Under a conditional merger nod given two weeks ago, the DoT demanded Rs 7,268 crore upfront payment towards dues it said the two telcos owe it.
Aircel, which declared bankruptcy this year, desperately needs a fund infusion, the last one being Rs 95 crore paid by promoter T Ananda Krishnan. The telco has not paid its 3,000 employees since March.
Officials in the ministry added that DoT intends to go ahead with an appeal in the Supreme Court against a telecom tribunal ruling asking it to release bank guarantees worth Rs 2,000 crore against one-time spectrum charges (OTSC) sought from RCom.
JioPhone held a huge lead at the top of the featurephone market with 35.8% share, followed by Samsung with 9.8% share, and Itel, Nokia and Lava with 9.4%, 7.3% and 5.6% shares, respectively.
DoT has sought a bank guarantee of more than Rs 3,300 crore from Idea Cellular for its OTSC and Rs 3,900 crore from Vodafone India.
The merged entity has been the result of continuous pressure on tariffs and profitability due to free voice and cheap data offers from new Jio.
While the govt is looking to showcase Digital India by offering sops to push rollout of public Wifi before elections 2019, Indian telcos are united in crying foul
The service can tackle calls in rural areas, old buildings with thick walls, underground garages, metro stations and other places where signals are weak.
Bharti Airtel is transforming itself into a digital company as part of Airtel 3.0, backed by an investment of Rs 24,000 crore this fiscal year through March 2019.
As things stand, the Bharti Airtel leads the market with about 33% revenue market share, with Vodafone trailing at about 21% share, followed by Reliance Jio at 20% share.
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