On 14 December, the Supreme Court permitted Britain's Vodafone to start second arbitration process under an India-UK investment pact over New Delhi's tax demand for more than $2 billion.
According to telecom regulator TRAI's MySpeed app, once again Reliance Jio’s 4G download speed touched a top speed of 21.9Mbps in October. Earlier, Jio recorded 19.123Mbps that was registered in May.
With cheap data rates and easy affordability of smartphones, a paradigm shift is taking place where telcos are partnering major OTT players to streamline content to their customers. As per latest research, average data consumption per user per month has increased 10 times in the past one year post arrival of Reliance Jio.
As per media sources, Tata Teleservices (TTSL) may release 26% stake to its JV partner American Tower Corp (ATC) for discontinuing rentals. Tata Group has already exited from mobile services. If it sells 26% stake, it might fetch Rs 5,000 crore while the penalty for early termination may be as much as Rs 7,000 crore. So, TTSL will still need Rs 2000 Crore.
According to the latest Ericsson Mobility Report, mobile data traffic in the country will grow eleven times in the next six years. The report also said LTE will account for more than 60% of the total subscriptions in the country by 2023 compared to the 12% LTE subscriptions in 2017.
Leading telecom operators are eyeing airways of Reliance Communications which has shut its voice call service on December 1. The Anil Ambani-owned telecom company has already sold its DTH arm Reliance Big TV. RCom is under a massive debt of Rs 45,000 crore, and is facing quite a few litigations for dues.
The telecom regulator TRAI released recommendations on net neutrality on 27 November. While many are hailing it as a great move, telecom operators are not happy. They called it a “piece meal” approach and may contact DoT’s intervention on their issues.
According t Ericsson, the VoLTE subscriber base in India will touch 800 million by 2023. Nitin Bansal, Managing Director, Ericsson India, said that LTE will be the most dominant technology in India by 2023. He added that 4G LTE will account for more than 60% of the total subscriptions in India by 2023 compared to the 12% LTE subscriptions in 2017.
Despite so many interventions, and efforts by telcos, customers are still frustrated due to call drops and poor signals. To address the pesky issue, the Cellular association COAI wants the telecom regulator TRAI to meet players to discuss the results of the new call drop norms.
Feature phones have been exempted from GPS installations, as per fresh ruling by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Earlier, DoT had said that all phones must have GPS.
Several complaints are coming forth about how free, unlimited call plans have become boon for tele-callers. They are using it for making promotional calls. While the rules is that tele-callers should register with TRAI to obtain the telemarketing phone number begins with 140. A promotional call with general mobile phones is called ‘unsolicited commercial communication’ which is a crime under the TRAI Act.
Lakhs of customers have been left with no services, as Reliance Communication has suddenly stopped services in the North-East India, and shut its call centres.
In its pursuit to provide high-speed broadband in all panchayats by March 2019, the government has started Phase 2 (final) of BharatNet on 14 November. Phase 1 of BharatNetwill complete by the end of 2017; it will connect 1 lakh gram panchayats at an investment of Rs 11,200 crore.
The arrival of Reliance Jio has generated a sense of innovation among other telecom players. Market leader Airtel has understood well that only innovation can take it forward. Hence, to start with it converted a part of its engineering centre for Network Excellence in Manesar close to Gurgaon in Haryana. It is country’s first community lab for innovative solutions.
The telecom operators are luring customers with attractive offers, often in guise of free calls and data. To stop bad practices, the telecom regulator TRAI has said that it examines all plans by operators including bundled and cashback offers, and will intervene in case it finds anything contrary to the regulations.
Airtel may lose its prominent Qatari investor who may sell his 5% stake worth $1.46 billion. Qatar’s Three Pillars Pte Ltd has put up for sale through stock market transactions about 199.9 million shares in Bharti Airtel in a price range of 473-490 rupees each.
According to media sources, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) may remove the 50% limit on spectrum holdings within a particular band. If it is done, it would help telcos like Vodafone and Idea which will retain all their airwaves once the merger of the two is complete.
According to media sources, the telecom regulator TRAI may come out with new telecom policy inputs by December which will be shared by the Department of Telecom (DoT). TRAI said that the policy is needed for a holistic growth of the sector, and the support infrastructure.
The matter regarding the leverage calling apps such as Skype get over telcos is being hotly debated these days. Now to compete well against them, telcos have requested the government to look at the licensing regime and change it. According to them, the present regime of licences is restrictive and outmoded because phone companies cannot offer a host of services even if technology allows.
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