India's largest telecom operator Reliance Jio has asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to hold periodic spectrum auctions. The Mukesh Ambani-owned telco says periodic auctions will help telcos meet their network requirements and also removes the hassle of waiting for radiowaves to upgrade the network infrastructure. This is the second time in the last two months we saw Reliance Jio approaching government bodies regarding the lack of frequent spectrum auctions. To recall, Jio had written to DoT in September that it should bring back the policy of annual spectrum auctions.
Jio Urges Trai to Hold Regular Spectrum Auctions
Replying via comments to Trai's recent consultation paper on 'Roadmap to Promote Broadband Connectivity and Enhanced Broadband Speed' published on August 20, Jio urged that the four-year gap in spectrum auction by the government is 'inexplicable.' The telco also highlighted that a "huge amount of spectrum remains unutilised and unproductive." This news is first published by PTI.
In September this year, Reliance Jio approached Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash seeking clarity on why DoT decided to pause the policy which ensures yearly spectrum auctions. In its letter to the Telecom Secretary, Jio said that timely spectrum auctions are required to meet the data demand.
"We submit that mobile broadband is now ubiquitous, however, the exponential growth of demand has now started to impact broadband speeds. The only way to avoid this and ensure that the mobile broadband speeds are comparable to equally large or comparable economies is by putting more spectrum in the hands of the operators," replied Jio as a comment on the consultation paper from Trai published on August 20.
Reliance Jio has been actively pushing for spectrum auction to procure 5G airwaves. But on the flip side, Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) are actively looking for the postponement of the spectrum auction considering their financial health at the moment. The next spectrum auction could take place between January-March 2021, but nothing is confirmed for now from the house of Trai.