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Indian Company Stretches Fixed Wireless Phone Technology to Make Cellular Network

Payoff could be big if regulators favor "limited mobility" services

3 min read

In what is probably the world’s fastest growing and perhaps most competitive market for telecommunications equipment and services, one of the big players has an especially bold strategy. The question is: is it legal?

Reliance Infocomm Ltd., a division of a large Indian industrial conglomerate, the Reliance Group (Mumbai), wants to take a network set up to provide customers the equivalent of plain old wired telephone service, wirelessly, and turn it into a national cellular service—but without paying the licensing fees a company in its position would normally have to pay. If it manages to get the scheme past suspicious regulators, the payoff could be huge, not just for Reliance but also for Qualcomm Inc., the high-flying San Diego, Calif., company that commercialized code-division multiple-access (CDMA) cellphone technology.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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