Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad cautioned the private telecom operators to stay alert against any kind of quality deterioration in addressing the customer complaints. Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) will examine the matter, if more complaints are raised from the customers. He also said that there is no scarcity of spectrum for the sector.
Stating his accountability to consumers in the country, Mr. Prasad conveyed that the market will soon expand to 100 crore mark. Alongside, he raised concerns over the quality of state-run telecom services – BSNL and MTNL. “BSNL was in Rs. 10,000 crore profit in 2004 when Mr (Atal Bihari) Vajpayee left the office. It reported about Rs. 9,000 crore loss under Dr. Manmohan Singh.”, he said.
Moreover, Minister feels that a 1.3 paise per minute increase on call rates will not make much impact on the consumers. “Indians make mobile calls worth 350 minutes. The spectrum price paid by companies is for 20 years. If you divide that by 20 years, the yearly impact come to about Rs 5,300 crore on industry whose annual revenue is Rs 2 lakh crore plus. Dividing the Rs. 5,300 crore by average minutes of call made by consumer, the impact comes to around 1.3 paise,” Mr. Prasad elucidated.
However, Minister was not ready to contest the Cellular Operators Association of India’s (COAI) projection of raising 12-15% of call rates . “I am not supposed to argue with industry as a Minister. If there is view let them see it as business case.” Instead he congratulated them for their efforts that lead to the expansion of the market.