After changing telecom’s face forever, Jio now sets sights on a grand entry in ecommerce

Source: ETRetail.com, Nov 15, 2017

AHMEDABAD: Reliance Jio, after successfully disrupting India’s telecom industry, is preparing to wade into the crowded ecommerce market leveraging its vast network and hundreds of millions of subscribers, according to two persons aware of matter. The company is working with corner stores, or ‘kiranas’, and consumer brands to create an operational model that will enable shoppers to buy at neighbourhood shops using digital coupons via its Jio Money platform or text messages, they said. A pilot project involving several stores and leading brands is ongoing at Mumbai, Chennai and Ahmedabad and a larger rollout is likely next year, they said.

Given Jio’s rapid growth to gain 132 million subscribers in about a year, its entry into online-to-offline ecommerce should put on notice payment companies including Paytm and PhonePe that are also forging collaborations with corner stores and other entities. These firms, though, have the strong backing of investors to aggressively expand their networks.

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India under pressure to roll back import tariffs on smartphones

indexSource: The Hindu Business Line, Nov 12, 2017

New Delhi: Pressure on India to roll back import duties imposed on smart phones has increased at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) with several countries complaining that rules were bent and the US expressing concern over alleged ‘lack of transparency’.

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Telcos gear up to update networks for 5G switch

download (2)Source: The Economic Times, Oct 09, 2017

NEW DELHI: Indian telcos Vodafone India, Idea Cellular and Reliance Jio have started to prepare their networks for the futuristic 5G technology introducing massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) into their respective networks.

Massive MIMO is a key enabler for 5G networks that are expected to be rolled out after 2020. Bharti Airtel has already started with the first round of deployments in Bengaluru and Kolkata and will expand to Pune, Hyderabad and Chandigarh. Reliance Jio didn’t respond to ET’s queries for the story while No. 2 telco Vodafone and third ranked Idea are in the process of merging their operations.

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Modi government weighing options to help weak telcos exit smoothly

Source: The Economic Times, Oct 03, 2017

NEW DELHI | MUMBAI | KOLKATA: The government is considering steps to allow a smoother exit for weaker telcos at a broader policy level as part of revised mergers and acquisition rules, top officials said, a day after the proposed merger between Reliance Communications and Aircel fell through due to legal and regulatory uncertainties.

A senior official at the ministry said that the solutions for aiding the sector would have to be done on a “policy level rather than on a company-specific basis to ensure a level playing field,” and with the view to keep the sector alive.

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A Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) official, when asked on measures that the regulator can suggest to the government for more congenial exit for carriers, said, “We already have the consultation paper on ease of doing business and that should include this (of smoother exits in M&A) particular issue.” download (1).jpg

The RCom-Aircel merger, announced in September 2016, faced delay of several months owing to regulatory requirements and legal objections which meant the Anil Ambani-owned telco was running out of time to meet a December 2017 deadline set by lenders to reduce its debt under a strategic debt restructuring (SDR) process.

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Cabinet approves installation of telecom towers in cantonments

Source: The Economic Times, Sept 28, 2017

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet has approved the installation of telecom towers in army cantonment areas of the country, a move that will help address mobile call drop issues in these localities.

The revised policy will cover allotment of land in defence areas and cantonments for setting up of shared communication towers and allied infrastructure, the government said in a notice.

“This will improve the quality of communication services in the cantonments and military stations,” the government said. Separately, the government will finalise new policies related to electronics, Internet of Things, software products, cloud and ecommerce policy, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said at the India Mobile Congress here on Wednesday.

Three new centres of excellence will be set up in Gurgaon, Malviya Nagar and Vishakhapatnam dedicated to new areas of growth, he said.

Telecom firms may get interim sops now, full relief package later

Source: LiveMint.com, Sept 29, 2017

New Delhi: The Telecom Commission may offer interim, piecemeal sops to debt-laden telecom firms, pending a comprehensive relief package that’s still some distance away, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The apex telecom policymaking body is still awaiting clarifications it has sought from an inter-ministerial group (IMG) dealing with the issue, the person said on condition of anonymity. “We will take a little time… it (comprehensive package) may take a little longer. They (IMG) have given other clarifications… on some of the things, we are still waiting for clarifications,” the person said, without disclosing the clarifications the commission has sought.

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Government sets up high-level 5G India forum, eyes rollout by 2020

New Delhi: Aiming to keep pace with the global rollout of 5G, the Indian government has set up a High-Level 5G India 2020 Forum, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday.

“We want to keep pace with the global technology adoption. India does not want to stay behind in 5G rollout. That is the reason we have constituted this committee,” Sinha said here at a press meet.”5G will enhance GDP, create employment and digitise the economy,” he added.

The government will create a corpus of Rs 500 crore for 5G rollout.

The High-Level 5G Forum will have on board three secretaries from the Department of Telecommunications, IT and Electronics and Science and Technologies Ministries.