According to legal sources, the telecom regulator has filed an application for RCom and Reliance Telecom seeking that provision be made in resolution plan that post paid subscribers get back their unspent money and deposits . Axis Bank also raised a question on its guarantees but both these matters will be heard on August 19 by NCLT.
Government officials said a further delay in payment could have led to the DoT invoking bank guarantees, as per rules — something the cash-strapped telco cannot afford to take. "The payments have started coming in for the circles and the telco did not have much choice, because further delays would have led to invoking of bank guarantees," said a senior government official.
In its ruling, TDSAT had said that Trai has started the probe after getting a complaint from Jio, but the regulator said it had started enquiries into the two plans on July 6 itself, and not after Jio’s letter of July 8.
Nokia and Ericsson that had letters of credit from banks against previous orders, are again asking for similar guarantees from banks for new orders, the sources said. And that appears to be a difficult task. The carrier told the Supreme Court recently that no bank was willing to provide any guarantees, given its debt — 112,520 crore at March end.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India source said that both the companies have been given time till August 10 to file their responses. The regulator had sent nearly two dozen questions to Airtel and Vodafone Idea over the contentious premium plans on Friday evening (July 31), and had asked them to explain their stand on August 4, backed by data and presentations.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), in is latest letters, dated July 31, has asked VIL and Airtel why RedX and Platinum were not flagged as “new types of services”, which would have prompted the regulator to examine them under a different lens before approving their launch in the market.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) will decide on August 5 if UV Asset Resolution Co Ltd (UVARCL) and Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) are the buyers of RCom’s assets . The two firms have been overwhelmingly voted in favour of the resolution plans submitted by UVARCL and Jio by RCom’s lenders .
In February 2019, RCom filed for insolvency. Under the proceedings, the DoT has claimed nearly Rs 30,000 crore in dues from RCom, of which over Rs 21,000 crore has been verified by the resolution professional.
Indian telecom sector is the second largest growing market globally after China with a huge subscriber base of over 120 crore serving them with the cheapest tariffs in the world, says COAI's newly-appointed Director General S P Kochhar.
Another source said that Bharti Airtel has been asked over two dozen questions, including if limits for data speeds have been set for platinum and non-platinum users, and about the levels of throughput for platinum users.
The telco has already developed its own technology which powers its voice over LTE (VoLTE) services nationally and handles more than 10 billion minutes of calls on a daily basis. Kiran Thomas, president at Reliance Industries (RIL), Jio’s parent, said that VoNR is backward compatible and will work on 4G as well.
Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash said India needs to prepare, invest and be ready for reaping the benefits of 5G technology opportunities and applications across sectors including including health, education, agriculture, disaster management, industry, and commerce.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel, has called upon the government to review the high taxes levied upon the telecom sector. The industry leader has asked the government to ensure that the sector aids in growth and development but not at its own cost.
Prakash siad that we must also prepare to reap the benefits of 5G technology applications across all sectors including health, education, agriculture, disaster management, industry, commerce, etc. “Enhancement of our capabilities and capacities in the core ICT sector must be a focus area,” he added.
“Now that our digital connectivity ecosystem has scaled many peaks, it is now time to focus on self- reliance and security,” Modi said in a written message which was read out by COAI DG, Lt General SP Kochhar. Modi’s message came at an industry webinar marking 25 years of the industry.