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.
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.
Telecom Secretary JS Deepak said the government is working towards a mega sale of 2G, 3G and 4G airwaves by June-July and would a take a call next month on the starting prices of seven bands, including the coveted 700 MHz 4G band, recommended by the sector regulator.
Spectrum auction is unlikely to be held this fiscal due to delay in recommendations over pricing from the regulator Trai, official sources said. The government had pegged revenue from communication services, that include upfront realisation from spectrum sale and licence fee, at Rs.42,865.62 crore for the current fiscal.