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Jan 22, 2020, 03.05 PM IST

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  • The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has extended timeline for receiving comments over its consultation paper which seeks views on fixing a floor price for voice and data services on telecom networks. The deadline for filing comments and counter comments has been extended till February 28 and March 13, respectively.

    “There are less than a third of mobile towers connected to fibre backhaul when compared to China that has more than 80% connected,” Sharma said. He added that the telecom sector should be treated as ‘strategic’ to serve citizens and that issues such as the Right-of-Way (RoW) should be set right.

    Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Star and Disney India, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Sony Pictures Networks India, and TV18 and Viacom18 have called the NTO “arbitrary and unreasonable” in their pleas.

    Among the three access service providers, Reliance Jio added the highest number of 5.6 million wireless subscribers, while Bharti Airtel saw a nominal net addition of 1.6 million, according to subscriber data for November 2019 released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Thursday.

    Telcos, it said, would also “need to share details with mobile users of the relevant web portal/apps created” in their upcoming media campaign on ways to rein in pesky calls and text messages.

    A two-private player duopoly in the telecom market would be too risky in India, especially for the consumers, senior officials at the sectoral watchdog said.

    "The new framework is consumer-friendly and addresses the issues of stakeholders. We have provided the freedom to broadcasters and they are free to price. We have only reduced the bouquet cap to Rs 12," Trai chairman Ram Sewak Sharma said. The new regime was unveiled in Dec 2018, and the regulator has issued amendments on Jan 1, this year.

    The TRAI had in December 2019 issued new tariff rules by which prices of the Network Capacity Fee (NCF) were lowered, benefiting consumers.

    Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio now stands to pocket as much as Rs 1,600 crore in interconnect fees from the two older carriers over the next one year, having become a net IUC recipient in the October-December period, analysts said.

    TRAI issued the amendments to its tariff order - which take effect on March 1 on Jan 1. It limited the discounting on TV channels bouquets to 33%, while also reducing the maximum retail price (MRP) of channels in those bouquets to Rs 12 from Rs 19.

    Cloud computing and virtualization software company, VMWare had made a $2 billion investment in its Indian arm in 2018, which employs close to 6000 people. On the recent consultation paper on cloud services introduced by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, it was proposed that cloud-focussed companies would become members of a cloud industry body.

    Television broadcasters united against TRAI's recent order capping prices for channels saying that will affect the content creation and impact jobs. The broadcasters got together under the aegis of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) to oppose the move in a rare press conference here which had top executives from all the leading networks speaking out.

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