Telecom Sector

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal approves Rs 650cr penalty on Bharti Airtel

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal approves Rs 650cr penalty on Bharti Airtel

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has reportedly approved a hefty penalty of Rs 650 crore on Bharti Airtel - India's largest mobile phone operator.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) had proposed a penalty of Rs 50 crore for each circle 13 circles where Airtel violated subscriber local dialing or roaming norms between 2003 and 2005.

Revealing the development, a Telecom Ministry official said, "The Minister has approved penalty of Rs 650 crore on SLD (subscriber local dialing) matter... demand notice will be issued this week."

DoT slaps Vodafone with fresh fine of Rs 1263cr

DoT slaps Vodafone with fresh fine of Rs 1263cr

The department of telecom (DoT) has reportedly slapped Vodafone India with a fresh hefty fine of Rs 1,263 crore for allegedly under-reporting revenues.

A person privy to the development revealed that Vodafone under-reported revenues during financial years of 2008-09 and 2010-11; and the DoT asked the mobile phone operator to pay the fine for the same within 15 days.

The source said, “The notice has been given today. It (Vodafone) has been asked to pay within 15 days.”

It may be noted here that operators are required to pay spectrum use fees based on the adjusted gross revenue.

Idea Cellular shares gain nearly 2% on report to sell tower business to Axiata

Idea Cellular shares gain nearly 2% on report to sell tower business to Axiata

Shares of Aditya Birla group-owned Idea Cellular gained nearly 2 per cent in the morning trade on Tuesday, on media reports that the telecom operator is in talks with Axiata of Malaysia for selling its tower business.

Citing two people familiar with the matter, The ET reported that Idea Cellular is pursuing discussions for selling its towers to the Malaysian firm.

The report said the Indian firm was looking to sell 9,400 towers, and use the proceeds from the deal for licence renewals and purchase of spectrum.

Sibal approves recommendation to impose Rs 650cr fine on Airtel: report

Sibal approves recommendation to impose Rs 650cr fine on Airtel: report

Telecom Ministry Kapil Sibal has reportedly approved the Department of Telecommunications’ recommendation for imposing Rs 650-crore penalty on Bharti Airtel for violating SLD service norms.

SLD (subscriber local dialing) is a facility which lets roaming customers to use the local network of the partner carriers and thereby avoid paying higher roaming charges.

Govt. may retract 4G spectrum from BSNL, MTNL

Govt. may retract 4G spectrum from BSNL, MTNL

The government can retract 4G spectrum from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) and refund them nearly Rs 12,846 crore that the two state-run telecommunication giants had paid in fee to the government.

Sources from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) have revealed that the department has prepared a note on the issue of revival of BSNL and MTNL. The note will be discussed by the group of ministers (GoM).

Bharti Airtel sells 5% stake to Qatar

Bharti Airtel sells 5% stake to Qatar

In a bid to get much-needed capital to enhance its balance sheet and fund future growth, Indian telecommunications giant Bharti Airtel has decided to sell a 5 per cent stake to Gulf state Qatar for Rs 6,800 crore ($1.26bn).

On Friday, Bharti announced that it would issue 199.87 million new shares to Qatar Foundation Endowment (QFE) - an investment vehicle of the Qatar Foundation controlled Qatar’s emir’s wife Sheikha Mozah - at a rate of Rs 340 apiece, which represents a premium of 7.3 per cent to the stock’s Thursday closing price.

Bharti Airtel reports 50% fall in Q4 net profit

Bharti Airtel reports 50% fall in Q4 net profit

Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s biggest cellular carrier by customers, suffered a year-on-year decline of nearly 50 per cent in net profit in the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31.

Airtel announced that its net profit slipped to Rs 5.09 billion in the three months to March 31, from Rs 10.06 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

A group of analysts polled by Thomas Reuters had projected a net profit of Rs 7.41 billion for the company’s fourth quarter.

RCom provides GSM subscribers unlimited access to Twitter

RCom provides GSM subscribers unlimited access to Twitter

Reliance Communications (RCom) on Tuesday announced a partnership with micro-blogging site Twitter to provide its Indian subscribers with access to the popular social network.

Via the first of its kind partnership, RCom launched a bundled prepaid plan called ‘Reliance Twitter Access Pack’ for its GSM prepaid mobile subscribers in India.

ATC and TowerVision restart stake deal talks

ATC and TowerVision restart stake deal talks

American Tower Corp (ATC) has reportedly renewed talks to acquire telecom tower management firm TowerVision India.

People familiar with the matter revealed that negotiations between the two companies have moved ahead after the New York-listed ATC re-showed its interest to acquire the company.

Gurgaon-based TowerVision a smaller independent telecom tower management firm is jointly owned by Israel-based Fore Group and private equity firm Quadrangle. It owns nearly 8,000 telecom towers in an overall domestic market of around 4 lakh towers, while ATC owns more than 10,000 telecom towers.

Sistema plans to invest Rs 1,093cr on 4G LTE rollout

Sistema plans to invest Rs 1,093cr on 4G LTE rollout

Sistema Shyam Teleservices Ltd (SSTL) has announced its plans to migrate to 4G LTE services with investments of nearly Rs 1,093 crore ($200 million).

In a recent interview, SSTL president & CEO Vsevolod Rozanov said

That the company would gradually gradually migrate to 4G services and reach to break-even point in India by the second quarter of 2015. However, he clarified that the company would not commence 4G LTE services this year.