Friday 25 November 2011

3G Roaming to be banned ?? No spectrum sharing ?


According To the Latest Sources DoT[ Department of Telecom] India, Has imposed restrictions on sharing of intra-circular 3G Roaming Agreements between Mobile Operators.
One such Allied Group of Airtel,Idea And Vodafone were providing 3G by this intrea-spectrum sharing deal,but taking a rare confrontational position, the heads of three top telcos – Sunil Mittal, chairman and group CEO, Airtel; Vittorio Colao, Group CEO, Vodafone; and Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman, Aditya Birla Group (Idea Cellular)-have asked PM Manmohan Singh to refund their 3G auction payments with interest and compensation charges in the event that 3G roaming will no longer be allowed.
The stiff, two-page letter is copied to finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, telecom minister Kapil Sibal, law minister Salman Khurshid, principal secretary to the PM, Pulok Chatterji, cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth and DoT secretary R Chandrashekhar.
This is the first time since Sibal took over office in November 2010 that any telecom firm has complained to the PM, though this practice was prevalent during the tenure of former teleom ministers Pramod Mahajan (late) during 2002-03 and more recently A Raja during 2007-10.
These three operators, who collectively serve close to 50% of India’s mobile subscribers, have complained bitterly about the DoT’s likely reversal of its earlier stated position in allowing 3G intracircle roaming.

This controversy places revenues of Rs 67,750 crore from 3G spectrum auctions at risk, which these companies have called “a shining example of transparency in spectrum policy” and which according to them will “facilitate delivery of broadband services to the citizens of India”.
Mittal, Birla and Colao say unless contracts are honoured through the PM’s “urgent intervention” , it will not only “harm irreparably” the reputation of an acclaimed and transparent 3G auction but in fact, “It will also deter further investments desperately required to connect the unconnected”.
Investment in India’s telecom sector has already slowed down with a near 35% fall in FDI from $2.7 billion in 2009-10 to $1.7 billion in 2010-11.
Unless resolved amicably, the issue threatens to escalate into a major legal fight which tends to engulf India’s telecom sector every three to five years. Sources within these firms told TOI that resolution of the matter through multiple meetings with the telecom ministry and senior DoT officials has already been attempted without any indications of a favourable outcome. A failure of these talks has prompted the escalation of the matter to the PM.
Accusing the DoT of reneging on licence-related amendments and pre-3 G bidrelated clarifications, they say, “This is tantamount to reneging on the government’s promises made through technology neutral licences, the 2008 licence amendment and the Q&A confirmations provided before the 3G auctions”.

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