The move, which is a gross violation of the Supreme Court order on 2G and auctioning spectrum, could result in potential revenue loss of up to Rs 4 lakh crore.
The regulatory body should terminate interconnection usage charges completely by 2019 instead of 2020, encouraging operators to turn the new disruption into an opportunity to meet Digital India goals.
There are approximately 50 crore feature phone users in India. According to analysts, Reliance could snap up anywhere between 10% to 20% of this market.
Industry observers say that the big winner could be Reliance Jio, which is looking to accumulate and directly control a large chunk of spectrum.
On Thursday, telecom minister Manoj Sinha will meet with various industry players to discuss their demands. Most banks and telecom operators (barring Reliance Jio) want a number of sops to prevent industry loans from turning into NPAs.
Was TRAI, after consulting with the AG, right in allowing Reliance Jio to extend its tariff promotional offer after it expired?
The refusal of India’s telecom regulator to take action and Jio’s free data strategy has meant that the amount of money contributed towards the universal service obligation fund has dropped. Meanwhile, only urban teledensity keeps shooting up.
There’s a thin line between ushering in a new, digital telecom revolution and taking decisions that favour one particular player.
TRAI’s recent decisions have only added to the problems of the industry. In its zeal, the regulator may have gone against the basic spirit of the TRAI Act.