STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Government efforts on to reform spectrum pricing, says Ravi Shankar Prasad 

The ball is now in the government’s court since TRAI has refused to revise its recommendation price below the Rs 492 crore per MHz of airwaves in the 3300-3600 Mhz band.

Published: 15th October 2019 09:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th October 2019 09:06 AM   |  A+A-

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad speaks during the inauguration of IMC.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad speaks during the inauguration of IMC. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The government is currently in the midst of reform in spectrum pricing, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad assured executives of India’s largest telecom sector companies on Monday.

The minister’s statement at the first day of the inaugural India Mobile Congress came even as representatives of top telecom firms like Rakesh Bharti Mittal of Bharti Airtel, Kumar Mangalam Birla of Vodafone Idea and Mahendra Nahata of Reliance Jio all red-flagged high reserve prices of 5G spectrum a key challenge to the sector while speaking at the event.

“We are working on this and have put a process in place for reforming the pricing,” Prasad said, adding the government was alive to the industry’s concerns. He also reiterated that the upcoming spectrum auctions will be held by the end of this financial year and that the dates are to be announced soon.

Mittal, for his part, had pointed out that high levels of litigation, and high license and spectrum usage charges need to be lowered, while Jio’s member of the board Nahata said that “higher floor prices will lead to 5G networks being unviable and therefore getting delayed”.

“An equilibrium needs to be established between government revenue and overall growth,” he said in what is Jio’s first statement of support for reducing 5G prices.

While the government had earlier planned to finish the auctions by the end of the calendar year, base prices for the spectrum are yet to be finalised in the face of serious opposition to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) recommended spectrum prices. 

The ball is now in the government’s court since TRAI has refused to revise its recommendation price below the Rs 492 crore per MHz of airwaves in the 3300-3600 Mhz band.

The industry reacted positively to the minister’s assurance, with industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) president Director General Rajan Mathews saying that pricing reforms in spectrum will be a big relief for telecom companies.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp