इंडियन आवाज़     25 Feb 2024 04:07:27      انڈین آواز

Sibal asks telcom cos to work in national interest

If they do not cater to the national interest there would be greater regulation of the sector, he cautioned.

“If national interest is on one platform and you are on a profit-making platform, nothing is going to work. If the growth does not benefit the country, then there will be regulations,” Sibal said while speaking at an international workshop on regulatory frameworks, organised by telecom sector regulator TRAI.

He said that regulation was required to prevent the abuse of existing facilities, but over-regulation would hurt growth.

“If it is an over-regulated environment, then you cannot get growth. If it’s under-regulated, then you get abused. So deciding on an optimal level is a challenge,” the minister said.

At the same time, the minister also asked the telecom companies to collaborate with each other and share spectrum between themselves.

“It’s time for us to consolidate industry. We can’t afford 12-13 players in a circle. I think spectrum can be shared and I don’t think there is a need for over-regulation for this,” the minister said.

The Telecom Minister said a larger share of the available spectrum in the country should be given to telecom players for better delivery of services.

He also appealed to telecom industry players to share their profits with the domestic equipment manufacturing sector.

“For you to be successful, the industry has to be successful. Industry can’t be successful if 90% of the components of manufactured products are imported,” he said. He said that promoting indigenous manufacturing industry is in the long-term interest of foreign entrepreneurs as well.

“Not just manufacturing of components, but sync with indigenous manufacturing industry so that we are self-sufficient to large percentage,” he advised the telecom sector players.

Sibal also expressed concern over the non-availability of content that will drive growth of the industry.

“We are on the cusp of a revolution, optical fibre network will be available in the next 2-3 years. My worry is while network will be in place, content (such as for banking services) will not be in place,” the minister said.

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