Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone-Idea are down to smack talk as the great Indian telecom race enters knockout round

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Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone-Idea are down to smack talk as the great Indian telecom race enters knockout round
  • Jio shot off a letter to COAI breaking the myth of doom and gloom in the sector.
  • Jio blamed Airtel and Vodafone-Idea of not sufficiently investing in network expansion.
  • It accused COAI of being a mouthpiece of the two operators and not an industry body.
Mukesh Ambani’s telecom battle just escalated from tariff war a war of words. After the Supreme Court verdict which would lead to top players Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea shelling out as much as ₹92,000 crore – an industry association COAI came to their support.

The Cellular Operators Association of India warned that the telecom sector would turn into a monopoly. And Jio is not impressed. It shot off a letter to COAI breaking the myth of doom and gloom in the sector. It said not that not only can they pay up the dues, but also blamed them from not sufficiently investing to keep up with the sector.

“These operators anyways were not investing sufficiently in the sector and have been shedding crocodile tears by claiming financial stress for a long time now and have not shown any inclination to modernize the networks,” said Jio in a letter to the COAI, making it clear to the telecom department that it does not agree with COAI views on the industry.
Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone-Idea are down to smack talk as the great Indian telecom race enters knockout round

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Jio also foresaw that in an event when the players fail to pay up the aggregate gross revenue (AGR) dues as per the new calculation – which includes non-telecom revenue – will not result in a monopoly. That’s because Jio is expecting two state-owned players—BSNL and MTNL which are unable to pay salaries to their employees—too keep the competition high in the sector.

The fact that the industry body sought a bailout package from the government over these dues, irked Jio immensely. “The financial difficulties of these operators are an effect of their own commercial decisions (tariff cuts) and government should not be obliged to bail them out for their own commercial failure and financial mismanagement,” Jio said.

As Vodafone and Airtel continue to saddle debt after Jio launched in 2016, Jio last week announced that it will turn debt free as it has been spun off into a different entity from Reliance Industries which includes energy, retail, media and other businesses.
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Whether you use Jio, Airtel, Vodafone-Idea, get ready to pay more for mobile services— sooner than later


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