Stating that it is not easy to do business in the telecom industry in India, Gopal Vittal, CEO, Airtel on Friday said that the sector is sitting on a debt of Rs 4.51 crore. Speaking at the ET Telecom Summit Vittal also said that the Ease of doing business in India is still low as clearances take time and there are a whole lot of approvals which needs to be procured in the telecom sector. “Many redundant processes must be killed ruthlessly. I know there is a lot of work that has already happened but it is an opportunity for us through this consultation to actually change the paradigm,” he said.
He further said that the time has come to look at India as one. “We have now killed the domestic roaming in the country and there is no reason for us to have 22 licenses, 22 circles. One license, one nation, one pricing, this has to happen over the course of the next two years. I think this is bound to happen and if the government could make it easy to do this business, then we as an industry can get on and do the job of actually delivering brilliant services to our customers,” he added.
— ET NOW (@ETNOWlive) March 17, 2017
When asked about his views on Reliance Jio, he said “We respect Reliance Industries. They are a great company. They have done a phenomenal job in rolling out the infrastructure across the country. We will continue to be competitive in the marketplace”. “If you look at our history, we have been through many battles. We have lot of bruises and scars on our back. But at the end of the day, what gives us fulfillment is that our job is to serve our customers and we do a good job at that,” he added.
You may also like to watch:
Bharti Airtel recently it will acquire Telenor’s India operations in a no-cash deal but take on the latter’s spectrum liabilities to the government of around Rs 1,600 crore, payable in instalments till 2026. With this, the country’s biggest telco has strengthened its spectrum holding in the 4G-enabled 1800 MHz in the seven circles of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (east), Uttar Pradesh (west), and Assam. The deal also marked Telenor’s exit from India which it entered in 2008 by acquiring a majority stake in Unitech Wireless.