This refers to the editorial, “India’s telecom disconnect” (March 27). The government has asked the winning bidders in the spectrum auctions to pay about R29,000 crore initially, in a couple of days. It looks doubtful that the telecom operators can meet the government’s request, due to various factors. Mobile phone bills will increase as the operators will pass on the cost to subscribers, given they had to bid outrageously due to the limited availability of the spectrum. India witnessed the mobile revolution due to cheap handset costs as well as low tariffs—whether post-paid or pre-paid. When mobiles were initially introduced in India, the tariff was as high as R16 per minute—both for incoming and the outgoing calls. Through the years, as the sector got competitive and the necessary infrastructure was put in place, the tariffs kept falling. Now comes the “telecom disconnect”. It is hoped that the present dispensation sees the light on the imminent telecom disconnect. Smartphones are crucial to Digital India, lets not forget.
Deendayal M Lulla, Mumbai