Reliance Jio Entry to Consolidate Indian Telecom Sector: Mittal

Reliance Jio Entry to Consolidate Indian Telecom Sector: Mittal
Country's largest telecom player Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal on Thursday said the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm will bring further consolidation in the Indian telecom sector.

The telecom czar said consolidation activity has already started with MTS and Reliance Communications (Rcom) deal.

"I personally believe the launch of services of Reliance Jio as a big operator will spur consolidation in telecom sector," Mittal told CNBC TV18.

He said the ideal situation for India should be four private operators and state-run BSNL.

RCom, India's fourth-largest telecom operator, has acquired Russian conglomerate Sistema's Indian telecom unit in an all-stock deal.

Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd (SSTL) offers mobile telephony services under MTS brand across nine telecom circles in the country.

On the issue of call drops, Mittal said the operators should also take part of the blame.

"The problem has occurred in the last one year and we must on our side take responsibility. We should have been better prepared...there is a part of the blame that sits on our side," Mittal said.

He, however, said the situation has started to improve in the last few weeks.

Asked about the call drop penalty mandated by sectoral regulator Trai, Mittal said the operators are in discussions with Trai and government regarding the matter and hope to come out with a solution.

"We will come to a formulation where we will be able to satisfy the government and regulator that we can come up to their expectations that they will not be requiring us to go through the process that is currently being suggested," he said.

Operators are opposing the penalty saying it is difficult to implement the regulation and will cost them about Rs. 150 crores a day.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) last month mandated that telecom companies from January 1 should compensate users at the rate of Rs. 1 per dropped call, with a ceiling of three dropped calls per day (or, Rs. 3 per day).


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