Suggestions to telecom minister Manoj Sinha

India's telecom minister Manoj Sinha
Manoj Sinha is the new minister of Telecommunications with independent charge — replacing Ravi Shankar Prasad.

On Wednesday, Manoj Sinha, a member of parliament from Gazipur Lok Sabha constituency, Uttar Pradesh, assumed the charge of Minister of State (Independent charge), Ministry of Communications in Sanchar Bhawan.

In addition, Manoj Sinha is already holding the charge of Minister of State for Railways.

Manoj Sinha is a civil engineering graduate from the Institute of Technology, Kashi Hindu Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. has compiled some suggestions for Manoj Sinha to take the Indian telecom sector to the next level.

  1. Broadband speed

In terms of broadband speed, India is nowhere in the top 10 list. Telecom ministry should consult with mobile service providers such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone, BSNL, Aircel, Reliance Communications and Tata Docomo to enhance broadband speed. In addition to enhancing the speed of broadband, there should be initiatives to increase coverage. India’s 1.2 billion population should get seamless broadband access without delays. Affordable broadband makes sense for Indians to boost their productivity. There should be no Internet drop when subscribers access broadband network.

  1. Low spectrum price

Spectrum is the lifeline for all telecoms. If telecoms are ready to spend only $12 billion to $15 billion during the forthcoming spectrum auction against spectrum worth $83 billion available, the trend shows that there is lack of interest in buying the frequency at this price. Telecom minister should take decisive actions to reduce spectrum price and enhance the quantity of spectrum available to telecom operators. There should be pro-active programs to identify and release spectrum for 5G mobile technology. India’s telecom regulator TRAI should not wait till 2020 to start creating a draft paper on 5G guidelines.

  1. Innovation

India lacks in terms of innovation. Indian telecom companies are not making enough investment to boost innovation. There should be grass root level action to enhance efforts to make innovative products and solutions. Telecoms can receive incentives to support innovation and bring out new products and services. There can be special programs in schools and colleges to identify innovative products for rural folks.

  1. Recognize telecoms with better QoS

India government should identify and recognize better performing telecom service providers if they are meeting the preset standard on quality of service (QoS). Such telecom network operators can receive incentive during spectrum auction and more funds. There should be comprehensive monthly information available from TRAI on quality of networks from telecoms.

  1. Ease regulation

There is “red-tapism” in the ministry of telecom, department of telecommunications (DoT) and other department. Indian telecom network operators and vendors should not be forced to pay bribe to India government officials to take their companies to the next level. Pre-planned activities will assist telecoms to plan their investments better. Global telecoms such as Telenor and MTS are the victims of the alleged 2G scam in India. Let telecoms construct cell sites to ensure better QoS. There should be no blocks on their way to succeed in the market place.

  1. BSNL, MTNL and ITI

If the BJP Government is not keen to privatize BSNL, MTNL and ITI there should be strong action to bring in professionals to revive the ailing companies. India needs BSNL and MTNL to ensure cost effective phone services.

  1. Manufacturing and job

At present, there is no data available on jobs created by telecom companies such as Ericsson, Airtel, etc. Indian telecoms should be able to create job opportunities for Indians. India government should also recognize telecoms that are creating more jobs. India Government will take more time to boost manufacturing in India due to lack of strong eco-system.

Manoj Sinha is joining the telecom ministry at a time when telecom network operators are going to show less interest in buying spectrum at high prices. Manoj Sinha needs to revive the fortunes of the debt-ridden telecom operators and ensure that they are making investment in telecom networks as well to reduce call drops.

Vina Krishnan
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