Telecom operators on Friday said they are dismayed by the “misplaced, baseless and misleading” remarks made against them by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in the Supreme Court and asked the authority to refrain from the use of such unsubstantiated language at any forum.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Trai before the Supreme Court said a ‘cartel’ of four-five telecom firms having a billion subscribers are making Rs 250 crore a day but not making investments on their network to improve services to check call drops.
“They are making around Rs 1 lakh crore a year from calls and the impact of penalty will be Rs 270-280 crore and not thousands of crore as claimed by them,” he said.
Call drops: Telcos earning Rs 250 crore a day but not investing, TRAI tells Supreme Court
Telecom players’ body COAI in a statement said, “The industry is deeply hurt by such strong remarks especially when it is a well-known and acknowledged fact that huge investments have been made by the operators which have yielded in connecting and empowering a billion people.”
“COAI and several Indian telecom service providers are surprised and are deeply dismayed by the misplaced, baseless and rather misleading remarks made against them…in respect of its business practices and ethics insinuating that the industry has indulged in cartelization.”
Impact of call drop penalty will be only 0.4% of telcos’ revenue: SC
COAI said the industry has leveraged its financial ability and taken on debt to the tune of Rs 3.8 lakh crore, to further invest a cumulative figure of over Rs 8 lakh crore, not only to meet its service obligations but in partnering the Government at every step to shoulder the responsibility of providing highest standards of service quality.
“We, therefore, respectfully request and urge the concerned authorities to refrain from the use of such harsh and unsubstantiated language at any forum against the telecom service providers, which is not only uncalled for but also projects them in a poor light,” it added.