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Really Government Favoring Reliance Jio on 4G Spectrum allocation to BSNL and MTNL?

The lack of 4G spectrum availability for public sector companies, at a time when the private sector is closer to the adoption of next-generation 5G technology, is weakening companies even more as subscribers leave companies. State-owned operators putting their revival at risk for their revivals.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the watchdog of the sector returned the ball to the government court in the fourth generation or the allocation of the 4G spectrum, without auction for state operators Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL).

"Earlier this week, the TRAI in a letter to the Telecom department said the assignment of spectrum to publicly owned entities is an administrative issue and that the government would be in the best position to settle the matter," DoT Official said.

Really Government Favoring Reliance Jio on 4G Spectrum allocation?

However, the development has put the NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has also been considering requesting approval from the Election Commission of India (ECI) to bring the proposal for the distribution of airwaves to the Board of Ministers, then of the growing pressure of almost 2 lakh employees of the two service providers.
In March, the department, in a letter to the telecommunications regulatory authority, mainly sought suggestions on the possibility that the spectrum: a natural resource could be administratively assigned to two PSU operators.

The government has previously said it has asked Trai for opinions to sanction the much needed airwaves that could lead the two telecommunications companies to venture into commercial 4G services.

In the absence of 4G spectrum, the two telecommunications operators already underlined say they could not compete with private sector competitors such as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

In the 2012 Supreme Court ruling, which canceled 122 licenses, Justice GS Singhvi noted that during the transfer or alienate natural resources, the State has the obligation to adopt the auction method and ensure that the non-discriminatory method is adopted.

The Unavailability of 4G spectrum availability for public sector companies, at a time when the private sector is closer to the adoption of next-generation 5G technology, is weakening companies even more as subscribers leave companies. State-owned operators putting their revival at rist for their revivals.

The two telecommunications companies BSNL operates in 22 telecommunications circles and MTNL metropolitan service Delhi and Mumbai and asked the government to approve its revival proposals also include the assignment of 4G voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) and monetization of real estate.

BSNL employee groups have also accused the incumbent government of favoring Reliance Jio over a state-owned telecommunications company. The billionaire of India owned Reliance Jio by Mukesh Ambani, is a pure 4G operator who launched its commercial services in September 2016.

Recently, the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) also stated that a deliberate attempt was made to close the BSNL.


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