, making it faster and easier for new applications like VoLTE to be deployed.”

As for Airtel’s plans to bundle content along with its 4G service, Srini Gopalan says: “Differentiating telecom ser­vices using content is old school. There are obvious limita­tion of both content and bandwidth here. There is a short­age of spectrum and till it is resolved it is not possible to realise the potential of mobile broadband.”

Airtel is not the only sceptic. Other companies like Vodafone and Idea are also not following a strategy to seed the market with both content and devices. Jio, as a pioneer, has to create the market and has no choice but to shoot the arrows and scare away competition. It is also hoping that the seeds it has been sowing for so long, will give it a rich harvest soon. ED

  1. Yatish Rajawat is a smiorjournalist based in Delhi

& @yatiskrajawat For more on telecom, visit www.businessworld.in

HE ROLLOUT OF RELIANCE JIO’S 4G SERVICE this time may cause ripples, but not waves or a tsunami as the entry of Reliance Infocomm had caused in 2001, supported by distortions in policy framework then. There have been massive expectations in the tele­com sector ever since Reliance Industries (RIL) acquired a majority stake in Infotel Broadband, which won pan-India broadband wireless access (BWA) licenses in the 2010 auction. The expectations have hinged on Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance’s re-entry into the telecom space through Reliance Jio Infocomm. The Reliance group’s foray into the mobile segment in 2001 via Reliance Infocomm had challenged and practically trans­formed the country’s telecom landscape through its market-disruptive strategies through blatant policy manipulations and large-scale operations. Back then, Reliance was instru­mental in introducing various offerings at dirt-cheap prices, which went on to revolution­ise wireless growth in India. The industry, experts and users are now expecting a very similar wave to sweep the broadband segment.

Coming to the positive side, Reliance Jio does have several inherent strengths as a com­pany. It always had the financial backing of RIL, one of the largest business entities in the country. Due to this, the company always had sizeable resources and in the past, it has been a market changer with disruptive marketing strategies. That is no longer a plus

point, when incumbents too are well entrenched, tech­nologically and financially. In the past three to four years, Reliance has managed to build up significant ca­pacity. It has a fairly large and geographically well- spread network and Reliance has always seemed to maintain cordial relations with top government offi­cials. Somehow, whenever someone decides to analyse its history, they realise that various policies were tweaked to favour them from time to time.

Reliance Jio aims to become India’s largest telecom player within three years of its service launch and to break even by the end of the third year of operations, many believe that Reliance Jio can change the pecking order in the world’s second-largest telecom market. But personally, we feel there are some major obstacles that Reliance Jio might be facing at the entry level. The po­tential challenges are very basic in nature, i.e. a weak device ecosystem, lack of backhaul network support and issues related to the low density of 4G networks. The al­ready saturated urban voice market and the incum­bents’ underutilised 3G networks will definitely pose challenges. Passive infrastructure sharing with existing incumbents will help Reliance Jio in the short-term only, but pan-India service strategy will require the es­tablishment of new towers and cables, leading to huge capital expenditures.

We believe that while the company may want to adopt the strategy of disruptive pricing again, the scenario has changed significantly over the past decade or so. Cus­tomers are more educated and spoilt now. They would need a strong reason to switch from one operator to an­other. Either the quality of service being offered by Reli­ance Jio has to be the key differentiator or the price strategy of the service has to be extremely attractive for majority Indians. However, this doesn’t seem to be an easy task in the ruthless telecom market that currently