Steppin’ Out Events has organised a Dinner Mix N’Mingle at the Grand Hotel in Frankston. Open to anyone Single and Over 40. 6.15pm Dinner, 7.30pm same sex meetup, 7.45pm Over 40’s party upstairs


Steppin’ Out Events has organised a Dinner Mix N’Mingle at the Grand Hotel in Frankston.
Open to anyone Single and Over 40.
6.15pm Dinner, 7.30pm same sex meetup, 7.45pm Over 40’s party upstairs

Steppin’ Out Events has organised a Dinner Mix N’Mingle at the Grand Hotel in Frankston.
Open to anyone Single and Over 40.
6.15pm Dinner, 7.30pm same sex meetup, 7.45pm Over 40’s party upstairs

Details

Date:
June 4
Time:
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Cost:
$25
Event Category:
View Event Website

Organizer

Steppin’ Out Events
Email:
info@steppinoutevents.com.au

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Open to anyone Single and Over 40.
6.15pm Dinner, 7.30pm same sex meetup, 7.45pm Over 40’s party upstairs”. This story was brought to you by My Local Pages as part of our local events & news services.

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Had a clear out, Charles? Future King hosts video call in front of just single photo of him with the Queen, Prince William and Prince George… after previously sitting by sideboard heaving with snaps of Harry and the rest of family



Prince Charles has given a video message about the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year with just a single photo of his mother, eldest son and eldest grandchild behind him amid growing concerns about Prince Harry’s brutal criticism of his upbringing and his ‘pot-shots’ at the Royal Family from LA.

The Prince of Wales has been seen throughout the pandemic on video calls from his offices at Highgrove or Birkhall with an array of family photos behind him, including several of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son Archie.

But the heir to the throne launched a campaign to plant millions of trees to celebrate his mother’s Platinum Jubilee next year, with just a single framed photo of himself with the Queen, Prince William and Prince George – the line of succession to the throne.

It came as Harry hinted he was ready to pour his heart out again about his mother Diana’s death and his  relationship with his father in an emotional trailer for a new mental health documentary for Apple, due for release on Friday. The Duke of Sussex also appeared to question his father’s parenting in a podcast last week.

Royal insiders have expressed their exasperation at Harry and say it is becoming impossible for the family to repair their fractured relationships because of his insistence at taking ‘pot-shots’ from across the Atlantic. 

While another source told the Mirror: ‘There is concern given the Duke and Duchess’s recent claims as to just what they may have said to Winfrey. They have not held back in their allegations and there is nothing to suggest they won’t make further ones’. MailOnline has asked Clarence House to comment.

Harry’s criticism of his childhood is merely echoing details shared by a younger Prince Charles in a biography about his own unhappy upbringing, sources close to the Sussexes suggest. 

The Duke of Sussex, 36, faced a backlash from Royal aides on Monday after they claimed he had shown a ‘woeful lack of compassion’ for his family by implying Prince Charles and the Queen had failed him as a child.

Speaking to Dax Shepard, host of the ‘Armchair Expert’ podcast, Prince Harry said that his father had treated him ‘the way he was treated’, with Harry asking himself ‘so how can I change that for my own kids?’.

The Duke then went on to add that he and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, had made the move to the US to ‘break the cycle’ of ‘genetic pain’ he had experienced growing up.  

Senior palace aides told The Mail on Sunday of a growing sense of ‘bewilderment and betrayal’, and even called for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to give up their titles following Prince Harry’s latest ‘disgraceful’ assault on the Royal Family. 

Royal courtiers also claimed the Prince had shown a ‘woeful lack of compassion’ and ‘thrown others under the bus’ during the latest podcast interview, The Telegraph reports.

But sources close to Prince Harry were quick to point out that Prince Charles had lived through his own tell-all moment in a 1994 when he authorised Jonathan Dimbleby to write The Prince of Wales: A Biography, following extensive personal interviews with the Prince, The Telegraph reports.

In the book Dimbleby wrote of Charles’ unhappy childhood with details the Prince laid bare. The book was largely interpreted as Charles’s account of the breakdown of his marriage to Princess Diana. 

The comparison comes as a new trailer for the Duke of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey’s new Apple TV+ mental health series featured a video of the young prince alongside his father Prince Charles at his mother Princess Diana’s funeral 24 years ago. 

The stand-out feature of the trailer comes as a 13-year-old Harry is shown watching Diana’s coffin passing him during her funeral in London in 1997. 

Charles can be seen speaking to his heartbroken son as a female voiceover says over dramatic music: ‘Treating people with dignity is the first act’. Harry tells Oprah: ‘To make that decision to receive help is not a sign of weakness. In today’s world more than ever, it is a sign of strength.’

The trailer for ‘The Me You Can’t See’ – which is set to be released this Friday – features Meghan, Archie and a major hint that the Duke will again pour his heart out about the Royal Family and his relationship with Charles.

It includes tearful interviews with singer Lady Gaga, actress Glenn Close and US chat show queen Oprah herself as well as a feature on a Syrian refugee named Fawzi, described as a hero on the programme. 

The two-minute promo, which was released on the Archewell website and YouTube, will likely be seen as another barbed attack on the Royal Family and spark fresh pain for Charles, coming so soon after Prince Harry said he quit as a frontline royal to ‘break the cycle’ of ‘genetic suffering’.  

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Israel destroys Hamas leader’s home in ‘single deadliest attack’ on Gaza since operation began 



Seven people were injured by a car-ramming attack in Sheikh Jarrah, an East Jerusalem neighbourhood which has been the scene of multiple protests over Israeli plans to evict a dozen Palestinian families.

Israeli police said four police officers were wounded in the attack and that the assailant was “shot by officers,” without giving further details.

The high proportion of child casualties has alarmed human rights groups such as Save The Children, which said that 31 schools have been damaged by Israeli airstrikes.

The charity’s own field manager in Gaza, Ibrahim Abu Sobeih, was among those who had to flee their neighbourhoods during the bombings over the past week.

“We keep telling my young daughter and son that the heavy shelling is celebrations, fireworks,” he said. “We resort to different ways to distract their attention from this awful atmosphere, but all are in vain.”

Doctors Without Borders said that one of its own clinics in Gaza, which provides trauma and burn treatment, had also been damaged by Israeli fire.

As the death tolls continues to climb, there are also fears that Gaza will soon run out of fuel, electricity and running water. Its residents are already grappling with power outages of several hours at a time, but many cannot afford generators.

Al Haq, a Palestinian NGO, said it had sent an urgent appeal to the United Nations over “the potential, imminent and inevitable collapse of vital sectors in Gaza, including the health, water, environment, sanitation due to attacks on electricity infrastructure.”

It added that Israel’s closure of the crossing with Gaza since the conflict began had made it extremely difficult to bring fuel into the Strip to supply the power plant.

As the bloodshed continued, Palestinian leaders in the West Bank turned some of their anger on fellow Arab nations which last year signed normalisation treaties with Israel, known as the Abraham Accords.

“Normalisation and running towards this colonial Israeli system without achieving peace and ending the Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian lands represents support for the apartheid regime and participation in its crimes,” Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian foreign minister said.

He appeared to be referring to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, who established full diplomatic ties with Israel last year and have struck a number of trade deals.

Middle East analysts noted that it took several days before Mohamed al-Khaja, the Emirati ambassador to Israel, issued a public statement on the violence.

He eventually tweeted: ” [UAE foreign minister] HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed emphasizes that the UAE is calling to immediately stop the escalating spiral of violence between Israel and Palestinians and calls to promote a dialogue for peace between the parties.”



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Victoria moves to single QR code COVID-19 check-in system amid concerns about compliance


It wasn’t until Rachelle Connor left Victoria and returned that she started to become worried about how QR codes were used in her home state.

At the first restaurant they visited after arriving in Western Australia, Ms Connor and her family were asked to download the SafeWA app before scanning into the venue.

“That’s how diligent they are,” she said.

It was one of the first times she had been told she would not be allowed into a venue without showing proof of her checking in.

“It’s just everywhere, people are doing it and people are complying,” she said.

“And it just struck us that after being in Victoria, where we’ve had so many cases, to go to a state that has had barely any cases, and everyone is still scanning to go into any sort of shop or any outlet was just extraordinary.”

Ms Connor, a council worker, said she had written to businesses since returning home “and I was told that it’s not mandatory in Victoria”.

Most venues, including hospitality, sport facilities, gyms, religious sites, community venues, entertainment venues, real estate inspections, museums, nightclubs, gaming, accommodation and beauty services, are all required to use a QR code system.

Supermarkets, retail and shopping centres are “highly recommended” to use the service.

The results of a recent survey released by the government found only 41 per cent of visitors to hospitality venues checked in every time.

Authorised officers visited a range of venues between April 30 and May 2 and issued warnings or notices about a lack of compliance with the system.

Health Minister Martin Foley said there had been “declining levels of compliance with the kind of measures we need to stay safe and stay open”.

The use of QR codes for contact tracing is in the spotlight after New South Wales authorities praised a couple at the centre of the outbreak for using the state’s system.

Nancy Baxter, head of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne, said the QR codes were “really helpful” if everyone was using them.

The data collected through the QR codes can work faster than the “deep detective work” of contact tracers, meaning potentially infected people isolate sooner.

But Professor Baxter said their usefulness depended on their uptake.

“Even myself, I try to be vigilant about it, but just recently, I couldn’t seem to get the system to work. Did I persist? No, honestly … and I don’t think I’m unique,” she said.

The government has today announced small-to-medium-sized businesses will have patron caps lifted from May 28.

Venues that are 400 square metres or below will be able to have up to 200 patrons per space — such as a dining room or band room — with the previous rule of one person per 2 square metres removed.

They must use the government’s Service Victoria app and have COVID marshals in place to ensure people are checking in to each space.

Mr Foley said the move to the single system was made on public health advice and after looking around the rest of the nation.

After allowing venues to use their own check-in system for months, Victoria recently mandated the use of the Service Victoria app, or for third-party systems to link back to the government’s interface.

Venues were given an amnesty until April 23 to comply.

There had been some pushback over fears small businesses would be forced to bear the cost of the move to a single program.

The new rules announced today mean all venues must use the government’s app instead, despite many going through the process of having their systems approved over recent weeks.

“Business welcomes the announcement of the easing of restrictions today,” chief executive of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Paul Guerra said.

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Single parents will be offered help to buy their first home in next week’s federal budget



Under the measure announced ahead of Tuesday’s federal budget, up to 10,000 first-time buyers with dependants will be able to access the scheme over four years.

Single parents buying their first home may soon be able to with a deposit of only two per cent under a new federal scheme.

The program allows first home buyers to obtain a loan for a new or newly-built home with a deposit of as little as two per cent with the government guaranteeing up to 18 per cent of the loan.

Under the measure announced ahead of Tuesday’s federal budget, up to 10,000 first-time buyers with dependants will be able to access the scheme over four years.

Minster for Women’s Economic Security Jane Hume says the aim is to make the “great Australian dream” accessible for single mothers.

“We know that so many single parents use so much of their income towards rent and building that deposit is so much harder for them with the demands of children,” she said.

“So this is all about removing those barriers to building that deposit and it’s also about giving those a hand up who need it the most.”

The government has also extended its similar First Home Loan Deposit Scheme to an additional 10,000 buyers.

That scheme allows first-time buyers to build or purchase new homes with a deposit as small as five per cent.

Both measures are designed to fuel construction and boost property ownership, building on the government’s HomeBuilder program, which provided grants of $25,000 for new homes and major renovations.

“The government understands the importance of owning your own home and the significant economic and social benefits home ownership provides,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

However Labor spokesman Jason Clare said it was too little, too late.

“This government has had eight years to fix housing affordability and it’s just got worse,” he told reporters in Sydney.

“What the government’s announced today is not enough to fix this.”

Mr Clare renewed calls to scrap the cap on the number of people able to benefit from the scheme.

More than 100,000 Australians buy a home for the first time every year and the scheme at best helps only 20,000 of them, he said.

Australian Council of Social Services chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie called it a “cheap as chips” measure that will have no impact on struggling single parents.

There has to be more in the budget to help the one in three single parents living in poverty, she said.

“The question will be: is this it,” she said.

“It’ll help a handful … (but) we are still leaving hundreds of thousands of the lowest income, single parents absolutely behind.”

However, the Commonwealth and NAB banks and peak housing industry associations are all fans.

“The new Family Home Guarantee will be a revolution in providing single custodial parents, the overwhelming majority of whom are women, with a step up to gaining the security that comes with home ownership,” Master Builders Australia chief executive Denita Wawn said.

In Sydney and NSW regional centres, the schemes are capped at homes worth $950,000, while the rest of the state has a limit of $600,000.

The cap for Melbourne and Victorian regional cities is $850,000 and elsewhere in the state, $550,000.

In Brisbane and Queensland regional centres it is $650,000 falling to $400,000 in country areas.

WA, SA, Tasmania and the NT have state-wide caps of $550,000, while the ACT limit is for dwellings worth $600,000.

More than half the first-home buyers who have accessed the scheme are under 30, while 15 per cent of the guarantees went to people over 40.

Around 85 per cent of people bought a house, with 10 per cent purchasing a unit or apartment and four per cent buying townhouses.

The average annual income for applicants is $70,000 for singles and $115,000 for couples.

The government is also increasing the amount in voluntary superannuation contributions that can be released to buy a first home from $30,000 to $50,000 and providing $124.7 million in extra state funding to bolster public housing stocks.

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Will Malaysia’s single wholesale 5G network gamble pay off?


  • Technical, timeline, commercial challenges abound; no template exists to follow
  • A level playing field is key; industry wants transparency in dealings, contracts

THE upcoming deployment of 5G technology through the use of a single wholesale network (SWN) in Malaysia by Digital Nasional Bhd (DNB) is expected to face several significant technical and financial impediments, according to several industry analysts.

On Feb 22, the Malaysian government announced that it will embark on an audacious plan to deploy its national 5G network via a government-owned ‘special purpose vehicle’ called DNB.

This flies in the face of using a more traditional approach of directly leasing spectra to qualified mobile operators to roll out 5G either via an auction or to the best operator assignment commonly known as a ‘beauty contest.’

The government argues that DNB will cut through red tape, speed up deployment due to being state-owned, and roll out a national 5G network in a more uniformed manner as opposed to letting profit-driven operators do so.

READ MORE: Malaysia’s single wholesale 5G network gambit draws questions

According to Neil Shah, research director at Counterpoint Research, the mechanics of rolling out a commercially-viable 5G network is expected to be complicated as a traditional 5G network rollout strategy and footprint should be a superset of the combined current 2G/ 3G/ 4G footprint of all the operators.

Speaking to Digital News Asia (DNA) in an email interview, Shah says in practical, what this means is that the 4G coverage fallback from 5G should be seamless.

As such, all the Malaysian mobile networks’ 5G coverage should at least match or be close to their respective footprints. This is difficult to do as all operators in Malaysia have over 90% 4G coverage.

“This is a tall order for the government although not impossible,” Shah said. “However, building it by the end of 2021 with an ongoing pandemic is wishful thinking.

“The recommendation would therefore be for the government to closely work with the operators to build a 5G network footprint matching the strengths of their respective 4G footprint, usage patterns and where they have identified as the greatest low-hanging fruit opportunities.”

Will Malaysia’s single wholesale 5G network gamble pay off?

But for that to happen, Shah (pic) argues that existing operators will have to share critical and competitive data with the government.

“They may be cagey with this plan especially if the government seeks to give a bigger pie of the 5G network to incumbent player Telekom Malaysia (TM) Bhd,” he contends, noting that TM being the incumbent operator has always been chosen to play a more active role in national-type projects such as in Malaysia’s high-speed fixed broadband network.

“It will be a challenge for the government to please all the operators as far as prioritising which pockets to build 5G infrastructure first.”

For its part, the government, via industry regulator the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), assures that urban and industrial areas would likely have commercially available 5G coverage by the fourth quarter of 2021, in addition to some rural centres to bridge the digital divide.

Its chairman, Fadhlullah Suhaimi, says that while DNB will own all 5G assets, it will strictly be under the purview of the MCMC and that there will not be any changes in ownership throughout the 10 years of its operation.

DNB, he adds, will minimise duplication of network elements, reduce the inefficiencies in spectrum allocation, and address infrastructure and land approval challenges.

IDC senior research manager Zaim Halil, points out in an email interview with DNA that SWN looks like a simple concept on paper but in reality, it will be extremely complex to integrate various mobile operators’ infrastructure into the government’s SWN.

“Assuming that DNB would build a single 5G radio access network (RAN), then each of the larger mobile operators will need to build a standalone core so this becomes a multi operator core network (MOCN) and will introduce new complexities,” he told DNA in an interview.

Zaim said another big question mark is what DNB’s pricing and procurement policies are and whether the negotiations with operators will be handled transparently and openly for all to scrutinise, which to date is unclear.

To this, Fadhlullah assures that DNB will allow fair and non-discriminatory access to capacity, that all licensed telcos will have equal access to infrastructure and networks.

Also, DNB will only lease wholesale bandwidth and not be involved in the retail sector to avoid any conflict of interest, he stresses.

Technical challenges

Will Malaysia’s single wholesale 5G network gamble pay off?ABI Research’s industry analyst Miguel Castaneda (pic) told DNA in an email interview that based on 5G deployments in other countries in the region, the expedient way for operators to roll out 5G networks is through a non-standalone (NSA) 5G deployment, as opposed to building an end-to-end standalone (SA) 5G network.

In an NSA scenario, a fresh network element called 5G new radio (NR) is combined with existing 4G/LTE radio cells providing dual-connectivity.

This scenario may be chosen by operators that wish to leverage existing 4G deployments by combining existing LTE resources with 5G NR resources, which will deliver 5G mobile services.

Castaneda explains that an NSA 5G deployment leverages the existing LTE network base and enables operators to quickly deliver enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) services to their subscribers.

The downside though, he explains, is that an NSA deployment will not provide the full game-changing capabilities that a standalone (SA) 5G network is famed for.

This includes massive machine type communications (mMTC), network slicing (the ability to allocate different bandwidths to different users based on quality of service)  or ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC) applications.

For this to happen though, Castaneda explains that the deployment of a SA 5G would require the government to build 5G capabilities on top of the operators’ 4G networks.

“Local media has reported the MCMC chairman as saying that all operators would “enjoy equal access to the network in return for a wholesale fee.”

“But this is hard to achieve and is very complicated to implement because the underlying infrastructure of the NSA 5G network will be fragmented based on the existing LTE network rollouts of the respective operators.

“And SA 5G will in fact require heavy network densification to deliver features such as network slicing, multi-access edge computing (MEC) and/or private 5G networks.”

Counterpoint Research’s Shah points out that a government entity such as DNB would not inherently have core competency to build the network, so it will have to ideally outsource to system integrators and network infrastructure vendors to build the network.

“All eyes will be on who wins that contract as well.

“Also, all the operators have different infrastructure vendors which have built the legacy networks, so the biggest challenge for DNB would be to build a ‘highly interoperable’ infrastructure that works seamlessly with all the operators.”

The Edge reported on April 19 that eight vendors have been invited to participate in a tender, that will be administered by DNB’s tender board with strintgent processes in place.

The usual suspects in tow are Ericsson, Nokia Corp, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, and ZTE Corp. Less obvious players include Samsung Networks, Cisco Systems, Japan’s NEC Corp and China-based FibreHome. The tender is expected to be completed by mid-year after which, work will immediately begin on the building of the SWN, the business weekly noted.

On timelines, Castaneda says if DNB is building a network based on SA 5G, the Q4 2021 timeline would be quite unrealistic.

“To put things in context, Singaporean operators are also opting for SA 5G and they are only expected to provide 50% island-wide coverage by 2022 and full coverage by the end of 2025.

“These timelines are based on Singapore’s smaller geographical area and population size,” he argues. “A SA 5G deployment in Malaysia will most probably have a more protracted timeline given the larger population and geographical area compared to Singapore.”

Will Malaysia’s single wholesale 5G network gamble pay off?Singapore’s strategy

As a bellwether of telco progress within the region, Singapore is oft-cited as amongst the most efficient and best models of mobile network deployment.

This is due to its compact geographical size, advanced infrastructure, clear government policies, efficient regulatory enforcement, commercial prowess and highly competitive market forces.

In May 2019, Singapore’s regulator the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) proposed that its existing operators adopt SA 5G in a public document seeking industry feedback on 5G policies.

However, Singapore operators in July 2019, led by its largest players, Singtel, pushed back on the idea to jump straight ahead onto SA 5G, citing the uncertainty of the chipset and network gear roadmap for SA 5G network architecture, reports trade publication Light Reading.

The IMDA relented and said it would support Singapore’s mobile operators’ plan “to ride on existing 4G networks to deploy NSA 5G as part of trials to allow consumers to enjoy partial 5G experiences in the short-term, with faster mobile speeds as a key feature.”

A year later, Aileen Chia, director-general of telecoms at IMDA told a seminar that the regulator initially pushed for SA 5G because of the emphasis on innovation and what a full-fledged capability of SA 5G can bring to the island state.

Industry observers believe Southeast Asia’s most advanced economy is already so fiberised with speeds of up to 1Gbps.

Complementing this is the fact that the island-state is so is blanketed with pretty high speed 4G and 4G+ (LTE Advanced) coverage, which meant that there wasn’t a justifiable case for fixed-wireless access, which is one of 5G’s first and most common use cases.

“We took a slightly different path… the race is not to be the fastest, but how do you bring a technology that makes sense for innovation for the country,” she was quoted as saying.

An industry veteran familiar with 5G roll outs in the region DNA spoke to notes that although Singapore is committed to SA 5G, it still relented and scaled back to accommodate NSA 5G roll outs after being very aggressive about SA 5G.

“The Malaysian government has already decided to go down this SWN rabbit hole [via DNB] and so all operators will have to live with this.

“The issue now is with clarity and transparency of plans, as it’s not yet known how Malaysia is going to roll out its 5G network via DNB, whether via NSA or SA 5G. To do so via SA 5G will be risky to say the least, given that even Singapore is not going to be on SA 5G fully until 2025.

“Whatever the case, what is important is for DNB to be perfectly honest when dealing with all Malaysian operators in terms of network dimensioning and architecture and be thoroughly professional and not just pay lip service to operators with their plans.

“Perhaps then, it could be a win-win for everybody.”

Funding, budget issues

When MCMC’s Fadhlullah announced the government’s SWN plans, he pointed out that it would spend an estimated RM15 billion (US$3.6 billion) over the next 10 years on rolling out 5G.

To date, both MCMC and DNB have scarcely commented on the budget breakdown nor how it would be exactly spent.

The only indication so far is found in an exclusive interview with local business daily, StarBiz, which quoted DNB’s newly appointed chief Augustus Ralph Marshall as saying that, “the government will fork out RM15bil to fund the 5G rollout over a decade… a sum that would include maintenance charges and also capital expenditure.”

When asked if the RM15 billion over 10 years was sufficient for Malaysia to roll out 5G, ABI’s Castaneda expressed doubt, noting that the sum seems exceedingly low for a country like Malaysia.

“Saudi Arabia, a country with comparable population numbers and a higher rural population than Malaysia is expected to spend US$20.5 billion of mobile network capex between 2021 and 2025 alone,” he said.

Castaneda also questions whether the “maintenance charges” refers to operational expenditure (opex) items such as the capacity, skill and technology to build, operate and lease a network to retail players.

“Is this cost a part of the RM15 billion? To me, there seems to be some ambiguity as to who is responsible for the opex/maintenance of the SWN, as this isn’t clearly indicated,” he argues.

“It is therefore extremely important for DNB to explicitly outline to mobile operators [and to the public] what constitutes as maintenance charges.”

Castaneda also points out that by DNB running a SWN, Malaysia loses out on huge spectra leasing revenue generation potential, which other operators have benefited from by employing auctions and/ or beauty contests.

“The RM15 billion will therefore have to be secured from other budgets – which can impact existing/ future government services/ projects – or in the form of additional taxes that may penalise the citizens, which are the intended beneficiaries of this project,” he argues.

Contractual transparency

Meanwhile, both IDC’s Zaim and Counterpoint Research’s Shah stress that transparency will be a key factor if Malaysia’s 5G project were to make sense.

Shah says for the project to succeed, caveats should include a fair allocation by geography, interoperability support to integrate the 5G network to each mobile operator, a periodic report by MCMC on project status, and the establishment of a common grievances centre for the operators to redress issues.

Will Malaysia’s single wholesale 5G network gamble pay off?Zaim (pic) goes further and recommends that DNB should not impose any commitment in terms of minimum limit of volume in data that the mobile operators should commit to and that there be a regular revision of wholesale prices to ensure that prices stay reasonable.

“The offered pricing scheme should also be consistent for all mobile operators, regardless of any other business relationship/ agreement they may have with existing players. 

“For example, DNB should not offer exclusive [or favourable] wholesale pricing to operators that provide fibre backhaul service or tower sharing service to DNB.”

Zaim also argues that the service level quality should be maintained at a standard that has been agreed to between all players and that every mobile operator should be treated fairly without any discrimination.

“The MCMC as the regulator should police and strictly enforce policies that hold DNB accountable and to ensure there are no misconducts in handling this wholesale business and any irregularities in managing the project such as ensuring fair play and maintaining the confidentiality of consumers’ data.”

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Single photon switch advance — ScienceDaily


The ability to turn on and off a physical process with just one photon is a fundamental building block for quantum photonic technologies. Realizing this in a chip-scale architecture is important for scalability, which amplifies a breakthrough by City College of New York researchers led by physicist Vinod Menon. They’ve demonstrated for the first time the use of “Rydberg states” in solid state materials (previously shown in cold atom gases) to enhance nonlinear optical interactions to unprecedented levels in solid state systems. This feat is a first step towards realizing chip-scale scalable single photon switches.

In solid state systems, exciton-polaritons, half-light half-matter quasiparticles, which result from the hybridization of electronic excitations (excitons) and photons, are an attractive candidate to realize nonlinearities at the quantum limit. “Here we realize these quasiparticles with Rydberg excitons (excited states of excitons) in atomically thin semiconductors (2D materials),” said Menon, chair of physics in City College’s Division of Science. “Excited states of excitons owing to their larger size, show enhanced interactions and therefore hold promise for accessing the quantum domain of single-photon nonlinearities, as demonstrated previously with Rydberg states in atomic systems.”

According to Menon, the demonstration of Rydberg exciton-polaritons in two-dimensional semiconductors and their enhanced nonlinear response presents the first step towards the generation of strong photon interactions in solid state systems, a necessary building block for quantum photonic technologies.

Jie Gu, a graduate student working under Menon’s supervision, was the first author of the study entitled: “Enhanced nonlinear interaction of polaritons via excitonic Rydberg states in monolayer WSe2,” which appears in “Nature Communications.” The team also included scientists from Stanford, Columbia, Aarhus and Montreal Polytechnic universities.

The research of Professor Menon and his co-workers could have a tremendous impact on Army goals for ultra-low energy information processing and computing for mobile Army platforms such as unmanned systems,” said Dr. Michael Gerhold, program manager at the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory. “Optical switching and nonlinearities used in future computing paradigms that use photonics would benefit from this advancement. Such strong coupling effects would reduce energy consumption and possibly aid computing performance.

The research was supported by the Army Research Office, an element of DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory, through the MURI program and the NSF through the MRSEC program.

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Coronavirus updates | India adds record over 3.49 lakh new COVID-19 cases in single day


India on Sunday reported a record daily rise of 349,691 new coronavirus infections, taking its overall tally to 16.96 million infections.

A total of 2,767 people were reported dead on Sunday, according to health ministry data, taking total coronavirus fatalities to 192,311.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest updates:

Delhi

Delhi’s Ganga Ram Hospital receives 5 MT oxygen, highest in 3 days

After an all-night scramble for an oxygen refill, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi received five metric tonnes of the life-saving gas in the early hours of Sunday, according to officials.

The hospital had raised an alarm at 10.30 p.m. on Saturday, saying its oxygen stock would last only an hour. There were 130 patients in the ICU, including 30 on invasive ventilation, when the SOS was sent.

Around 12.20 a.m. it received a tanker, with the help of local AAP MLA Raghav Chadha, which supplied one metric tonne of oxygen.

“It should last two hours,” a hospital spokesperson said around 12.45 a.m. – PTI

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Over 3.32 lakh fresh cases in India in single day, record 2,263 fatalities


Country’s total tally surge to 1,62,63,695, while active cases cross the 24-lakh mark

New Delhi: India added a record over 3.32 lakh new coronavirus cases in a single day taking the country’s tally to 1,62,63,695, while active cases crossed the 24-lakh mark, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.

The death toll increased to 1,86,920 with a record 2,263 new fatalities. The country recorded a single day rise of 3,32,730 new cases, the data updated at 8 am showed.

 

Registering a steady increase, the active cases increased to 24,28,616 comprising 14.93 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has further dropped to 83.92 per cent.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,36, 48,159, while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.15 per cent, the data stated.

India’s COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16.It went past  60 lakh on September 28,  70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.India crossed the grim milestone of 1.50 crore on April 19.

 

According to the ICMR, 27,44,45,653 samples have been tested up to April 22 with 17,40,550 samples being tested on Thursday.

The 2,263 new fatalities include 568 from Maharashtra, 306 from Delhi, 207 from Chhattisgarh, 195 from Uttar Pradesh, 137 from Gujarat, 123 from Karnataka and 106 from Jharkhand.

A total of 1,86,920 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 62,479 from Maharashtra, 13,885 from Karnataka, 13,317 from Tamil Nadu, 13,193 from Delhi, 10,766 from West Bengal, 10,541 from Uttar Pradesh, 8,189 from Punjab and 7,541 from Andhra Pradesh.

The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

 

“Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research,” the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation.

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A cheeky single from Burgoyne in the nervous 390s


Fletcher only touched the ball once in three matches and Tuck in one while Bartlett never dropped below two touches although he managed to play 75 games without recording a handball.

Bartlett said he had no issue with Burgoyne jumping from 392 to 393 pointing out that it’s always been one of the rules of the game and it was no different in reality to a player registering a game when injured in the first minute.

But the champion Tiger joked that ‘Boomer’ Harvey might see things differently if Burgoyne moved close to his 432-game record.

“‘Boomer’ might get a bit disappointed if he [Burgoyne] sits on the bench for 50 games straight and never plays,” Bartlett said.

“‘Boomer’ might say ‘hang on, that’s a bit much’ and ask for a recount.”

The Hawks have only used their sub once with Connor Downie making his debut in round one without actually taking the field, a game that he might look back on fondly if he joins Burgoyne in the nervous 390s in 20 years.

It’s worth Downie taking note that ‘Silk’ Burgoyne only had one touch on debut on 14 May, 2002, a game he played exactly two weeks after Downie was born.

Upside down town

While we are on statistical quirks anyone alive in the late ’70s and early ’80s will know how unusual it is to see the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne sitting in the top two spots on the ladder after a round of football.

Not only is it a new experience for Nathan Jones, who has not been part of a team sitting first or second on the ladder in his 298-game career until now, but according to AFL Tables this week is the first time since round 3, 1957 that the Dogs have sat on top and Melbourne second after a round of football.

The Demons won the flag that season, just saying.

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Snake alert

Despite being slightly late to the party Snap Shot could not let the Good Friday experience of the Finley fourths – coached by none other than Geelong forward Tom Hawkins’ cousin Lachlan Hawkins – go through to the keeper just yet.

Their match, which kicked off a massive day against Deniliquin, halted when young Harry Daniel spotted a tiger snake taking up a dangerous space in the middle of the ground.

He told a teammate who told the umpire Matthew Boyd who halted the game, only for half the farmers in the Riverina to wander on to the ground to identify the type of snake they were dealing with.

Club president Ashley Haynes suspects the snake popped up from a sprinkler hole when the ground started vibrating as a game of footy got underway.

“He was relocated on the end of a shovel,” Haynes said.

The gatekeeper Barry Dawe is now checking all sprinklers before the match to ensure no snakes sneak in without paying with Hawkins unlikely to be directing the fourths to kick “long bombs to Snake” – Ron Barassi’s famous instructions for North players to look for Phil Baker – any time soon.

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