Telecom Sector

Aircel starts offering STD call for 10 paise a minute

AircelNew Delhi : Telecom operator Aircel has announced a scheme offering 10 paise per minute calls to its pre-paid subscribers within its network.

The scheme will also offer free music download for first 30 days from the date subscribers opts for it.

"We are delighted to launch yet another industry first product, Unlimited STD On-net calls at 10 paise per minute bundled with limitless music free for 30 days," Aircel Chief Marketing Officer Anupam Vasudev said in a statement.

New Aircel customers can get this pack by opting for recharge from Rs 71 to Rs 149 with a validity of 30 days.

(PTI)

High 3G price to adversely impact Indian mobile networks: GSMA

telecomNew Delhi - High 3G spectrum base price of Rs 3,705 crore recommended by inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission and less quantum of airwaves being put for auction will adversely impact development Indian mobile networks, global telecom body GSM Association said Thursday.

"The GSMA is concerned by the action of the Telecom Commission to increase reserve prices for India's 2100MHz (3G) spectrum auction next month ? almost 36 per cent higher than those recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)," GSMA's Chief Regulatory Officer Tom Phillips said in statement.

Telecom regulator TRAI last month recommended base price of Rs 2,720 crore per Mhz for 3G.

TRAI keeps 3G spectrum base price unchanged, auction in February

New Delhi - Telecom regulator TRAI on Thursday kept the base price of 3G spectrum unchanged at Rs 2,720 crore per megahertz stating all spectrum in 2100 MHz band will be auctioned in February.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on December 31 had recommended this rate for 3G spectrum which is about 19 percent lower compared to the price paid by service providers in the 2010 auction.

Earlier, the Department of Telecom (DoT) has questioned the methodology for arriving at base rate of Rs 2,720 crore per megahertz for these airwaves.

Reports said the DoT may approach the Cabinet on January 15 about the pricing of the 3G spectrum.

Telecom Commission sends back 3G spectrum proposals to Trai

New Delhi - Inter-ministerial panel Telecom Commission (TC) has decided to send back Trai?s recommendations on 3G spectrum pricing for a reconsideration.

According to sources, TC today discussed Trai's proposals on 2100 MHz band base price, used for 3G services, in its meeting and decided to send back the recommendations for a review.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on December 31 had recommended a base price at Rs 2,720 crore per megahertz.

An internal committee of the Department of Telecom (DoT) is believed to have suggested fixing base price of 3G spectrum at Rs 3,899 crore per megahertz, about 43 per cent higher than the rate recommended by Trai.

Cabinet approves largest ever spectrum auction to get Rs 64,840 crore

New Delhi - The Union Cabinet on Monday approved the largest ever telecom spectrum auction that is targeted to fetch at least Rs 64,840 crore from the sale next month.

The government will sell 380.75 megahertz of second generation (2G) spectrum in three bands -- the premium 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 800 MHz. Spectrum in 2100 MHz may also be put on auction simultaneously after Defence Ministry vacates it.

3G spectrum auction: TRAI recommends 22 percent lower base price

.in/fiTRAI 3G Spectrum AuctionNew Delhi, Dec 31 : The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday recommended a base price of 2,720 crore rupees per mega hertz (Mhz) for pan India 3G spectrum.

The base price is about 22 percent lower than the previous auction which would provide relief to the mobile operators. Earlier in 2010, the 3G spectrum was auctioned by the government at pan-India reserve price of 3,500 crore rupees per mega hertz.

TRAI has also recommended that Department of Telecom (DoT) should put additional 15 mega hertz for auction which will have to be obtained in exchange of spectrum, that is, with the Defence services.

Pay extra for making calls using Airtel's mobile internet

Airtel's mobile internetNew Delhi: Bharti Airtel customers will now have to pay extra if they are making calls on Skype, Viber or other apps using their mobile data packs as the operator has decided to charge standard data rates for making voice calls over Internet (VoIP).

The VoIP data will be charged separately and would not be part of the existing data packs.

"All internet/data packs or plans (through which customer can avail discounted rate) shall only be valid for internet browsing and will exclude VoIP (both incoming/ outgoing). VoIP over data connectivity would be charged at standard data rates of 4p/10 KB (3G service) and 10p/10 KB (2G service)," Airtel said on its website.

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.



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