Column : The consumer bogey again
Thereís a view amongst a section of the industry that, irrespective of whether Raja was wrong or right, why penalise the consumers who may be subscribing to the services of the concerned operators? There are also voices apprehensive of a rise in mobile phone tariffs as a result of the cancellation. Itís therefore time once again to sift fact from fiction and illustrate that apart from the companies who stand to lose their licences, the consumer or the government does not lose anything. Overall, even the telecom industry does not stand to lose anything because even after the cancellations, the country would have 6-7 operators per circle, which is a world record and would ensure that the market remains competitive enough to protect consumer interests.
The numbers are as follows: as on February end, the countryís total mobile subscriber-base stood at 911 million. The 122 operators whose licences stand to be cancelled by June 2 contribute only 72 million to this. Thus, their combined market share is an abysmal 7.9%. There were nine
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