- Vodafone Idea is clubbing network in major and smaller circles to cut costs
- Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel combined have to pay Rs 90,000 crore in dues
- Part of these dues have been paid by the telcos
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is responsible for being the watchdog of the industry and is always acting at the hem of the telecom operators as a vigil authority. In all its power, Trai has also now said that Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel might have lapsed on quality of service terms quite a few times. Trai mandates the QoS terms in the country, but the telecom operators have said that telecom operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have not violated QoS norms. As per these telecom companies, although the telcos are cutting down expenses on various items and integrating their networks in many circles, the QoS norms are something that they are holding in high regard.
COAI Defends Telecom Companies
Rajan Matthews, Director General of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), remarked about the situation saying, “AGR and related financial constraints of some operators may have led to some deferment of capital investment in networks, but this would not be at the expense of maintaining QoS parameters mandated by Trai.”
Adding to his statements, Matthews said that although there might be some issues in voice and data quality, the association is of the belief that there has been no such widespread degradation of the network which Trai might have concluded as part of its oversight. He also remarked that most of the network failures in the past month and especially in the part QoS report till September 2019, have been in Jammu and Kashmir. On the contrary, as per Rajan Matthews, the raising of the tariffs by the company has caused a decline in the data usage in the country, which means that the network has been freed up thus easing congestion.
AGR Dues Issue Still a Hurdle for Telcos
It is worth noting that after being hit by the AGR dues issues in October 2019, the telecom companies, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have been in financial trouble. Because of the dues, the telecom companies have posted massive losses in the previous financial quarters. While DoT has demanded Rs 53,000 crore from Vodafone Idea, the most of all telecom operators, from Bharti Airtel, DoT has posed a demand of Rs 35,500 crore. Out of this, Bharti Airtel has deposited Rs 18,004 crore to the department, whereas, Vodafone Idea has deposited Rs 3,500 crore.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.