Let telecom firms use spectrum as collateral, Trai tells govt

download (5).jpgSource: LiveMint.com, Mar 31, 2017

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has suggested that the government allow telecom companies to use spectrum as collateral for borrowing amid falling revenues and a decline in the sector’s contribution to the exchequer.

“That will assuage the stress of telecommunications as well as the banking sector,” Trai secretary Sudhir Gupta wrote in a letter to new telecom secretary P.K. Pujari on 29 March. A copy of the letter has been reviewed by Mint.

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Idea approves merger with Vodafone India, to create India’s largest telco

Source: The Economic Times, Mar 20, 2017

MUMBAI: Kumar Mangalam Birla owned Idea Cellular said its Board has approved of a merger with Vodafone India and its wholly owned subsidiary Vodafone India Mobile Services, which will create India’s largest mobile phone company.

Vodafone India’s business barring its investments in Indus Towers will vest in the new entity, which will be renamed at a later stage, said a statement by the company on BSE.

Vodafone will own 45.1% in the combined entity after transferring 4.9% to the promoters of Idea Cellular for Rs 38740 crore in cash post the merger. Kumar Mangalam Birla and other promoters of Idea Group will hold 26% and the rest will be owned by the public, said the statement.

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TRAI to promote ease of doing business in Telecom sector

Source: IBEF.org, Mar 15, 2017

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is trying to identify the obstacles that create difficulties to perform telecom business with ease in India. TRAI plans to review its existing processes of licence acquisition, spectrum allotment and mergers in order to simplify them to the extent possible to economise on efforts on part of the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) as well as the government. The procedures related to unified licence, acquisition of licence, compliance with commercial, financial, technical conditions, and compliance with roll-out obligations, payment of licence fee, financial bank guarantee and performance bank guarantee, adding and surrendering authorisations under the licence, are expected to be reviewed as a part of the process.

Vodafone, Idea to seal merger pact within a month

download-2Source: Indian Express, Feb 19, 2017

NEW DELHI: UK’s Vodafone and Aditya Birla group firm Idea Cellular are likely to finalise within a month the mega merger deal that will create India’s largest telecom firm, according to sources.

“The companies are likely to announce a definitive signing agreement by February 24-25,” says a source. “They are almost ready to sign the agreement and should not take more than a month to announce it,” according to another source. However, both Vodafone and Idea declined to comment on the matter.

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Government to pump in Rs 5500 crore in northeast India to beef up connectivity in the region

Source: The Economic Times, Jan 24, 2017

GUWAHATI: What is expected to beef up connectivity in the insurgency dominated pockets and international border areas, Union Ministry of telecommunication will install around 6000 towers across Northeast India under the comprehensive telecom development plan for Northeast India. Secretary department of telecommunication (DOT), J.S Deepak spent two days in Northeast India and had meeting with CMD of BSNL, Bharat Broadband Network Ltd and Rail Tel.

Deepak told ET on Tuesday, “We have discussed state wise what were hurdles and what ways to overcome it were. 2017 as far as DOT is concerned is year of focus of Northeast India.”
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High operational costs impact telcos’ profit

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Jan 19, 2017

The performance of telecom companies in the first half of 2016-17 paints a harsh picture of the industry. High operational costs ate into its profits. Though data revenue increased and made up for the drop in voice revenue, net profit plummeted over 50 per cent for top players in the listed space as interest costs increased.

Sluggish growth

Bharti-Airtel and Idea Cellular posted revenue growth of 6 per cent and 8 per cent respectively in the first half of the year, but net profit declined.

Higher interest on borrowings on account of spectrum acquisition in 2016 weighed on their profits. Tata Communications saw a marginal decline in sales. Its net profit too declined 47 per cent primarily because of the exceptional loss from impairment of its business Neotel. However, the sale deals of Neotel and the data centre businesses resulted in a surge in its stock price to about 68 per cent.

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India to be world’s 3rd assembler of iPhones

index.jpgSource: Times of India, Jan 04, 2017

Bengaluru: With the upcoming Bengaluru assembly plant of Apple, India will become only the third country to do the final assembly of iPhones -an indication of how important the country has become for the world’s most-valued company.Apart from one assembly facility in Brazil, all of Apple’s assembly units for its bestselling product are in China.

Apple uses a global and fairly complex supply chain.The parts for the iPhone, iPad, iPod and Mac are manufactured, mostly by third parties, across 28 countries. It has 766 suppliers, of which 346 are based in China, 126 in Japan, and 69 in the US. There is one in India -in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. That’s a unit of Flextronics. But it’s not clear what the unit makes.

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