The stake sale in India’s second-largest telecom tower company is key to strengthening Airtel’s balance sheet in the midst of a price war that’s eroded profit.
Analysts expect Jio to dangle a combination of aggressive tariff offer backed with mass-market 4G VoLTE feature phone to rev up active subscriber additions.
The broad aim of the plan is to protect consumer interest, curtail counterfiet mobile phone market, discourage mobile phone theft, detect cloning and allow lawful interception.
The smartphone will be priced under Rs 5,500.
“Base stations are a non-ITA item, and the move has been done in the internet of Make in India,” a senior official in the telecom ministry told ET.
The move has been appreciated by Indian as well as foreign handset makers such as Lava, Micromax, Gionee and HMD Global which makes Nokia phones.
Smaller retailers too are wary of issuing bills as many are yet to update systems, though larger ones say the transition has been seamless.
By putting a 10 per cent basic customs duty, the government has ensured that incentives for local manufacturing will remain intact even under GST.
While post-paid users aren’t facing any problems, pre-paid users, especially those who use lower value, are a confused lot.
iPhone SE has become cheaper by atleast 4 per cent, with prices of the 32GB model down to Rs 26,000 from the earlier Rs 27,200.
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