On 6 January, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) kicked off a series of meetings. The objective was to gather stakeholder inputs for the framing of India’s spectrum policy for the coming decade. But while these consultations will undoubtedly prove critical to the future of India’s telecom space, telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vi, and market leader Reliance Jio weren’t even invited.
As if to rub salt in their wounds, DoT saw fit to invite Big Tech firms—including Apple, Facebook, Google, chipmaker Qualcomm, and Korean electronics major Samsung—to the table for its first meeting. Telcos had to make do with being represented by industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI)—a contentious decision given that India’s private telcos haven’t always seen eye-to-eye.