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Tech Update



6 January 2020




© 2020 All Rights Reserved Tech Update Gives You a Quick Briefing about Disruptive Technology and the Digital Economy from India.


Thought for the Week: Welcome to the first edition of 2020. The tech sector is still the one bright spot in India with investments and collaborations into emerging technologies. But when you read about telecoms, it’s still not good news and this will probably continue until at least spring 2020.


This week:


India on the hunt for telecom fees: India is seeking $ Billions in overdue telecom fees from telcos and other companies. Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals was recently requested to pay outstanding dues for telecom services. GAIL is another firm that has been asked to cough up also. Earlier the telcos themselves were asked for outstanding dues by the Government. This is a troubling time for firms, even PSUs.


Future of BSNL: Government is considering open bidding for some telecom’s infrastructure projects around the country which will impact BSNL which was a preferred provider. BSNL has been under pressure lately due to losses and under-investment. BSNL has also recently submitted details of a number of properties as part of its asset monetisation plans to DIPAM – maybe the Dept. of Telecoms is looking to streamline BSNL while trying to make it profitable.


Internet suspension woes for telcos: Internet and mobile phone suspensions across the country for various reasons are causing loss of revenue for the already embattled telcos.


Expanding RuPay: SBI and others are requesting the Government not to do away with the merchants’ processing fees as they say this will impact RuPay’s competitiveness relative to Visa/Mastercard. They say that without such fees, merchants will be reluctant to allow payments via RuPay.


Net neutrality in India: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper on net neutrality. It has invited comments from stakeholders on Internet traffic management practices by 30 January 2020.


Deployment of Indian GPS: ISRO is in talks with Xiaomi to install in its phones the NaVIC chip to be made by Qualcomm which will use Indian GPS.


MEA sets up emerging tech division: Ministry of External Affairs is setting up the New, Emerging and Strategic Technologies (NEST) division which will look at emerging technologies and collaborate in the field of 5G and AI.


‘Permanent Establishment’ in India: startups are seeking parity with MNCs on the issue of ‘permanent establishment’ in taxation. Startups say they want clarity on this issue and a level playing field with foreign competitors.


Boost for electric vehicles: Government has approved over 2,500 electric vehicle charging stations across various states within the FAME India scheme (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India).









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