"All our infrastructure provider (IP) members have taken necessary steps to ensure connectivity 24/7 in the areas which are likely to be affected by the cyclone and all the background arrangements like additional DG sets, battery banks, spare parts, stocking of diesel are taken care of," T R Dua, Director-General, Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA), said in a statement.
The industry body said it would be unfair if the telecom operators were to suffer from any of stipulated penalties "for a situation that can at best be described as Force Majeure."
COAI said it will be writing to all states now for permission to restart retail recharge points along with requisite passes for movement of people who will man these centres.
The government has kept telecom services in the list of essential services in order to support work from home during the lockdown period.
In a letter to Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash, COAI has said, "Due to lockdown/ quarantine measures in various parts of the country, a sudden surge in demand for online video streaming is also expected to rise substantially."
Sources close to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), however, felt that such a solution may not be practical given that an issue as important as floor price of tariffs, needs to be widely-debated especially with consumer participation at an appropriate time, and not be turned into a hurried and limited exercise.
The industry has urged DoT to issue directions to states that telecom be treated under essential services and, accordingly, staff and engineers have access to network operations centres, data centres and other critical sites in the event of any lockdown.
The COAI has said that fixation of a floor price, despite the recent hike in tariffs, is the way forward to guarantee minimum revenue for the telcos to ensure the viability and orderly growth of the sector.
"Banks are currently unwilling to take any risk with respect to the telecom sector and are constantly asking telecom service providers to reduce their exposures by refusing to issue new bank guarantees or even to renew bank guarantees," COAI Director General, Rajan Mathews said in a letter to Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash.
"From what we have seen so far, there appears to be no substantial relief for the telecom sector. Of course, we are waiting to see the details," Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) Director General Rajan Mathews told PTI.
This formula of easier payment schedule to meet statutory obligations would offer the much-needed reprieve to telcos such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, whose combined liabilities after the recent SC verdict run into billions of dollars, according to the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI).
The industry has also asked the government to create an infrastructure bank that will raise tax-free bonds, the proceeds of which can be used to lend to the companies at lower rates, Rajan Mathews, Director General of Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) said after a pre-budget meeting with the FM.
Telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have announced to raise mobile calls and internet prices for prepaid customers by to 50 per cent from December 3, while Reliance Jio has said it will roll out new plans with 40 per cent higher rates on December 6.
The industry would need a 20 percent increase in average revenue per user (ARPU) to regain its financial footing, Rajan Mathews, Director General of COAI, said
SC had earlier upheld DoT's contention that non-telecom revenues should be part of the annual Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) -- a percentage of which is paid to the government as statutory dues
Jio expressed its dismay at the reasons behind the tearing hurry in sending the letter to the government and the justification given for the same when a senior Jio official asked for an explanation.
Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) Director General Rajan Mathews told PTI that if there is adequate spectrum and the price is right, "operators will be interested to see if it makes sense to participate in upcoming auctions".
Ahead of the fresh deadline, the DoT will issue clarifications and changes to the Request for Proposal or the bid document and give "fair time" to the interested agencies to place their bids.
Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) Director-General Rajan Mathews said there could be some takers for 4G spectrum in the auctions, which the government hopes to conduct in the current financial year.
In a letter addressed to the new Telecom Secretary, COAI has pledged industry's full support in collaborating with the government to take forward the initiative of accelerating mobile connectivity in villages.
The DCC may discuss revised estimates for rolling out 4,072 mobile towers in 10 Naxal-affected states.
India, however, is yet to take a call on whether it intends to place curbs on Huawei or allow the Chinese telecom equipment maker to participate in the upcoming 5G trials, that are scheduled to commence in 100 days.
The proposed auction price will be a "serious impediment" to the uptake of 5G in India, said Rajan Mathews, director general of lobby group Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI).
The new Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also set a deadline of 100 days for starting the 5G trials in the country.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led BJP to a landslide victory for a second term in office, while the Congress suffered a serious setback in the Lok Sabha polls.