The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,102.94 million at the end of October 16 to 1,123.96 million at the end of November 16, showing a monthly growth rate of 1.91 percent.
Rajan S Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), talks about how the scope for further consolidation is going to continue to stress the industry for some time, the October airwaves sale, and the controversy around Reliance JioÂ´s entry.
Seven telecom operators have deposited Rs 14,653 crore as earnest money for the largest spectrum auction from October 1. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has said that Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone can bid in any spectrum band in any of the telecom circles in the country.
The Telecom Commission has fixed the weighted average spectrum usage charge (SUC) at a minimum of 3 per cent of revenue, raising the user charge for Reliance Jio Infocomm and Maxis-controlled Aircel, while shooting down the formula of flat revenue share rate across all airwave bands and operators, proposed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Telecom towers are critical installations on which the backbone of mobile communication rests. These are essential for realising the vision of inclusive growth. The success of initiatives like Digital India, Smart Cities and Right to Broadband, which the government intends to implement in a mission mode, will also depend on this critical and essential infrastructure.
Once Reliance Jio starts operations later this year, the telecom sector is expected to see some serious disruption. For now, the three big boys of the sector - Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea - are growing at a blistering pace, and at the expense of smaller rivals. In the first quarter, the three accounted for 91 per cent of the sectorÂ´s incremental revenue.