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Sunil Mittal, Mukesh Ambani paint different pictures of telecom sector

Ambani, whose company’s entry into the telecom market triggered the consolidation, was more upbeat about the sector’s prospects.

ET Bureau|
Oct 26, 2018, 07.39 AM IST
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The RIL chairman said India would soon be counted among the world’s “top three nations in fixed broadband”.
NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal and Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani painted contrasting pictures of the Indian telecom sector while speaking at an industry event, here on Thursday.

Mittal, whose company’s India operations reported losses for the third successive quarter, said consolidation in the Indian telecom industry hasn’t happened in an orderly way and had come at a heavy price with a whopping $50 billion (over Rs 3.66 lakh crore) being wiped off from the sector.

He added that the sector was among “the most heavily taxed like the tobacco industry”, and called for an early resolution both to this issue as well as to the spate of litigation between telcos and the government.

Ambani, whose company’s entry into the telecom market triggered the consolidation, was more upbeat about the sector’s prospects.

He said that India would rise to the No 1 spot in mobile data consumption in under two years from the 155th position and that the country had witnessed the “fastest transition” from 2G/3G services to 4G anywhere in the world. By 2020, “every phone in India will be 4G enabled, and every customer will have access to 4G connectivity”, he said.

The RIL chairman said India would soon be counted among the world’s “top three nations in fixed broadband”.

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