JS Deepak, a 1982 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, assumes charge at a time when the Department of Telecom is preparing for the next round of spectrum auction.
To train people, the Department of Telecom (DoT) and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) today signed an MoU to develop and implement National Action Plan for Skill Development in telecom sector.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has put out a consultation paper on a reference made by the government to suggest the base or floor price for all available airwaves for mobile services.
Speaking at the Indo-Africa ICT Expo in Nairobi (Kenya), Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg said India has a lot of experience in policies, technology, skills development and innovative solutions that can be shared with Africa.
Identifying shortage of towers as the main problem for call drops, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that a policy decision had been taken under which all buildings of Government of India must allow installation of towers, while the post offices too had been directed to allow towers on rent at its buildings throughout the country.
Apart from the 1.5 million, who will be shifted over the next 30 days, the rest of its pre-paid users are already on per second billing. The company said that out of its total customer base of over 166 million, nearly 157 million are pre-paid.
Spectrum sharing and trading guidelines will allow mobile operators to better utilise the available airwaves and will help in checking the call drop issue. The norms are also likely to push consolidation in the telecom sector.
In a letter to the telecom secretary, Rakesh Garg, COAI says that call drops are not linked to the overall capacity of a telecom company.
A top official in the ministry said it will be conveyed to the owners that in case quality of service does not improve, option of levying penalty under licence conditions is not ruled out.
The three associations - COAI, AUSPI and TAIPA - in a letter to DoT secretary Rakesh Garg said MCD has sealed 10 sites in the last two days and demanded that the issue be taken up with MCD Commissioner to stop the "coercive" action.
Rejecting the operators' reasons, such as shutting down of towers and radiation fears, for call drops, government said all these factors existed earlier too but the problem has worsened in the last seven months.
Stating that telecom operators need to ensure that call drops are "minimised", the Minister said telcos need to strengthen their system.
In early April, the Reserve Bank of India said it will allow Indian companies to raise rupee-denominated debt offshore - known as "masala bonds" - but it has yet to issue the final guidelines.
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), which represents all telecom companies that won spectrum in recent auction, contested the analysis shared by Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and seconded by Telecom Secretary Rakesh Garg that there will an impact of only 1.3 paise per minute on call rates.
In an exclusive interview to CNBC-TV18‘s Malvika Jain, Garg said he is confident that telecom companies will be able to raise debt from the market