Tech Tracker 16-01-2018


Alexa, at your service

For all of you big fans of the famous British TV series ‘Downton Abbey’ and their interesting lives: where the owners of the house can find a butler waiting on them at their beck and call and you imagine if you could live like that, well Amazon thinks you can.

It all started with Internet of Things (IoT), which simply put is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items connected through Internet enabling these devices to identify each other and exchange data. Since major Appliance manufacturers were now offering more smart appliances to their customer, the creative people at Amazon Labs126 felt a gap in the market, leading to the creation of Amazon Alexa.

Amazon Alexa is your personal assistant capable of voice interaction, music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, and other real-time information, such as news both at home and on the go. Alexa device is currently available in English and German language is undergoing constant development for new features.

Although you can acquire Alexa for both your Apple IOS and Google Android devices but this largely works best with Amazon compatible devices such as Amazon Echo, Amazon Dot, Amazon Echo Show which could be connected to all other smart appliances taking you once step closer to your smart home.

A revolution in the communication industry

It seems that PTCL’s bad days may be behind them. The largest player in the national communication infrastructure is working on a massive overhaul. Since the appointment of Dr. Daniel Ritz as CEO PTCL, more than Rs. 27 billion are being injected on, let’s face it, the long overdue upgradation of the last mile access network infrastructure to ensure better customer services.

This current Network transformation project consists of some 100 exchanges that serve about 50% of customer base of all PTCL consumers. Currently the existing network consists of a copper wire connection from the exchange to the Cabinet, a secondary copper from Cabinet to Distribution Point and then to the Customer premises. The average loop length was 3.5 km that limited the speed capability to 2 to 4 Mbps.

Through the upgrade, FTTC (Fibre to the Curb) MSAGs are being deployed with fiber connectivity from the exchanges and they will be available with-in 1 to 1.5 km of every home user.

The speeds that customers can expect will be:

  • Fiber to the Home (FTTH) customers: 50Mbps and 100 Mbps
  • Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) Copper Customer: 8-20Mbps

PTCL claims that the transformed exchanges have so far reduced customer complaints by 30%. If that is so we are looking at a revolutionized communication environment.

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