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back to article Indian callers could see bills DOUBLE after spectrum auction chaos

Mobile phone bills in India could double if the government agrees to new regulatory proposals for upcoming 2G spectrum auctions, the country’s major operators have warned. The telecoms ministry is currently seeking clarification on some of the proposals from regulator the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), which …

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Anonymous Coward

Looks like

The Government have nullified the corrupt auction just to see the backhanders and bribes added to the auction prices so it's legal now

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The thing this is weird about this is that the licenses are being nullified, while the costs for the licenses are not paid back to the telcos. This basically means: pay us again.

As an added bonus, they get to pay much, much more than they have done so far.

Forcing telcos to switch to another frequency is another bad idea, especially given the fact that many phones currently in use would not be able to cope with that, requiring people to buy a new one.

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Buy a New one

I think that's the general idea.

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FAIL

Hate to say it...

...but India will absolutely not be considered as an investment destination unless the current government changes.

The current "pro-poor" subsidies are all being misused, and the budgetary deficit is skyrocketing. The current governments anti-industry stance is a desperate attempt to finance their prodigalities.

The effect is trickling down to everyday life; 20% increase in service tax, desperate attempts to levy new taxes, increasing inflation, decline in GDP, policy paralysis, dwindling infrastructure, collapsing rupee, expensive imports...

Any positive movement is squelched with lightning speed; following a superbly thought out Railway Budget, one of the coalition partners lashed out, causing the Government to backdown and "fix" the Railway Budget, this ensuring that it remains broken for a longer time.

It's time the industry banded together and showed the government that it's survival does not depend on coalition partners alone; p*** off the industry, and they'll "guide" their employees votes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hate to say it...

"...and they'll "guide" their employees votes..."

God help democracy. Really. Half the reason Indian democracy struggles so much is the amount of paternal "guiding" that goes on from those just know what's best. Your proposal of a form of business 'block vote' might well serve the needs of business (as usual) but I doubt it will necessarily serve the rest of the population well, certainly not those currently having their livelihoods, domestic arrangements and property ownership rights rearranged to suit the needs of business.

Beware of those with all the answers and vested interests.

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WTF?

Re: Hate to say it...

"vested interests"... who do you think I am? A BIG business owner? A politico? I'm just an ordinary guy who is struggling against a tide that threatens to wash me away! Let's just take a look at the taxes me and my small business pay: Income Tax, Cess, Service Tax, Professional Tax, Water Tax, Sewage Tax, Excise, Value Added Tax, Central Sales Tax, Property Tax, Securities and Transaction Tax, Education Cess and a bunch of other levies.

Near as I can figure, a pizza costs me about 40% more than what it should. You can bet I will "guide" my employees to vote for a Government that is less wasteful and more business friendly.

Businesses contribute a lot more to the growth of the country, rather than a (vapid and clueless) Government; your attitude is one where people should thank the shopkeeper for giving them a sweet, rather than the person who is actually paying for the sweet.

You've very cleverly avoided a "pot calling the kettle black" argument about "vested interests" by staying Anon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hate to say it...

"...who do you think I am?"

Your response rather suggests that your committment to a democratic plurality of opinion is strictly limited to those opinions that serve what you percieve to be your own self interest - at least where your employees are concerned. And if the inflated price of a luxury food - by the standards of Indian aggregate incomes - is your most pressing concern, then you perhaps ought to broaden your horizons somewhat before taking on the responsibility of "guiding" others on which democratic choice might best serve THEIR wider interests, rather than just your own.

Tax is fact of life everywhere to ensure the basic services exist that make for a civilised society; you are hardly in a unique position in paying it in multiple forms. Perhaps if India's wealthy could stretch as far as paying the extremely meagre percentage of tax they are actually asked for, the other hundred crore or so (yourself included it would seem) wouldn't have to bear the vast majority of the national tax burden.

If you really think the sun shines out of the private sectors arse when it comes to the provision of services, try looking up, for example, how the cost of electricity supplied to the Maharastra state power corp quadrupled after Enron got their grubby paws in there. Try selling that little cesspool of private sector benefit to the voters by any other method than rather one-sided "guiding" and see how the chips fall on polling day.

Take a good look around the political scene in India and ask yourself how many of those oh so wise gurus offering political guidance actually have altruistic motives - there are of course a very few honourable exceptions who put the greater good before themselves. Or perhaps you think the whole system is so bent that one more demagogue spouting business friendly electoral guidance to their captive audience is just what India needs right now?

Pot/kettle? I doubt my made up name would offer any more enlightenment than yours does. In any case I'll happily declare my 'vested' interest; an informed democratic environment in which ideas and policies stand or fail on their merit rather than being given one sided spin and force fed tp the electorate by those seeking to amass financial or political capital.

BTW, I'm old enough to buy my own sweets, and since some of my oldest friends are shopkeepers, indeed I usually am polite enough to thank them.

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Alert

re: code talk: "investment destination"

Ugh, this guy just said "investment destination". Translation: "a place for corporations to set up shop and jerk around customers and workers with impunity".

You're welcome.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Hate to say it...

"vested interests"... who do you think I am? A BIG business owner? A politico? I'm just an ordinary guy who is..."

...being paid by some astroturf outfit to shill for their bosses in Internet forums.

No thanks necessary; the pleasure was all mine.

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Happy

Standard Practice

They can just line item the bill:

Cellular Service ............. 59.00

Government Tax ............ 28.63

Local Tax ......................... 18.53

Kickback ......................... 34.92

Service Fee .................... 9.63

Convenience Fee ......... 3.62

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Unhappy

Re: Standard Practice

You forgot:

Itemised Bill .............. 5.00

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Dare Bribing in the first world Countries

What Vodafone, Telenor and Etisalat did in India is unfair , and now everyone is Paying the price for it . And I believe the Indian Government has been lenient towards the Corrupt practices (Because India is ruled by a Italian Lady and some Mafia ) of this So called FDI's.

It is better to pay that 10-20% extra for the calls than using a Network which was built using Corrupt money . I Don't think Indian subscribers are worried about the Price increase and not a single word from Common subscribers about proposed price increase.

Read this - to know more on Telenor story http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article2869622.ece.

Similar story on Vodafone tax evasion as well .. Etisalat did a wise thing, moved out quietly to keep their Image .

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Paris Hilton

Re: Dare Bribing in the first world Countries

What's with all the random Capital letters? My boss does this and it Drives me nuts.

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Bronze badge

900Mhz vs 1800Mhz

They may be corrupt, but the technical side of the problem is quite clear: double the frecuenci, and your range halves. So, yo have to multuply by four the number of base stations.. and your costs. To give the same service (well, not really, you have better service)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 900Mhz vs 1800Mhz

Yes BUT in you also quaduruple the number of people who can make and recieve calls in a given area and alot of idndia is densly populated. So will work out useful more than not.

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Alert

A quick translation

"The proposals disregard international best practice in spectrum policy and jeopardise the investment of billions of US dollars in new mobile infrastructure in a sector that either directly, or indirectly, employs almost 10 million people and serves more than 911 million consumers. However, there are also signs that some of the operators’ dire warnings about how it will negatively impact investment and growth in the market may have been deliberately over-exaggerated."

Translation:

Do as we say, or the little fuzzy kitten gets it!

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FAIL

TRAI will get trashed

Once the Indian population realised that their daily dose of phone chat is curtailed by calcified government officials at TRAI, they will be coming after them with sticks, spears and parangs.

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Mushroom

Re: TRAI will get trashed

"Once the Indian population realised that their daily dose of phone chat is curtailed by calcified government officials at TRAI, they will be coming after them with sticks, spears and parangs."

Damn straight, man. Unlike here in the formerly-good old USA, Indian workers have had no problem with dragging executives out of the street and beating them to death. Boo yah!

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Headmaster

Over-exaggerated?

"However, there are also signs that some of the operators’ dire warnings ... may have been deliberately over-exaggerated."

At what point does normal exaggeration become over-exaggeration? Is it alright to exaggerate something as long as you don't over-exaggerate it?

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Coat

Re: Over-exaggerated?

It's alright to exaggerate a little bit, but do it too much and it's the end of the world.

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Silver badge

Has anyone anywhere

Ever seen prices actually double? Or even increase slightly?

It's not exactly the first time this has happened and the worst case scenario has been that prices don't decrease as quickly as might be assumed.

The only times prices have gone up is when competition is removed from the market.

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Stop

I think spectrum auctions are ok in principle, but in practice, has resulted in massive debt burdens on operators in the industry.

This money simply must come from somewhere. It will be in consumer prices, in reduced infrastructure spend, and R&D. R&D in particular is always seen by big management as the least necessary.

This is disastrous long term. It is far better to come up with rental type model maybe, rather than this sort of lump sum deposits. I don't think Governments ever spend money wisely, democracy or not, so large sums of pocket money like this is not doing good for the countries.

The UK used to be a leader in cellular industry technology, but ever since the 3G auctions, a number of R&D and deployment type projects have moved elsewhere.

American consumers today have LTE, and they are now slowly driving the industry. Inevitably real world tests in LTE development now happen in the US and mainland Europe, making the case for UK based development very weak.

This will leave UK the follower, where once it was the leader in this particular industry. There is already talk of fitting the LTE frequency bands to that of other countries.

I fear it is already too late for the UK.

The same is now beginning in India. A case of greed, but this time from government, not big business. I don't think by any measure, can one say that growth of this industry will not be dented. It is basic accountancy, your costs are artificially being driven up. Without larger revenues, growth will be dented.

It is worse in the case of India, where infrastructure spend is already weak, and should be encouraged. It will now make more sense for operators to load more users at lower call qualities for eg..

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