Trai''s Rs 3,050-crore penalty recommendation on Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular over interconnect (IUC) provision to Reliance Jio has not got a green signal from a high-powered committee of the telecom ministry, which has raised questions over the regulator''s authority to raise such a financial penalty.
The matter is now expected to be taken up with the inter-ministerial telecom commission, which is the highest decision-making body on telecom matters, sources told TOI.
The committee of the department of telecom (DoT) failed to arrive at a conclusion on Trai''s recommendations,
The department of telecom allocated microwave spectrum to Reliance Jio in 2015 and then to Sistema Shyam Teleservices without auction provisionally and in compliance with rules, highly placed government sources said in response to CAG allegations of wrongdoing. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report tabled in Parliament last week said microwave access (MWA) spectrum was allocated to a telecom operator in 2015 on first-come-first-served (FCFS) basis in contravention to the recommendations of a DoT-constituted committee,
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Thursday said every spectrum was allocated through auction during his tenure as telecom minister and will look into the anomalies pointed out by the CAG in spectrum allocation of 2015.
"Every spectrum was allocated through auction," Prasad said on sidelines on an NIC event when asked about the shortcomings found by CAG in 2015 spectrum allocation.
When specifically asked that issue raised by the Comptroller and the Auditor General (CAG) pertains to microwave access spectrum, Prasad said "I will look into it".
All major telecom operators failed to comply with the quality of service benchmark during June-September 2018, according to a Trai report.
Call drops were higher on Idea Cellular and Vodafone networks in some of the telecom circles during the period, the report showed.
Idea breached call norms in Madhya Pradesh, UP West, while Vodafone network failed to meet criteria in UP East and UP West telecom circles.
Call drops on Idea network due to fault in mobile tower or sites were beyond the quality benchmark in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and North East.
The Department of Telecom has asked its technical body to finalise standards for Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine-to-Machine technology in two months as the country aspires to roll out 5G services at par with the rest of the world. The Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) under the department is preparing finalising standards for telecom equipment and devices for 5G services. The roadmap for M2M communications was released in May 2015 but the centre is yet to finalise generic requirement for the segment.
Inability to add new broadband subscribers at the entry segments and the slow progress in government initiatives including BharatNet may be hindering the data revolution from reaching masses, pushing circa 2018 as one which witnessed lowest growth in subscribers for broadband internet.
An analysis of TRAI data by tech research firm techArc showed that 2018 at 44.7% witnessed lowest growth in the past five years,
Meghalaya has become a fourth North eastern state to notify the Right of Way rules aligned with the 2016 policy formulated by the Department of Telecom (DoT) to accelerate telecom infrastructure deployment.
The new norms will come into effect from 15th January 2019.
“The much-awaited state Right of Way rules have been notified by Meghalaya government on 21st December 2018 that are aligned with the Central government,” Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) in a statement said.
The telecom department is in discussion with the space department to set up a network of satellite for communication services across the country, an official source said Thursday.
"DoT is working to set-up network of low earth orbit (LEO) satellite and medium earth orbit (MEO) satellite for telecom services. The entire expenses will be borne by the telecom ministry. Discussion in this regard has already started with Department of Space," the source told.
China’s Realme will thrash out a gameplan for clearing its sizeable unsold smartphones inventory - currently with online retailers Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart - after the government clears the air on whether the February 1 deadline for implementation of new foreign direct investment (FDI) rules for ecommerce will get extended.
Last month, the government tightened the FDI rules in the ecommerce space that bar online marketplaces from inking exclusive deals for products on their platforms.
The government''s revenue mop-up from the telecom sector fell by about 22 per cent in the 2017-18 fiscal owing to a decline in earnings of service providers from sale of services, Parliament was informed Friday. The government collects license fee and spectrum usage charge (SUC) as a percentage of revenue earned by telecom service providers from sale of telecom services.
"Adjusted gross revenue (AGR) based SUC receipts have declined due to declining AGR," Union telecom minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
The telecom regulator Trai has approached the Supreme Court against TDSAT order, which dismissed its predatory pricing tariff rule, Parliament was informed Wednesday.
"Trai has filed an appeal before Hon''ble Supreme Court against the order of Hon''ble TDSAT dated 13th December, 2018. The appeal is yet to be listed," telecom minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
Some online and e-commerce companies which were found to be dealing with 'unauthorised' wireless equipment, including boosters, have been directed to ensure compliance with statutory norms, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
No information regarding purchase of signal boosters of Chinese make has been received by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply.
A total of 101 notices have been issued to entities or individual users of unauthorised boosters
Over two dozen firms have evinced interest in being appointed as auditors to conduct the planned special audit of private telecom companies for period FY12 to FY18, and nearly 18 of them have been found to be technically qualified so far, according to a source in the Department of Telecom. The bids are currently being evaluated, said the Department of Telecom (DoT) official who did not wish to be named. The official said that final shortlisted names - 4-5 firms are likely to be handed the mandate - will be based on multiple criteria
Telecom regulator Trai Friday recommended that spectrum charges for state-owned BSNL''s satellite phone services be fixed at 1 per cent of the revenue accrued from such services, replacing the current model of formula-based levy. If the regulator''s recommendations are accepted by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), it could drive down the cost of using satellite phone services by nearly 50 per cent, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) Chairman and Managing Director Anupam Shrivastava told.
The telecom regulator is looking at ways to lower the base price at which bids will be sought for airwaves in future auctions, as it seeks to move away from its usual practice of mechanically hiking the starting price in every successive sale.
It will soon start a consultation process to arrive at a new methodology which may take into account the health of carriers, possibly addressing a long-standing demand of the industry reeling under high debt. This exercise will, however, have no impact on the next spectrum sale which is scheduled to take place in the second half of 2019,
Telecom regulator Trai Thursday directed all access service providers to file tariffs online only from January 1, effectively doing away with the requirement of physical submission of tariff offers. "And whereas considering all the aspects, the Authority has decided that there shall not be any requirement of filing physical copy of tariffs and the same shall not be considered for the purpose of tariff filing except for ISD tariffs and international roaming tariffs, electronic filing of which will be enabled in next phase," the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said in a statement.
The Delhi High Court has dismissed telecom major Vodafone''s plea seeking directions to the Income Tax Department to expeditiously process its claim for refund of over Rs 4,759 crore in respect of returns filed for the assessment years (AYs) 2014-15 to 2017-18.
A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Prateek Jalan declined to grant any relief to the company, saying there was merit in the tax department''s argument that substantial outstanding demand was pending against the company
The government is planning to launch broadband services readiness index of states based on parameters like infrastructure, approval processes and utilisation of high speed Internet, a top telecom department official said Sunday.
"According to a study by ICRIER (a research firm), USD 100 billion investment will have seven-fold multiplier effect on GDP. There is a need of a national mission to make this happen. We are going to launch broadband readiness index for states
The telecom regulatory authority of India (Trai) has sped up the process for a mobile user to port out to a new telecom service provider to two days, when done within the same circle and four days when porting out from one circle to another.
Titled, "The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has today issued Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability (Seventh Amendment) Regulations, 2018," the new regulations seek to make mobile number portability easier and simpler for users.
The telecom tribunal has rejected the sector regulator’s order that had changed the definition of significant market power (SMP) to identify predatory pricing, offering huge relief to India’s incumbent carriers who had said the new rules only benefitted Reliance Jio Infocomm.
The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), in a hard-hitting judgement Thursday, said the regulatory order that gave a new entrant like Jio pricing flexibility