Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) chairman RS Sharma has revealed that the regulator will release the new mobile service quality norms covering call drops in a week. Speaking with PTI, RS Sharma said that “We are almost ready with revised standards for quality of service (for mobile phones). It will be issued within a week.”
At the same time, Sharma also indicated various things about the next spectrum auction.
Next Spectrum Auction Likely to Happen in August
The regulator is also planning to start the public discussion on the next spectrum auction in August. He also revealed that the auction would focus on wireless frequencies for 5G services as well as the premium 700 MHz band.
The PTI report also cites that the “regulator is also likely to come up with stringent parameters for radio-link time-out technology (RLT) which was allegedly being used by telecom operators to reduce call drop incidence.”
That said, with this help of the RLT technology, a call remains connected even if the consumer jumps to a poor network area for which he is charged. “The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) expects to float consultation paper for the next round of spectrum auction,” says the report.
“The draft paper is ready. We will hopefully finalise it within a fortnight. By the first week of August, the consultation paper should be out,” Sharma quoted.
Telecom Operators Asked to Slow Down Auction Process
It is already a known fact that the Indian telecom operators are in a serious financial crisis, which even made them approach the Trai to go slow on the next round of spectrum auction. The report also highlights that the operators are not in a position to purchase more spectrum for the next two years.
“The consultation will bring out issues like should we auction or should we, not auction, reserve price, etc. These will be asked from stakeholders, and then the authority will take a view,” Sharma stated to the publication.
To recall, the last auction was held back in October 2016, where the government managed to sell only the 964.80 MHz spectrum in various bands. Unfortunately, operators did not show any signs of interest on the 700 MHz of the spectrum due to overpricing.
“Even at the end of the five-day auction, nearly 60 percent of the spectrum had remained unsold, including the premium 700MHz band, which found no takers who found it too expensive,” claims the report.
Will 700 MHz Spectrum Still a Pricey One?
The 700 MHz spectrum is an overpriced one of all the spectrums available at the moment. The government quoted Rs. 11,000 crore per MHz back in the October 2016 auction. And the total value of radio waves in the band was over Rs. 4 lakh crores.
Sharma, however, did not reveal or spoke anything about the pricing strategy of the regulator this year for the 700 MHz spectrum. “As far as this consultation is concerned, every issue is an open issue. Now it is a fresh consultation paper. Therefore, we are open on all issues related to timing, pricing, band to auction. All these things will be considered,” Sharma concluded.