The regulator has abandoned an approach suited to India. Is it any wonder that its decision has sparked allegations of being skewed in favour of one company?
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.
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.
Reliance said the additional investment is required for its fibre network as it expands Jio’s 4G reach.
The combined Vodafone-Idea group will be India’s largest telecom operation with almost 400 million customers, or 35% market share.
J.S. Deepak’s transfer may have been prompted by his conflict with Reliance Jio and TRAI and reflects poorly on an already controversial, crony capitalism-prone sector.
Even as various Competition Commission hearings loom, a prominent US-based equity research group has effectively accused Reliance and the Modi government of crony capitalism.