Trai to initiate in-depth consultation on spectrum issues, valuation methodology

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Vodafone Idea officially starts operation as largest Indian telco

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) will subsequent 12 months initiate an in-depth consultation on common rules associated to spectrum together with its valuation methodology, Chairman R S Sharma stated Wednesday.

Sharma – who chaired a gathering with telcos together with Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio and Airtel on Wednesday to talk about points to be prioritised for 2019 – stated the upcoming consultation is not going to have any bearing on the previous suggestions of Trai on the public sale of radio waves.

Trai, in August this 12 months, had beneficial guidelines and costs for the subsequent spherical of spectrum public sale that included radiowaves for 5G cell providers and different bands.

“We have received suggestions on spectrum-related issues, policy relating to spectrum auction, reserve price valuation methodology, spectrum leasing, surrendering, trading…all these things will be deliberated upon. We will bring out a consultation paper which will have all spectrum-related issues,” Sharma informed reporters right here.

He famous that Telecom firms had been of the view that valuation methodology getting used for spectrum had sure “deficiencies” and “inconsistencies”.

Trai will, therefore, have a look at all facets of the spectrum together with pricing, the style through which it’s valued, how usually ought to auctions be held.

Issues pertaining to backhaul spectrum that augments indicators between cell towers and new spectrum bands for the aim would even be a part of the forthcoming consultation.

Other points that will probably be taken up by the regulator subsequent 12 months embrace fiberisation, evaluate of Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) and creation of broadband readiness index for States — an idea enshrined within the National Digital Communications Policy.

With a view to enhance fibre community within the nation, the regulator will contemplate steps that may be taken to enhance mounted line broadband, and mull new enterprise fashions that may create fibre-only gamers.

“How do you ensure that fiberisation increases in the country? Can you ensure new business models that create only fibre players or netcos so they can provide fibre to other entities on a non-discriminatory manner, much like tower Companies do today,” Sharma stated.

There might also be discussions with the states on points associated to Right of Way permission.

“The Telecom operators were of the view that we can consult the states and see if there can be a model where states are encouraged to participate in fiberisation of the country,” he stated.

The regulatory framework for IPTV and re-designing of the USOF mannequin might also be taken up subsequent 12 months.

“USOF currently has certain objectives. The question is whether in the changed reality situation we need to redefine the objective of USO Fund. So we will consult and provide our recommendations to the government,” Sharma stated.

The assembly was attended by senior officers of Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio in addition to state-owned Companies BSNL and MTNL.

The trade, which isn’t producing sufficient money to even service loans, flagged points round excessive levies and GST refunds in the course of the assembly with Trai.

The trade has sought to decrease of the relevant GST, at the moment at 18 per cent for Telecom providers, and likewise raised considerations round refunds.

“We will not give any recommendations on that as there is already a framework for GST,” Sharma stated including that the regulator has additionally already instructed reduce in spectrum utilization prices and licence payment.

The Telecom sector has been bruised by falling tariffs, eroding profitability, and mounting debt within the face of stiff competitors triggered by disruptive choices of Reliance Jio, owned by Mukesh Ambani.

The trade has sought pressing aid measures entailing debt restructuring, reduce in levies like licence payment and spectrum prices, and launch of GST enter tax credit score locked up with the federal government.

Billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla, who heads Vodafone-Idea – the brand new entity publish merger of Vodafone India and Idea cellular – met Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha and his division’s prime bureaucrat Aruna Sundararajan not too long ago and raised concern to overstress within the Telecom sector.

Birla is claimed to have expressed concern over Rs 30,000 crore locked up on account of GST fee below ‘reverse cost mechanism’, and sought to defer of the fee schedule for spectrum.

(With inputs from businesses.)

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