Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi), and Reliance Jio have deliberately avoided purchasing the 700 MHz spectrum in the past because of its steep base price. The telcos were expecting the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the regulator to reduce the base price of spectrum in different frequency bands.
According to an ET Telecom report, Fitch Ratings said that the regulator is expected to recommend a lower base price for the spectrum in the 700 MHz and 3300 MHz - 3.6 MHz bands. These bands will be crucial for the telcos when it will come to rolling out 5G services in India.
India Might See Arrival of 5G by 2023
Fitch Ratings said that the spectrum auctions for 5G airwaves are expected to take place in 2022. However, the ratings firms said that the commercial launch is expected in 2023. If this is correct, India will have to wait longer to see live 5G networks.
In September, DoT had asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to recommend new prices for the mmWave bands, 3.5 GHz bands, and 700 MHz bands. The telecom department had also asked the regulator to include the new 600 MHz bands in its recommendations. The 600 MHz band will help the operators in providing better coverage to the users.
Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio’s Revenues Will be Boosted by 8%-12% in 2022
Fitch Ratings said that Airtel and Jio’s revenues are going to grow by 8% to 12% in 2022. Further, the ratings firm said that the average revenue per user (ARPU) of the telcos will also increase on the back of possible tariff hikes and migration of legacy network users to 4G services.
Both Jio and Airtel have already set the ball rolling to convert legacy network users in India to 4G consumers with their smartphone offers. Only Vodafone Idea is not doing anything to attract 2G customers to 4G services, which might change soon.