In Brief: India: Jio grabs 52m users in 83 days 

India’s newest mobile provider,Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL) announced that it had signed up more than 50 million subscribers by 1 December, adding an average of 600,000 new users per day.The cellco said that it had added 52 million users in just 83 days, which it claims is the fastest rate of take-up for any technology company. Helping its rapid take up the operator said, was its adoption of the Electronically Know Your Customer (eKYC) biometric verification system, which uses the Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI’s) Aadhaar to activate SIM cards within five minutes. The system has so far been rolled out to 200,000 of RJIL’s outlets, and the operator is planning to double that number to 400,000 by March 2017.

***From 31 March 2017 roaming charges will no longer apply between the West African nations of Burkina Faso,Cote d’Ivoire,Guinea, Mali and Senegal,reports Senegalese paper Le Soleil.Regulators of the five states met on 28 November in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the implementation of free roaming effective from the end of March next year.The idea of ‘free roaming’is part of a wider plan to create a more united African continent as promoted by the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS).The action in West Africa follows the‘One Network Area’ scheme involving a number of East African nations such as Kenya,Rwanda and South Sudan,which was first implemented in October 2014.

***The market for used and refurbished smartphones has witnessed rapid growth over the past several years,thanks to a wide variety of trade in and buyback programs across multiple channels and platforms. In the United States,most major carriers,retailers,and many online retailers(e tailers)have implemented some type of trade in strategy or platform to purchase used devices at a deep discount. These types of programs have also appeared in Western Europe and Asia over the past three to five years. A new forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that the market for used smartphones will grow from 81.3 million devices in 2015 to 222.6 million units in 2020, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.3%.

***A ship dragging its anchor on the seabed in the English Channel has cut the three main submarine cables to the Channel Islands. Cable owners JT Jersey (formerly Jersey Telecom, JT), Sure and BT disclosed that it could take up to three weeks to repair the fibre-optic links. All communications traffic from JT is going through a single link to France,the 425km HUGO network owned by Sure, as it was the only cable not affected by the incident. Daragh McDermott from JT said:‘With all traffic now using this connection,customers may notice some impact on services … It is exceptionally unlucky and unprecedented for three submarine cables to the UK to be cut in the same day.’

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