Indian Telcos Irked on Cartelization Comments by TRAI

COAI and several Indian Telecom Service Providers are surprised and are deeply dismayed by the remarks made against them in the Hon’ble Supreme Court by the TRAI in respect of the its business practices and ethics insinuating that the industry has indulged in cartelization.

According to a statement issued by the Cellular Operators Association of India – COAI, “The industry is deeply hurt by such strong remarks especially when it is a well-known and acknowledged fact that huge investments have been made by the operators which has yielded in connecting and empowering a billion people in India.”

The statement further adds that, “It is universally known the world over, that the Indian telecom service providers charge the lowest tariffs in the world, while paying one of the highest spectrum charges and other levies. The industry has also leveraged its financial ability and taken on debt to the tune of Rs. 3.8 Lakh Crore, to further invest a cumulative figure of over Rs. 8 Lakh Crore, not only to meet its service obligations but in strongly partnering the Government at every step to shoulder the massive responsibility of providing the highest standards of service quality and in establishing the best technology infrastructure. This has resulted in the success of Indian Telecom and in making the sector a poster boy of India’s economic growth.”

In continuation of its legal effort to solve the call drop issue and before a bench of justices, TRAI had defended the penalty imposed by the regulator on the Indian telcos and also mentioned about formation of a cartel. The telcos have expressed their dismay on this remark.