COAI launches Sabka Internet online platform to show support towards net ... - TechOne3

COAI launches Sabka Internet online platform to show support towards net neutrality

The Cellular Association of India (COAI) on Friday launched Sabka Internet online platform at a press briefing in New Delhi. The online platform is a collaborative effort by leading telecom operators to show their support towards net neutrality.

COAI, representing the association of India's GSM mobile providers, reiterated at the briefing that the "internet should be for all and not remain the preserve of a few". Furthermore, it invited all stakeholders to have a comprehensive and informed debate on the subject of net neutrality in the country.

The briefing was attended by the leadership team of member companies of COAI, including Ashok Sharma of Aircel, Gopal Vittal of Airtel, Himanshu Kapania of Idea Cellular, Shanker Adawal of Reliance Jio, Rajiv Bawa of Telenor, Arvind Bali of Videocon Telecom and Sunil Sood of Vodafone India, aiming to reaffirm their commitment to "Sabka Internet, Sabka Vikas" (internet for all, growth for all) programme.

COAI members at Sabka Internet launch briefing in New Delhi

COAI members at Sabka Internet launch briefing in New Delhi

The COAI panel claimed that India is raked 142 in terms of internet penetration but the number of internet users are expected to reach over 500 million by 2018. Therefore, the panel said that innovations would be required across the ecosystem, including affordable smartphones, more efficient networks, a vibrant OTT ecosystem, even more broad ranging applications and pricing flexibility.

"We believe that our role is to enable all services to reach customers across the country. One of the key factors to enable this is that the same rules must apply to the same types of services, including Mobile and IP Voice services. This is the only way to ensure digital inclusion and bring about social and economic good to the common man," the association said in a press statement.

Vittal of Bharti Airtel said at the briefing that the telecom sector in India had paid the government over Rs. 17,000 crore in terms of taxes and levies and invested Rs. 7,50,000 crore in the last 20 years with a single expectation that the "same communication service must be subject to the same rules".

Revealing the present financial condition of the telecom sector, COAI said that there is a cumulative investment of over Rs. 750,000 crore but return on investment is only 1 percent. It mentioned that many operators are making negative returns due to the present condition.

Meanwhile, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has received over 10 lakh petitions in favour of net neutrality. Campaigners unofficially built 'savetheinternet' online platform about two weeks ago to send emails to TRAI for supporting the open internet principle in the country.

Categories: Miscellenous News


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