Industry welcomes 5G spectrum base price cut by 40%
However, COAI terms spectrum pricing as too high
New Delhi: Leading industry bodies on Tuesday hailed the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's (TRAI) recommendations of around 35-40 per cent cut in the reserve price for 5G spectrum for mobile services, terming it historic and which can finally put India on the world 5G map.
The telecom regulator has put forward a mega auction plan valued at over Rs 7.5 trillion at the base price allocated over 30 years. According to industry experts, the TRAI has mooted the concept of sharing of spectrum between the satellite and 5G industry in a harmonious manner.
On the other hand, industry body COAI has expressed deep disappointment over TRAI's recommendations on 5G and termed the spectrum pricing suggested by the regulator as "too high". Given the recent reforms for telecom sector announced by the government, these recommendations are "one step backwards than forward" towards building a digitally connected India, COAI said in a statement. The Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) is an apex industry body and its members include Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea.
"These are one of the most holistic, far-sighted and balanced recommendations in the last 25 years of the Indian telecom industry," said T.V. Ramachandran, President of Broadband India Forum (BIF). The entire gamut of available spectrum in 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3300-3670 MHz and 24.25-28.5 GHz spectrum bands has been recommended by the TRAI to be put to auction. "This would be extremely useful keeping in view that only limited spectrum is available for 5G in the 700 MHz band. The sub-GHz spectrum bands are extremely useful for indoor coverage in metros and for rural coverage," the BIF said in a statement.
In future auctions, access spectrum will be assigned for a period of 30 years as against 20 years now. The BIF said that the TRAI has recommended the reserve price to be 1.5 times the reserve price for 20 years for the respective band, which is a constructive step for the industry.