The battle between telecom players is not going to end soon as incumbent players have recently demanded higher call termination charges from new entrant Reliance Jio.
In a meeting with inter- ministerial group (IMG) incumbent (Bharti Airtel, Idea, Vodafone) said that the current interconnection usage charges (IUC) is below cost and this need to be corrected.
The telcos also said that Jio's free offers had impacted the sector adversely.
Meanwhile, India's largest telecom players Bharti Airtel accused the new entrant of engaging in predatory prices.
Airtel also said that an investment of Rs 2 lakh crore would be needed by 2020 to achieve the goal of creating infrastructure for Digital India.
To recall, Reliance Jio recently said that telecom operators are not investing in new technology and instead leveraging their balance sheet for financial woes in the industry.
The company also said that incumbent telecom players need to raise funds by selling the stake at inter-ministerial group( IMG) meeting.
"Operators (excluding Jio) need to invest Rs. 1,25,000 crores, pay back debt and they need to invest in technology, as growth is happening in data...they can do this by selling a stake," said a senior Jio official who did not want to be named.
Stating that the financial stress being faced by operators was "their own creation", the official said the only policy intervention required is in form of reduction in GST rates, license fee, and USO levies. Lowering of these levies can generate Rs. 20,000-25,000 crores additional EBITDA for the industry, the Jio official said after coming out from the 45-minute meeting with the IMG.