The department of telecommunications (DoT) has directed Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel to submit separate accounts, roll out details and service quality reports for the broadband services being offered by them using the Broadband Wirless Access (BWA) licences in the 2,300-MHz band.
The move is expected to help the government monitor the quality of 4G services being offered to subscribers and assess the revenue earned from data-based services.
This is important in order to assess the cost of spectrum for the next round of spectrum auction for data-based services, especially in the 800 MHz band.
Reliance Jio paid Rs. 12,848 crore to procure pan-India BWA licences. Airtel paid Rs. 3,314 crore for licences in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Punjab and Kolkatta.
A five-member high level committee has been constituted to examine the reports submitted by the two companies, a Telecom Commission official told HT. On it are DoT's deputy director general (consumer services) and four directors.
The official said, "This will help us assess the revenue earned by these companies and analyse the cost of spectrum for future auctions." The official also said the two companies have been cautioned that if they fail to submit these details, "appropriate action shall be taken by the licensor."
Bharti Airtel has rolled out BWA services in Kolkatta, Benagluru, Pune, Chandigarh and Mohali. Reliance Jio is likely to be hard put to explain why it has not started services yet. The DoT official said, "Even not launching BWA services will be assessed."
Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio did not respond to HT's emails seeking their response.