22 Feb '11, 4am

Dark days for India's telecom sector

Dark days for India's telecom sector

NEW DELHI: Telecom shares have taken a beating on the Indian market, with stocks of four leading telcos down by between four and 12 per cent. A telecom scam, involving the issuing of 2G licenses, has made investors wary. Adding to the uncertainty, India's telecom regulator has proposed a steep increase in the price of mobile radio waves. Telecom shares witnessed heavy selling, as confusion reigned over India's telecom policy. The regulatory authority recently recommended a six-fold increase in the price of second generation spectrum, up to 6.2 Mhz. And for every megahertz of additional spectrum, operators will have to pay a fee of one billion US dollars. If approved, the policy would impose a huge financial burden on telcos. Companies will also need to pay a hefty amount to renew their licences. Many telcos said the move is unjustified, especially since tariff rates are in...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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