The combined Vodafone-Idea group will be India’s largest telecom operation with almost 400 million customers, or 35% market share.
It remains to be seen whether the consumer affairs ministry plans on levying a nominal fee or issuing a public statement that criticises the companies’ actions.
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.
Telecom regulator TRAI has said the tariff plans of Reliance Jio are in compliance with its regulations and the existing tariff orders.
While the president’s office has been quick to clamp down on any unauthorised usage of images, the prime minister’s office has stonewalled RTIs while refusing to take remedial action against Reliance Jio or Paytm.
But there is no evidence of the government rushing to take remedial action against Reliance, or other big corporate offenders who appear to have turned the prime minister into a prop for their commercial advertising.
The three month extension of free data is Jio’s way of dealing with abundant quality of service issues, a failing hardware strategy and second SIM syndrome.
The telecom regulator slaps a Rs, 3050 crore fine on Airtel, Vodafone and Idea while accusing them of stifling competition and engaging in anti-consumer behaviour.
With TRAI siding with Reliance Jio over the points of interconnect issue, incumbent telecom operators will have to prove they didn’t violate terms of their licence agreement.
If Jio’s cutthroat disruption eventually leads to the dominance of just one or two players, it may not be good for consumers in the longer run.
This is the third interview Modi has given to the Indian media since he became PM and the pattern is clear. Either the PMO has very restrictive ground rules on what can and can’t be asked, or Indian journalism ain’t what it ought to be.
The telecom industry lobby was allegedly kept out of Friday’s ‘peace’ meeting by the regulator at the behest of Reliance Jio.
All stakeholders – the government, the regulator and India’s telecom operators – need to remember that the interests of the consumer need to be placed above all else.
As Ambani channels his inner Steve Jobs and looks to shake-up Internet connectivity, the bloodbath that will follow needs to be monitored to ensure that the industry’s competitiveness and viability remains intact.
Devoting an hour of his speech at the RIL’s 42th Annual General Meeting, the billionaire industrialist said Jio is targeting acquiring 100 million users in the shortest possible time.
The license conditions for telecom operators do not clearly specify when free trials should end and when commercial operations must begin. Reliance is using this loophole to expand its market to as much as possible.
One could call the potential removal of termination charges an underhanded move by TRAI. This begets the question, should the telecom regulator and not market forces incentivise the adoption of Internet telephony?
Reliance Jio clearly wants to disrupt the market. But the question is whether such disruption will happen in a fair manner where no special advantage accrues to any one player.
The government has essentially backed itself into a corner after the attorney general’s opinion last month on the legality of levying a uniform spectrum usage charge.
The Department of Telecommunications submitted its recommendations to the attorney general’s office last week, in order to make sure it has covered all its bases.
The Apple CEO’s goal could also be about demystifying the company while making it more accessible to the government, the country’s tech ecosystem and Indian consumers.
Auctions, whether at Christie’s or Sotheby’s for works of art, or of telecommunications spectrum by the government of India, are fascinating psychological games. When the interests of large competing corporate groups are involved, not surprisingly, allegations are aired of criminal intent by manipulation of rules. Even as the […]