How Much Do You Know About the Telecom AGR Verdict?

Sep 3, 2020 7:04 AM 5 min play

The Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) controversy has been playing out for nearly 15 years now. While the actual Supreme Court verdict was delivered in October last year, its repercussions continue to plague the telecom sector - and its legacy is likely to sting for many years.

This week, the apex court gave telcos 10 years' time to clear their dues, which include interest and penalties on top of the spectrum charges and license fees.

All players have been affected, but Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel especially. Reliance Jio escaped with a minor bruise, thanks to it being a recent entrant in the sector.

All in all, AGR overwhelmed the telecom industry, which was already overburdened with debt, competition and stifled revenues.

So this week, considering the relevance and significance of the AGR verdict to India's vital telecom industry, let's have a Quiz Knock on just that!

Here's what awaits you:

  1. Let's begin with the basics, shall we? Which of the following best describes the term “Adjusted Gross Revenue”? *Definition that was upheld by the Supreme Court last year
  2. Following the Supreme Court's decision in October 2019, the total amount to the Government was owed by _____ operators. *Overall number, including money owed by companies that have shut operations or are undergoing insolvency proceedings.
  3. The c. ₹1.3Lcr ($17.5bn) total AGR dues include actual dues (for license fees and spectrum charges) while the remaining consist of interest and penalties. What percentage of the dues is interest and penalties?
  4. Which was the first telco to clear its AGR dues?
  5. Let's arrange telcos in decreasing order of AGR dues owed. Which of these options is correctly arranged?
  6. The SC recently gave telcos 10 years' time to clear their dues. As per this timeline, payments will have to be made in installments till March 31st 2031. What was the timeline pitched by the Central Government?
  7. The AGR verdict last year and the judgement passed this week regarding the 10-year timeline was delivered by a panel led by which Supreme Court judge?
  8. The AGR verdict was particularly bad news for Vodafone, and coupled with mounting debts and shrinking customer base, the company was rumoured to have considered exiting its India operations altogether. Which country is Vodafone from?
  9. Following the AGR verdict, some telcos engaged in “self-assessment” of dues, based on which they claimed they owe the Government much less than the verdict stipulated. How did the SC react to this exercise?
  10. Probably the most closely-watched telecom metric is Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). ARPU indicates how much revenue a company can generate from an individual customer. Which of these options correctly arranges ARPU of the three main private telcos in descending order?

PS - You might be interested in previous Quiz Knocks on India's telecommunication industry and the Airtel-Jio telecom rivalry.


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