The Indian telecom industry is the world’s fastest growing industry with 792 million mobile phone subscribers as of February 2011. It is also the second largest telecommunication network in the world in terms of number of wireless connections after China. The industry will reach around $80 billion in revenues by next year showing an astounding CAGR of over 25% and will employ a stupendous 1 crore employees making it one of the biggest value creators in India in recent times.However the telecom companies in India after enjoying a boom period in the early 2000s have faced a couple of tough years with hypercompetition leading to a price war in auction of 3G spectrum.This was followed by one of the most high profile corruption scandals in the country which resulted in the jailing of the former telecom minister in the 2nd auction of 2G spectrum.Most of the telecom companies have been found to be implicated in colluding with sleazy politicians/bureaucrats in looting the Indian taxpayers.India Real Estate Sector is one of the most corrupt in the country and after the 2G Scam,the telecom sector is giving it close competition for the No.1 spot in corruption

Despite these problems,India is set to see another spurt of growth as 3G in India has the potential to bring Internet to India’s massively under penetrated population which has phones but not computers.

Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

India is a fast growing in terms of mobile usage. A mobile phone has become a necessity in today’s lifestyle. As a result India has turned out to be a competing hub for many mobile companies. Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was launched in India in January 2011, which allows the user to retain the existing number while giving him an option to change the subscriber. India, the world’s second largest market for mobile phones is foretasted to become an even larger market with unit shipments of 209 million each year by 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of 12% from 2010 to 2016, according a market study. India’s mobile market has changed with local mobile companies drastically cutting into the market of the dominant companies like Nokia.The mobile entertainment industry in India is also witnessing significant growth and a latest research forecasts this market to reach $5 billion in 2015 from $1.2 billion in 2009, growing at a CAGR of 26%

Telecom Industry in India – Laggards Losing out Badly

Given below is a list of the telecom companies in India – some are State owned, some private & some formed in collaboration with other Foreign companies. However, in recent years, due immense competition in Indian telecom sector, the State owned MTNL has been losing revenue and market share heavily. On February 23, 2011, The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said it wanted to revive a proposal for the merger of state-owned operators BSNL and MTNL, as they have complimentary operations and can combine their strengths for synergies.Note BSNL and MTNL have been affected by bad management,an apathetic government and private competitors who have undermined the interests of BSNL/MTNL by underhand means.BSNL which was the No.1 player with an impregnable position has become an also ran as its capacity expansion was dogged by motivated red tape.

Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. – One of the largest & leading public sector units in India. It was formed in October, 2000, is World’s 7th largest Telecommunications Company providing comprehensive range of telecom services in India BSNL is the only service provider, making focused efforts and planned initiatives to bridge the Rural-Urban Digital Divide ICT sector. Its wide network is present across India except Delhi & Mumbai. BSNL cellular service, CellOne, has 55,140,282 2G cellular customers and 88,493 3Gcustomers as on November 2009. It has 35.1 million Basic Phone subscribersform . 85 per cent share of the subscriber base and 92 percent share in revenue terms. BSNL has more than 2.5 million Internet Customers who access Internet through various modes viz. Dial-up, Leased Line, DIAS, Account Less Internet(CLI). BSNL has been adjudged as the NUMBER ONE ISP in the country.

Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd MTNL) – It is a state-owned telecommunications service provider in the metro cities of Mumbai and New Delhi in India. The company was a monopoly until 1992, when the telecom sector was opened to other service providers. MTNL provides fixed line telephones, cellular connection of both GSM & CDMA and internet services through dialup and DSL — Broadband internet. MTNL also provides other services such as VPN,Internet Telephony- VOIP and leased lines through BSNL and VSNL. MTNL has also unveiled very cost-effective Broadband Internet access plans (TriBand) targeted at homes and small businesses. MTNL has suffered even more than BSNL and just about survives in a pathetic condition.

Private Indian owned Companies

Reliance Communications Ltd. – One of the  major Indian telecommunication companys headquartered in Navi Mumbai, India. It is the 16th largest operator in the world with more than 128 million subscribers. It is India’s largest and only telecom operator offering nationwide CDMA, GSM and 3G mobile services. Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, an offshoot of the Reliance Group, ranks among India’s top three private sector business houses in terms of net worth. The group has business interests that range from telecommunications (Reliance Communications Limited) to financial services (Reliance Capital Ltd) and the generation and distribution of power (Reliance Infrastructure Limited). Reliance Communications was the first Indian company to make handsets so popular in India. It is present in almost the whole of country – Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chennai, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (E), Uttar Pradesh (W), West Bengal.(AUSPI). The Equity Shares of RCOM are listed on Bombay Stock Exchange Limited and National Stock Exchange Limited. Reliance Communications paid Rs.5864.29 crores for 3G spectrum in 13 circles. in 2010, RCom became the second private sector telecom company (fourth overall) to launch 3G services in India, with a 4 city launch in Chandigarh, Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.

TATA Teleservices Ltd. – is the pioneer of the CDMA 1x technology platform in India. It has embarked on a growth path since the acquisition of Hughes (India) Ltd [renamed Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Limited] by the Tata Group in 2002. It launched mobile operations in January 2005 under the brand name Tata Indicom and today enjoys a pan-India presence through existing operations in all of India’s 22 telecom Circles – Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chennai, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, J & K, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mumbai, North East, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (E), Uttar Pradesh (W), West Bengal (AUSPI). The company is also the market leader in the fixed wireless telephony market. It is the first to pioneer the per-second tariff option—part of its ‘Pay for What You Use’ pricing paradigm. . Tata Teleservices Limited has also become the first Indian private telecom operator to launch 3G services in India under the brand name Tata DOCOMO, with its recent launch in all the nine telecom Circles where it bagged the 3G license.

Idea Cellular Ltd. – Initially a Birla-TATA-AT&T initiative, is now an Aditya Birla Group company. In 2005, AT&T sold its investment in Idea, and the year after Tatas also exited. Idea has its presence in Delhi (Metro), Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (E), Uttar Pradesh (W) (COAI). The company is among the top four mobile telephony players in India with an 11 per cent all-India subscribers market share. Idea paid Rs.5768.59 crores for 3Gspectrum in 11 circles. Idea enjoys a market leadership position in many of its operational areas. It offers GPRS on all its operating networks for all categories of subscribers, and was the first company in India to commercially launch the next generation EDGE technology in Delhi in 2003.

Videocon Communications Ltd. – A Videocon group company which offers GSM mobile services GSM service.The company started its telecom services after the 2G Auction and operates  in Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Punjab, Haryana, Mumbai, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, UP East, UP West, Himachal Pradesh.

Quadrant Televentures Ltd. – Formerly HFCL Infotel Limited, is a Unified Access Services Licensee in Punjab Telecom Circle. Commonly known by the name Connect, provides voice telephony In March 2010, it launched its GSM services in the Punjab Service Area. In April 2010, it acquired remaining interest in Infotel Tower Infrastructure Private Limited.

Private Companies with Majority Stake by Foreign Investors

Bharti Airtel Ltd. -It  is the largest India mobile operator by subscriber base. Commonly known as Airtel, is an Indian telecommunications company that operates in 19 countries across South Asia, Africa and the Channel Islands. Airtel also offers fixed line services and broadband services.  Airtel is the largest cellular service provider in India and fifth largest in the world present in Delhi (Metro), Mumbai (Metro), Kolkata (Metro), Chennai (Metro), Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, North East, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (E), Uttar Pradesh (W), West Bengal (COAI). Airtel won 3G spectrum in 13 circles: Delhi, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (West), Rajasthan, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, North East, Jammu & Kashmir for Rs. 12,295 crores. Bharti Airtel wins broadband spectrum in four circles: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab and Kolkata for Rs. 3314.36 crores.Airtel acquired Zain’s African operations for $10.7 billion to increase its base to more than 180 million globally.

Vodafone Ltd. – The world’s largest mobile telecommunications company measured by revenues and the world’s second-largest measured by subscribers. It operates networks in over 30 countries and has partner networks in over 40 additional countries. It owns 45% of Verizon Wireless, the largest mobile telecommunications company in the United States measured by subscribers. In India it is present in Andhra Pradesh, Chennai (Metro), Delhi (Metro), Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kolkata (Metro), Mumbai (Metro), Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (W), Uttar Pradesh (E), West Bengal, Maharatshtra, Tamilnadu, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Assam, North East, Madhya Pradesh (COAI). Its primary listing is on the London Stock Exchange and it is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. It has a secondary listing on NASDAQ.Note Vodafone entered India by acquiring the Hutchinson stake.

Aircel Group – a joint venture between Maxis Communications of Malaysia and Apollo Hospitalsof India. UTSB has a 74% stake in Aircel and the remaining 26% is with Apollo Hospitals. It is India’s Seventh largest GSM mobile service provider. It offers both prepaid and postpaid GSM cellular phone coverage throughout India.As on date, Aircel is present in all 23 telecom circles Assam, Bihar, Chennai, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, North East, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kolkata, Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Andra Pradesh,UP(E), UP(w), Mumbai (COAI). Aircel has also obtained permission from Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to provide International Long Distance (ILD) and National Long Distance (NLD) telephony services. It also has the largest service in Tamil Nadu.

Aircel paid Rs.6499.46 crores for the 3G spectrum in 13 circles – the least cost per circle compared to other operators. The circles it will provide 3G in are Andhra Pradesh, Assam,Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata,Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, North East, Orissa, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal.Aircel paid Rs.3438crores for the broadband wireless access spectrum in 8 circles, the second highest wins overall – after Reliance Communications. The circles it has won spectrum are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, North East, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

Loop Mobile Ltd. –  In the year 2009, BPL Mobile rebranded itself as Loop Mobile and has been operating since then in Mumbai. BPL Mobile Communications Limited offers GSM wireless facilities in three states of India besides offering broadband facilities via wireless bplnet with an ADSL internet competence. It offers pre and post paid, data, and roaming services. The company has also started manufacturing handsets.

Spice Communications Ltd. –  Now a subsidiary of Idea Cellular Ltd.which owns more than 80% equity in the company. The Aditya Birla Group took over the ownership of Spice Telecom for over Rs 2,700 crore. The company’s areas of operation are Karnataka & Punjab. The prepaid users(which form majority in India) had problems getting their phones recharged with prepaid balance when in roaming. Hence, Spice could not regain the market share inspite of its low tariffs.

S Tel Ltd.– is a joint venture between Siva Group (formerly Sterling Infotech Group) and Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco). S Tel has acquired Unified Access Services Licenses (UASL) and spectrum to operate in six Category C circles – Orissa, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, North East, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir. These licenses will enable the company to provide Unified Mobile service, wireless broadband and other innovative Value Added Services.

Unitech Wireless Ltd. – Unitech Group (32.75%) in joint venture with Norway’s telecom major Telenor (67.25%) had started its service in telecom business under the name of Uninor. It offers mobile telephony services in India. The company was incorporated in 2008 and is based in Gurgaon, India. The company holds a pan-India UAS licence to offer telecommunications services in each of India’s 22 circles & has also received spectrum for six circles. Unitech has sold out a majority stake in its telecom arm, making Unitech Wireless one of the few telecom companies controlled by foriegn telcos. The company benefited the most in the 2G spectrum allocation scam. Its promoters gained Rs 2,342 crores and now the company is under direct investigation by the Supreme Court over corruption charges.

Etisalat DB Telecom Pvt. Ltd – is a joint venture between Etisalat and Dynamix Balwas Group.Another telecom company which has now come under the Supreme Court Scanner with Balwa in jail. In 2009he Board of Etisalat DB, today announced the ‘change of name’ of the erstwhile Swan Telecom, a joint venture between Etisalat and DB Realty. The company has officially been re-named as Etisalat DB Telecom India Pvt. Ltd.Etisalat DB and its subsidiary has  the Unified Services Access License in 15 circles including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West), Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.

Sistema Shyam teleservices (SSTL) – Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (“MTS”) is the leading telecommunications group in Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, offering mobile and fixed voice, broadband, pay TV as well as content and entertainment services. In December 2008, MTS extended its brand outside the CIS borders. MTS and Shyam Telelink Limited, JSFC Sistema’s telecommunications subsidiary in India, announced the agreement to allow Shyam Telelink to use MTS brand in India.In 2008, Vodafone announced a partnership deal with MTS, whereby Vodafone services will be available to MTS subscribers and both companies have noted the potential for more efficient purchasing. MTS s present in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu (Incl.Chennai), Kolkatta, West Bengal, Bihar, Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana, Maharashtra, UP (E), UP (W), Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab (AUSPI). MTS has been listed on the New York Stock Exchange since July 2000 and trades under the ticker MBT. The Company’s shares have been listed locally on Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange (MICEX) since November 2003.

Telecom Scam in India

India’s Telecom Scam has been extensively covered in Greenworldinvestor.Read it from the following articles

Group Company wise Subscriber details is given below (source Indian telecom associations)

Feb’2011 (COAI)
Sl. No. Name of Company Total no. of subscribers
1 Bharti Airtel 158,998,869
2 Vodafone Essar 130,920,732
3 IDEA 86,800,809
4 BSNL 85,098,200
5 Aircel 53,500,469
6 Uninor 21,577,497
7 Videocon 6,564,083
8 MTNL 5,178,617
9 Loop Mobile 3,079,281
10 Stel 2,692,462
11 Etisalat 652,370
Nov’2010 (AUSPI)
Sl. No. Name of Company Total no. of subscribers
1 Connect 1,618,787
2 Reliance Communications 1,23,579,526
3 TATA Indicom 83,855,304


Nira Radia the millionaire lobbyist who became a public figure overnight as tapes leaked to her phone conversations were printed by the mass media has revealed sordid details about the politician businessmen nexus.In the chargesheet presented by the CBI to the Supreme Court she has revealed the multi billion dollar realty company DB Realty is a front for Sharad Pawar and controlled by him.This hardly comes as a surprise as powerful Agri Minister Pawar has been linked to a number of corruption scandals like the Lavasa Scandal,2G Telecom Scam,IPL Scam etc.Note DB Realty CEO has been directly implicated in the transfer of bribe giving to Raja the former Telecom Minister in exchange for a Telecom License at dirt cheap prices.It is a tribute to the power of Pawar that despite such massive circumstantial evidence against him and his family,there has been no court case or police charges against him.Note a number of big companies in India are known to be secretly owned and controlled by powerful politicians.Not that politicians don’t own  billion dollar businesses openly and use their political muscle to further their own interests in a blatant manner.

Niira Radia links Sharad Pawar to DB Realty

“I state that as per the general perception in Mumbai as well as outside, DB Realty is directly or indirectly controlled by Mr. Sharad Pawar and his family members,” Ms. Radia’s statement said. She also said that Mr. Pawar “might have pursued” with former Union Telecom Minister A. Raja the issue of granting Unified Access Service licences for Swan Telecom and Anil Ambani’s Reliance Communications.

Ms. Radia’s statement also mentions a conversation with a journalist in which he tells her about “some money paid to Mr. Raja in London as well as to Mr. Karunanidhi for favouring Swan Telecom and Reliance Communications.” But here too, Ms. Radia states that she did not have any knowledge of “such transactions.”

Nira Radia has also revealed how the Tata Group was pressured by Raja and his associates to grant them favors.Chandolia a key aide wanted jobs in TCS the biggest Indian IT company and a Jagaur dealership.Note the Tata Group bought Landrover Jagaur recently.While Ratan Tata has said that he never acted unethically,the 2G Telecom Scam no doubts proves that Tata Group did not act 100% unethically if not illegally.Don’t know why the Tata Group donated equipment to a hospital in Raja’s constituency instead of hundreds of other deserving hospitals in the country.

Jaguar dealership in wishlist of Raja aide, Radia tells CBI

From evincing interest in a Jaguar car dealership to a platform for Kalaignar TV on Tata Sky to a job with Tata Consultancy Services. These were some of the many favours that R K Chandolia, personal secretary to then Telecom Minister A Raja, sought from the Tatas during his conversations with her, corporate lobbyist Niira Radia has claimed in her statement to the CBI.

The Government of India has been trying to put hurdles in the 2G Telecom Scam case right from Day 1.Its blatant shielding of the rich and powerful involved in the massive billion dollar corruption involving ruling party alliance members and top corporate houses has been apparent.The proof of the government malintentions was India’s top court taking over the supervision of the investigation agency CBI with itself.This was a major slap for the government as CBI falls under the authority of the Home Ministry.With the CBI having filed a chargesheet which names the former Telecom Minister Raja and some billionaire businessmen,the government is again trying its stalling tactics.The government and its representative lawyers did not agree to the name of U U Lalit as special public prosecutor.Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Indira Jaising raised objections despite K K Venugopal, who has been appearing on behalf of CBI and ED suggesting his name.

The 2G Telecom Scam case will start hearings from April 13 with hearings to be held daily and the Second Chargesheet which will name more people will be filed on April 24.Note many prominent names will figure in the second chargesheet it is expected.The Supreme Court has performed extraordinarily well in the 2G Telecom Case where the government,the attorney generals and the investigative agencies have failed to live up to their roles.The Court has had to take the burden on itself while the government shamelessly is putting more hurdles instead of bringing the guilty to justice.

Names of the People in the 1st CBI 2G Telecom Scam Chargesheet

  1. Former Telecom Minister and DMK LeaderRaja
  2. Former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura
  3. Raja’s personal secretary R K Chandolia,
  4. Shahid Usman Balwa (DB Realty)
  5. Sanjay Chandra (Unitech MD)
  6. Vinod Goenka, a Director of Mumbai-based DB Realty
  7. Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara ( Reliance Telecom Company. )

SC for day-to-day trial without adjournment in the 2G case

Brushing aside Centre’s objections, the Supreme Court on Friday said it would pass an order for the appointment of senior advocate U U Lalit as special public prosecutor for holding the trial of former Telecom Minister A Raja and others in the 2G spectrum case on a day-to-day basis without any adjournments.The Centre raised technical objections to Lalit’s appointment saying that he should have worked under the state or the Union government for at least seven years to be eligible as the case has been filed under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The bench also directed the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to brief it about their second stage of probe into the scam after the CBI filed its first chargesheet in the case on April 2 in the special court.

Venugopal said that the second charge sheet regarding bribery angle in the scam will be filed before April 24.

The CBI will charge India’s top conglomerates the Essar Group and Relaince ADAG with criminal conspirary and cheating in the multi billion dollar 2G Telecom Licenses Scandal.This Corruption Scam was brought directly under the control of the Supreme Court as the government failed to move against powerful businessmen and politicians.Now the investigative agencies which have broken free from the ruling party’s interference have given the status of the investigation to the Court.The CBI has said that the 2 companies Loop and Swan Telecom were used as front companies by established telecom operators Essar and Reliance Communications to get more license.Note this defeated the entire exercise and there is ample circumstantial evidence to prove that the telecom minister Raja and his cronies connived with the companies to give precious spectrum for a song.Massive kickbacks were given through real estate companies like DB Realty whose top billionaire owners are cooling their heels in jail as well.

It remains to be seen whether the top corporate executives of India’s topmost conglomerates get prosecuted over these wrongdoings.Essar and ADAG are amongst the top 10 conglomerates in India with wide ranging operations with billions of dollars in revenues nationally as well as internationally.The Supreme Court has been instrumental in bringing this case so far as the government seems totally coopted by corruption.It has been frequently been castigated by the Supreme Court and has shamelessly defended corrupt bureaucrats and politicians.It remains to be seen how this 2G Telecom Case ends.If justice is done,then it may provide a new chapter to India’s corruption ridden story till now.

Swan, Loop used as front companies to get spectrum: CBI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that telecom companies — Swan Telecom and Loop Telecom — were used as front companies by established telecom players to get 2G spectrum illegally during the tenure of former Telecom Minister A. Raja.

Swam Telecom’s promoter Shahid Usman Balwa has been arrested by the CBI and ADAG firm RCom’s chairman Anil Ambani has also appeared before the agency in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.

The CBI submitted before the court that Swan and Loop hid the details about their companies to get spectrum and they will be facing charges of “cheating” and “criminal conspiracy“.

India has around 300,000 Telecom Towers around the country , a large portion of which is not connected to the electricity grid.Another large portion does not have access to reliable electricity implying they have to install backup power systems in order to run without interruptions.Diesel Generators have been the choice of telecom operators despite their high carbon imprint.This is because of the ease  of buying and installing diesel generators as well as the lower fuel costs as the government in India heavily subsidizes diesel.Note India’s Fossil Fuel Subsidies have led to hundreds of distortions in the economy.Corruption,Pilfering,Adulteration is carried out on a large scale due to government subsidies.In fact a senior government official was burnt alive by the Kerosene Mafia a direct outcome of this  subsidy policy.But that is a separate issue.

Telecom Towers are estimate to burn 2 Billion Liters of Diesel ( around 500 million barrels) annually at a cost of Rs 7000 crores.While the government has been trying to convert these towers to renewable energy forms,most of the tower operators have been very slow to implement this change.Indus Towers the largest one plans only 2.5% conversion while the others like GTL,Viom and American Tower are doing only marginally better.Note there are easy solution to this problem with alternatives like Fuel Cells,Small Wind and Bio Diesel.But the private operators are only interested in the money and without serious government prodding won’t move.Diesel Prices can easily move up 30-40%,if the government removes the subsidy.This will really make these Telecom Operators move quickly towards renewable energy instead of the their putting Lipstick on the Diesel Pig.Note most of the telecom expansion will now happen in rural areas where almost every tower will burn more Oil.

Green energy to drive tower cos’ biz

Indian telecom infrastructure companies, including Indus Towers, American Tower Company, GTL and Viom Networks (erstwhile Tata Quippo), that depend heavily on diesel generators to power more than 3.5 lakh towers across India, are conducting pilot tests on solar, wind energy, bio-diesel and fuel cell-based equipment and rolling out clean energy solutions strategy.

Telecom towers consume more than 2 billion litres of diesel in a year, to meet 60% power requirement, telecom regulator Trai said.

Last year, 7,000 crore was spent on diesel needed to run 3.5 lakh towers. These high input costs also result in high pollution. The renewable energy ministry had asked telecom companies to reduce their dependency on conventional fuels and consider alternatives for partly powering telecom towers.

While some tower creators are looking at compressed natural gas and piped natural gas to power towers, Indus Towers, the largest with over 1 lakh towers in India, will set up 2,500 solar towers by September this year.

Viom Networks, which operates more than 38,000 towers across India, plans to run more than one-fourth of this number on alternative energy within the next two years. It plans to run 2,000 towers on solar power alone by 2013.

Keeping cost benefits as one of its primary concerns, American Tower Corporation conducted trials using solar power in Pune, Maharashtra and cut its monthly costs of running diesel generator sets, or gen-sets, by half to 8,000.

Another tower major GTL will use a combination of solar and bio-diesel based energy solutions to bring down overall energy consumption by one-fifth over a period of time.

Corruption in India is not all pervasive but has also become funny in an ironical sort of way.The Anil Ambani Group which recently settled with Stock Market Regulator SEBI for Insider Trading is now blaming a Stock Market Operator for the recent bear hammering of Infrastructure Stocks.Note the ADAG Group has also featured quite prominently in the 2G Telecom Scandal which is being probed by CBI under direct supervision of the Supreme Court.Note the stocks of ADAG Group companies have bore the brunt of recent market falls.Reliance Infrastructure is one of the most prominent companies of this conglomerate and has dived alongwith a host of capital goods and infrastructure.

ADAG seeks IB probe in share hammering of 23 infra stocks

Anil Ambani-led Reliance Infra has sought an Intelligence Bureau probe into alleged hammering down of 23 infrastructure stocks by a “powerful stock market operator” for personal gains of hundreds of crores of rupees. Seeking a probe and immediate action by the intelligence agency against those behind the ‘bear hammering operation, the company blamed these operators of distorting Indian capital market in general and infrastructure sector in particular.

These operators have been accused of indulging in market manipulations and rumour mongering to destroy the confidence of investors for their own illegal and unjust enrichment.

The company is also believed to have identified the name of the market operator leading this cartel, based on the information from its stock market sources, and has said that he has accumulated huge wealth running into hundreds of crores of rupees in a very short span of time.

Note it would not be surprising if the allegations were true as the Indian stock market is a pump and dump heaven of IPOs with blatant manipulation by market operators.Price Rigging Rings are also present with mid cap and small cap scams happening with an alarming regularity.With Corruption touching a new high,the Supreme Court has taken over the investigation of the Telecom Scam Probe from the Government.This has led the CBI which is mostly a ruling party puppet to question some top billionaires and politicians.However it remains to be seen if some of the top fish are caught or just some small scapegoats are imprisoned.

2G probe reaches Karuna’s doorstep

The tale of the political-corporate nexus in the 2G scandal is fast unravelling as the CBI on Thursday questioned another business tycoon — Essar group head Prashant Ruia. It also braced for interrogation of DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi. Ruia’s questioning came a day after the agency cross-questioned ADAG group chairman Anil Ambani and confronted him with former Telecom Minister A Raja and DB Realty chief Shahid Usman Balwa.According to sources, the CBI has already sent a questionnaire to Kanimozhi in connection with the money trail from Balwa-linked companies to Kalaignar TV, in which she owns a 20 per cent stake.

Meanwhile, Ruia turned up at CBI headquarters at about 4 pm on Thursday and his questioning continued till late in the evening. Ruia was quizzed about the alleged association of Essar with Loop Telecom, which came under the scanner in the CBI case registered in October 2009, according to official sources.

The CBI questioned Loop Telecom CEO Sandip Basu for the third consecutive day on Thursday. Loop’s chief regulatory officer Harish Kapoor was also interrogated by officials of the Anti-Corruption Bureau of the CBI. CBI officials indicated that top functionaries of other beneficiary companies in the spectrum allocation scam would be questioned subsequently.

Meanwhile, sources said the CBI, in its questionnaire, has sought Kanimozhi’s response on her links with a person who acquired Tata Group’s Voltas building. The “dubious” change of ownership of the multi-crore 53,000 square feet premises in Chennai is seen a bribe paid to DMK for favours granted to the Tatas by Raja.

Voltas had leased the land for 30 years in 1975. In April 2009, 17 people who jointly owned the property gave power of attorney to one Saravanan, who is reported to be a close aide of Kanimozhi and her mother Rajathi Ammal. Saravanan later sold the Voltas-held property to Shangkalpam Industries Pvt Ltd in Niligiri (A Raja’s constituency) for Rs 25 crore, much below the market price, which is estimated to be around Rs 200 crore. Shangkalpam Industries, which now owns the property, is run by Shanmughanathan Vellanthurai, 45, a Malaysian auditor and businessman. He is also director of Shan & Co, an audit firm which has close links with Raja and Ratnam, who is Rajathi’s auditor.

The CBI will question Kalaignar TV CEO Sharadkumar, who owns 20 per cent in the firm. The channel reportedly received `214 crore from a Balwa-linked company. It is learnt that the CBI is not going to question Karunanidhi’s second wife Dayalu Ammal, who has 60 per cent stake. Dayalu is mother of Deputy Chief Minister MK Stalin and Union Fertiliser Minister MK Alagiri.