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Jul 29, 2013

In the wake of the police crackdown on an illegal telecom activity called the International Revenue Sharing Fraud (IRSF) last week, telecommunication companies here have foreseen an emerging threat to their relations with their international counterparts.


IRSF, said to be one of the most critical telecommunication crimes, was tracked in Nepal for the first time, with two Pakistani nationals found using the gateway of Ncell to make calls from SIM cards issued with UK-based companies Vodafone and T-Mobile. The duo had been making telephone calls to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, the countries with high telecommunication tariffs. In the past couple of weeks, they had made calls for over 13,333 minutes using the roaming service of T-Mobile alone.


In roaming service, the home network (T-Mobile or Vodafone in this case), has to pay a certain amount of revenue to the visited network (Ncell) based on the talk-time. The visited network then shares the revenue with the carrier service providers (CSP) to whom it passes the call. The CSP again passes the call to another such service providers to route the call to the destination country, according to telecom companies. The longer the talk-time, the higher the revenue that the CSPs and the destination network get.


Nepal Telecom officials said such crime is possible with the involvement of CSPs that route the calls and destination networks. Therefore, racketeers look forward to increase the talk-time from the home network by misusing various high-cost services, preferably roaming.


Last week’s crackdown has revealed that IRSF, the biggest telecom crime, is also taking place in Nepal, according to Sanju Koirala, corporate communication director of Ncell.


“The high revenue charge for the home network is just one side of the coin,” she said. “In the larger picture, such instances are very much likely to spoil the relations of trust between two international telecommunication companies.” If such instances keep happening, international telecom operators might stop their outbound roaming services to Nepal, experts say. Such a move will take a toll directly on the revenue generation of local telecom companies and indirectly on other related businesses like tourism, the say. Spokesperson for Nepal Telecom Guna Keshari Pradhan echoed Koirala, and called for efforts from all related quarters to avoid the illegal operation of such “telecommunication pirates”.


“IRSF is already the most feared telecommunication crime, which often goes unnoticed, as the sharing of revenue goes in the legal channel,” he said. The two-week-long coordinated search carried out by Ncell and the police, which ended on July 16 with the arrest of Nabid Ur Rahman and Mohammad Asif is both a major success and a new challenge for police units looking to curb telecommunication crimes. Such crimes were so far limited to call by-pass and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).


Police seized a laptop, 26 UK SIM cards, 17 Spain SIM cards, a Pakistan SIM card, three Ncell SIM cards and 20 cell phone sets from the Pakistanis.


According to SSP Subodh Ghimire, Head of the Kathmandu Metropolitan Police Range, Hanumandhoka, the recent arrest is an encounter that has opened up ways for other similar investigations.


“The ones we arrested are just a part of the huge trans-national racket,” he said. “Investigations to get further clues and to trace the larger racket are under way.”


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Posted: Jul 29, 2013 6:54pm
Jul 16, 2013

This week I met an owner of an Tesla Model S electric sedan who raised the question of whether electric vehicles are really better for the environment when you including everything, including the resources that go into making the battery and the impact of disposing of it. He was feeling uneasy about his environmental bona fides.


Renault recently made public a report that provides a fair assessment by comparing an electric version of its Fluence sedan with gas and diesel-powered versions of the same car. And it makes clear that electric cars are, indeed, better for the environment. The report is a life-cycle assessment, a “cradle to grave” analysis, including not only the emissions involved in using the car, but also the emissions from making it, the resources consumed in manufacturing, and a range of environmental impacts. It looked at not only greenhouse-gas emissions, but impacts on acid rain, ozone pollution, algae blooms, consumption of water and materials such as steel and copper, and total energy demand.


The study found that while the environmental impact of making electric vehicles is greater than for making gas and diesel vehicles, this is more than made up for by the greater impact of gas and diesel vehicles while they’re being used. This is true in terms of total energy consumption, use of resources, greenhouse gases, and ozone pollution. The electric vehicles were assumed to be charged from a grid that includes significant amounts of fossil fuels. (Other studies show that electric vehicles beat gas-powered ones in terms of greenhouse gas emissions even if they’re charged in regions that depend heavily on coal. Here’s one such study. In some areas, hybrids are a better choice than electric cars.)


Electric vehicles come out behind in two areas. They contribute slightly more to acid rain. And they’re slightly worse in terms of causing algae blooms than gasoline cars (but better than diesel).

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Posted: Jul 16, 2013 7:26pm
Mar 6, 2013 

Doosan Boiler System for Waste to Energy Plant in Poland

German waste to energy technology manufacturer, Doosan Lentjes, a part of Doosan Power Systems, is to deliver key boiler technologies for a new waste to energy facility being built in Krakow, Poland.

Doosan said that the plant will be based on its air-cooled reciprocating grate and boiler technology.

As a key subcontractor to POSCO Engineering & Construction of South Korea, Doosan Lentjes is to supply a complete boiler system for the plant, which will consist of two lines capable of processing up to 220,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste per year.

The company added that the new plant is currently the largest waste to energy plant under construction in Poland.

According to Doosan the contract includes engineering, procurement and delivery of equipment as well as services for construction and commissioning.

The plant, scheduled for completion by the end of 2015, will combine Doosan Lentjes’ reciprocating grate and steam generator technologies to produce electricity and district heat.

Doosan added that it has installed similar technologies at several waste to energy plants worldwide, most recently at plants in Frankfurt, Germany and Harlingen, Netherlands.

Once complete the plant is expected to generate around 8 MW of electricity and some 35 MW of heat. 

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Posted: Mar 6, 2013 8:41pm


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Frankie F.
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