Up until recently, the government saw the spectrum auctions as an opportunity to maximise its revenues. However, that is changing now and in the words of Ashwini Vaishnaw, telecom minister of India, the “public good” element has led to a change in the thought process of the government and now efforts are being made to bring a balance in earning and providing services to the poor.
The telcos would have to spend huge sums of money in the spectrum auctions which led them to deploy the spectrum in urban areas where they would be able to break even on their investment as fast as possible.
Thus, the poor areas of the country or the rural areas weren’t getting the kind of interest from the telecom companies that they should have.
Government Will Take a Decision on What TRAI Comes Up With
According to an NDTV report, speaking at an event organised by the industry body CII, Vaishnaw said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is working on coming up with a final document related to the spectrum price and urged the industry and its stakeholders to offer suggestions to the regulatory for the same.
The government’s final decision on pricing will come after TRAI has offered its suggestions. This time around, the spectrum auctions will also see airwaves in the 600 MHz band getting included.
The COVID-19 pandemic was an eye-opener for everyone around the world and the pandemic established the importance of telecom services for each person living in India.
But with everything turning digital, Vaishnaw said that there is a strong focus on bringing necessary regulations as well. According to Vaishnaw, the internet brings both good and bad and that is why a balance and a check needs to be brought into allowing the platforms in the internet to offer their services.
The 5G spectrum auction is likely to take place between April – May 2022, if there are no further delays.