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Aim to resolve call drop issue with govt via dialogue: Voda

Sunil Sood, managing director and CEO of Vodafone, said telcos need to work with various stakeholders such as some parts of resident associations and municipalities in order to increase the number of towers, especially Lutyens Delhi area — to enable companies (telcos) to construct towers in these places

There is a need to work with the government and the regulator to resolve the call drop issue, said Sunil Sood, managing director and CEO of Vodafone. Even at this juncture, he is hopeful that the issue can be resolved through a dialogue.

Last month, TRAI had mandated that telcos from January1 should compensate users at the rate of Re one per call drop, with the ceiling of Rs three per day or three calls dropped. Needless to say, telecom operators cried foul and said this move will have huge financial impact on the balance sheet of companies.

Depsite this, telecom minister Ravishankar Parasad stood his ground and made it clear that he is not going to go back on this penalty. However, sources have indicated that industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI) have requested for a meeting with telecom minister Ravishankar Prasad at the earliest.

Telecom operators have also decided to knock on the telecom department’s (DoT) door .

Sood said telcos also need to work with various other stakeholders such as some parts of resident associations and municipalities in order to increase the number of towers, especially Lutyens Delhi area — to enable companies (telcos) to construct towers in these places.

There has also been a lot of talk on whether telcos may ultimately have to take the legal route to resolve the issue. “Moving courts will be COAI and Auspi’s decision,” Sood added.

Moving on to the topic of IPO, Sood refused to give a specific timeline, but said: “Lot of work needs to be done for an IPO. At the moment, the Board has asked us to start preparing for an IPO. But the timing will depend of various factors such as market environment, among others.”

More to follow…

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