On 24th May, the country’s telecom regulator TRAI submitted a detailed response to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and rejected DoT’s call to reconsider its recommendation of fines worth Rs 3,050 crore on Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular for not providing adequate points of interconnect (PoIs) to Reliance Jio while stressing that it has the powers to suggest penal action on erring telcos in view of the larger public interest.
In the presence of Manoj Sinha, the Minister of State for Communication (Independent Charge) & Minister of State for Railways, Govt. of India., Inmarsat Satellite Gateway Inmarsat and its strategic partner BSNL, officially opened a new Indian GSPS Gateway, which will enable Indian government and private sector customers to access highly reliable satellite phone (satphone) services via Inmarsat’s 4th generation constellation.
Vodafone India has told the Delhi High Court that the two new tariff plans -'Summer Surprise' and 'Dhan Dhana Dhan' - offered by Reliance Jio are in violation of the TRAI's norms. Vodafone’s application was heard by Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva seeking to amend its petition filed early this year against RJIO's free trial offer of its 4G services.
The details about the proposed merger of Aditya Birla Group promoted Idea Cellular with Vodafone Plc's Indian arm have been sought by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). Once the companies provide all the information about the merger, the regulator will see if it's in compliance with all the securities laws.
The route for merger of Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) into Reliance Communications (RCom) is clear now as the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) ruled that the (DoT) need not ask for bank guarantees worth Rs. 236 crore from SSTL.
Docomo’s share (21.6%) in Tata Teleservices is expected to be bought by Tata Group companies along with their promoter Tata Sons, as they have sought a nod from the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
On 18th May, CBI faced an embarrassment as the court refused to initiate proceedings to declare Malaysian nationals Ralph Marshall and T Ananda Krishnan as absconders in the Aircel-Maxis deal case saying it was not clear whether they deliberately evaded the summonses.
The charges of cartelisation made by Reliance Jio against Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular has got a new twist when two members of the six-member Competition Commission of India (CCI) have submitted a dissent note against the majority view of the CCI.
The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has been asked by the country’s regulator) to check with the Right of Way (RoW) rules under which tower companies such as Indus Towers, Bharti Infratel and American Tower Corp are excluded from seeking benefits. TRAI said that the exclusion is discouraging tower installations and is hurting quality of services.
The country’s telecom regulator, TRAI will defend its power to recommend penalties on operators, and says it had the power to suggest Rs. 3,050 crore penalties on top three operators for not providing adequate points of interconnect to the new entrant Reliance Jio. TRAI will soon give a point-by-point rebuttal to the Telecom Commission (TC), and said that it had “carefully considered” all aspects and rules while making its initial suggestions in October 2016.
Reliance Jio has shrunken profit margins of all telecom operators. Bharti Airtel, a big money earner prior to RJio’s arrival, has posted its weakest quarterly profit in more than four years. RJio has snatched millions of customers from other operators with its initial freebies and high speed internet.
The Centre is going to establish a panel which may have six to eight members, including two from the telecom department and one each from the departments of revenue and economic affairs; the panel will look into the financial woes of the telecom sector and will submit its views and solutions to the government in three months.
The Sukma tragedy has forced the government to take necessary steps on every front including telecommunication. The Centre is likely to ask BSNL to set up 3,000 more telecom towers on an urgent basis and enhance the satellite bandwidth in the Naxal-hit areas to improve communication among the security agencies operating there.
Country’s telecom regulator TRAI said on 5th May that it will soon roll out an app for measuring call quality, enabling the subscribers to rate the service quality after completion of a call. The regulator also plans to strengthe n the 'Do Not Disturb' registry programme aimed at deterring pesky calls by telemarketers.
Reliance Jio’s Dhan Dhana Dhan offer has reportedly got a go ahead from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The Rs 309 plan offering 1GB data for 84 days was introduced by the company after TRAI forced it to withdraw the Summer Surprise offer, which, on 6th April, was asked by TRAI to be withdrawn. But TRAI has found that Dhan Dhana Dhan offer has nothing to it which could be a reason to meet the same fate.
Fed up with accusations regarding offers and plans by major telecom players in recent times, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman RS Sharma said that telcos are making “too much of noise”. He also declined their demand that the interconnect usage charge (IUC) be fixed as the minimum price of a voice call.
To examine financial woes of telecom and power companies and recommend solutions, the government has decided to set up inter-ministerial panels. This has been informed by Communications Minister Manoj Sinha on 3 May.
According to Telecom regulator Trai chief RS Sharma, TRAI will seek the industry's view on timing of the next spectrum auction, as part of its consultation process on sale of airwaves. This implies that the telecom industry will get a chance to give its opinion on the timeframe, especially because it has so far opposed an immediate sale of spectrum. Citing the weak financials of telcos, COAI has instead favoured a late 2018 or early 2019 timeline.
The telecom regulator TRAI’s Chairman RS Sharma said that TRAI will reply to the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) very soon regarding its clarification on Rs. 3,050 crores penalty it had sought from Airtel, Vodafone and Idea for denying call connectivity to newcomer Reliance Jio.
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