The government will soon amend telecom licences to incorporate rules on net neutrality, which will include a bar on blocking or slowing down of content, while allowing fast lanes only for ‘critical’ services and keeping ‘content delivery networks’ out of their ambit.
The Telecom Commission (TC), the highest decision-making body in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT)
On Wednesday, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said that the UK-based Vodafone India and Aditya Birla group’s Idea Cellular have to complete certain formalities before merging their business operations, while confirming that the telecom department has already approved the mega deal between two telcos.
This is, however, the first official confirmation from the government
India could be looking at replacing multiple charges imposed on telecom companies with a single levy but any recast will have to be revenue neutral, the finance ministry has said, without giveaways that would reduce collections.
The debt-laden telecom companies had been hoping for some relief through a simplification in the charges.
Shares of Idea Cellular went up by 4.49% to Rs 57 a piece in early morning trading hours on Tuesday, on the back of the telecom department giving conditional nod to its merger with Vodafone India.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Monday approved the largest M&A deal in the sector, which will displace Bharti Airtel from the No. 1 spot after over 16 years.
India’s top phone companies have sought intervention of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha to stop the government from delicensing valuable spectrum in the E & V bands, saying such a move would hurt licensed carriers, rob the central exchequer of sizeable revenue, compromise national security and only benefit a clutch of foreign internet companies
Telecom regulator Trai has recommended that all mobile manufacturers producing five or more handset models be mandated to bring out at least one handset that meets accessibility criteria for the differently-abled by 2020.
Trai as part of its recommendations to make technology accessible to those who are differently-abled - numbering 26.8 million according to 2011 census - has also mooted
Expressing displeasure with the incumbent telecom regulator head, the industry body COAI said it wants new Trai chief to understand its authority and create balance between industry and consumer welfare.
"I think the new regulator (head) is got to understand his authority and the limitations of his authority.
Industry body COAI -- which has been at loggerheads with member Reliance Jio over a slew of issues in the past -- today termed Jio's fixed-line fibre broadband system as a "game changer" and said the company garnering over 200 million mobile users in a short span of time is "commendable".
"The announcements made by Mukesh Ambani (RIL Chairman) today have positioned RJio as an extensive technology company
Nearly two months after it sought the industry's views on the matter, telecom regulator Trai today prescribed amendments to the interconnect regulations, proposing certain changes in terms and conditions for an operator to seek fresh call connect ports from other telcos.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) had sought views and comments from the industry by May 18 on these draft regulations.
Reliance Jio Infocomm appears to be stealing a march over rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone on voice over WiFi. The telco has informed the government that it will launch the service shortly, a move that will give the Mukesh Ambani-owned carrier’s customers the ability to make calls even in areas having poor mobile signals.
A high-level forum set up by the government is focusing on developing a research ecosystem, a regulatory framework and an inclusive business environment for 5G, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said here on Tuesday.
"India may have missed the 3G and 4G buses, but the country cannot afford to miss the 5G bus.
The Telecom Commission, the apex decision making body in the telecom department, is scheduled to meet on July 11 to discuss proposed new telecom policy, according to official sources.
"The Telecom Commission is scheduled to meet on July 11. It will discuss NDCP (National Digital Communications Policy)," the sources said.
The department released the draft of the proposed telecom policy, branded as National Digital Communications Policy 2018.
It aims to attract USD 100 billion or about Rs 6.5 lakh crore investments in the digital communications sector by 2022
Keeping its vigil on service quality in the sector, Trai has imposed penalties on leading operators, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, for failing to meet various Quality of Service benchmarks in the December quarter, according to a source.
Data usage increased from 62 megabit to 1.6 GB per month, according to the Department of Telecom (DoT)
India has surpassed the US and China combined in data consumption and the prices, according to Sinha, have come down 93% to Rs 19 per GB.
The phenomenal growth in data usage and changing consumer behaviour has apparently led the government to bank upon the 5G technology.
Trai is in the final stage of slapping penalty on operators who have not met call drop norms for the March quarter, its chairman RS Sharma said. Maintaining its watch on service quality in the sector, Trai had tightened the rules and asked players to abide by its new quality of service benchmarks from October 1, 2017.
Two quarters of assessment has been completed since the new norms came into force.
Brushing aside the telecom department''s contentions, Trai has stuck to its recommendations pertaining to sale or rent of global calling cards in India.
The regulator has suggested mandating toll free customer care number for helping users of such services, and permitting the sale of global SIM cards only via digital mode.
Cellular Operators'' Association of India (COAI) has raised concerns over Trai''s draft rules to curb pesky calls, stating that they do not effectively deal with pain-points faced by users.
The industry body of large mobile operators has insisted on a "cost-benefit analysis" before financially-stressed telcos are asked to overhaul the existing system.
Governments and policy makers should accord top priority to cyber regulations and data protection norms, where laws need to catch up with advancements in technology, cyberlaw expert Pavan Duggal said.
Speaking at the Cyber Security and Data Protection India Summit 2018, Duggal cited the example of Vietnam and said that it had proposed strong
TRAI has announced a name and logo design contest to enable citizen participation into its ambitious vision for affordable broadband proliferation through public Wi-Fi networks.
This marks yet another instance of direct engagement with the public for designing of logos of key or flagship initiatives.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) and European telecoms regulator group BEREC have jointly backed an open internet while calling for effective regulation of electronic communications even as net neutrality rules officially expired in the US earlier this week.