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Japanese electric company NEC to expand research work in India

SINGAPORE: Japanese electrical giant NEC is looking to expand its research on Indian energy market through collaboration with two Indian institutes.

NEC is seeking tie-ups with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, and the Energy Resources Institute, said Ratnesh K Sharma, Department Head for Energy Management at NEC Laboratories America.

“We are trying to collaborate with them in understanding the Indian scenarios better and get them involved in our research,” Sharma told PTI yesterday.

“We have started talking to IIT Delhi,” he added. NEC’s research work will include micro-grids for new townships, energy management systems for commercial buildings, photovoltaic (PV) energy integration into the main grid, and study of energy market, including tariff structures.

“PV is significant if it is adopted in the right way in India,” said Sharma while attending the launch of NEC’s new research centre in Singapore.

NEC is also planning to test diesel-powered generators for the Indian market.

The research would be done in India within the next one year to two years.

“NEC is also in advance discussions with a number of customers in India to install its Energy Management and Control System,” said Manish Kasliwal, head of the Smart Energy Business at NEC Asia Pacific Pte Ltd in Singapore.

“We can reduce costs up to 30 per cent of the energy operating expense. We have done some trials in the region and we have proven it,” Kasliwal said.

NEC is already working with SRM University in Chennai on managing energy operating expenses across in its campus.

UK launches new telecom strategy to tackle Huawei dominance

LONDON: Telecom companies must stop installing Huawei equipment in the UK’s 5G mobile networks from September 2021, the government said on Monday as it launched a new persification strategy for the complete removal of “high-risk” vendor equipment from the country’s next generation telecom infrastructure.

The GBP 250-million ‘5G Diversification Strategy’ aims at ‘zero’ use of such material by 2027. It is timed with the new Telecommunications (Security) Bill coming up for its second reading in Parliament this week and follows an announcement that operators should stop procuring new Huawei equipment from the end of this year in the wake of US sanctions against the Chinese telecom giant earlier in the year.

“Today I am setting out a clear path for the complete removal of high risk vendors from our 5G networks. This will be done through new and unprecedented powers to identify and ban telecoms equipment which poses a threat to our national security,” said UK Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden.

“We are also publishing a new strategy to make sure we are never again dependent on a handful of telecom vendors for the smooth and secure running of our networks. Our plans will spark a wave of innovation in the design of our future mobile networks,” he said.

The September 2021 deadline is termed as an “important milestone” in the path mobile operators must take to get to zero Huawei in 5G networks. The new strategy says it will tackle the issues of “overreliance” on vendors and pave the way for better connectivity to improve people’s lives with “lightning fast connections speeds” and revolutionary data carrying capacity.

The new measures relating to Huawei are contained in an illustrative designated vendor direction for members of Parliament (MPs) to scrutinise.

The direction makes clear how ministers may use the bill’s powers to restrict the use of Huawei’s goods, services and facilities in 5G networks.

In January, the UK had decided that Huawei should be excluded from the core of the network and sensitive sites and restricted to up to 35 per cent of the radio access network – the part of the network that connects devices such as handsets to mobile phone masts.

The new legislation going through the Commons now would create national security powers capable of imposing controls on when – if at all – a telecoms firm could use material supplied by companies such as Huawei.

The UK’s new telecom strategy includes funding a new Open RAN trial with Japanese telecoms vendor NEC.

Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) technology is a new way of building telecoms networks where components from different suppliers can be used in a single mobile network, specifically the radio access section – the part of the network that connects mobile phones to masts.

The NEC NeutrORAN project will be based in Wales and will aim to see live 5G Open RAN within the UK in 2021, testing solutions to deploy 5G networks in the “most cost effective, innovative and secure way”.

The plans also involve establishing a world-class National Telecoms Lab, a secure research facility that will bring together operators, existing and new suppliers, academia and the government to create representative networks in which to research and test new ways of increasing security and interoperability.

“The strategy sets out a long-term vision for a healthy supply market, which revolves around three key pillars: supporting incumbent suppliers, which will continue to be a major part of the UK market and help the UK meet its ambitious digital infrastructure plans; attracting new suppliers into the UK market; and accelerating open-interface and interoperable technologies such as Open RAN,” the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said.

“The strategy will also be an opportunity to secure the UK’s position as a global leader in science and technology and harness existing expertise and investment in SMEs and R&D initiatives to grow the telecoms base in the tech industry,” it said.

The UK government said it will be seeking to lead international efforts with like-minded countries on a coordinated approach to the global issue of telecoms supply chain consolidation.

Over 40 per cent Japanese firms in China having sensitive tech are planning to shift base: Survey

NEW DELHI: More than 40 per cent of Japanese companies Tokyo recognises as possessing sensitive technology linked to security are shifting their manufacturing bases and sources of parts supplies from China in a bid to persify their supply chains, according to a Kyodo News survey.

The move to reduce their reliance on China and mitigate security risks comes in response to rising US-China competition over technological supremacy and concerns about potential concentration of medical production in China amid a shortage of medical supplies propelled by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report in the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

A total of 42 per cent, or 42 companies, of 96 respondents said they have persified or are considering persifying their supply chains by moving to India and Southeast Asian countries, according to the survey.

Kyodo recently surveyed some 150 major listed companies, of which 96 responded. The respondents include Canon, Toyota, KDDI, NEC, Kobe Steel and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

While the Japanese government has been urging firms to shift their production bases back home to avoid risks associated with China, only eight respondents said they have or are thinking about doing so, SCMP reported.

Around 60 per cent from the survey said they have been conducting in-house training or identified their “important technologies” as Japanese businesses that deal with both the United States and China have put emphasis on implementing measures against information leaks.

26 companies, said they placed restrictions on joint research with partners that could leak technology. Six said they have taken no such action, and one said it is conducting joint research with an entity that is subject to regulations of exports from Japan and the US, according to the survey.

A total 59 per cent, or 57 respondents, said they have introduced a system to focus on human rights in conducting business as a growing number of companies work to implement standards determining whether their products have been manufactured in forced labour conditions, SCMP reported quoting the survey.

The businesses have started taking such action after it was found multinational companies made deals with Chinese factories that have been suspected of imposing forced labour on Uygurs and other ethnic minorities in China, reported SCMP.