Taking the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) head on for writing to telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, late on Tuesday evening, urging his urgent intervention to avert a crisis in the telecom sector, Reliance Jio on Wednesday wrote a scathing letter to the director-general of the industry body. Lambasting the DG, Rajan Mathews, for the undue haste in issuing the letter without waiting for its view, Jio also said that the move was a serious breach of trust on COAI’s part.
Industry body COAI on Thursday said the Supreme Court ruling on the telecom sector revenue definition will deal a “disastrous blow” to the industry, given its precarious financial condition. “The question that arises is whether this is the financial straw that finally breaks the back of operators,” Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) Director General Rajan Mathews told PTI. Mathews further said this is a “disastrous blow” for the industry given its current state of acute stress.
Reeling under severe financial stress, the telecom industry has once again approached the government seeking relief in the form of adjusting around Rs 35,000 crore worth of excess GST credits in lieu of deferred-payment obligations, licence fee and spectrum charges. As per the incumbent telecom operators, over the past couple of years, their capex has increased tremendously but revenues have come down by over 30%, which has created a mismatch in output liability and input credit.
Even as Vodafone Idea has a board meeting on Wednesday to finalise plans to raise Rs 25,000 crore of capital, the government is likely to turn down a request by the Cellular Operators Association of India — RJio does not support the proposal though it is a COAI member — to give telcos a two-year moratorium on their deferred-payment obligations for spectrum bought in the past. COAI’s letter is the fourth written since the end of November last year.
The top two incumbent operators — Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel — have lost over 24 million subscribers in just three months as the telcos try to weed out low revenue paying customers from their network.
The country’s largest mobile operator by subscriber, Vodafone Idea lost around 20.57 million subscribers in September to November period whereas Bharti Airtel was leaner by 4.22 million users during September and October.
Ahead of the planned special audit of telecom operators, industry body COAI has favoured a single audit exercise that meets the requirements of multiple stakeholders like the telecom department and sector regulator Trai.
“The DoT is entitled to do audits and we can’t argue with that. But can we get to a point where a single audit exercise is conducted by one entity that is agreed to by all parties as competent, to do detailed checks required by various stakeholders like CAG,
New Delhi: The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) will work with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to launch an online portal to monitor applications and approvals for setting up telecom infrastructure, and whether state-wise Right of Way (RoW) rules are being complied with. The portal will enable the government and telecom infrastructure providers to keep a tab on the process, right from the time an application is filed till the final approval.
Telecom operators body Cellular Operators Association of India on Thursday urged telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan to address the issue of frequent suspension of internet services by state governments, especially Rajasthan, which has suspended such services for more than 140 times in the last one year.
NEW DELHI: Mobile industry body COAI today raised red flag over Trai's new rules on curbing pesky calls and messages saying tailoring of systems, and use of blockchain technology will involve Rs 200-400 crore investment and 18 months for the roll out, at a time when the sector is financially-stressed.
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