Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel to increase workforce by 25% in FY24

Posted By: Vanshika Pathak Posted On: Aug 16, 2023
The demand for telecommunications jobs is seeing a rise due to 5G technology.

Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, and Bharti Airtel, India’s top three telcos, are expected to add up to 25% more employees to their existing workforce in Financial Year (FY) 2024, The Economic Times reported. The demand for telecommunications jobs is seeing a rise due to 5G technology.

Following a slowdown due to covid pandemic, the hiring activity of India's top three telecom companies picked up in FY23.

Earlier in January 2023, Mint reported that telecommunication and allied sectors are set to witness 40-45% hiring growth over the next couple of years, with the last 3-6 months recording a 30-36% rise in job offerings.

The demand is expected to be primarily led by emerging segments such as whitespace spectrum, 5G, virtual network operations, network security, IoT in big data, cybersecurity specialists, and cloud, recruiters said, the report further added.

Reliance Jio Infocomm on Monday said it has rolled out 5G services in 26 gigahertz millimetre waves across India and has claimed a record top speed of up to 2 gigabits per second.

"Jio customers now using 26 GHz mmWave-based business-connectivity across all 22 telecom circles," Reliance Jio said in a statement.

The telecom major said it has completed its minimum roll-out obligations in each of the 22 telecom circles, across each of the spectrum bands, ahead of time under the terms of the spectrum allocated to it on August 17, 2022.

Meanwhile, Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said claims worth ₹45,286.76 crore against the company and its subsidiaries are under litigation in various courts across the country.

The pending litigations include a demand of ₹15,178 crore, the highest among all, for one-time spectrum charges that was raised by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in January 2013.

Debt-ridden Vodafone Idea has received funding assurance of up to ₹2,000 crore from a promoter group entity, the company said in a regulatory filing on Monday.

The company has reported gross debt of ₹2.11 lakh crore as on June 30, 2023.

"The Company has received a communication from a promoter group entity confirming that in the event of any fund requirement for meeting its impending payment obligations by the Company, it shall provide direct or indirect financial support to the extent of ₹2,000 crore," Vodafone Idea said in the filing.

Source: Live Mint
Related Posts: RELIANCE JIO,VODAFONE IDEA,BHARTI AIRTEL,TELCOS,INDIA TELECOM COMPANIES

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Why Trai wants to cut the entry fees for various licences

Posted By: Vanshika Pathak Posted On: Sep 20, 2023
While some telecom service providers have called for entry fees to be abolished, the telecom regulator has suggested a 50% reduction (Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint)

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has proposed reducing the entry fee for various licenses and services and rationalising bank guarantees that service providers pay to the government. The entry fee is a one-time payment that companies must pay when entering the Indian telecom market, and varies with the type of service they offer. Bank guarantees act as backups or contingent payments that the government can encash in case a company fails to meet the licence conditions. Mint explains the development.

Why does Trai want to reduce the entry fee?

The entry fee is usually non-refundable and is part of a firm's startup costs. It varies with the type of service that the company wants to offer. For instance a unified license, which allows all services including mobile telephony, internet broadband and landline services, has a maximum entry fee of ₹15 crore, while a virtual network operator's entry fee is ₹7.5 crore.

While some telecom service providers have called for the entry fee to be abolished, the telecom regulator has suggested a 50% reduction, saying it could cause more companies to enter the market as service providers, enhancing competition. A reasonable entry fee would maintain a balance between deterring non-serious players and ensuring adequate competition.

Why now?

Trai has pointed out that providers of voice, video and data services have declined from around eight players in each licensed service area to five by 2018 and four at present – Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. Since reducing the entry fee would lower a company's start-up cost, it would encourage competition and improve the quality of service.

Have entry fees been reduced in the past?

Yes. In 2005 the Department of Telecommunications reduced the entry fee for the national long distance or NLD from ₹100 crore to ₹2.5 crore and for international long distance or ILD from ₹25 crore to ₹2.5 crore. The government at the time said the reduction would promote growth and enhance competition.

By how much does Trai want to reduce the entry fee and for which licenses?

Trai has suggested the entry fee for UL for access service should be reduced from ₹1 crore to ₹50 Lakh for each telecom circle or metro area, and from ₹50 lakh to ₹25 lakh for J&K and the North East. It says the fee for NLD and ILD should be reduced from ₹2.5 crore to ₹50 lakh. The fee for public mobile radio trunking service, a two-way mobile radio service, should be reduced from ₹50,000 to ₹20,000 for each telecom circle.

The fee for an ISP "B" licence or internet service provider for metro areas should be reduced from ₹2 lakh to ₹50,000 for each telecom circle and ₹25,000 for J&K and North-East each.

The fee for an ISP "A" licence, which covers all of India, should be reduced from ₹30 lakh to ₹10 lakh, says the regulator.

The fee for UL (VNO) authorizations for access service should be reduced from ₹50 lakh per telecom circle to ₹12.5 lakh. Trai has also suggested that there should be no entry fee when renewing licenses.

What kind of bank guarantees exist and how could they be rationalised?

Bank guarantees ensure that telecom service providers pay their dues on time and fulfill their obligations in the licence agreement. Financial bank guarantees cover the liabilities from the licence fee and other dues not otherwise securitised, whale performance bank guarantees cover the violation of license conditions. Trai has suggested merging the two on the grounds that it would encourage ease of doing business and encourage growth in the sector.

How much will licence holders need to pay up under the merged bank guarantees?

For a unified license, a total of ₹44 crore has been proposed for the first year. For subsequent years, the amount should be higher than in the initial year or 20% of the estimated sum payable. The merger of both types of bank guarantees has been proposed for mobile number portability licences as well. Trai has also recommended using electronic bank guarantees to enhance the ease of doing business.

Source: Live Mint
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Why has the net neutrality debate surfaced again

Posted By: Jaydatt Chaudhary Posted On: Sep 19, 2023
People protesting against Facebook's Free Basics initiative in Bangalore on January 2, 2016 (Photo: AFP)

New Delhi: Network neutrality, or net neutrality, became the subject of a national debate in 2016, when Facebook (now Meta) pushed for its ‘Free Basics’ service in the country. Over the past month debates around net neutrality have surfaced again, with telecom operators urging the union government to consider taking a stance that would benefit them. Mint explains why net neutrality is back in the news, why telcos are against it, and what 5G has to do with it.

What is net neutrality?

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favouring or blocking particular products or websites. The core idea behind it is that services accessed through the internet should not differ in terms of the cost of accessing them. This principle has been in place to ensure a level playing field for all websites and a uniform cost of data for customers.

For instance, with net neutrality in place, no user will need to spend more data to access, say, Netflix. The reason is that if such preferential data usage charges are applied, users will move towards what is affordable, and telecom operators end up becoming gatekeepers of information and services on the internet.

Why are telcos against it?

In a recent submission to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm and Vodafone-Idea said that they should be allowed to set a higher cost for services such as WhatsApp and Netflix. Their rationale is that these apps are among the most widely accessed and put lopsided pressure on their infrastructure, increasing their operating costs.

What have these companies said?

A submission by Bharti Airtel dated 1 September read that “large traffic originators that account for a disproportionate amount of these investments must contribute a fair share" of the network cost incurred by telcos. This cost, Airtel said, should be covered “through a direct contribution to telecom service providers (TSPs)" to meet “the vision of Digital India".

Jio's submission on the same also suggested that “both communication and other OTT players contribute towards the cost of this infrastructure development, through direct compensation to TSPs".

What has the government said so far?

In 2016 the government ruled in favour of net neutrality with Trai's Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016. The rule prevents discriminatory tariff for data services between a telco and an OTT service and therefore prevents them from striking any such deals. Now, despite telecom operators seeking a revision to these rules, reports have claimed that the government's stance on net neutrality is unlikely to change.

What does the government intend to do?

The Department of Telecommunications is learnt to have clarified to stakeholders that it does not plan to introduce any revenue-sharing model between the telcos and OTT service providers. Officials have told Mint that there's no such proposal being considered.

To remove any ambiguity on the issue, the government is also learnt to have removed OTT platforms from the definition of 'communication service' in the new telecom bill. Some officials have said that anything to do with these platforms will be under the purview of the IT ministry.

What does 5G have to do with all this?

According to Airtel's submission, “In order to adopt, integrate and sustain new technologies, massive investments are required in the network infrastructure on a continuous basis. The ongoing 5G rollout requires intense fiberization and densification of antennas, the need for which is only going to increase with the future deployments in 6G. These developments will intensify pressure and will have a significant impact on the viability of mobile network operators as well as of other actors in the value chain."

In other words, the telcos claim that 5G networks are expensive to deploy and maintain, and heavy traffic to specific applications increases their costs. They believe OTT services and applications should compensate them for this, which in turn would increase data costs for users.

Source: Live Mint
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Vodafone Idea pays ₹1

Posted By: Ramesh Sharma Posted On: Sep 18, 2023
The Union Cabinet in 2021 had approved a big-bang relief package for the stressed telecom sector that includes a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues

Debt-ridden telecom operator Vodafone Idea has paid RsRs 1,700 crore to the government which includes the dues for the 5G spectrum and other spectrum acquired previously.

“We wish to inform that the Company has today, i.e. 16th September,2023, made the requisite payment of ~ Rs. 1,701 crores (including interest) to the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, towards 2022 Spectrum Auction Instalment," Vi said in the regulatory filing.

Earlier, the telecom firm cleared pending dues of licence fees and spectrum usage charges of about ₹450 crore for the March quarter of 2022-23, a source told PTI.

"Idea/Vodafone annual instalment stands at around ₹160 billion ( ₹16,000 crore) compared to a current annualised EBITDA of ₹100 billion ( ₹10,000 crore). For Bharti, the instalment and annualised EBITDA for India operations stand at around ₹90 billion ( ₹9,000 crore) and ₹230 billion ( ₹23,000 crore), respectively," the report by Deutsche Bank said.

The Union Cabinet in 2021 had approved a big-bang relief package for the stressed telecom sector that includes a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share scarce airwaves, a change in the definition of revenue on which levies are paid and 100 per cent foreign investment through the automatic route.

The measure was aimed at providing relief to companies such as Vodafone Idea that have to pay thousands of crores in unprovisioned past statutory dues.

*With Agency Inputs

Source: Live Mint
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Weekly Tech Recap

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Sep 10, 2023
Realme Narzo 60x has been launched at a price of ?12,999 for the 4GB RAM/64 GB storage variant. (Realme)

The world of technology witnessed two smartphone launches from realme this week. Interestingly, Reliance Jio and Google Chrome celebrated their 7th and 15th anniversary, respectively. Moreover, ahead of the Apple Wonderlust event, there were several speculations related to the upcoming Apple devices. Here is a quick recap for you:

Realme C51 launched in India

Realme has launched the affordable Realme C51 smartphone with Android 13 and Realme UI T edition. Priced at ₹8,999 for the 4GB RAM/64GB ROM variant, it offers a discount of ₹500 with ICICI and HDFC bank cards. The phone features an octa-core Unisoc T612 processor, a 6.74-inch HD+ 90Hz LCD display, and a 50MP main camera. It boasts a 5,000mAh battery with 33W SUPERVOOC charging, charging from 0 to 50% in just 28 minutes. Available in Mint Green and Carbon Black, it is accessible on Flipkart, Realme.com, and authorized stores from September 6.

Apple patents futuristic ?Foldable Glass Panel iMac Concept?

Apple has patented a foldable iMac concept with a unique design featuring a folding glass panel at the base, rather than a folding display. This design allows for space-saving benefits and adjustable screen angles. Users can slide out the keyboard and trackpad from behind the device, supported by a rear stand. The concept aims to offer an elegant all-in-one desktop solution with improved portability and functionality.

Reliance Jio celebrates its 7th anniversary; offers bonus on plans

Reliance Jio is celebrating its 7th anniversary by offering additional benefits with select prepaid plans. These include 7GB extra data with the ₹299 plan, 14GB extra data with the ₹749 plan, and 21GB extra data with the ₹2,999 annual plan. These offers are available until September 30 and also include discounts on McDonald's, Reliance Digital, flights, hotels, AJIO, and Netmeds. Here is everything you need to know.

Ranveer Singh joins BGMI as its official brand ambassador

Krafton India, the company behind the BGMI, has announced a collaboration in India. Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh has been named the official brand ambassador for Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI). As per the company, this partnership aims to bring together the thrill of gaming and the charisma of Superstar Ranveer Singh to engage and deliver elevated experiences for millions of gamers across the country.

Realme Narzo 60x with Dimensity 6100+ 5G SoC launched

Realme has launched its latest mid-range smartphone Narzo 60x 5G in two colour options - Stellar Green and Nebula Purple. Realme claims that this is the slimmest 5G smartphone in its segment with a 7.88mm thickness. The new Realme Narzo 60x comes with a 6.72-inch full HD+ IPS LCD display with a 2400 x 1080 pixels resolution and 120Hz refresh rate.

The Narzo 60x is powered by the octa-core Mediatek Dimensity 6100+ 5G processor paired with a Mali-G57 MC2 GPU. The phone comes in 4GB and 6GB RAM variants along with 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. The smartphone also comes with support for 6GB of dynamic RAM and expanding the storage up to 2GB via the microSD card.

The Narzo 60x comes with a 50 MP main camera with a f/1.8 aperture and 1.28 μm pixel size. It is paired with a 2MP depth sensor and an 8MP front camera for selfies and video calls.

The newest smartphone by Realme runs on Realme UI 4.0 on top of Android 13. It is run on 5,000 mAh battery with support for 33W SUPERVOOC fast charging which the company claims can take the phone from 1 to 50 percent in just 29 minutes.

Realme Narzo 60x has been priced at ₹12,999 for the 4GB/128GB version while the 6GB RAM/ 128 GB storage version comes at a price of ₹14,499.

Apple introduces iOS 16.6.1 update

The initial vulnerability lies within the ImageIO framework, posing a potential threat of arbitrary code execution when processing a maliciously crafted image. The second vulnerability resides in Wallet, creating a similar risk of arbitrary code execution when opening a maliciously crafted attachment.

To safeguard your iPhone against these security vulnerabilities, it is crucial to promptly install the iOS 16.6.1 update.

Google Chrome celebrates 15th anniversary with visual overhaul

Google Chrome is receiving a visual makeover and new features for its 15th anniversary. The update includes a refreshed design based on the Material You design language, customizable color palettes, a comprehensive menu for faster access to options, a redesigned Chrome Web Store with AI-powered extensions, and improved Safe Browsing for enhanced security against malware and phishing.

Source: Live Mint
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Reliance Jio celebrates 7th anniversary with bonus benefits on THESE plans…

Posted By: Vishal Maurya Posted On: Sep 05, 2023
For representation purposes (REUTERS)

Reliance Jio is celebrating its 7th anniversary by offering additional benefits with select prepaid plans. These include 7GB extra data with the ₹299 plan, 14GB extra data with the ₹749 plan, and 21GB extra data with the ₹2,999 annual plan. These offers are available until September 30 and also include discounts on McDonald's, Reliance Digital, flights, hotels, AJIO, and Netmeds. Here is everything you need to know.

?299 plan

For just ₹299, Reliance Jio offers a daily data allowance of 2GB, along with unlimited voice calling and 100 SMS. As a special perk, this Jio prepaid plan also includes an extra 7GB of data, as part of the Jio anniversary offer. The plan remains valid for 28 days.

?749 plan

Priced at ₹749, this Jio prepaid plan encompasses a daily data allocation of 2GB, unlimited voice calling, and 100 daily SMS. Additionally, customers receive an extra 14GB of data, distributed as two 7GB data coupons. The plan offers a generous validity period of 90 days.

?2,999 plan

The annual Jio prepaid plan priced at ₹2,999 includes a daily data allowance of 2.5GB, along with unlimited voice calls and 100 daily SMS. As part of its special benefits, customers receive an additional 21GB of data, distributed in the form of three 7GB data coupons.

This recharge plan also offers a complimentary McDonald's meal with purchases of ₹149 and above. Furthermore, subscribers can avail a 10 percent discount at Reliance Digital, up to ₹1,500 off on flights, and a 15 percent discount on hotels (up to ₹4,000 with Yatra). Additionally, customers enjoy a 20 percent discount on AJIO and a 20 percent discount on Netmeds (up to ₹800).

These Jio prepaid plan offers are currently accessible through the company's official website and app. It is essential to note that the new Jio anniversary offer will remain valid until September 30.

Source: Live Mint
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JioBharat 4G phone now available on Amazon at ₹999

Posted By: Vanshika Pathak Posted On: Aug 28, 2023
The phone offers external microSD card support, allowing for storage expansion of up to 128GB. (Jio)

Jio has just unveiled its latest innovation, the JioBharat 4G phone, which is set to hit the Indian market starting today, on August 28, 2023. This groundbreaking device by Jio aims to provide affordable internet access, offering a pathway for millions of feature phone users to transition from 2G. Additionally, the device is now available on Amazon to purchase.

Jio Bharat 4G phone: Specifications and price

Featuring a 1.77-inch TFT display and equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack, the JioBharat 4G phone boasts a 0.3MP camera with LED flash and is driven by a 1000mAh battery. It is offered in the elegant ash black variant and includes support for 23 languages, catering to the diverse user requirements across India.

The phone offers external microSD card support, allowing for storage expansion of up to 128GB. Developed in partnership with Karbonn, the device features dual branding, with "Bharat" on the front and the Karbonn logo on the back. Boasting swift 4G internet connectivity, the phone combines impressive specifications, all accessible at an exceptionally low price of just Rs. 999.

Jio has designed cost-effective internet plans for its users, starting from just Rs. 123 for a 28-day period. This plan offers unlimited voice calls along with 14 GB of data and grants access to Jio apps for seamless movie and video streaming on the phone. Alternatively, users can choose Jio's annual internet plan priced at Rs. 1234, which includes unlimited calls and a generous 168 GB of data.

For those interested in purchasing the JioBharat 4G phone, it is now available for acquisition starting today, August 28, through the Amazon e-commerce platform. Alternatively, customers can also explore the option of purchasing from Reliance Digital stores. As of now, the company has not disclosed its availability in additional retail outlets.

Source: Live Mint
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Jio adds 22 lakh mobile users in June

Posted By: Ramesh Sharma Posted On: Aug 25, 2023
The net addition in wireless subscribers of telecom operators in the month of June was 3,73,602. Photo By Indranil Bhoumik/ Mint Mobile , Mobile Tower , Telecommunication , phone

Telecom subscriber base in the country grew marginally to 1,173.89 million at the end of June on account of new customer additions led by Reliance Jio, sector regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said on Thursday, August 22. The subscriber base growth was driven by mobile telephony where Reliance Jio added over 2.27 million new customers and Bharti Airtel added 1.4 million customers, according to the data.

"The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 1,172.57 million at the end of May-23 to 1,173.89 million at the end of June-23, thereby showing a monthly growth rate of 0.11 per cent," the TRAI said in its monthly subscriber report.

However, the overall growth was mitigated by the loss of subscribers by state-owned BSNL, MTNL and Vodafone Idea (VIL). BSNL lost 1.87 million mobile subscribers, VIL lost 1.28 million subscribers and MTNL (1,52,912 subscribers), according to the data.

The net addition in wireless subscribers of telecom operators in the month of June was 3,73,602. “Total wireless subscribers increased from 1,143.21 million at the end of May-23, to 1,143.58 million at the end of June-23, thereby registering a monthly growth rate of 0.03 per cent," said TRAI.

Overall, Reliance Jio led the race with an active subscriber addition of 4.5 million in May. This was followed by Bharti Airtel Ltd which added 2.2 million subscribers.

However, Vodafone Idea lost 2.3 million subscribers. As a result, Vodafone Idea's active subscriber market share fell by 31 basis points (bps) sequentially to 21.6 per cent, while Jio and Airtel gained market share by 30bps and 8bps, respectively. One basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.

After a marginal decline in May, wireline connections has increased in June.

The growth in the wireline segment was led by APFPL which added 6,56,424 new connections. It was followed by Reliance Jio with the addition of 2,08,014 connections, Bharti Airtel (1,34,021), V-Con Mobile and Infra (13,100), Tata Teleservices (12,617) and Quadrant added 6,540 connections in June, according to news agency PTI.

The total broadband subscribers increased to 861.47 million at the end of June 2023 from 856.81 million at the end of May with a monthly growth rate of 0.54 per cent, the report said.

"Top five service providers constituted 98.37 per cent market share of the total broadband subscribers at the end of June-23. These service providers were Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd 447.75 million, Bharti Airtel 248.06 million, Vodafone Idea 124.90 million, BSNL 24.59 million and Atria Convergence 2.16 million," the report said.

Source: Live Mint
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Latest News India is currently seeing a surge in cases of acute conjunctivitis or eye flu. It is caused by various factors, such as allergies or infections, resulting in inflammation of the conjunctiva that covers the white part of the eyeball. The incessant rain, humid conditions, and waterlogging are providi
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Bussiness The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the launch of the Pilot Project for Public Tech Platform for Frictionless Credit by Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RBI. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the launch of the Pilot Project for Public Tech Platform for Frictionless Credit by Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RBI.
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Bussiness India's foreign exchange reserves jumped $708 million to $602.161 billion for the week ended August 11, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Friday. This is the first increase in the kitty after declining for three consecutive weeks. In the previous reporting week, the overall reserves had declined $2.417 billion to $601.453 billion.
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World Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in the Netherlands on Sunday aiming to strengthen his country's air power, a day after a “heinous" Russian missile strike killed seven people and wounded 148 in Chernihiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in the Netherlands on Sunday aiming to strengthen his country's air power, a day after a “heinous" Russian missile strike killed seven people and wounded 148 in Chernihiv.
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Entertainment Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap recently gave a glowing review to Karan Johar's directorial comeback Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani. After Anurag revealed he loved, cried and watched the film twice, many users took to the comment section of his post and criticised the film. Responding to them all, Anurag c
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World China has released a new documentary about the army's preparation to attack Taiwan and showcasing soldiers pledging to give up their lives if needed as Beijing continues to ramp up its rhetoric against the self-ruled island. China has released a new documentary about the army's preparation to attac
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Bussiness Gogoro In, a global technology leader in battery-swapping ecosystems that enable sustainable mobility solutions for cities, today announced a vehicle partnership with Swiggy, India’s leading on-demand convenience delivery platform. Gogoro In, a global technology leader in battery-swapping ecosystems that enable sustainable mobility solutions for cities, today announced a vehicle partnership with Swiggy, India’s leading on-demand convenience delivery platform.