Network testing shall have a time limit of 90 days, extendable to 180 days if DoT permits. DoT and TRAI have to be informed about the testing 15 days before launch. Telecom operator, during network testing, does not have to adhere to a defined quality of service. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has set out the norms for network testing, (detailed below), well over 2 years after the government was called out for letting Reliance Jio launch its telecom services for free, giving free calling and internet access to a seemingly unlimited number of test subscribers. The right way of doing this would have been to ask Reliance Jio to stop its so-called test launch then, and set out the norms. The absence of norms should have been no excuse, and there is precedence: I'm reminded of the Reserve Bank of India, which in the absence of mobile wallet norms, had in 2006, asked Wallet365 to stop services until norms were defined. The launch of Reliance Jio's services led to a significant consolidation of telecom in India: Vodafone and Idea Cellular combined, and Airtel lapped up other smaller mobile operators, including Telenor. Effectively, it has led to a reduction in competition, and this may have implications for competition in telecom in India over the next few years: it is unlikely that new players will enter the Indian telecom market. At the same time, the benefit of Reliance Jio's launch are clear: there has been a significant increase in Internet users, a…
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