COAI wants government to conduct auction in 2018, says no immediate need for airwaves

Indian GSM telecom operators through their industry body, the Cellular Operators Association of India, have urged the government to avoid conducting spectrum auction this year as there might not be a demand for new spectrum due to the ongoing consolidation among telecom operators.


The industry body has also asked the government to conduct the spectrum auction in 2018 instead of 2017.

“In the immediate context, we don’t expect a whole lot of demand for the spectrum because mergers and harmonisation will lead to efficiencies in terms of use of existing spectrum,” COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews was quoted as saying by PTI.

Notably, Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha recently apprised the Lok Sabha that the government had no immediate plan to provide telcos with an option to buy airwaves annually.

Telecom operators in India would like to wait for more to see how the market dynamics, Mathews said.

Currently Idea Cellular and Vodafone are in a process to merge their businesses to create India’s largest telco. Reliance Communications is separately acquiring Sistema Shyam Teleservices (MTS India), and it is merging wireless operations with Aircel to create a new wireless entity.

India’s leading telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, on the other hand, has inked agreements to acquire Telenor’s India unit and Tikona Digital’s 4G spectrum and business to ramp up 4G spectrum holdings and to increase data capacity in a bid to counter Reliance Jio, a new 4G entrant, which has been offering free services since launch on September 5, 2016.

Mathews said that telcos in India cannot spend three months every year in recalibrating their strategy on the spectrum.

“The problem with having an annual spectrum auction (that is being talked about) is that it requires three months of preparation, hence a 12-month window is too small,” he said, adding that telcos also need time to build network and order equipment after acquiring spectrum.

“Other than the dynamics of licence requirement, a 2-3 year timeframe to conduct auction is more than adequate to allow for predictability and strategic planning by firms,” he said.

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23 Comments on "COAI wants government to conduct auction in 2018, says no immediate need for airwaves"


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Deepak Vasudevan
March 28, 2017 1:06 pm 1:06 PM

Can that Rajan Mathews be fired from COAI and chased away from India?

March 28, 2017 9:18 am 9:18 AM

Of course COAI will say that. They don’t want new players or smaller operators buying more spectrum. They want to bleed competitors till they don’t have money to invest. Very smart.

Kiran Fernandes | Goa
March 27, 2017 8:36 pm 8:36 PM

Just remove that stupid 50% spectrum cap. Jio needs 40MHz in 2300MHz band to be able to provide 2xCA on that band in order to give over 200Mbps 4g speed.
And also 10MHz banwidth in the 850MHz band all over India so that we can experience above 50Mbps in that band. This spectrum cap should at least be raised to 75% instead.

March 28, 2017 9:23 am 9:23 AM

It’s not single cap.

It’s market share cap of 50% along with spectrum cap of 50%.

Which is not conducive environment for merger of idea and voda. Also Jio to acquire more spectrum and subscriber.

March 28, 2017 6:04 am 6:04 AM

Who said 40mhz needed….B40+B03 can do 2CA.

March 28, 2017 10:47 am 10:47 AM

But band 3 will not have that much bandwidth. 20 mhz in band 3 will not be there.
Anywys jio is using 20mhz in band 40 from the tower and the remaining 10mhz will be deployed on the small cell sites (p cell). So I guess CA will not be that great considering band 40 for tower is not gr8.

Kiran Fernandes | Goa
March 28, 2017 10:28 am 10:28 AM

Yes they can, they’re already doing B3 and B5 CA whereas B40 20MHz and B40 10MHz CA will come into effect soon.

March 28, 2017 5:52 am 5:52 AM

Cap is very much required and it will stay. Even in developed countries such caps are put in places so that monopoly is not created in Market.

Jio should have got one Band 7 pan India in last Auction. But may be high cost did not justified the business case
Currently Jio have Band 40, 5 and 3. They can definitely use 3CA is they want to but with the subscriber density it is unlikely and they will stick with 2CA in near future.

Kiran Fernandes | Goa
March 28, 2017 10:53 am 10:53 AM
Band 7? That’s 2600MHz. Or did you mean band 28? That’s 700MHz and that was available in the last auction. They already have 3, 5 and 40 so they weren’t in the mood to add more bands. Jio might add another band in the future, but we aren’t sure which one he will use. Jio will not be able to match the other global operators in terms of speed because Singtel 4g gives over 200Mbps on their 4g network, Some European operators too have much better speeds due to higher spectrum bandwidth. I doubt Jio will be able to give… Read more »
March 28, 2017 12:04 pm 12:04 PM

Sorry…I meant Band 28…700 Mhz

March 28, 2017 12:01 pm 12:01 PM

band 7 is 700Mhz
2600 Mhz is Band 41. which does not have much of ecosystem today .

Well India cant be compared to other countries..Currently I am in Australia and i have seen max speed of 320 Mbps on mobile (band 7 20 Mhz CA with Band 3 15 Mhz–now this are not capacity spectrum but see the speed)
Population Density of India is on high side when compared to most countries. Speed will always be less as more number of people latch on to same quantum of spectrum

March 28, 2017 3:06 am 3:06 AM

But I’ve seen other countries LTE network having 2CA in same 20MHz. But don’t remember the band. Coincidently I just found out flagship phones even support 3CA!!!! For 3CA how much bandwidth a operator needs at what band??

Kiran Fernandes | Goa
March 28, 2017 5:15 am 5:15 AM
Snapdragon 820 supports 3 band CA. Now, there is some operator that has tested 4 or 5 band CA 20MHZ each to get around 1Gbps on 4g. and they use 4×4 MIMO(Multiple In Multiple Out which is 4 antenna in, 4 antenna out). Jio uses 2×2 MIMO. And then you get a ton of bandwidth coming in. But problem is sending data via fiber cables. Currently, Jio’s speed via fiber tops out at 700Mbps for residential connections. They were planning to give 1Gbps fiber per connection. But they couldn’t hit 900Mbps yet. Currently ZTE Gigabit phone probably has the fastest… Read more »
March 29, 2017 2:21 am 2:21 AM

I have Oneplus 3 with QSD 820. But I always get only 1 carrier in LTE CA Matrix (Network signal guru app). If Jio really supports 2CA, I should get 2 carriers there! which is what called LTE+ right?

March 28, 2017 10:27 am 10:27 AM

there is some operator that has tested 4 or 5 band CA 20MHZ each to get around 1Gbps on 4g. and they use 4×4 MIMO(Multiple In Multiple Out which is 4 antenna in, 4 antenna out). Jio uses 2×2 MIMO. That’s from S7 edge in my opinion

Kiran Fernandes | Goa
March 29, 2017 8:42 am 8:42 AM

S7 edge? That’s 20×3 band CA. Nope, not 4×4 MIMO. ZTE Gigabit phone uses 4×4 MIMO.

March 29, 2017 10:44 am 10:44 AM

The Galaxy S7 has the snapdragon 820 chipset (first chip to support 4X4 MIMO), so it’s safe to assume the LG G5, HTC M10, Note 7 and the LG V20 will work with the new technology.

March 29, 2017 10:40 am 10:40 AM

There is a video on YouTube check it out….Why I will lie?

March 29, 2017 2:22 am 2:22 AM

If Jio uses 2×2 MIMO, what does AVoId 4G use?

Kiran Fernandes | Goa
March 27, 2017 11:39 pm 11:39 PM

Edit: Sorry, I meant lowered to 25% at least.

March 27, 2017 9:58 pm 9:58 PM

Wow. This is one of your sensible posts.

March 28, 2017 6:10 am 6:10 AM

Except you all are sensible and have some logic. You don’t, only hatred. U always want magic or something like extreme radicalism.

March 27, 2017 9:33 pm 9:33 PM

Exactly! The cap needs to be removed. Hope TRAI implements it soon.