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India changes telco tax laws to help carriers avoid hitting the wall
Thursday, 16 September 2021 15:33

HTTP/2 200 date: Fri, 17 Sep 2021 14:00:38 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/a7a26af3f5292bd244f1b5a0a2bd2c2009b2a472/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/ba4a58189918078cc9718a957c2d2e04c16ceeb1/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/ba4a58189918078cc9718a957c2d2e04c16ceeb1/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Fri, 17 Sep 2021 14:00:38 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy03us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 6902dca57ebefe60-SYD India changes telco tax laws to help carriers avoid hitting the wall • The Register

Moratorium offered to ease burden of $22B debts


India has re-written some of its telecommunications laws to make foreign investment easier and reduce enormous retrospective tax bills that threatened to send some carriers to the wall.

The key structural reform outlined yesterday by the government of India involves changes to a tax on carriers' Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) that offered carriers the chance to share some revenue with New Delhi rather than pay fees for operating licences. Mobile carriers, however, were taxed on revenue for services such as spectrum usage fees charged to peers, which they felt was unfair as the AGR had previously been applied to revenue for core telecoms services. Disputes over the legality of the tax spent almost a decade in the courts, and when a decision finally went the government's way it included non-core revenue and left carriers owing $22 billion in back taxes .

Most of those liabilities fell on older carriers Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, which have fought the law vigorously. Vodafone Idea has even found it hard to find investors to recapitalise its operations, due to its AGR debts.

The government has now acceded to carriers' wishes by removing non-core revenue from the definition of AGR and allowing a four-year moratorium on payments. The government has also reduced the bank guarantees telcos are required to have in place to secure AGR and licence payments by 80 per cent. Bank guarantees are effectively a liability, so reducing them makes India's telcos a better investment target.

According to the government's announcement, the reforms are "expected to boost 4G proliferation, infuse liquidity and create an enabling environment for investment in 5G networks" and help telcos as they will "provide relief by easing liquidity and cash flow.

"This will also help various banks having substantial exposure to the Telecom sector,” the announcement concludes.

The reforms will also help the storage, scanning and document management industries, as another change allows carriers to move from paper Customer Acquisition Forms to digital records. The government announcement estimates Indian carriers currently store between three and four billion such paper records. ®

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HTTP/2 200 date: Fri, 17 Sep 2021 14:00:38 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/a7a26af3f5292bd244f1b5a0a2bd2c2009b2a472/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/ba4a58189918078cc9718a957c2d2e04c16ceeb1/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/ba4a58189918078cc9718a957c2d2e04c16ceeb1/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Fri, 17 Sep 2021 14:00:38 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy03us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 6902dca57ebefe60-SYD India changes telco tax laws to help carriers avoid hitting the wall • The Register

Moratorium offered to ease burden of $22B debts


India has re-written some of its telecommunications laws to make foreign investment easier and reduce enormous retrospective tax bills that threatened to send some carriers to the wall.

The key structural reform outlined yesterday by the government of India involves changes to a tax on carriers' Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) that offered carriers the chance to share some revenue with New Delhi rather than pay fees for operating licences. Mobile carriers, however, were taxed on revenue for services such as spectrum usage fees charged to peers, which they felt was unfair as the AGR had previously been applied to revenue for core telecoms services. Disputes over the legality of the tax spent almost a decade in the courts, and when a decision finally went the government's way it included non-core revenue and left carriers owing $22 billion in back taxes .

Most of those liabilities fell on older carriers Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, which have fought the law vigorously. Vodafone Idea has even found it hard to find investors to recapitalise its operations, due to its AGR debts.

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According to the government's announcement, the reforms are "expected to boost 4G proliferation, infuse liquidity and create an enabling environment for investment in 5G networks" and help telcos as they will "provide relief by easing liquidity and cash flow.

"This will also help various banks having substantial exposure to the Telecom sector,” the announcement concludes.

The reforms will also help the storage, scanning and document management industries, as another change allows carriers to move from paper Customer Acquisition Forms to digital records. The government announcement estimates Indian carriers currently store between three and four billion such paper records. ®

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Following the logic previewed in the tender's title, the procurement is set to be split into two lots: one for "Digital Programmes" and another for "Digital Specialists."

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A paper published in Nature Machine Intelligence this week is an effort to help guide data scientists and researchers through the ethical dilemmas which present themselves when considering using information obtained from data breaches.

To kick off, Marcello Ienca, a research fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and Effy Vayena, deputy head of the Swiss Institute of Translational Medicine, offered the definition that "hacked" data is "data obtained in an unauthorized manner through illicit access to a computer or computer network." They claim it is increasingly being used in scientific research such as conflict modelling studies based on WikiLeaks datasets, and studies on sexual behaviour based on data leaked from Ashley Madison, a dating website whose database was pilfered by a group of attackers calling themselves The Impact Team in 2015.

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As with 2019 financial figures, the online retail and web services biz that until recently was led by the richest man in the world, outlined in a blog its latest full fiscal-year contribution to the British economy ahead of filing documents at Companies House, the local company repository.

The megacorp cheerfully boasted of total revenues for all of its UK "activities" standing at £20.63bn versus £13.73bn in the prior year. No divisional breakdown was given.

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Bork!Bork!Bork! Microsoft Windows sums up the spirit of many readers today, in a railway-infused bork from Manchester.

Brits have long had to endure the notoriously bad rail services, which are prone to delays and cancellations. Sometimes it gets too hot. Sometimes it gets too cold. Occasionally there is a sprinkling of leaves on the tracks.

Any or all of this can result in the rail services "doing a Windows", which in this case means inconveniently shutting down.

Continue readingSo I’ve scripted a life-saving routine. Pah. What really matters is the icon I give it J’appuie sur le starter et voici que je quitte la terre

Something for the Weekend, Sir? Mute the mic. Hide the webcam. Freeze the shared screen. Enable Delivery Mode!

I have been practising all week for this moment. Once the alarm sounds, the process need to be as slick as a Thunderbirds-are-go launch sequence. In fact, each time I run through the steps I find myself humming the uplifting theme music – by preference, the 1960s ending credits version performed by the Barry Gray Orchestra. Although this version doesn't include the incongruous sleazy sax halfway through, it features an epic brass James Bond-style sign-off.

Excuse the cliché but one might call it "iconic’".

Continue readingRelics from the early days of the Sinclair software scene rediscovered at museum during lockdown sort-out Remember when a games developer could be one guy with a ZX Spectrum?

We like a bit of digital archaeology at Vulture Central so we were delighted to learn that retro-computing enthusiasts at Swindon's Museum of Computing have found games by Dymond Software that were once thought lost.

The games, for ZX81 and ZX Spectrum, were published in the early 1980s by Dumfriesshire-based Dymond Software, a family-run enterprise with Roger Dymond behind the rubber keys of Sinclair's hardware.

As with many of us, Dymond started out with a ZX81 and was soon churning out software for the plastic slab, even as he waited for his shiny new ZX Spectrum to arrive. Compared to the '81, the Spectrum was a revelation. Dymond was quick to put the capabilities of the machine to work with his 1982 game, Roulette.

Continue readingElectron-to-joule conversion formulae? Cute. Welcome to the school of hard knocks Shake, rattle and roll is incompatible with your PABX

On Call There are some things they don't teach you in college, as a Register reader explains in this week's instalment of tales from the On Call coalface.

Our reader, safely Regomised as "Col", headed up the technical support team of a PABX telecom provider and installer back in the early 1990s. PABX, or Private Automatic Branch eXchange, was the telephony backbone of many an office. A failure could be both contract and career-limiting.

Col, however, was a professional and well versed in the ins and outs of such systems. Work was brisk and so, he told us, "I took on a university grad with all the spunk and vigour that comes with it. He knew the electron-to-joule conversion formulae et al."

Continue readingKorea's NAVER Cloud outlines global ambitions, aim to become Asia's third-biggest provider Alibaba is number two in much of the region, but is a bit on the nose right now

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NAVER started life as a Korean web portal, added search, won the lion's share of the market, and has kept it ever since. South Korea remains one of the very few nations in which Google does not dominate the search market.

As NAVER grew it came to resemble Google in many ways – both in terms of the services it offers and its tendency to use its muscle to favour its own properties. NAVER also used its scale to start a cloud business: the NAVER Cloud Platform. It runs the Platform in its home market, plus Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Presences in Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand are imminent.

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Whether it’s a showstopping bug that slips through into production or an edge case that lies in wait for years, pressure to deliver is driving some teams to pile up technical debt and mismatched stakeholder expectations.

What’s the solution? Well, it’s to do what we’ve always done: build on what came before. In the absence of unlimited time and budget, a low-code platform gives both experienced and new developers a suite of tools to accelerate their development. Automation in just the right places lets teams bring their unique value where it really matters, while all the standard building blocks are taken care of.

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