NEW DELHI: Telecom industry has expressed its disappointment at Trai’s recommendations on 5G spectrum pricing. The Cellular Operator Association of India (COAI), which represents all the three telecom operators -- Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel -- said the Trai has only recommended 35-40% cut in spectrum prices as against their demand of 90% lower rates.
The association called these recommendations one step backwards than forward towards building a Digitally-Connected India. “Throughout the consultation process, industry had presented extensive arguments based on global research and benchmarks, for significant reduction in spectrum prices. Industry recommended 90% lower price, and to see only about 35-40% reduction recommended in prices, therefore is deeply disappointing,” said COAI in a statement.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 11 April 2022 released recommendations on Auction of 5G spectrum, in which it recommended to cut the base price of the coveted 700 MHz band by 40% and 3300-3670 MHz band by 36%.
Charu Paliwal, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research opined that the amount of reduction is still not enough to bring some relief to debt-ridden telecom industry. “Spectrum prices in India are very high compared to global benchmarks. On the contrary, Indian telecom operators still offer some of the cheapest mobile tariff plans in the world,” he said.
“Despite the hike in late 2021. Considering financial stress of the operators, their inability to raise tariffs due to fierce competition, plus the 5G ecosystem is yet to adequately develop, keeping high base price will impact the ability of operators to fully participate in the upcoming auctions,” said Paliwal.
TRAI cuts base price of 700 MHz band by 40%
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 11 April 2022 released recommendations on Auction of 5G spectrum, in which it recommended to cut the base price of the coveted 700 MHz band by 40% and 3300-3670 MHz band by 36%