Centre plans to invest Rs 107 bn to boost telecommunication in north east

Source: Business Standard, Jan 16, 2018

Guwahati: The government on Tuesday said it will invest Rs 107.43 billion for improving the telecommunication network in the northeastern states and along the National Highways in the region.Union Minister of State for Telecommunications Jayant Sinha announced this while he was in Guwahati to review the implementation of BharatNet and other major telecom projects in the northeastern region.

“An amount of Rs 107.43 billion will be spent on different projects in the northeastern states to spread mobile network connectivity to different uncovered villages in the region. I hope that most of these projects will be completed by December 2018,” said Sinha. Read the rest of this entry »

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Government may allow 100 per cent FDI in telecom via automatic route

Source: The Economic Times, Dec 21, 2017

NEW DELHI: The government is finalising a plan to allow 100 per cent FDI for telecom services through the automatic route which allows firms to attract foreign funds without its approval, sources said today.

The proposal is likely to be considered by the Telecom Commission, the apex decision making body of the Department of Telecom, at its meeting scheduled for tomorrow, they said.

“The TC is likely to consider raising of FDI limit up to 100 per cent for all telecom services including infrastructure through automatic route,” a source said. Read the rest of this entry »

Trai to meet telcos early Jan to discuss 2018 roadmap

Source: The Economic Times, Dec 20. 2017

The telecom regulator will seek views of all carriers to narrow down on some areas of priority that it should look into in 2018, for which it will meet the companies in the first week of January, chairman RS Sharma has said.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will also begin drive tests for measuring quality of data services on a granular level, and is considering adding the option of viewing speeds of all networks at one’s location or travel route in the MySpeed App, with the option for the consumer to choose that network. Both services will be greatly beneficial for consumers that typically face issues of call drops and inadequate data coverage in some instances.

“We intend to call a meeting in the first week of January of all telcos and ask them of the priority areas. These are important and strategic issues,” Trai chairman RS Sharma told ET. “We will also share with them the status or closure of the areas that we identified last year… we have broadly closed most of them and we will be closing them all by the end of this year,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

Government plans new telecom policy by February 2018

Source: Business Standard, Nov 07, 2016

New Delhi: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is planning to finalise the new telecom policy by February 2018, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said here on Tuesday.

“We are trying to come out with the new telecom policy by February 2018. High level working groups have started working towards it. We expect to finalise the draft telecom policy by December and place it for public comments,” Sinha told reporters at a press meet. Read the rest of this entry »

Smartphone shipments touch record high in Q2

Source: Business Standard, Oct. 18, 2017

New Delhi: The shipment of smartphones grew 13 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) during July-September to touch a record high of about 40 million units, said Counterpoint Research. Last year, when the festive season began some three weeks earlier, handset players had shipped in close to 35 million units in the same period.

While smartphone imports usually surge during the September quarter every year in anticipation of higher sales in festive months, this year shipments grew more than average. Read the rest of this entry »

Govt approves BSNL’s plan to spin off mobile tower business

Source: LiveMint.com, Sept 13, 2017

New Delhi: The union cabinet approved a proposal to separate Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd’s (BSNL) mobile tower assets into a new unit, a move that will potentially generate revenues and improve finances of the state-run telecom firm.

“This approval authorizes BSNL to monetize its telecom tower infrastructure,” the government said in a statement on Tuesday.

BSNL owns more than 66,000 mobile towers in India, almost 15% of the around 442,000 mobile towers in the country.

“An independent, dedicated tower company of BSNL with a focused approach will lead to increasing of external tenancies (or number of companies using a tower) and consequentially higher revenue for the new company,” the government said. Read the rest of this entry »

New Telecom Policy may ensure Internet access for 1.3 billion Indians

Source: The Economic Times, Sept 11, 2017

NEW DELHI: The New Telecom Policy, expected by March 2018, will focus on providing affordable internet access to 1.3 billion Indians and facilitate domestic manufacturing to curb dependence on imports. Telecom minister Manoj Sinha told ETthe call drop situation has improved and competition will ensure quality services at affordable rates. “Internet to all will be the basic principle and to give a boost to telecom manufacturing would be a key factor of the new telecom policy,” Sinha said.

The government’s ambitious Digital India umbrella programme, with an initial outlay of Rs 1.13 lakh crore, hinges on data connectivity and aims to bring 100% tele-density, high-speed internet highways and delivery of citizencentric services electronically. The new telecom policy will address sector issues and make them future-proof with the onset of disruptive technologies such as fifthgeneration (5G) and artificial intelligence (AI). Read the rest of this entry »