“The best things in life are for free”. For the telecom operators, it is the spectrum more than anything else. If it is being offered on a platter, thats even better.
TRAI kicked up a row where it offered the spectrum for 3 G services for free; ostensibly to “help the consumers in terms of cheaper services”. I am not enthused about the 3 G Services- in my opinion, they would add to nothing, except the costs.
If providing the Internet services is concerned, there is no substitute for Wireline access. In any case the projected “millions” may never materialise- are they expecting out of thin air? Reliance and Tata’s in any case got an unfair advantage to roll out their services; though in real terms, given the hefty penalties that Reliance had to pay really doesn’t signifies any advantage that they might have had prior to the launch of their services.
Om Mallik wrote back on the on the same issue He hits it square when he claims that Reliance spat is headed for resolution; of course Anil Ambani, the younger sibling, would want hefty concessions to sort the present impasse. The 3G services may finally land up in Reliance’s kitty and they would be the first ones to milk the same to their advantage. This would be a body blow to other operators, because they see 3G services as an extension of “lifestyle products” that they seek to promote. One crucial factor in Reliance’s favour is the ability to market the technology at dirt cheap prices and make it accessible to all.
In all the madness that Indian Telecom is, there seems to be no clear winners.
In what can be seen as a proactive step from Minsitry of Telecommunications, in a terse statement, Maran says that “TRAI has exceeded it’s mandate”. I fail to understand as to how this has been done. It was just the “recommendations” and not the final order. Recommendations are just a bunch of government files that are known to rot in some smelly corner. In no way they are implemented. Oh well, they did accept the definition of broadband as 256kbps- that didnt hurt anyone much.
There is no last word on this. I have deliberately avoided the details of the “controversy”. In all, it seems that courts are going to define the contours of the next telecom policy.
Clearly, the “circus” has gone off track and the “viewers” are left to suffer.