This is what the headlines in Business Standard say. Let me highlight the relevant portions of the report for your eyes only:
Rising competition (13 licences for each circle), falling tariffs (lowest in the world, falling further because of per-second billing), rapidly declining average revenue per user (ARPU) because the newer subscribers are the low spenders in semi-urban and rural areas, and high taxes (about 30 per cent in all) ……….have put paid to the aspirations of not only the new entrants but also incumbents……..deleted.
Forget about fancy valuations. I have always contested the claim about the “lowest tariff in the world” because it is not in consonance with the actual “gini coefficient”; which means that we pay more than we can actually spend. It is a bitter truth but then the newspapers need a lifeline of their advertising spends, so rest assured, this truth will NEVER be out.
……Nearly 15 million more users came on board in September….. It has also brought into focus the phenomenon of dual SIMs — existing subscribers are acquiring additional connections, resulting in a seeming increase in subscribers but in fact merely leading to a bill being split between two or more service providers….Deleted.
For the first time, to my knowledge, a newspaper daily has mentioned this in black and white. Let me also repeat. The operators keep the discarded number for a period of atleast 3 months before it is “terminated”. So even though, a customer has left in the middle of month, the disconnection would not be reported for another 3 months (which, I believe is an industry practise). The same customer may acquire multiple connections or dual SIMS; so it is the growth of the SIM cards and perhaps not the customers which is reported. In any case, the simple headcount may not be feasible.
Industry executives blamed much of the ills on the government and the regulator. With falling tariffs, they need to cut costs, but their hands are tied because 35-40 per cent of their costs are taxes and other regulatory expenses. They have to pay 5 per cent of their revenue even from rural areas towards the universal service obligation fund which is meant to promote rural telephony. They said there was no need for the regulator to push for pay-per-second billing by all…… Deleted.
Now this is something that industry officials would always bleat about. Let them come out openly against the said “policies”…shadow fighting the Government wouldn’t help. For one simple reason. If these morons had any iota of service towards customers, I would have sympathized with them. But, they treat their customers like dirt; more so like crap cash cows who feeds in their kitties with little change so that likes of Mittal and his ilk can reap in obscene profits. In any case, let them prove their worth with their commitment to service, their willingness to be transparent, their approachability and customer care in the true sense of the term. People need their money’s worth but alas! My countrymen are basically lazy bastards who wish to have everything on platter without fighting for it.
…….the incumbents said they remain committed and focused on growth. “We will continue to enhance our market leadership and simultaneously open new revenue streams like m-commerce, m-entertainment, digital media and many other products……Deleted.
They have no real option but to focus on Value Added Services which is “babes, bikinis and bollywood”. Unless these people want to “focus” on phone sex services which would be a “high revenue earner” for them.
Rest of the write up seems to sum up the gloom and “brave words” just to reassure the shareholders that “we are up to it”. That we would weave our small little web of deceit, of lies and pull wool over the regulators and leave no stone unturned to defraud our customers because they are basically bunch of idiots and nincompoops. No one knows how much unaccounted for wealth flows in and out of system or whether this elaborate system allows them to launder their money in more effective way. There is no accountability to the customers because they are using a PUBLIC resource and merely by adding value to it doesn’t entitle them to the ownership of it.
Sadly, this isn’t mentioned anywhere. This of course, would be mentioned at all.