The ongoing consolidation among telecom operators will result in efficient use of spectrum for better services, and six players in each service area will have adequate competition, Parliament was informed today. “After the reported consolidation among the various Indian Telecom Service Providers, there will be enough competition in the sector as six players are expected to remain in each service area in the access services segment,” Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As) among operators do not cause fragmentation of spectrum but rather its consolidation for providing better services by efficient utilisation of the radiowaves, he added.
The minister further said that the Telecom Department has “conveyed” the objection/representation on the proposed merger scheme of Telenor India and Bharti Airtel on July 5, 2017, and the same is also brought to the notice of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). “Approval by the NCLT is awaited,” Sinha said.
On the acquisition of telecom business of Sistema Shyam Tele Services by Reliance Communications, he said that the two companies are yet to submit the additional bank guarantees, as per a direction of the telecom tribunal. On the planned merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, the minister said that the scheme of merger and approval by NCLT has not yet been submitted.
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Responding to another query on the alleged denial of interconnect ports by existing incumbent operators to Reliance Jio, Sinha said that Telecom Department had received the “reconsidered opinion” of the regulator, and is “seized of the matter”. With regard to the vacancy in key posts in the Telecom Department, Sinha said that amendment in the recruitment rules for the position of Member Services and Member Technology – currently given as an additional charge arrangement – is under process. The posts will be advertised after finalisation of recruitment rules, he added.