You are here: Home » Companies » News
Business Standard

Telcos must milk data, not voice: Sibal

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Four days after announcing that telcos should not charge for roaming services, telecom minister Kapil Sibal said voice calls should be made free, too. “I personally believe that charging for voice is a tax on talking to people,” Sibal said while speaking at the CII broadband summit in New Delhi on Friday.

The minister asked mobile phone operators to charge for data rather than voice. “At the moment, revenue of industry depends on voice. It is time that the industry decides to move in a direction where revenues come from data and not from voice,” Sibal said.

But for that, the minister noted, the operators need to change their mindset. "The industry must move in that direction (making voice free) so that in years to come, talking to each other should not be taxed,” he said. At present, telecos earn more than 80 per cent of their revenues from voice-based services. Non-voice based services, though registering a healthy growth, still forms a small part of operators revenues.

Earlier this week, Sibal had said that roaming would be free for subscribers from 2013. The mobile service providers are likely to lose Rs 5,000 crore in revenues annually, if the government decides to do away with the roaming charges. At present, GSM operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Aircel get about 10-12 per cent of their revenues from the roaming services, amounting to Rs 10,000-Rs 13,000 crore.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Sat, September 29 2012. 00:36 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.