“A telco loses a minimum of Rs 1.5 crore a day per state if its internet services are shut down. If the state holds a large population and the ban is for a longer duration, then the loss is larger,” said Rajan Mathews, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). The body represents all three private players Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea.
Since December 15, parts of Karnataka, UP, Delhi, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal and Gujarat have seen the mobile internet services shut down, with many districts under an internet blackout ranging from few hours to days. India has been in the news for the large number of internet and mobile services disruption since protests over a new citizenship law – Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – started few days ago.
According to a senior executive in one of the private telcos, when the network and services get stalled, the customer delays his recharges, does not go for smaller tops that are important for the revenues. “For the operator, the prepaid customers’ delay hits them,” said the executive. Over 90% of the customers are pre-paid.
The impact though would have been far more in previous years when a subscriber used to be charged based on his or her usage, compared with the bundled plans that exist today, which lock in a specific amount that a user pays to a telco, say experts.
The industry body also pointed to the inconvenience caused to the customers. “There is significant inconvenience caused to the subscribers since it prevents them from carrying out some of the essential services like banking, medical appointments etc. But we are license holders and have no choice but to follow orders of the government,” said Mathews.
So far, the longest internet shutdown has been in Jammu & Kashmir which saw its internet being restored in batches from November-end onwards after more than three months of shut down.
On December 19, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court issued notices to the government seeking its views on multiple challenges made on the Constitutional validity of the freshly enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which grants fast-track citizenship to non-Muslim refugees who fled to India due to religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The government will have to place its views in the second week of January 2020. The Act was notified in the gazette on December 12, 2019, but it carries no date from when the Act would come into force. This will be notified by a subsequent notification, the gazette said.
- Tata projects Ltd bags Rs 3000 cr Bharat Net project for Chhattisgarh
- Bengaulru bizman loses Rs 24 lakh to lottery scam
- Indiana stands to gain — and lose — more than most states from steel tariffs
- SDSU vs. NDSU football: No shame in losing to North Dakota State, but plenty of frustration
- Woman charged with murdering daughter loses bid to have state prosecutors taken off case
- Reliance Jio Summer Surprise Offer Cancelled, Google Play Music All Access in India, Idea's New Data Offer, and More: Your 360 Daily
- Samsung Galaxy S8 Leaks, Moto G5 Coming to India, iOS 10.3 Update, and More: Your 360 Daily
- OnePlus 5T India Launch, Aircel Offers to Beat Jio, and More: Your 360 Daily
- Samsung Galaxy S8 Price in India, Xiaomi Mi 6 Launched, Jio Offer for Galaxy S8, and More: Your 360 Daily
- Samsung Galaxy J7+ Launched, Airtel Rs. 349 Plan to Beat Jio, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Lake Blue in India, and More: Your 360 Daily