HOME > BUSINESS > Vodafone lauds government’s telecom and spectrum reforms

Vodafone lauds government’s telecom and spectrum reforms

telecomIn a rare gesture, a big telecom company has lauded the government’s recent changes in telecom policy.

The Modi government has, in recent months, cleared long-pending reforms such as allowing the trading of spectrum, cutting levies and initiating rearrangement (harmonization) of spectrum.

Usually, the relationship between the government and big operators tends to be strained owing to multiple law suits and tussles.

The comments have come even as Vodafone faces the most pressure among all major Indian telecom operators to get hold of more 4G spectrum very soon.

The company currently has 4G services in only 5 circles, while even smaller companies like Idea Cellular have services in 10 circles.

Vodafone did not expect the 4G market in India to take off as it did, and was banking on 3G services to remain in vogue for a few more years. However, with the entry of Reliance Jio, many Indians are moving straight from 2G-enabled phones to 4G-enabled phones as the prices of 3G and 4G phones are more or less the same today.

Vodafone’s situation, however, remains bleak because of the lack of availability of fresh spectrum in India’s two main 4G bands — 2.3 GHz and 1.8 GHz. The only two prominent 4G bands in which fresh spectrum is available is 2.1 GHz and 700 MHz. However, both cost much much more than 2.3 GHz — the most popular 4G band in India.

Harmonization, or juggling of operators’ spectrum holdings, is expected to release an average of about 10 MHz in each circle in the much sought-after 1.8 GHz 4G band. Vodafone can make do with as little as 5 MHz per circle, though it would need 10 to 20 MHz like its competitors to deliver reliable services.

“Harmonizing the available spectrum to offer additional quantum via auction is another progressive step by the Government (after spectrum trading and sharing), to maximize efficiency of this precious resource,” said Sunil Sood, MD & CEO, Vodafone India.

“With Digital India as the guiding vision and consumer demands evolving from voice to data, the telecom industry increasingly needs more of quality spectrum to be made available at reasonable prices. An efficient spectrum also directly results in providing customers with a superior network experience.”

He also said the move to reduce SUC from 5% to 3% of adjusted gross revenues (AGR) will bring in much needed relief to the highly capital intensive telecom sector.

“The telecom sector is severely debt laden (more than Rs. 3 lakh crore at last count and growing). This reduction in SUC charges from 5% to 3% will free cash-flows which can be invested towards further enhancing network and customer experience. It is a positive step that benefits the industry and is also in line with the TRAI’s recommendation of having a uniform, minimal SUC charge for all spectrum across the industry.”

In this context, the TRAI yesterday urged the government not to try to squeeze every last penny from the operators by withholding spectrum when it auctions the 4G-friendly 700 MHz airwaves next month.

Instead, the regulator said, the government should try to ensure that all spectrum is sold so that consumers get access to high-speed data services.

Follow ULTRA.news
Tata Sky to add five more HD channels to take total to 86 Tata Sky, the Indian DTH operator with the highest amount of spectrum and channels, will add five more HD channels to take the total high-definition offerings on the platform to 86.GSAT 15The new channels being added tomorrow are DSports, MTV HD+, Surya (Malayalam), Uday...
Bharti Airtel to offer cheap 4G plans for all dongle users – report With new operator Reliance Jio snapping at its heels, incumbent Bharti Airtel has decided to slash its data prices for everyone with the introduction of new 4G dongle plans, Telecom Talk blog reported quoting unnamed sources.At present, Bharti Airtel does not offer any plan t...
Bharti Airtel could help Reliance Jio win Rs 2,000 cr from DoT Bharti Airtel's attempts to avoid paying "voice conversion charge" on the spectrum that it is purchasing from internet service provider Tikona Digital could end up unintentionally benefiting arch rival Reliance Jio.Reliance Jio was forced to pay around Rs 1,650 cr four ye...
Airtel, Idea and Vodafone close to network sharing deal Fierce competition from new entrant Reliance Jio is pushing the incumbent telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone India to accelerate negotiations to allow them to use each other's full networks.As of now, these operators only share 'passive' or 'dead' in...
Reliance Jio puts more 4G spectrum to use to increase speeds Reliance Jio, the 4G operator that has taken the market by storm, has deployed the extra spectrum that it bought last year, increasing the total spectrum in use in most markets by 20-25%.In most circles, Jio is operating with about 40-50 MHz of spectrum, and with the new sp...
4,196 villages lose Idea Cellular 2G signal as 876 towers taken offline Idea's tower growth, by technologyIdea Cellular, India's third largest telecom operator by revenue, reported a shrinkage in the area and population covered by its 2G network.The number of villages covered by Idea's 2G signals decreased by 4,196 to 3.89 lakh by March end ...
Bharti Airtel to start refarming 2G spectrum for 4G this year India's largest telecom services company by revenue and spectrum holding, Bharti Airtel, will start diverting its 2G spectrum to add to its 4G network in the second half of the ongoing financial year, the company's CEO said.The move will help increase 4G capacity of the o...
Idea Cellular to spend Rs 6,000 cr on VoLTE, expansion of 4G & 3G this year Idea Cellular, the telecom company controlled by the Aditya Birla group, said it will spend Rs 6,000 cr to expand its 3G and 4G services in the current financial year.Idea tower additions per yearThe planned investment of Rs 6,000 cr has been "earmarked for expanding bro...
Zee Entertainment slashes channel prices ahead of TRAI regulation Zee's new tariff card for HD channelsZee Entertainment, one of the four big broadcasting groups of India, has become the first player to bring its channel prices in line with an upcoming regulation issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.Zee's new tariff card...
Govt yet to decide on 700 MHz spectrum for BSNL Relative cell sizes | source:DoJ, US GovGovernment of India is yet to say 'no' to a request by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd for the allocation of one block of spectrum in the precious 700 MHz band to enable it to launch 4G services in rural areas.The company had sought one b...
BSNL increases 3G data allocation for most prepaid recharges BSNL's new 3G plansReacting to falling usage of data on its network, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has increased the data available on its recharges, and introduced a daily data scheme priced at Rs 3099 for 90 days.The operator had, on Apr 1, doubled the data available on mo...
NET NEUTRALITY: Netflix says let India decide what it wants to watch Netflix, the world's biggest provider of video-on-demand services, rebuffed attempts by telecom companies to control viewership of online video and said consumers must be allowed to consume any legal content on the Internet without 'gate keeping' or interference by telecom provid...
Why Reliance Jio will keep data prices low for 2 years: Credit Suisse explains Wireless data prices in India, which crashed from Rs 250 per GB to about Rs 10 per GB after the entry of Reliance Jio, will continue to remain under pressure for at least two more years, said analyst firm Credit Suisse.That is the minimum amount of time that the new entrant w...
Net Neutrality: Vodafone wants right to manipulate Internet videos Telcos want to be able to reduce video qualityVodafone India said it would like to be given the power to manage the size of videos watched by users on its mobile network and lower it automatically "for overall quality welfare".Participating in the discussions related to ...
Telcos Change Tack as Net Neutrality Fight Enters Final Round in India A campaign by Internet Freedom FoundationIf you thought the fight over net neutrality was over with the sending of 1 mln emails to the TRAI two years ago, think again.The telecom service providers, who lost out that in the first round, are back. This time, however, their...
Complaints against telcos drop sharply as 4G takes off No of complaints against telcos in last three years. 2017 nos are annualizedComplaints against all telecom providers except Bharti Airtel dropped in 2016, possibly in reaction to the emergence of new operator Reliance Jio and the explosion of 4G data capacity.The total n...
Airtel to offer 2 GB/day for ₹349, 3.5GB for 999 to take on Reliance Jio Airtel will unveil cheaper data tariffs soonIndia's largest telecom services company by revenue -- Bharti Airtel -- is in the process of rolling out new plans including one that offers 2 GB of data per day at just Rs 349 in addition to unlimited calling for 28 days, according ...
Reliance Jio launches Dhan Dhana Dhan offer with three times validity as Summer Surprise Reliance Jio is all set to relaunch its earlier 303 and 499 plan, but with three-times the earlier validity, according to sources.This would help it side-step issues around continuing with free services.UPDATE: The new offer will be called Dhan Dhana Dhan and will have ...
TRAI’s MySpeed app pulled from Google Play Store The TRAI MySpeed AppThe Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's network benchmarking app MySpeed is no longer listed on the Android Play Store.The link for the app throws an error saying 'the requested URL was not found on this server'.It is not clear whether TRAI pu...
Ortel Communications slashes broadband tariff as Reliance Jio threat looms With the prospect of the entry of Reliance Jio into the cable and broadband market, Ortel Communications -- the largest cable network in Orissa and an emerging player in neighboring states, has slashed its broadband rates.The company has removed all its sub-1 Mbps plans and r...
Reliance Jio promises new plans in place of Summer Surprise The new banner on RJio websiteReliance Jio has officially withdrawn its Summer Surprise offer on its website and put up a new banner saying that it will be introducing new plans soon."We are updating our tariff packs and will be soon introducing more exciting offers," th...
Reliance Jio helped India save Rs 18,000 cr, but rivals took the hit Free services from Reliance Jio, the telecom services arm of Reliance Industries, brought down the amount of money paid by telecom subscribers in India by about Rs 4,400 cr in just the last three months of 2016, an analysis of the sector data revealed.The numbers indicate tha...
Reliance Jio could replace Summer Surprise with new offer after TRAI order Reliance Jio's withdrawal of its Summer Surprise Offer is unlikely to make any difference to most of its customers, and the company may even come up with a new version of the plan to comply with the ban."The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has advised Jio to with...
India’s 3G networks creak under freebie overload; 4G also slows MySpeed, the speedtesting platform operated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, has revealed a sharp dip in wireless data speeds across operators in March compared to the previous month.The declines were visible in both 4G as well as 3G services, but were more prono...
Reliance Jio Summer Surprise plan capped at 1GB/day till Apr 15 Many of those who were looking forward to using more data per day than the 1 GB allotted to them under Reliance Jio's Happy New Year scheme are likely be disappointed as it looks like the 1 GB cap will remain under the Summer Surprise offer as well.Even those Prime Members wh...