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Telecom minister promises dialogue with industry on outstanding issues, challenges

TT Correspondent | 04 Jun 2019

The communications ministry will hold detailed discussion with the financially stressed telecom industry on challenges faced by them and will work on addressing outstanding issues, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Monday. The comments assume significance as the mobile industry despite witnessing an explosive growth in voice and data usage has been battling financial stress with eroding profitability and falling revenues, due to heated competition.

"I will hold consultation with the telecom industry to understand their issues and challenges, and we will work towards addressing those issues," the minister told reporters.

The telecom sector is burdened with staggering debt levels and cut throat competition. Competition has only intensified since 2016, when Reliance Jio, owned by richest Indian Mukesh Ambani, stormed into the market and offered lifetime free calls and dirt cheap data.

Jio's disruptive offerings forced rivals to slash rates, affecting profit margins. Since Jio's launch, rivals have either merged, resorted to acquisitions or folded up.