Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal calls for regulatory regime to avoid litigations

Speaking at the inaugural session of India Mobile Congress 2021, Mr. Mittal, also called for “collaboration” among industry players.

Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Mittal on Wednesday said there is a need for a simpler regulatory regime so as to avoid litigation in the telecom sector.

Speaking at the inaugural session of India Mobile Congress 2021, Mr. Mittal, also called for “collaboration” among industry players while they continue to compete fiercely to lower cost structure, while also highlighting the need for lower duties and reduction in spectrum pricing to unleash industry’s full potential.

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“I would like to request the government that one area where they need to lower the temperature of our industry is really in the area of litigation. A lot of litigation still remains. There are cases right from TDSAT, High Courts to Supreme Court. Cases which are very old that need to be settled and new cases must be avoided,” Mr. Mittal said during the virtual event.

He added, “we must have a regime, which is simple in its regulatory touch and does not create more litigation going forward. This will release the energy of the industry in a gainful and rightful way. And, this will be one appeal to the government as we go forward.”

Mr. Mittal also noted that duties in the telecom sector still “remain large…Spectrum remains expensive. So, some of these areas also I would appeal to the government to continuously look at for the benefit of our digital dream.”

He, further, urged all rival players to come together and co-build, especially in the areas such as tower and fibre. “We need to fight hard, compete in the marketplace, get every customer that each of us can get… But equally we need to collaborate.”

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Pointing out that there is so much duplication in the industry in the area of towers and fibre, he said, “We really need to start to talk to each other, do co-builds…share more tower infra and ensure that while we fiercely compete, we also collaborate and lower cost structure for serving the most affordable tariffs anywhere in the world.”

On the recent telecom reforms announced by the government, Mr. Mittal said there is now a great degree of confidence and hope that the players which now remain will set the agenda for building India’s digital future.

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