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Why MTNL should open up to Ola, Paytm and others as Virtual Network Operators

(with inputs from Salman SH) State run telco MTNL has been struggling: it has had a continuous streak of losses since Q1 FY15, and reported a loss of Rs 705 crore in its last quarter, with its operational revenue (at Rs 767 crore) pretty close to its loss. Many (though not all) of its privately owned rivals are growing: making profits, and adding customers, while MTNL has the lowest GSM subscriber base among 7 telcos with just over 2 million active mobile connections as of February, and 1.1 million broadband connection. In Q3FY16, MTNL’s cellular (voice and data) accounted for just 20.95% of total revenue. Nothing went well after MTNL’s Rs 6564 crore spectrum purchase during March 2010 auctions. As an MTNL customer (for both Wireline and Wireless), I can tell you that their service suffers from poor reliability on wireline broadband, very slow…

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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.

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