Videocon Telecom Says in Talks With 3 Operators for Spectrum Trading

Videocon Telecommunications on Wednesday said it is in talks with three telecom operators for spectrum sharing and trading agreement and expects the close the deal soon.

“We are already in active discussions with 3 telecom operators on exploring possibilities around spectrum sharing and trading, and now with the announcement of spectrum trading policy, the discussion will gain momentum and soon we will conclude the pact(s),” Videocon Telecom Director & CEO Arvind Bali said in a statement.

The government today approved spectrum trading guidelines under which telecom operators will be able to sell radiowaves to other service providers, a move that will help address the problem of spectrum shortage.

Videocon Telecommunications, which restarted telecom business in 2013, has operations in Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. It has permit to operate in Bihar as well but is yet to start its operations there.

The company’s spectrum holding six service area, excluding Punjab, can be put for spectrum sharing and trading. “Now, with the announcement of spectrum trading policy, the entire roadmap gets clear with already announced spectrum sharing and M&A policies. This will make decision making between operators very quick and soon we will see telcos signing pacts,” Bali said.

He said spectrum sharing and trading guidelines will lead to efficient use of spectrum, that will bring new technologies for consumers, improve quality of service, reduce required number of towers, bring down call drops etc.

DoT Reportedly Calls Owners of Telecom Firms on Call Drop Issue

With the menace of call drops becoming acute, Department of Telecom rang up the owners of mobile firms including Sunil Mittal, Anil Ambani and Kumar Mangalam Birla to convey Prime Minister’s concerns on the issue, asking them to take steps to check the problem.

According to sources, Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg telephoned the owners of mobile firms recently and asked them to improve services, failing which DoT will have to impose penalties under the licence conditions.

He elaborated on the concerns raised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the owners, asking them to optimise their networks.

Garg called up Sunil Mittal of Bharti Airtel, Anil Ambani of Reliance Communications, Kumar Mangalam Birla of Idea Cellular and Vittorio Colao of Vodafone, sources said.

The government has warned the companies to get their act right on the issue or face action.

Call drops have become a big problem in the recent months and telecom regulator Trai on Thursdaysaid it will issue recommendations by mid-October on compensation to be paid by mobile operators to their customers.

“At present, I am not thinking of any kind of penalty imposition but I don’t rule out the option if the situation doesn’t improve because naturally if there is an issue it needs to be addressed by those who are in the game,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday.

The government feels that telecom operators are not investing enough in the networks which is leading to call drops, although they deny the charge.