Telecom operators in India have hit rock bottom because of the AGR dues burden and financial liabilities. To aid the telecom sector, a relief package is expected to be rolled out by the government to help financially burdened telcos like Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio. As noted by unnamed sources in the Department of Telecommunications, telcos can only offer suggestions regarding the relief package. The perfect relief package will depend upon the Finance Ministry along with the approval of the Cabinet. As reported by Hindu Business Line, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has already shared recommendations for a bailout of the telecom sector, including a two-year extension to the current moratorium.
Vodafone Idea Might Trade its Excess Spectrum to Earn Some Revenues
Among all the telecom operators, Vodafone Idea has been the most affected telco in AGR verdict and financial burden. If a relief package will be rolled out by the government, it is likely to primarily focus on Vodafone Idea because of its financial results. The telco giant might engage in trading its excess spectrum to earn some revenues and reduce the burden. In case you are not aware, Vodafone Idea holds 1,849.6 Mhz of spectrum across different frequency bands, of which 1,714.8 can be used for the deployment of 4G or 5G networks. It is speculated that the government might bring a newcomer to the Indian telecom space and give free spectrum to revive the telecom sector. Also, the government might apply license fees of average gross revenue as soon as the company hits the market share.
India Can Turn a Global Leader in the Digital Economy
Bharti Airtel is also facing a financial burden because of the AGR dues. The telco has already increased the price of prepaid plans and discontinued the Rs 799 postpaid plan for corporate users. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel, stated that government and regulators would jump in to help the financially burdened telcos and ensure that the telecom sector remains a lucrative industry for future investments. He also stated that India has the opportunity to turn into a global leader in the Digital Economy. With dynamic policies, continued investments and innovation through collaboration, India will become the leader in the digital ecosystem.