DoT amends licences of telcos to incorporate net neutrality rules

Source: Business Standard, Aug 07, 2018

New Delhi: The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has amended the licences of telecom operators and internet service providers to incorporate net neutrality rules, which means that no service provider can now restrict or discriminate in the treatment of content by blocking, slowing down or granting preferential speeds in providing internet access.

The Telecom Commission, which is the highest decision-making body of DoT, had cleared the rules last month.

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Telecom industry may no longer be the goose that lays the golden egg

Source: LiveMint.com, Aug 07, 2018

For the government, the telecom industry is best viewed as the fabled goose that lays golden eggs. And telecom companies have rarely disappointed. They have outbid each other to buy spectrum at ridiculous prices at regular intervals. Some analysts even joke that large telecom companies have perfected the art of buying the unaffordable.

But on a handful of occasions, telcos have refused to cooperate and some spectrum auctions have been failures. If the government accepts the regulator’s recommendations for the next spectrum auction, another failure seems to be on the cards.

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Trai recommends sale of airwaves of over Rs 5 trn for 5G auction

download (7).jpgSource: Business Standard, Aug 02, 2018

New Delhi: Signalling a quantum leap in mobile technology, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Wednesday gave its recommendations for the auction of eight bands, including the fifth generation (5G) ultra high speed telephony. 5G auction, a first for India, is expected to be a catalyst for internet of things (IoT) innovations that would speed up machine learning and artificial intelligence. Airwaves worth around Rs 5.06 trillion will be on offer for telecom operators in the next round of auction.

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$23 bn merger of Vodafone, Idea to soon get Centre’s nod, both companies pay Rs 7268 cr towards spectrum charges

Source: Financial Express, Jul 24, 2018

New Delhi: The $23-billion merger of Idea Cellular and Vodafone India will soon get the final approval of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) as both the companies have paid Rs 7,268-crore dues towards spectrum charges. “Vodafone and Idea have paid the dues under their heads, which is being processed now at the DoT,” an official source said.

Vodafone’s due of Rs 3,926 crore pertains to the entry fee and the auction determined price of the start-up spectrum of 4.4 Mhz, which needs to be paid in the event any company goes for an M&A. Idea’s Rs 3,322-crore due is related to the one-time spectrum charge (OTSC) for spectrum held beyond 4.4 Mhz.

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India launches billion dollar cell phone shakedown

Source: LiveMint.com, Jul 13, 2018

Something about India’s telecom sector attracts its grasping state like a bee to honey. Most companies in the space have already been taxed, regulated, fined, licensed or just plain expropriated half to death. Yet that hasn’t stopped India’s bureaucrats, or its politicians, or even its judges. Ignoring the fact that telecom growth pulled the Indian economy towards double digit growth back in the barely remembered boom years of a decade ago, they seem to see the sector now less as an economic engine and more as a piggy bank.

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Post Reliance Jio, India’s mobile industry officially shrinks by a third

Source: LiveMint.com, Jul 04, 2018

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai’s) performance indicator report for the March 2018 quarter shows that the industry’s woes continue. Kotak Institutional Equities points out in a note to clients that consumer-level wireless spends (including service tax) fell to ₹ 29,800 crore in the March quarter. That’s down from a peak of ₹ 44,700 crore in the June 2016 quarter, the last ex-Reliance Jio quarter. As such, the reduction in wireless bills works out to ₹ 59,600 crore on an annualized basis.

On an average, based on this data, consumer spends have fallen by 33% since Reliance Jio’s launch. While these computations are based on Trai’s quarterly report, there are some adjustments made by Kotak’s analysts.

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India signs MOUs with 3 UK institutions for early adoption of 5G

download.jpgSource: IBEF.org, Jun 21, 2018

London: India today signed three memoranda of understanding with three top UK academic institutions to facilitate meaningful exploration and early adoption of 5G technology.

The MOUs were signed between representatives of King’s College, University of Surrey, University of Bristol and Vipin Tyagi, Executive Director of C-DOT, a government-owned body engaged in research and development in the field of telecommunications in India.

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