Financial health of the telecom sector, taxes & levies and same service same rules were some of the biggest challenges facing the Indian telecom sector, Bharti Airtel’s CEO and managing director for India and South Asia, Gopal Vittal said at the ET Telecom’s India Mobile Congress on Friday. Vittal while delivering the keynote address said financial health of the industry had deteriorated and the government must keep that in mind while pricing airwaves. “Spectrum pricing in India is 5 to seven times higher than anywhere else in the world and the government must decide whether it wishes to tap revenue from telcos or wants them to invest the same resources in broadband infrastructure,” Vittal said outlining the challenge facing the sector at present. Secondly he pointed out that taxes and levies currently account for almost 40 percent of the revenue generated by the sector and this burden was further hurting the industry which needed to recoup its earnings into developing the latest mobile broadband infrastructure. Vittal also reiterated the complaint of incumbent telecom operators asking for “same service same rules” . The telecom operators want over the top, OTT service providers in the communication services, to be brought under the same regulatory scanner which telcos are subject to. – Mumbai Samachar


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