Maharashtra to invest Rs 5,000 crore for broadband in each village

Source: Financial Express, Oct. 12, 2016

Mumbai: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said Maharashtra will be investing over Rs 5,000 acrore for taking high-speed Internet connectivity to each of the 29,000 villages in the state by 2018.

“By 2018, we want to take fiber to each and every village. Once connectivity is established, we can use it for lot of applications ranging from education to healthcare to government services,” Fadnavis said at an event here.

A project of this size will cost “not less than Rs 5,000 crore”, the Chief Minister added. Read the rest of this entry »

Largest spectrum sale opens September 29

Source: The Economic Times, Aug 09, 2016

NEW DELHI: The Centre expects to net a minimum Rs 5.56 lakh crore from India’s largest auction of a2G, 3G and 4G airwaves that starts September 29, but the lack of a compelling reason like expiry of bandwidth and the expensive starting price of 700 MHz spectrum could hurt demand, leaving the government short of its target.

The telecom department (DoT) on Monday released the Notice Inviting Application (NIA), or the legally binding document for the auctions, which will likely see Vodafone India and Idea Cellular bidding more aggressively to close the 4G spectrum holding gap with No.1 telco Bharti Airtel and Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm. Read the rest of this entry »

Flat 3% spectrum usage charge for auctions

Source: Business Standard, Aug 04, 2016

New Delhi: The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Telecom Commission’s proposal of a flat three per acent spectrum usage charge (SUC) for airwaves to be procured in future and weighted average for the remaining spectrum.

The notice inviting application is expected to be issued next week and auction will commence in September. An official statement said spectrum that will be acquired in the forthcoming auction in 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2300 and 2500-MHz bands would be charged at the rate of three per cent of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) excluding the revenue from wire-line services. Read the rest of this entry »

Telecom sector braces for a revolution with the entry of virtual network operators

Source: The Economic Times, Mar 31, 2016

The Telecom Commission approved a new category of mobile phone services. The providers of these services — called virtual network operators (VNOs) — will be different from the usual telecom operators. Instead of building costly networks, they can simply pay and partner an existing mobile network operator, piggyback on that network and resell their services under their own brand.

The opportunity for VNO could open the doors for everyone from startup entrepreneurs to companies with large consumer base like mutual fund houses to ecommerce firms to retail chains. They could use the telecom networks to offer mobile, fixed line or internet services.
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Govt penalises telcos Rs 323 cr for violating CAF norms

Source: The Economic Times, Mar 02, 2016

NEW DELHI: To meet the country’s growing needs, the government plans to set up nuclear power plants in in Bihar, Haryana and Punjab, Lok Sabha was informed today.

Government aims to increase nuclear power generation capacity by three times in ten years. If it is 4,780 MW today, the same would go up to 13,480 MW, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha. He said new places are being explored for setting up plants to generate nuclear power which would be a big source for meeting the growing energy needs.

With regard to nuclear power programme, Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said the government is considering setting up new plants in areas not covered before.

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Telcos could sink with Trai planning Rs 4.6-tn auction

indexSource: Financial Express, Jan 28, 2016

New Delhi: If the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has its way, financially burdened telcos could end up bidding more than four times the Rs 1,09,000 crore they bid for spectrum a year ago. This, at a time when telcos are under pressure to invest more capex to improve the quality of their networks, not just to take care of call drops but to be able to handle the data traffic that is increasing every day.

If the auctions go through — it is up to communications minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to accept the recommendations — telcos will be bidding an astronomical Rs 4 lakh crore for just the 700 MHz spectrum which has excellent propagation qualities but for which there is, as yet, no reasonably priced equipment available.

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Telecom industry cross 100 crore mark, but call-drop spoils party in 2015

It was a towering feat for the telecom industry in 2015 to cross 100-crore subscriber mark, but the call-drop menace spoiled the party and the operators are now pulling up their socks to face greater competition with the imminent entry of Reliance Jio in 2016.It took a rap on the knuckles by the government for the mobile operators to beef up their network performance, which still remains far from the optimal levels with dropped calls still remaining a problem in many areas.

The government is however are hopeful that the problem of call drops will become a thing of past in the new year with the operators putting up more towers, while more spectrum could also be made available to them at the earliest.

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