DoT to Monitor Inflated Telecom Subscription Numbers

If you are a telecom industry insider, news reports about ‘10 million subscribers in the month of <X>’ may not impress you. It’s quite known that telecom operators fudge numbers and the lack of any common benchmark/ agency simply adds to the gaming.

The communications ministry is now planning to put up a mechanism to monitor the subscriber numbers of telecom operators, in order to ensure that they do not inflate numbers in order to gain additional spectrum (spectrums are allotted based on subscriber numbers).

The system will be implemented by Sep 15th and the ministry has received approval from Telecom commission (source).

Recently, DoT ordered special audits on the books of the top five telecom operators – Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular and Tata Teleservices, to check misreporting of revenue, as many of the operators are suspected to report lesser revenue to keep the license fee and spectrum charges low (Operators pay 6-10% of their annual revenue as licence fee and another 2-6% as spectrum usage charges)

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