The move comes after telcos recently urged the government to allot sub-3500 MHz 5G spectrum free of cost for 5G fixed wireless services to augment networks capacities at a time when existing 4G networks are facing severe capacity constraints amid surging home internet consumption during the Covid19 lockdowns.
“A block deal is expected tomorrow. Promoters plan to sell up to 2.75% stake,” a banker said.
Funds to be used to refinance existing loans, meet working capital needs: Experts
Droves of mobile users in Kolkata and rest of West Bengal remained without connectivity for over 40 hours as power outages and fibre cuts continued to scupper early restoration of mobile and tower networks. Those who managed to get access to home broadband experienced dismal speeds.
Both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (VIL) have tested ICR arrangements in advance to ensure all telecom operators in the impacted states can collaborate and use each other’s networks wherever required once Amphan strikes, and people can stay connected.
The Airtel stock, in fact, regained its spot as the fifth most-valued by market capitalisation, following the sharp surge.
While some such as Dabur India have already called back one-third of their staff, most firms including Capgemini, Flipkart, Power Finance Corp, NTPC, ITC, Tech Mahindra, Panasonic, Bharti Airtel, Axis Bank, and RPG Group have opened offices with smaller teams and plan to increase the numbers in a phased manner, companies said.
The operators said network equipment imports have been severely hit by global lockdowns imposed after the Covid-19 outbreak. Besides, there have been difficulties in completing tower site acquisitions, drive tests and securing multiple approvals from state authorities and municipal bodies.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the home ministry have not yet cleared telcos’ plans to digitally authenticate a customer’s identity, address and photographs due to concerns around the veracity of such documents required under the e-KYC (electronicknow your customer) parameters.
Digital Communications Commission, DoT’s highest decision-making body, discussed auctions on Monday, the people said. While Reliance Jio hasn’t publicly backed a move to delay 5G auctions, all three operators have said the base price, Rs 492 crore a unit, was too high and wouldn’t attract bids.
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