Action by Indian telecom ministry and not 2G spectrum auction is vital for survival

Telecom Lead India: Indian telecom regulators, opinion makers, influencing telecom industry bodies, decision makers and telecom investors are going to face the music soon. This is because of India’s short term policies for the telecom industry.


We are not concerned about the Rs 14,000 crore benchmark fee for 2G spectrum. is proactively recommending investments and growth in the telecom sector. But industry issues are not heard by anyone this time.


Indian telecom industry should not be run by Courts and scared bureaucrats. (Nobody wants to be part of any “wrong decision-making process.” Decision makers do not know whether JPC or CAG will grill them based on certain new theory stipulated by corporates which are not enjoying this business at present.)


The telecom industry produced companies such as Bharti Airtel. India has attracted Vodafone which selected India to invest as part of its emerging telecom market focus. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries is back in telecom business with Infotel Broadband and its 4G services. A number of other telecom firms have benefited from our 1994 telecom policy. But short term policies are going to ruin us again.


Coal blocks were allocated by select bureaucrats and politicians under the influence of few state heads.


In the case of 2G spectrum auction, a number of guidelines are going to impact the viability of the Indian telecom sector. There is discrimination between new and existing telecom entrants. We are arranging a beauty parade to telecom service providers who have made up their mind in 2008 with certain targets in mind.

If they cannot meet 2012 guidelines, will India government refund their investments? Etisalat, top mobile player from the Middle East, has already said “enough is enough”. We will see more responses soon.

The Indian telecom industry, which has more than 900 million telecom users, is experimenting a Friday meeting by our telecom department and other decision makers chairing to “finalize guidelines for new license holders”. The auction is in November and the industry gets guidelines in September. The powerful Supreme Court directs a number of decision makers. It is strange that PMO does not have any powers in decision making. That’s why companies such as Uninor and MTS India are still waiting for some action and not auction.

Since GoM head was elevated to a new level, there were delays in decision making.

Currently, the government is in the process of finalizing few more final conditions for participating in the 2G spectrum auction which is slated for November. Is it shameful? Should not we respect Indian investors in the telecom industry? Can we ask foreign telecom companies to get out of India as we did not have strong policies in 2008 as well?

India’s telecom minister does not see policy paralysis in India. NTP 2011 has become NTP 2012. WiMax spectrum has become TD-LTE spectrum. NTP 2012 has given “voice” to data driven TD-LTE services. India will not have strong local manufacturing policy because we are unable to spend funds and ensure strong ecosystem.

Time for rethinking…

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