5G data: Trai rejects COAI concerns on spectrum prices


NEW DELHI: The Telecom regulator has rejected industry concerns over spectrum pricing for the next auctions, saying it followed international benchmarks and that it expects demand for both 5G and 700 MHz airwaves, which can also be used to offer next-generation services.

“Spectrum in 700 Mhz band can also be used to launch 5G services. All bands are Technology-neutral as of now. Service providers can use any band for any Technology,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) secretary Sunil K Gupta told ET.

He said the 700 MHz band — whose starting price was cut by some 43% from the last sale — already has a developed ecosystem for both, 4G LTE and 5G services. This time round, Trai has cut base price of 700 Mhz frequencies toRs 6,568 crore a unit, from Rs 11,485 crore in 2016, which failed to attract buyers.

The top official is also optimistic of private service operators showing keen interest in 5G airwaves in the 3300-3600 MHz band, which will be sold for the first time in India. “5G will have great potential and positive revenue model, and service providers will be inclined to go for 5G spectrum to launch services,” Gupta said.

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) that represents Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea cellular and Reliance Jio said 5G auction should happen only in second half of 2019.

Gupta believes that 5G is an upcoming Technology which is expected to be launched by 2020-2021, and considering ultra-high speed broadband, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) offerings and newer applications, spectrum in the 3300-3600 MHz would be important for provision of highspeed bandwidth services.

India Ratings and Research, though, on Tuesday said telcos may have limited participation in the 5G spectrum auctions due to their high leverage levels and their existing capex priorities.

Gupta rejected criticism that the proposed base price of Rs 492 crore per MHz for 3300-3600 MHz band was high.

if(geolocation && geolocation != 5) {
s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window, document,’script’,
fbq(‘init’, ‘338698809636220’);
fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’);

Leave a Reply