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Vodafone CEO raises embarrassing issues for govt: Will Trai ever get it right?

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04.03.2019

Given how RJio is grabbing market share so aggressively, it is easy to dismiss Vodafone Global CEO Nick Read’s comments on the telecom regulator’s (Trai) decisions hurting all telcos except RJio as typical of a loser. But it is not just Read, Trai is accused of bias by the appellate tribunal (TDSAT) and the Supreme Court. And telecom’s highest policy-making body, the Telecom Commission (TC), has also found fault with Trai on many occasions; TC has asked Trai to explain how it reached the conclusions it had on spectrum pricing—the higher the reserve price, the more it hits telcos who are not as cash-rich as RJio—but Trai refused to do so.

One of the issues raised by the older telcos was Trai’s sharp 57% cut in IUC levies. While Trai had justified this by arguing that newer-generation networks—like RJio’s—had lower termination costs, this made little sense since India had legacy networks as well. While........

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