Challenges on tariffs, levies, spectrum price; govt support, policy to drive success story: VIL CEO Ravinder Takkar

By: |
December 8, 2020 3:12 PM

Vodafone Idea CEO Ravinder Takkar also said that aspects like India-specific 5G use cases, and ensuring digital connectivity for those at the bottom of pyramid, or those without access to broadband or smartphones offered a distinct scope for telcos.

Vodafone Idea CEO Ravinder Takkar. (Image source: LinkedIn/Ravinder Takkar)

Vodafone Idea on Tuesday said there are challenges related to tariffs, levies, spectrum availability and pricing but the government’s support and strength of current progressive policies would enable the sector to script its “success story”.

Vodafone Idea CEO Ravinder Takkar also said that aspects like India-specific 5G use cases, and ensuring digital connectivity for those at the bottom of pyramid, or those without access to broadband or smartphones offered a distinct scope for telcos.

VIL, with its “long term” commitment and strong track record of investments, is prepared to address the opportunities, he noted. “There are some challenges too, related to tariffs, taxes, levies, spectrum availability and pricing. The government understands these and has come out with progressive National Digital Communications Policy and are driving implementation of this policy. I remain optimistic that with government support, the industry and our company will script India’s success story over next 25 years too,” Takkar said at the India Mobile Congress 2020.

Mentioning about low rural teledensity, he said that it was just 59 per cent against 134 per cent urban teledensity.

“Rural teledensity is just 59 per cent versus 134 per cent urban teledensity and 450 million existing mobile subscribers are still not connected to broadband or don’t own a smartphone,” he said, underlining a strong case for ensuring digital access and opportunities for those at the bottom of pyramid.

The other opportunity, he said, pertained to catalysing India-specific 5G use cases, developing innovative platforms and partnership models that will “positively impact” industry verticals such as healthcare, education and smart cities, amongst others.

“We are prepared to address both these opportunities, building on our strong network, IT, people capabilities and customer connect,” he said. The company will collaborate with existing ecosystem players and vibrant start-ups to drive “this exciting future”.

“On our part, we have invested USD 30 billion over the years and remain long-term committed to be a partner for Digital India,” Takkar said.

India is the second largest telecom market in terms of subscribers and has the largest mobile data consumption globally.

“This has become possible due to massive private investments in telecom sector over last 25 years. Industry has the right structure with four operators providing adequate competition and innovative services to Indians across the country,” he said.

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