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Indian telecoms at the crossroads again


(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

In the 18 years I have been working with Indian telecoms operators, I can recall several points where I felt the industry was at a crossroads in its evolution.

The first was the introduction of the national telecoms policy in 1999 and associated revenue share arrangements, waking up what was a fairly docile industry at the time.

The introduction of third and fourth GSM operators in 2002 was another milestone, as was the system of calling party pays (CPP) introduced a year later. Before that, we used to look at our handsets and think twice about answering phone calls as in those days the receiving party paid for part of the call.

Budget 2013 does have some words of wisdom


(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Reuters)

The finance minister had a tough job in hand with this being the government’s last budget before elections due in 2014. P. Chidambaram had to focus on fiscal consolidation while walking a tightrope between populism and pragmatism.

In my previous column, I had written about the issues he needs to address. Here’s a look at how Budget 2013 fared on these counts.

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