Top govt sources said mobile Internet usage had increased only by around 10% on average since the start of the lockdown, with metros like Delhi and Mumbai recording as little as a 3% rise, with small telecom circles seeing higher growth at 15%.
The telecom company announced recharge facility at the ATMs of some of the banks.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has rejected telcos' call to hold open house discussions (OHD) on floor pricing of services through an online mechanism amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
In letters to RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani, Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal, VIL chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and BSNL chairman P K Purwar, Gandhi has called on telcos to “make incoming and outgoing call facilities” on their networks “available in the relevant areas without charge for the next one month” for home-bound migrant workers who have run out of cash on their phone recharges.
Facebook Inc is in talks to buy a multi billion dollar stake in Reliance Industries Ltd's telecom unit, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.
Kotak Institutional Equities said that Facebook’s reported interest may be driven to enhance addressable opportunity in its largest market in terms of subscriber base.
Rajan Mathews, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which represents Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea, said the telcos “were likely to consider the request” as they have always put the interest of their customers first.
Jio's special work from home plan has 2GB data per day on offer. It is valid for a period of 51 days. A point to note is that this plan only offers customers internet services, and doesn't not provide any call or SMS benefits. Consumers will avail high-speed data up to a total usage limit of 120 GB.
Debt-ridden Vodafone Idea has proposed that the minimum price of data should be fixed at Rs 35 per GB, Bharti Airtel has proposed minimum price of Rs 30 per GB for low data users and Reliance Jio wants it to be hiked gradually to Rs 20 per GB.
“If concerns around Covid-19 lead to material impact on consumers’ ability to spend (especially daily wage laborers), then we see risks of tariff hikes being pushed back and magnitude being lower,” brokerage firm BofA Global Research said in a report.
RIL had set a target to make its telecom services arm Jio debt-free by March 31, 2020.
Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio Infocomm may roll out ‘cells on wheels’ (CoWs) to ease network congestion amid an upsurge in home internet and video services consumption because of lockdowns.
The three networks have varied plans across price ranges, we've put together the best plans under Rs 700.
Experts though have called on the government to consider a three-month moratorium on operators’ revenue-share commitments for the April-June quarter FY21, which would be more significant relief for the debt-laden telecom sector that is currently reeling under the impact of the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) payments crisis.
In terms of service quality of mobile networks, Bharti Airtel has outperformed its rivals, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio, in four out of five metrics, according to a study.
In a letter dated March 23, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) had said, “Due to unforeseen situation in wake of COVID-19, it has been decided that the audit process conducted by LSA field units in respect of EMR (electromagnetic radiation) and CAF (subscriber verification) shall be kept in abeyance till 31.03.2020.”
Jio has come out with an yearly plan, giving 360 days of validity. Earlier, the telco had withdrwan its Rs 2020 plan and instead brought a Rs 2121 plan with lower validity.
Jio has developed its own 5G and other technologies, to cut costs and reduce dependence on foreign vendors.
Reliance Jio's special work from home plan has 2GB data/day on offer. It is valid for a period of 51 days.
All sectoral indices closed the day in the green. Nifty Financial Services was the biggest gainer.
A deal was to have been announced by March end, the FT said.
With both India Inc and personal holiday goers also likely to postpone international travel in the summer due to the pandemic, telcos will be faced with a further drop in revenue from international roaming, which was a key component of high-tariff customers.
The FT report said Google had also been talking to Jio separately, citing one of the people above. Microsoft had said last year that it would provide cloud-computing services to businesses along with Jio. India is the biggest market for Facebook with 328 million monthly users and the company’s WhatsApp messaging app has 400 million users in the country, also the most in the world.
The three private telcos have obtained approvals from the DoT to ensure critical workers manning their NoCs – the brains of any mobile communications network – can freely travel amid the pandemic-induced countrywide lockdowns to resolve network-related glitches at a time when bulk of corporate staff across India is working from home.
“There have been no notices sent to telcos on their AGR payments or any discussions on it. Now, the focus of the Department of Telecommunications is on how to ensure smooth running of operations during the coronavirus pandemic,” said a government official who did not want to be identified.
The digital services also decided to lower the bitrates to 480p, which will put less stress on telecom networks as India goes under 21-day lockdown and people are confined to their homes. This has caused an unprecedented surge in mobile internet consumption.
CLSA’s valuation of Vodafone Idea is based on 8x EV/Ebitda 1-year forward Ebitda of FY22, which is at a 10 per cent discount to the Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio valuation multiples.
The stock quoted a 52-week high of Rs 566.7 and a 52-week low of Rs 264.29.
According to senior executives in the sector, letters were sent to the DoT and Trai on Saturday. “Telcos do not want customers getting charged for accessing necessary sites, including government ones or banking sites until restrictions to prevent Covid-19 are lifted,” said a senior telecom executive, who did not wish to be identified.
Reliance Jio has recently introduced two new plans priced at Rs 49 and Rs 69 which come with 14 days of validity and offer 2 GB and 7 GB data respectively. Jio has also tweaked its long term Rs 2020 plan which is now priced at Rs 2121 that has a validity of 336 days against 365 days of Rs 2020 plan.
India has 630 million plus mobile (3G/4G) users versus 19 million fixed broadband users.
“It is of paramount importance that at this crucial juncture, we come together as an industry to serve the nation and prepare ourselves for any kind of exigency,” Bharti Airtel said in a joint letter to Jio, Vodafone Idea, BSNL and MTNL on Monday. Airtel said such an exercise would be particularly relevant, where a site is shut or where the TSP is not able to manage the up-time.
“It’s of paramount importance that at this crucial juncture we come together as an industry to serve the nation and prepare ourselves for any kind of exigency,” Airtel wrote in a letter to Jio, Vodafone, BSNL and MTNL on Monday. Airtel has assigned chief technology officer Randeep Sekhon as points-person to coordinate efforts regarding this.
The Mukesh Ambani-owned company has replaced Nokia’s and Oracle’s 4G voice technology with its own, a senior company executive said. The move is perhaps a global first, analysts said, where a mobile phone company has developed in-house technology to replace third-party equipment vendors.
Mukesh Ambani-led Jio added a modest 82,308 mobile users, taking its subscriber base past 370 million in December, way below the 9.1 million and 5.6 million customer-adds reported by the company in October and November respectively last year.
Operators said net subscriber additions may fall by at least 2 million in March alone, and may dip further if the social isolation advisories are kept in place for a long duration. There is not vaccine yet to treat Covid-19, which has infected over 200,000 people worldwide and killed more than 8,000.
According to the latest report, Jio pipped its nearest rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone who recorded an average download speed of 8 mbps in February.
The Finance Ministry is working with officials to finalise the stimulus plan.
Fairfax-backed Quess Corp, India’s largest private employer, is exploring a share buyback.
Washington in the past has put pressure on New Delhi to keep China's Huawei out of the India's 5G deployments. The Indian government, however, has allowed Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese company, to participate in 5G trials. New Delhi will take a separate call on allowing Huawei to participate in the commercial deployments of the next generation technoligy in India.
Representatives from industry bodies like COAI and Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) as well as telecom operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio and state-owned telcos attended the meeting called by senior telecom department officials.
Last week, Reliance Jio had announcd a long-term plan of Rs 2121. With validity of 336 days, it is Jio's costliest plan yet and offers 504 GB of data. It offers unlimited calls to Jio numbers, complimentary access to Jio apps, unlimited SMS (100 per day), and 12000 minutes of calling to non-Jio numbers.
Stating that the AGR issue "could create a duopoly structure," Morgan Stanley said: "The Supreme Court has not relented on the AGR dues, which makes matters worse for VIL. Airtel and RJio are well-placed thanks to strong balance sheets and could gain market share."
Radico Khaitan has said the company will start manufacturing hand santizer from its Rampur distillery.
"The bulk of responses have already come in through written comments, and additional inputs, if any, can be given via suitable alternates like an online or electronic open house forum, in case TRAI wants. Floor price is a pressing need of the industry," COAI Director General, Rajan Mathews said.
Vodafone Idea Ltd recently computed its AGR dues at Rs 21,533 crore, way below the over Rs 58,000 crore pegged by the DoT.
As India Inc increasingly works from home to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, demand for WiFi equipment has more than doubled in the last two weeks leading to a supply crunch, with even the rental ecosystem for devices becoming a hit.
India Vix snapped two-session winning streak and tumbled 7.94 per cent to close at 76.96
Tata Communications is the largest company in the country’s enterprise data segment.
ITC has for the first time set a dividend payout ratio for shareholders.
Top sources said on a request from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) ordered superseding of the phone ringing tone that one hears on dialling a number, with the 30-second information clip. The only exception to not hearing the coronavirus message is when a user has subscribed to a particular tune, they said.
A combination of reduced AGR dues and easier repayment terms on the back of recent tariff hikes, brokerage CLSA said, could send growth revival signals and encourage VIL’s promoters to reassess their stance of ‘no equity infusion’ to bolster the struggling telco’s financial position for competing more effectively with Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio Infocomm.
Cos’ work from home initiative likely to boost data usage, push demand for home broadband, VPN
Jio placed bid for Reliance Infratel's tower and fibre assets & UVARC for assets of RCom & Reliance Telecom.
The Department of Telecom's calculations put Bharti Airtel's dues at Rs 37,700 crore and Vodafone Idea's dues at Rs 53,000 crore, but both operators believe their dues are almost half of what the DoT claims.
While Airtel and Vodafone Idea want a cost-based methodology to arrive at a floor, Jio said that it must be determined on headline tariffs rather than realised tariffs. Bharti Airtel recommends fixing a floor for data services for two years by three possible approaches. Reliance Jio said that tariffs must not be hiked abruptly as it may dampen usage considerably.
As India Inc works from home, telcos want video streaming cos to ease pressure on network infrastructure.
Sources said that while Bharti Airtel has made payment of Rs 1,950 crore to the Department of Telecommunications towards deferred spectrum dues, Reliance Jio has paid Rs 1,053 crore. Vodafone Idea too paid about Rs 3,043 crore towards deferred spectrum dues, as per the sources.
Companies are finding it increasingly tough to meet the expectations of the new-age customer. We try to find out more about their customer experience strateg...
Even if payments are spread over 20 years, the telco will have to pay over Rs 5,200 crore in annual payouts.
“RCom in accordance with the stipulations contained in Regulation 30 of the SEBI ....hereby informs ...that resolution professional of RCom has duly filed the resolution plan as approved by the CoC with the... NCLT, Mumbai Bench on March 6, 2020 in accordance with Section 30(6) of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016,” said the company.
Phone operators have rejected recent criticism by the telecom regulator about a decline in quality of mobile services and an increase in call drops.
Experts and analysts say existing telecoms infrastructure belonging to Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio Infocomm may be ill-equipped to handle any sudden countrywide upsurge in home internet consumption, given the continuing spectrum crunch, low fiberisation levels and poor wired broadband penetration.
"The Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) have made some payments in compliance with the Supreme Court order dated October 24, 2019," Minister of State for Communications Sanjay Dhotre said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. The minister said the government has "again" directed the operators to make full payments in a letter dated March 4, 2020.
The telcos are likely to report around 10% on-quarter growth in ARPU in the fourth quarter.
Reliance Jio has rolled out voice over WiFi (VoWiFi) calling service for its subscribers in multiple circles, including Delhi-NCR and Chennai, following a limited launch by Airtel in December 2019.
Till now, Jio has been depending upon 4G voice technology supplied by Oracle and Nokia. According to a company exec, Jio has already replaced Orclae and Nokia techs with its own in an effort to cut reliance on foreign third-party suppliers.
The Mukesh Ambani led telco’s dues are a fraction of what its rivals - Vod Idea and Airtel - have to pay.
The same bench had backed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) while ruling on October 24 that AGR should include non-core items, leaving the industry in turmoil. The wider definition of AGR left 15 telcos, including many that are now defunct, facing over Rs 1.43 lakh crore in license fees, spectrum usage charge, interest and penalties.
UV Asset Reconstruction Company is learnt to have placed a bid of around Rs 14,700 crore, while Reliance Jio has made an offer of Rs 4,700 crore for tower and fibre assets of Reliance Infratel Ltd. There will also be a clawback of Rs 4,300 crore of priority payments made to Chinese and Indian creditors.
The government has filed an application in the Supreme Court, requesting that telcos be allowed to spread the payment of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues over 20 years or less, at a reduced interest rate of 8%, in a bid to prevent an “adverse impact” on the economy, jobs and millions of consumers.
Reports on Friday said that Cabinet has approved a relief package for the sector which could include the option of AGR payment over several years.
The govt moved the SC asking it to allow telcos to pay AGR dues in annual instalments for over 20 years.
The payment comes even as the telecom firm faces balance AGR dues of Rs 53,500 crore.
Total capitalisation of Jio Platforms stood at Rs 1,70,000 crore, Reliance said in a regulatory filing.
Till date 84 issuers have done 677 issuances of commercial papers and have successfully listed CPs of Rs 1,97,882 crore on BSE.
The government is also likely to request the Supreme Court to allow affected telcos to stagger payment of AGR liabilities over up to 20 years on net present value basis, at a reduced interest rate of 8%, against the 12% that is usually charged on dues, a senior government official told.
Reliance Jio’s ‘2020 Happy New Year Offer’ is available for both smartphone and JioPhone customers. For smartphone users, Jio is offering unlimited voice, 1.5GB daily data, SMS, and access to Jio apps. The validity of the scheme is 365 days.
The Mukesh Ambani-led Jio, which had started a tariff battle in the sector with its entry in 2016, has increased its headline price plans for the first time since its launch. Its two older rivals had raised their prices earlier this week, also by about 40%.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) in an email to telecom operators on Friday asked to incorporate audio clip in the ring back tone till further orders. One of the telecom operators said the audio clip has not been made available on those numbers where subscribers are paying for caller tunes.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will hold a meeting on February 20 with telecom operators and telecom equipment vendors to discuss a road map for 5G field trials in the country.
The windfall will help govt bridge its deficit at a time when revenue collection has taken a hit due to slump.
"The committee of creditors has approved the resolution plans of RCOM and its subsidiaries RTL and RITL with an absolute majority of 100 per cent by the lenders at the COC meeting, as against the mandatory requirement of 66%," the source said.Lenders submitted claims of around Rs 49,000 cr in August of which Rs 33,000 cr estimated to be secured debt.
"Great job you have done. Thank you," Trump told Ambani who briefed him about the RIL investment in the US and India business at the CEO roundtable event organised at the US Embassy here. "We are investors in the United States in the energy sector and have invested $7 billion towards that," Ambani told Trump who immediately replied: "$7 billion, yeah, big one."
Adjusted gross revenue of telecom companies as a performance indicator for third quarter of FY19 may not be comparable to previous quarter numbers since the Supreme Court widened the definition of AGR in October, ICICI Securities stated while further adding that gross revenue (GR) comparison would give a more accurate picture of industry trend.
Nifty on Tuesday staged a strong rebound, snapping a seven-day losing spree.
The Department of Telecommunications received about Rs 8,000 crore from telcos, with Vodafone Idea (VIL), Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio paying for airwaves bought in the 2014 auctions, and Tata Teleservices paying Rs 2,000 crore towards adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.
Internet companies from Flipkart to Paytm are aggressively promoting remote working options.
The issue size is Rs 29,650 crore for Reliance Jio Infocomm, Rs 3,350 crore for Bajaj Housing Finance, Rs 950 crore for Redington (India) and Rs 700 crore for ICICI Securities Primary Dealership.
Jio said that it will raise tariffs in next few weeks, following steps of its competitors Airtel & Voda Idea.
Here is a list of stocks that saw sharp price action during the week.
According to the data published by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), Bharti Airtel network had average 4G download speed of 7.9 mbps, Vodafone 7.6 mbps and Idea 6.5 mbps. The average speed is computed by Trai based on the data it collects across India with the help of its MySpeed application on a real-time basis.
Such a move would be a more pragmatic way for Reliance Jio to overcome any potential gear procurement constraints.
The Mukesh Ambani-owned telco yesterday unveiled revised tariffs, which were as much as 40% costlier.
Das noted that timing of interest rate cut was important rather than mechanical cuts.
India is witnessing the growth of online fantasy sports leagues, quizzing and card games.
While talking to Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Ambani said that gaming could be the next big industry in India.
New customers are now being billed, and old customers have been told to choose one pack or another.
After Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio too has announced to hike its tariffs by about 40 per cent.
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