Jio and Airtel Firmly Stand Apart in Spectrum Auction Opinion

Reliance Jio wants everyone who wants access to the spectrum for providing communication services to get it from the spectrum auctions. This ensures that there is overall transparency maintained. Further, since spectrum is a scarce resource, everyone should have an equal chance to get it.

Highlights

  • All the industry experts and stakeholders have submitted their opinions to the TRAI for its consultation paper regarding the upcoming 5G spectrum auction.
  • Reliance Jio wants everyone who wants access to the spectrum for providing communication services to get it from the spectrum auctions.
  • Airtel wants the spectrum for satcom players to be strategically allocated. But this will then mean that the government will have to reserve spectrum specially for the satcom players.

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Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel

All the industry experts and stakeholders have submitted their opinions to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for its consultation paper regarding the upcoming 5G spectrum auction. Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel firmly stand apart when it comes to the views on the spectrum for the satellite communications (satcom) sector.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, told ET in an exclusive interaction that the spectrum is not auctioned for satcom operators in any part of the world; thus, India should not do it either.

However, Matthew Oommen, President of Reliance Jio told ET that India should lead the way in changing the practice of allocating spectrum to the satcom operators. Oommen said that just because it was being allocated for years around the world doesn’t mean the same process should continue.

Jio president doesn’t believe it is right for India to allocate spectrum.

Reliance Jio Wants Everyone to Go Spectrum Auction Route

Reliance Jio wants everyone who wants access to the spectrum for providing communication services to get it from the spectrum auctions. This ensures that there is overall transparency maintained. Further, since the spectrum is a scarce resource, everyone should have an equal chance to get it. Thus, Jio believes the spectrum auctions are the best manner for India when it comes to the spectrum for satcom operators.

However, Airtel wants the spectrum for satcom players to be strategically allocated. But this will then mean that the government will have to reserve spectrum, especially for the satcom players. Thus, private telcos won’t be able to get hands-on the reserved spectrum for providing 5G services.

Mittal has warned that Jio if there is an auction for giving access to spectrum for everyone, then there might be a possibility that none of the satcom players participates. This is something that TRAI needs to consider and then recommend to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) about what needs to be done.

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