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Telecom ministry submits year-end review of government’s performance in telecom sector

January 10, 2019
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According to the year-end review by the Ministry of Communications, the government's spending on telecom infrastructure increased from 99 billion between 2009-14 to Rs 600 billion between 2014-19, observing a six fold increase.

As per the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), a number of industry favourable initiatives were taken during the 2014-19 period such as - availability of adequate spectrum; allowing of spectrum sharing and trading, and harmonisation; allowing of passive and active infrastructure sharing, among others. Further, the DoT took steps to reduce financial stress in the sector by way of deferred payment liabilities which is now extended to 16 years from 10 years earlier.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the sector increased from $1.3 billion in 2015-16 to $6.2 billion in 2017-18. The department also said that tariff reductions by incumbent telcos during the period have benefited the consumers.

In terms of the various schemes implemented, the DoT highlighted that the government was able to implement full mobile number portability, took steps to towards improving ease of doing business and facilitated Right of Way (RoW) rules.

As per DoT’s statement, average voice tariff reduced from an average per minute tariff of 51 paise in June 2014 to 11 paise in June 2018, observing a decline of by 67 per cent. Similarly, average data tariff reduced from Rs 269 per GB in 2014 to Rs 12 per GB in June 2018, observing a decline of 96 per cent.

The DoT further added that the spectrum auction of 2015 and 2016 resulted in more than 1,382 MHz getting sold, with the realisation of an upfront payment of around Rs 650 billion.

Further, the government highlighted that the Network for Spectrum (NFS) project for defence, being deployed by state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited together with partners such as Sterlite Tech, has witnessed a rollout of 51,000 kilometres of optical fibre cable (OFC) in the last four years. Meanwhile, nearly 50 per cent of the total 250,000 village blocks in the country have been connected through high-speed OFC network by October 2018, the department added.

 
 
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