wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Raja Speak: BSNL Listing, No Merger; 3G Auction-Inaction; Rs. 0.10 Local Call

The re-appointed minister of IT and Communications, Andimuthu Raja is in the news again, for making some revolutionary promises (or so we hope):

3G Auction By The End Of The Year

Raja may as well have commented on the medias unhealthy obsession with all things 3G; the Hindu reports that he chose to suggest that the 3G auctions will take place before the end of the year, within two months of a clearance from the Group of Ministers (GoM) or the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).

That’s rather vague, and going by what happened last year, any deadline can (and probably will) change, given the machinations of lobbying. Public sector telecom operators MTNL and BSNL already have 3G services operational, but the response has been muted. That said, 3G could well serve as an entry point for new telecom operators, and more money for the telecom sector. Infrastructure service providers will benefit most.

BSNL Listing & No Merger with MTNL

Raja has said that the government wants to list BSNL, and he has told the BSNL management to speak to the trade unions, reports Business Standard.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

BSNL had considered listing last year – at that time, rumored to be a $100 Billion listing – but was met with significant opposition from trade unions, who wouldn’t even accept being given shares of the entity. Now that the communist parties are no longer in government, and the fact that listing of profitable PSUs was a part of the Congress Party manifesto, there is hope for listing BSNL. Interestingly, Raja has ruled out a BSNL-MTNL merger. In our opinion, a merger between BSNL and MTNL can only take place if BSNL lists and its valuation is determined by the open market. The listing is a precursor to the merger.

Tariff: Down, Down, Down, Down…

Much to the chagrin of Telecom Operators, Raja wants lower tariffs. So does everyone, but how low can we go (with tariffs)? New telecom operators are spending on rollouts, and lower tariffs will only put their viability into question. However, the Telecom Minister expects these very operators to drive down tariffs; PTI reports that Raja is eying tariffs as low as Rs. 0.10 for a local call, Rs. 0.25 for an STD call. If that happens, also expect declining ARPUs and Revenue Per Minute (RPM).


The minister also suggested that within five years, one will have paper-less governance at the “taluk” (block) level, as part of national e-governance plan. He apparently forgot to mention his plan for 50 million broadband connections.


Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

— Editorial: How India’s Telecom And I&B Ministers Need To Approach Convergence

Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.


When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.


The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.


In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...


By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...

You May Also Like


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ