Telecom Sector

DoT panel suggests Rs 3,646 cr/Mhz price for CDMA band

New Delhi - A DoT panel has suggested a base price of Rs 3,646 crore per Mhz for the auction of CDMA spectrum, 17 percent higher than what the regulator Trai has recommended.

Also, the price suggested by an internal panel of Department of Telecom (DoT) is almost equivalent to that of premium 900 Mhz band, which is considered more efficient than other GSM frequency bands.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) last month recommended a base price of Rs 3,104 crore per megahertz, which was already 15 per higher than the price that the regulator suggested in February this year.

TRAI fixes Nov 29 as deadline for porting out Loop customers

New Delhi - Telecom regulator TRAI has fixed midnight of November 29 as deadline for subscribers of Loop Mobile to shift to other networks while retaining their numbers by using the MNP facility.

Loop Mobile's permit in Mumbai is expiring on November 29 as it did not purchase spectrum in February auction which was mandatory for continuing its operations.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India today directed Mobile Number Portability service provider "not to process the request for porting in respect of mobile telephone numbers belonging to Loop Mobile...As donor operator after 23:59:59 hours of 29th November".

Vodafone wins Rs 3,200 crore transfer pricing case in HC

Mumbai - The Bombay High Court on Friday ruled Vodafone is not liable to pay an income tax demand of Rs 3,200 crore in a case relating to transfer pricing, a verdict which comes as a big relief for the UK-based mobile service provider already locked in a big tax dispute with the Government.

The I-T Department had asked the company to pay additional income tax alleging that it had undervalued its shares in the subsidiary Vodafone India Services while transferring them to the parent company in Britain. The transaction took place in FY10.

Telenor keen on setting up 'Payments Banks' in India

New Delhi - Norwegian telecom major Telenor on Friday said that it is evaluating 'Payment Banks' business opportunity in the country.

"It is a good step forward. In many countries we are leading mobile money services. I welcome the structure and we will surely have look at it," Telenor Group CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas said in reply to company's interest in setting up Payment Banks in the country.

The Reserve Bank of India had issued draft guidelines for setting up Payment Banks to facilitate small savings accounts, payments and remittance services to migrant labour workforce. As per draft guidelines mobile service providers are also eligible for setting up payment banks.

BSNL not to charge for telecom services in Valley for September

BSNLSrinagar: Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on Friday joined other service providers in announcing relief to customers in the Valley during the period when the state was hit by floods.

The company said it would not charge its customers in Jammu and Kashmir for the telecommunication services for the month of September for not being able to provide the services fully during the period.

The announcement came following state Governor NN Vohra's suggestion in this regard to RN Sudhakar, chief general manager, BSNL, Jammu and Kashmir Circle, who called on the Governor at Raj Bhavan yesterday.

2G: Govt issues order for permanent appointment of ED officer

2G spectrumNew Delhi: Acting on the directions of the Supreme Court, the government has issued fresh orders for permanent appointment of an Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer in the agency who has been tasked with the probe into the
2G spectrum allocation case.

The Finance Ministry, on September 13, issued orders for appointing Rajeshwar Singh as Deputy Director in the agency on "absorption basis with immediate effect".

The apex court had issued directions in this regard on September 8 after it was informed that Singh's appointment has not been made regular by the government despite an order from the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) which was issued in December last year.

GSM players add 48.5 lakh users in July: COAI

GSM players add 48.5 lakh users in July: COAINew Delhi: GSM based telecom players added 48.5 lakh new subscribers in July to take the total user base to 74.44 crore, industry body COAI said Thursday.

The GSM subscriber base stood at 73.95 crore at the end of June 2014, the Cellular Association of India (COAI) said.

COAI, which represents telecom players like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, said the data does not include GSM subscriber number of Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices.

Reliance Jio Infocomm had also joined the body recently.

Ericsson wins Vodafone India's contract for payment solutions

Ericsson-VodafoneNew Delhi: Network solutions major Ericsson Tuesday said it has won a contract from Vodafone India to deploy its payment solutions in seven circles for the country's second largest telecom operator.

Financial details of the deal were not revealed.

The five-year contract covers new circles of Uttar Pradesh (W), Uttar Pradesh (E), Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, besides Mumbai and Maharashtra.

"Ericsson Charging platform to be launched across 7 Vodafone circles, enabling new revenue-generating features and potential payment convergence across prepaid and postpaid segments," it said in a statement.

Gross revenue of 22 telecom operators drop in Oct-Dec FY14

Gross revenue of 22 telecom operators drop in Oct-Dec FY14New Delhi - Gross revenue of 22 telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, RCom, BSNL and Tata Teleservices, declined in October-December quarter of 2013 compared to the previous quarter, government said on Monday.

Trai starts consultation process for spectrum auction

TraiNew Delhi: Telecom regulator Trai on Thursday began the consultation process for the next round of auctions for spectrum held by mobile operators - Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and RCom - as some of their licences are set to expire in 2015-16.

"The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has today released consultation paper on valuation and spectrum price: Licence expiring in 2015-16," Trai said in a statement.

The process will determine the reserve price of spectrum to be auctioned across 18 out of the 22 telecom service areas across the country for 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz bands, used for providing mobile services based on GSM technology standard.

Top 7 telecom firms owe over Rs 2,100-cr penalty to DoT: CAG

cagNew Delhi: Telecom operators such as Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, RCom, Aircel, Tata Tele and BSNL have not paid penalties totalling Rs 2,116.95 crore levied on them for non-compliance of subscriber verification rules that are important for national security, CAG said in its report.

"We further noticed that out of Rs 2506.80 crore of penalty levied by the DoT and the TERM Cells during 2009 to 2012 for defective CAFs, the service providers had paid only Rs 389.85 crore," the Comptroller and Auditor General
(CAG) said in its latest report.

Airtel may hike mobile call rates; sell mobile towers in Africa

Bharti-AirtelNew Delhi: Telecom major Bharti Airtel on Wednesday indicated that it may cut down on discounts it offers on mobile call rates to push revenue from voice services.

"There might be ups and downs in certain quarters, but the long-term secular opportunity for raising voice realisation remains, given the significant gap between headline tariff and the realised rates or in other words discounted tariffs," Bharti Airtel's Managing Director and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal said.

FDI in telecom jumps manifold to $1.5 bn in Apr-May

FDI-in-telecomNew Delhi: After registering a huge decline in the recent past, foreign direct investment in the telecom sector grew manifold to USD 1.5 billion in the first two-months of the 2014-15 fiscal.

In 2013-14, the sector has received total FDI of USD 1.3 billion.

FDI in the telecom sector, which includes radio paging, cellular mobile, basic telephone services, attracted only USD 9 million during April-May period of the last fiscal, as per the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

Bharti Airtel Q1 net profit rises 60.9% to Rs 1,108 crore

Bharti-AirtelNew Delhi: The country's largest mobile operator, Bharti Airtel, on Tuesday reported a jump of 60.9 percent in consolidated net profit to Rs 1,108 crore for the quarter ended June 2014 on growth in mobile data revenue.

The company had reported a net profit of Rs 689 crore in the corresponding period of last fiscal, it said in a statement.

The company's total revenue rose 13.3 percent to Rs 22,962 crore for the reported quarter as compared to Rs 20,264 crore in the corresponding period.

MTNL offers to return CDMA spectrum for auction-derived price

MTNL offers to return CDMA spectrum for auction-derived priceNew Delhi: State-run MTNL has informed the Department of Telecom that it is ready to return the entire CDMA spectrum it currently holds if the telecom operator is paid auction-determined price.

"MTNL has offered to surrender entire 800 Mhz band spectrum but it wants an auction-determined price for the surrendered frequencies," a government official said.

As per TRAI recommended price, the value of CDMA spectrum held by MTNL amounts to about Rs 1,937 crore.

Idea Cellular Q1 net profit up by 57% at Rs 728.2 crore

Idea Cellular Q1 net profit up by 57% at Rs 728.2 croreNew Delhi: Telecom operator Idea Cellular today posted 57 percent jump in net profit at Rs 728.2 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, 2014, on increased demand in mobility business mainly mobile internet services.

The company had posted a profit after tax of Rs 462.71 crore in the same period a year ago.

Huawei achieves H1 growth of 19% at $21 bn

Huawei Beijing: Sales revenue of China's telecom major Huawei has reached over USD 21 billion in the first six months of this year, a 19 percent increase compared over the same period last year, the company announced here on Monday.

The Shenzhen based firm, in a statement, said that in the first six months of this year, Huawei generated sales revenue of RMB 135.8 billion (USD 21.85) an increase of 19 percent year-on-year with an operating margin of 18.3 percent.

MTNL turns profitable at Rs 7,825 cr,BSNL loss at Rs 7,085 cr

MTNL-BSNLNew Delhi: State-run telecom firm MTNL has shown profit of Rs 7,825 crore on books for 2013-14 on account of some write back provisions, Parliament was informed today.

The telecom firm had last posted annual profit of Rs 211.7 crore in 2008-09.

"MTNL has shown profit of Rs 7,825 crore mainly due to write back of provisions on account of pensionary liabilities and spectrum amortization costs after decisions of government taken revival of MTNL," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

MTNL, which operates in Delhi and Mumbai, had posted a loss of Rs 5,321 crore in the year 2012-13.

TRAI Bill: Law should not be amended on individual preference: Shashi Tharoor

Shashi-TharooNew Delhi, July 14 : Referring to the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) Amendment Bill, former union minister Shashi Tharoor said Monday that the law should not be changed on the basis of an individual's preference, which in this case was the Prime Minister of India.

'BSNL has 65% market share of landline and broadband market'

BSNLIndore - Public sector telecom major BSNL enjoys number one market position with 1.8 crore landline and broadband connections which amounts to 65 percent market share, a company official said Friday.

"At present a total of 2.8 core landline and broadband users exist in the country and among them BSNL's share is 1.8 crore, which is 65 percent of the total market share," BSNL's Madhya Pradesh Circle Chief General Manager, N K Yadav told reporters.

During the current financial year, the company expects an increase of 25 percent in broadband connections across the country, he said.

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