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Airtel Beats Jio With 5.89 Million New Wireless Subscribers in January

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Airtel Beats Jio With 5.89 Million New Wireless Subscribers in January

Bharti Airtel added over 300 percent more wireless subscribers than Reliance Jio in January 2021, according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) data. The monthly data released by the regulator shows that the New Delhi-headquartered Airtel added more than 5.89 million wireless subscribers during the month, whereas the Mumbai-based Jio added over 1.95 million new wireless subscribers. Jio, however, continued to lead the telecom sector with the largest wireless subscriber base in the country.

The data provided by TRAI shows that the total wireless subscriber base of Jio reached over 410.73 million in January. Airtel, on the other hand, grew to 344.60 million wireless subscribers.

The market share of Jio declined slightly to 35.30 percent in January from 35.43 percent in December. Airtel, however, gained a bit and reached 29.62 percent from 29.36 percent market share in December 2020.

Airtel also leads the monthly growth rate chart with a 1.74 percent growth recorded in January, while Jio registered a 0.48 percent growth. Similarly, on the part of active wireless subscribers that can be suggested by the Visitor Local Register (VLR) data, Airtel continued to take on Jio in January for the second time in a row and took the lead with its 335.77 million VLR subscribers. Jio, however, had 324.52 million VLR subscribers in January. VLR is the database that stores information about users roaming in a particular network. A user can be present in only one VLR at any given point of time. Thus, this is a better approximation of the number of active users that are currently in the network.

In addition to Airtel and Jio, Vodafone Idea (Vi) managed to add over 1.71 million wireless subscribers in January. The operator had a total base of over 285.96 million wireless subscribers, as per the TRAI data. BSNL also added 81,659 wireless subscribers during the month of January that helped it reach a total wireless subscriber base of 118.69 million. Vi’s market share declined to 24.58 percent in January from 24.64 percent in December. BSNL also saw a slight dip in its market share to 10.21 percent from 10.29 percent in the previous month.

The TRAI data also highlighted that the total wireless subscriber base in the country increased to 1,163.41 million in January from 1,153.77 million in December, registering a monthly growth rate of 0.84 percent. Wireless subscription in urban areas increased to 634.97 million in January from 629.67 million in December, while in rural areas the base of wireless telecom subscribers increased to 528.44 million from 524.11 million.

Similar to the growth in total wireless subscriber base, wireless tele-density in the country also increased to 85.53 percent at the end of January from 84.90 in December.

The data released by TRAI also shows that telecom operators received a total of 7.63 million requests for mobile number portability (MNP) in January. The highest number of MNP requests were received from Karnataka at 47 million. It was followed by Maharashtra where 44.94 million MNP requests were raised by subscribers.

In terms of broadband service providers, Jio maintained its lead at 412.98 million subscribers (including both fixed and wireless broadband, which include 4G SIM cards) in January, followed by Airtel at 184.64 million, Vi at 122.72 million, BSNL at 26.67 million, and ACT Fibernet at 1.80 million. The TRAI data specified that the top five service providers constituted 98.84 percent market share at the end of January.

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Microsoft Partners With Inworld to Bring AI Game Development Tools to Xbox

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Microsoft Partners With Inworld to Bring AI Game Development Tools to Xbox


Microsoft is teaming up with Inworld AI to create game development tools for Xbox, enabling developers to create characters, generate entire scripts and quests, and more. The multi-year deal brings an AI design copilot and an AI character runtime engine to the forefront, both of them being totally optional to use and to varying degrees. Of course, the use of AI in art has been criticised by many for simply lacking originality, in addition to running the risk of fewer jobs for artists — a growing fear among many considering the alarming number of layoffs seen at game studios this year in an attempt to cut costs.

“At Xbox, we believe that with better tools, creators can make even more extraordinary games,” Haiyan Zhang, GM, Xbox Gaming AI, said in a blog post. “This partnership will bring together: Inworld’s expertise in working with generative AI models for character development, Microsoft’s cutting-edge cloud-based AI solutions including Azure OpenAI Service, Microsoft Research’s technical insights into the future of play, and Team Xbox’s strengths in revolutionizing accessible and responsible creator tools for all developers.”

The aforementioned AI design copilot is a toolset that will help game designers turn prompts into scripts and dialogue trees. In contrast, the character runtime will enable dynamically generated plot beats and quests. We’ve already seen heavy AI integration in games by way of procedural generation — a more recent example being the 1000+ planets in Starfield. Not to mention, enemy AI has been around for way longer.

Inworld made headlines in August when it launched a modded story mode for Grand Theft Auto V, Sentient Streets, in which players had to investigate the rise of a bizarre AI-worshipping cult — a segment loaded with characters that spoke in AI-generated dialogue, on the fly. The mod was later taken down by publisher Take-Two, leaving a permanent strike on the creator Bloc’s YouTube channel. As per The Verge, Inworld’s AI technology can also be used for narration in top-down RPGs to warn players about any events awaiting off-screen and respond to questions like we’ve seen in the past year with AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Bing Chat. Microsoft has also been heavily banking on artificial intelligence, having made a $10 billion (about Rs. 83,254 crore) investment in OpenAI. The company has also integrated AI tools into its popular suite of services and also added an AI copilot to Windows.

Despite being a Microsoft-affiliated AI toolset, it would be interesting to see whether titles using them will be allowed to thrive on other platforms. In July, Valve claimed that it would be cracking down on games that included AI-generated assets if the developer didn’t own the copyright to the piece of art. For the uninitiated, when you insert a prompt to create something in AI, the software simply repurposes existing assets found online and mushes them together — basically stealing from other artists and writers without appropriate commercial licenses. Infringing them would lead to the game not being distributed on Steam, forcing the developers to seek proper licenses for the asset by reaching out to the AI companies involved. It’s unclear how Microsoft’s partnership will play out — as long as AI content is being used as a catalyst to innovate and create something new, it should be fine.


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BSNL Offers Free 4G SIM Upgrade: Here’s How to Get It

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BSNL Offers Free 4G SIM Upgrade: Here’s How to Get It


BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) is a state-owned telecommunication company in India. Earlier this year in May, the government said that the firm started rolling out 4G services in the country. By December, the networks were said to be upgraded to 5G. However, at the India Mobile Congress, BSNL chairman P K Purwar said that the company will launch 4G services in December and then roll it across the country by June 2024. The chairman added that the 5G upgrades will take place after June next year.

In a post on X shared by BSNL’s Andhra Pradesh (@bsnl_ap_circle) unit, the company confirmed that BSNL users can upgrade their older 2G or 3G SIMs to a 4G SIM for free. Not only will the upgrade be free, but a promotional image shared with the post suggests that users who opt for the upgrade will also receive 4GB of free data that will be valid for three months. It is speculated that BSNL is aiming to boost its upcoming 4G services with this offer. The announcement was first spotted by Telecom Talk.

To access the free data offer and the free upgrade, BSNL users are requested to get in touch with executives at BSNL’s Customer Service Centre, franchisee or retailer stores, or contact one of their Direct Selling Agents (DSA). The promo image also adds in a finer print that the offer is available with certain terms and conditions, but hasn’t detailed any, so far.

Reliance’s Jio recently launched the 4G-supported Bharat B1 feature phone in India. The handset is priced at Rs. 1,299 in India. Alongside 4G connectivity, the phone comes with JioCinema and JioSaavn applications pre-installed.

The Jio Bharat B1 is equipped with the JioPay application, which is said to allow users to make UPI payments. Aiming to increase accessibility, the phone supports 23 languages overall, including multiple regional languages.


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Realme GT 5 Pro Teased to Feature 3,000 Nits Display; More Details Revealed

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Realme GT 5 Pro Teased to Feature 3,000 Nits Display; More Details Revealed


Realme GT 5 Pro’s launch date is not far away. The Chinese smartphone brand on Tuesday (November 7) confirmed the arrival of the new GT series smartphone in its home country. The Realme GT 5 Pro is teased to come with a display with over 3000 nits of peak brightness. It is also confirmed to pack a larger heat dissipation area for thermal management. The handset will ship with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC. The Realme GT 5 Pro is expected to come as a successor to the Realme GT 5 that debuted in China in August.

Realme, via Weibo, announced the arrival of the Realme GT 5 Pro in China. The display of the handset is confirmed to offer 3000 nits peak brightness. It has also been teased to offer heat dissipation with a surface area of around 10,000mm2. It is confirmed to ship with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC. The post doesn’t specify the exact launch date of the smartphone, however, given the release of the teasers, the launch could be just around the corner.

The Realme GT 5 Pro has been in the news a lot lately. It is expected to feature a 6.78-inch (1,264×2,780 pixels) AMOLED display and is tipped to come in 8GB, 12GB, and 16GB RAM options along with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB inbuilt storage options.

For optics, the Realme GT 5 Pro is said to have a triple rear camera unit comprising two 50-megapixel sensors and an 8-megapixel shooter at the rear. The camera setup might include a Sony LYTIA LYT808 sensor, an OmniVision OV08D10 secondary sensor, and a Sony IMX890 telephoto sensor. For selfies, there could be a 32-megapixel sensor at the front. It is said to carry a 5,400mAh battery with support for 100W wired charging and 50W wireless charging.

The Realme GT 5 Pro is expected to come with upgrades over Realme GT 5. The latter was launched in China in August with a price tag of CNY 2,999 for the base model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.


The Motorola Edge 40 recently made its debut in the country as the successor to the Edge 30 that was launched last year. Should you buy this phone instead of the Nothing Phone 1 or the Realme Pro+? We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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