Telecom Watch: Defence ministry to release 5MHz in 3G spectrum

Defence ministry has reportedly agreed to vacate some spectrum - a move likely to benefit 3G service providers. Also, check out other top telecom stories of the week.

Published Date
12 - Dec - 2014
| Last Updated
12 - Dec - 2014
 
Telecom Watch: Defence ministry to release 5MHz in 3G spectrum

Defence Ministry has reportedly agreed to free some spectrum for telecom operators. According to reports, the ministry has agreed to release 5MHz in the 2100 MHz band in 17 out of 22 circles.

If implemented, the forthcoming auction may see more enthusiasm from telecom operators who have long demanded for additional spectrum for improving their services. However, spectrum to be released by the ministry is one fourth of total quantity sought by DoT.

"We expect 5 MHz in 2100 MHz band to be vacated by the Defence. The rest 15 Mhz, which is to be swapped with other bands, mainly 1900 Mhz, will also happen but it will take time," Economic Times quotes a source as saying.

Also read: Telcos may get additional 3G spectrum

Telcos fined for violating CAF rules

Telcos were slapped with a total penalty of Rs. 2,179.41 crore till September 30,2014 for violating customer verification guidelines.

Aircel was slapped with maximum penalty at Rs. 486.48 crore. Reliance Communications followed at Rs. 454.62 crore. Penalty of about Rs. 329.14 crore was imposed on BSNL, while Airtel was fined Rs. 309.87 crore, Vodafone Rs. 211.85 crore.

Aircel launches new International Roaming packs

Aircel has launched new affordable International roaming packs for 10 countries - Singapore, Malaysia, USA, Thailand, UK, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Germany, Australia and Turkey. The new packs – priced at Rs. 149 for each country – offering up to 97% discount on outgoing and incoming call charges to and from India while on international roaming on select operators as well as data usage and SMS facility.

Aircel is now offering an international roaming pack for only Rs. 149, with call charges (outgoing and incoming), data and SMS charges - at Rs. 5 per minute for 5 days while on roaming in the USA or Sri Lanka.

Spectrum price holds key: Sistema JSFC

Russia's Sistema JSFC, which controls Sistema Shyam Teleservices, says it will chalk out its investment plans in India depending on base price for CDMA spectrum. "As far as investments are concerned, it will be too early to tell. It will depend on the spectrum price," says Sistema JSFC President and CEO Mikhail Shamolin on the sidelines of  Indo-Russian Youth Innovation Summit.

Earlier, SSTL had expressed disappointment over the base price for 800MHz spectrum. In a statement, SSTL said: “The proposed pricing of Rs 3,646 crore per MHz is way out of line and does not merit a strong business case for buying spectrum in the said band. One would also like to add that at such a price one would not find any takers for 800 Mhz spectrum in the 2015 auctions, given that this price has also been previously tested in the market, way back in Nov. 2012. We would urge the Government to  rethink on the spectrum price for 800 Mhz band and bring it at par with the market discovered price of 1800 Mhz.”

Airtel’s ‘Each One, Teach One Day’ launched

Bharti Airtel launched an Each One Teach One Day initiative with an objective to drive internet literacy in India. As part of the initiative, Airtel’s network of 1.4 million retailers, 20,000 on-the-field executives and 15,000 employees across a total of around 1,800 towns pledged their support towards the cause of widespread internet awareness in India, and ‘internet ambassadors’.