A top panel of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will decide whether the recommendations provided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) are good enough or not. According to an ET Telecom report, the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) is going to take a call on the pricing recommendations provided by the TRAI in the next three to four weeks.
A standing committee of the telecom department will start analysing TRAI’s recommendations within a week.
DoT Officials Acknowledge the Disappointment in TRAI Recommendations
According to the publication’s report, some officials inside the DoT have acknowledged that TRAI recommendations have been disappointing for the industry, even though they are made in the correct spirit.
Whether there will be a further price cut or not will be decided by the cabinet, and this is expected to go to the cabinet in the next four to five weeks.
The official told ET that 5G auctions are likely to take place in May-June 2022 and might not be delayed. DoT had earlier requested TRAI to expedite the submitting process so that 5G services in the country can be started on the independence day, i.e., August 15, 2022.
TRAI had recommended a 36% price cut for the C-band spectrum and a 40% cut for the coveted 700 MHz band airwaves. Analysts have said that the telcos might not spend a lot of money on the upcoming auctions due to the still high reserve price of the airwaves.
According to the global benchmarks, the C-band spectrum is still quite expensive for the telcos in India despite a price cut.
As mentioned above, the final call on the pricing of the airwaves will be taken once the matter goes into the cabinet. For the first time, airwaves in the C-band and millimetre wavelength (mmWave) will be included during the spectrum auctions. More should come soon regarding this in the coming weeks.