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High 5G spectrum prices may push players up against the wall: COAI DG – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Apex telecom trade physique COAI has asserted that spectrum pricing must be saved conducive to market circumstances as 5G entails upfront capital investments with monetisation unfold over a protracted-haul, and pricing radiowaves excessive will solely push the players up against the wall.
The stage is about for Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to return out with its suggestions on 5G spectrum pricing and different modalities for upcoming auctions, and the announcement from the sector watchdog is anticipated anytime now.
Norms can even be labored out for brand new frequencies corresponding to 526-698 MHz and millimetre band, that’s 24.25 – 28.5 GHz, along with bands corresponding to 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3670 MHz.
The public sale may be carried out inside 2-2.5 months of regulator popping out with spectrum suggestions, which might put the mega-occasion in the ballpark of June timeframe, a telecom division supply mentioned.
The trade has been aggressively pitching for a drastic 80-90 per cent minimize in prices of spectrum for subsequent-era providers, which can usher in extremely excessive-speeds and spawn new-age providers and enterprise fashions.
Advocating decrease prices for spectrum, COAI Director General, SP Kochhar instructed PTI: “5G does not have any use cases which can be monetised in a quarter, so it is going to be a long-haul. At the same time, the capital investments have to be made in a particular period of time.”
It is pertinent to say right here that final time round, TRAI had steered Rs 492 crore per MHz for spectrum in prime 5G band of 3300-3600 MHz, which meant {that a} cell operator going for 100 MHz wanted to shell out a whopping Rs 49,200 crore for all-India spectrum.
However, frequencies on this band weren’t put up for public sale in the earlier spherical, as the frequency vary couldn’t be vacated in time and the base worth of the radiowaves in the spectrum band was seen to be very costly for 5G providers.
In March 2021, the authorities went forward with public sale of spectrum in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz bands. A complete of 2,308.80 MHz spectrum value Rs 4 lakh crore at reserve worth in several bands have been placed on the block, of which 855.60 MHz quantum was offered in the public sale, leading to complete successful bids value Rs 77,820.81 crore. No bids have been obtained in 700 MHz and 2500 MHz bands.
Kochhar mentioned that pegging the prices excessive this time round would push the telcos in a tough state of affairs, to say the least.
“If telcos have to pay high price for spectrum, their back will be to the wall…,” Kochhar mentioned.
Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI’s) members embody Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.
According to Kochhar, the advantages that may accrue to industries across-the-board with introduction of 5G, would far outweigh the realisations from spectrum auctions, per se.
And whereas 5G will see client and enterprise functions, the uptake on client aspect might be a complete lot quicker.
“Government must not miss the woods for the trees and therefore they must see it (auction, pricing) in its entirety, in the long-term. They must go for spectrum pricing that is conducive to the market conditions…as per our discussions with our members, it should be reduced by 80-90 per cent on all bands,” Kochhar mentioned.
Telecom regulator, TRAI, in November-end final yr, had launched an in depth session paper to debate threadbare the modalities for public sale of spectrum throughout a number of bands, together with pricing, quantum and different circumstances — getting ready the groundwork for upcoming 5G auctions.
The spectrum auctions are slated to be carried out in 2022, to facilitate the rollout of 5G cell providers inside 2022-23, by personal telecom suppliers.
TRAI’s suggestions will contact on essential points like valuation and reserve worth of spectrum, together with 5G, quantum of spectrum, block dimension, eligibility circumstances for participation in public sale, rollout obligations, spectrum cap, and give up of spectrum.
Telecom service suppliers are conducting 5G trials in Delhi, Mumbai, Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Lucknow, Gurgugram, Gandhinagar, Chandigarh, Pune and Varanasi together with city, semi-city and rural areas.





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