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    Telecom sector is being transformed into a monopoly, says Anil Ambani

    Telecom sector is being transformed into a monopoly, says Anil Ambani

    Telecom sector is being transformed into a monopoly, says Anil Ambani
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    By Pradeep Suresh   IST (Published)

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    India’s telecom industry is moving towards a monopolistic system, said Anil Ambani, chairman of Reliance Group.

    India’s telecom industry is moving towards a monopolistic system, said Anil Ambani, chairman of Reliance Group.
    "Last year at our AGM , I had commented on the headwinds facing the mobile sector. Had predicted that the sector was rapidly moving towards a situation of a oligopoly or even a monopoly," said Ambani, who was speaking during Reliance Group’s annual general meeting (AGM).
    Addressing the AGM, Ambani said that India’s telecom industry has witnessed a massive transformation in the past two years. This phase, according to Ambani, saw drastic rewriting of industry rules in areas including tariffs to market structure among others.
    "Exorbitant spectrum auction feeds paid to government of India, high operational costs have created a body blow to telecom sector. It was further aggravated by the predatory pricing by some mobile players," said Ambani, the younger brother of billionaire Mukesh Ambani.
    Talking further about the telecom sector, Ambani said that it has been saddled with a high debt of around Rs 8 lakh crore.
    Choices are shrinking in the mobile market
    Speaking about the mobile operators in the country, Ambani said that while users earlier had a wider array of options to choose from, presently this has been reduced to just three, ie. Airtel, Vodafone -Idea and Jio who control nearly 90 percent of India's mobile revenue.
    "Government owned companies are purely a minority," said Ambani adding that the hyper competition that led to the industry consolidation has had other unintended consequences.
    "Creation of jobs is one of the key challenges facing any economy. Telecom sector has not served the jobs market well," said Ambani.
    The 59-year old billionaire added that this has indirectly led to the disappearance of over 20 lakh jobs in the sector since 2016.
    Speaking about the future, Ambani said that Reliance Realty will be the growth driver for the company in the long term. He further added that the company will not have exposure to consumer telecom business in long term.
     
    Disclaimer: RIL, the promoter of Reliance Jio, also controls Network18, the parent company of CNBCTV18.com.
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