New telecom policy likely to be in place by July, says Manoj Sinha

Source: Business Standard, Jun 13, 2018

New Delhi: The new telecom policy is expected to be cleared by the Union Cabinet by the end of next month, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said today.”I am hopeful of getting Cabinet approval on NDCP by end of July,” he said while talking about the achievement of the government in the last 4 years.

The government has recently issued draft of the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018 which aims to provide access to every household with download speed of 50 Mbps, attract investment of around Rs 6.5 lakh crore in the sector and create 4 million new job opportunities with a few years.

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Centre unveils eSIM norms

Source: The Hindu Business Line, May 17, 2018

New Delhi: The Centre has eased norms for users who want to change a mobile service provider or buy a new connection without replacing a SIM card.

According to the Department of Telecom (DoT)’s new guidelines, embedded SIMs (eSIMs) can be installed in a device, and the details of service providers can be updated in it if the customer buys a new connection, changes operators, or wants to buy a standalone service from a telecom operator,, such as data calling.

“To cater to the needs of modern technological developments in machine to machine (M2M)/ Internet of Things (IoT), it has been decided to permit the use of eSIM, with both single and multiple profile configurations…” the DoT said. It said operators may carry out their KYC while providing eSIMs.

The DoT has also issued instructions for SIMs that will be used for M2M communications, such as alerts sent from cars to mobiles over low fuel, faulty parts, car theft etc.

The norms come shortly after Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio started selling the Apple Watch Series 3, which has an eSIM.

Draft telecom policy aims at US$ 100 billion investment

Source: Business Standard, May 02, 2018

New Delhi: The government on Tuesday came out with the draft of the New Telecom Policy — National Digital Communications Policy 2018 —to create 4 million jobs by 2022, attract $100 billion investment in the sector and ensure broadband coverage at 50 mbps for every citizen.

The draft also proposes to address the woes of the debt-ridden telecom sector by reviewing licence fees, spectrum usage charges, universal service obligation fund levy, all of which add to the cost of telecom services, under the new policy for enhancing ease of doing business in the sector.

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Indus Towers to merge with Bharti Infratel to create world’s largest tower co

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Apr 25, 2018

New Delhi: Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular (along with its subsidiary ABTL, “Idea Group”) and Vodafone Group on Wednesday said that they have agreed to merge Vodafone’s, Idea Group’s and Providence Equity Partners’ respective shareholdings in Indus Towers Ltd (“Indus Towers”) into Bharti Infratel creating a combined company that will own 100 per cent of Indus Towers.

The combination of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers by way of merger will create a pan-India tower company, with over 1.63 lakh towers, operating across all 22 telecom service areas in India. The combined company will be the largest tower company in the world outside China.

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Telecom companies seen bouncing back this fiscal

 Source: Live Mint.com, Apr 24, 2018

Mumbai: Incumbent telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd are expected to post better financial performance over the next few quarters on the back of a merger that is expected to create synergies, savings and the benefit of a low base, brokerages said. However, performance in the March quarter may remain under pressure due to promotional tariffs, cut in international call termination charges, and an increase in service tax.

A Deutsche Bank Markets Research report on India Telecom released in 12 April states that the merged company (Vodafone-Idea Cellular) is expected to make Rs4,000 crore savings on network operating expenses as it rationalizes its tower footprint. The report also estimates that the merged company would save from lower rentals (lesser sites) and reduction in power costs.

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Govt panel starts work on proposed 5G blueprint

download (4).jpgSource: LiveMint.com, Apr 20, 2018

New Delhi: A high-level panel constituted by the government to work out a roadmap for 5G rollout held its third meeting on Thursday, and is now working on drafting interim reports on the proposed 5G blueprint, a person familiar with the matter said.

The forum, chaired by the telecom secretary, will hold its next meeting in mid-June, a government official familiar with the development said. “The third meeting of the 5G forum was held on Thursday and the interim reports can be expected shortly. The next meeting is likely to be held on 14 June,” the person said.

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Idea’s proposal seeking 100 pc FDI under consideration of DIPP

download (2).jpgSource: The Economic Times, Apr 22, 2018

NEW DELHI: Idea Cellular Ltd’s proposal to allow up to 100 per cent foreign direct investment in the company is under consideration of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), an official said.

The proposal assumes significance against the backdrop of pending merger of Idea Cellular Ltd and Vodafone India to form the country’s largest telecom operator.

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