Monday, 18 November 2019

India’s telecoms minister promises pricing reforms on 5G spectrum

Chris Kelly
Tuesday 15 October 19

India is set to hold its first 5G spectrum auction before the end of the current financial year

India’s telecoms minister, Ravi Shankar, has promised price reforms ahead of the country’s forthcoming 5G spectrum auction. Speaking at the India Mobile Congress event, Shankar told journalists from the Telegraph of India that the government would look into the pricing structure for 5G spectrum…

India’s telecoms minister, Ravi Shankar, has promised price reforms ahead of the country’s forthcoming 5G spectrum auction.

Speaking at the India Mobile Congress event, Shankar told journalists from the Telegraph of India that the government would look into the pricing structure for 5G spectrum.

“Spectrum auctions will be done this financial year... We are undertaking some reforms in spectrum pricing,” Prasad said at the India Mobile Congress 2019.

Two of India's biggest telcos, namely Vodafone-Idea and Bharti Airtel, have already said that they may boycott the auction, unless India's regulator considers lowering its prices, according to a report in the Economic Times of India.

The Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has previously said that it expected to raise a staggering $84 billion (Rs 9.83 trillion) at its forthcoming airwave auction.

“It doesn’t make sense for us to buy at these levels, when the ecosystem won’t be developing for the next two to three years,” a top Bharti Airtel official told the Economic Times.

India has confirmed that it will hold its 5G auction by the end of the current financial year.

Indian operators have made little secret of the fact that they can ill afford the monumental capital investment that 5G demands, whilst simultaneously trading on wafer thin margins. Speaking at a recent industry event in Delhi, Bharti Airtel’s CEO Gopal Vital said that the cost of doing business for telcos in India had to come down.

“This must not be about revenue maximisation. This is about building a strong digital footprint for the country. The cost of the spectrum needs to come down,” he said. 

Also in the news:

Mittal and Ambani to skip India's biggest telecoms show 

Jio's decision to pass on the IUC to users offers hope to India's other telcos 

Airtel to raise $1bn as it looks to expand its 4G networks

Since you're here...

...the Telecoms industry is characterised by constant change and evolution. That's why it's crucial for telecoms professionals to keep up-to-date with what is happening. Join 35,000+ of your peers and sign up to our free newsletter service today, to be in the know about what is going on. PLUS, as a member you can submit your own press releases!

See all membership options

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

Newsletter signup

Quickly get on board and up to date with the telecoms industry