Telcos Demand 6 GHz Airwaves and OTT Players to Share Revenues

COAI is an industry body representing the private telecom operators in the country. There is a need for 1200 MHz airwaves available in the 6 GHz band for the deployment of 5G, said COAI.

Highlights

  • The Indian telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio have demanded the government offer up the 6 GHz spectrum for auctions.
  • The debate is ongoing whether the 6 GHz airwaves should be delicensed for Wi-Fi use or should it be given to the telcos via an auction route.
  • COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India), in its recommendations to the newly formed government, said that the 6 GHz mid-band spectrum is crucial to expanding the 5G networks in India.

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telcos demand 6 ghz airwaves and ott

The Indian telecom operators, including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and Reliance Jio have demanded the government offer up the 6 GHz spectrum for auctions. The debate is ongoing whether the 6 GHz airwaves should be delicensed for Wi-Fi use or should it be given to the telcos via an auction route. COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India), in its recommendations to the newly formed government, said that the 6 GHz mid-band spectrum is crucial to expanding the 5G networks in India.




COAI is an industry body representing the private telecom operators in the country. There is a need for 1200 MHz airwaves available in the 6 GHz band for the deployment of 5G, said COAI. According to a GSMA estimate, with the 6 GHz spectrum, telcos will be able to save up to $10 billion annually in rolling out 5G.

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"Over the past couple of years, India has made a giant leap in 6G innovations through initiatives such as Bharat 6G Alliance and Bharat 6G Vision which envisage India to be a leader in 6G innovations and deployment. To achieve this mission, the industry needs massive spectrum resources which can deliver the higher capacity required by 6G. Thus, we urge the government to strategically plan the 6 GHz resources for 6G as well," said COAI.

At the same time, the industry body asked the government to lower the reserve price of spectrum/airwaves as it is quite high compared to the other countries.

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Make the OTT Players Pay: COAI

COAI has again requested the government to make the OTT (over-the-top) communication players pay a share of their revenues to the telcos. It is the telcos that are investing in building the networks and capacity while OTT players are riding on top of it without any cost. The issue is not with the small-scale OTT players. COAI wants the giants; because of whom the data traffic has surged and the telcos have to invest more in their networks to manage the traffic; should pay up.

COAI said, "We are not targeting the smaller players, startups and MSMEs whose traffic generation is negligible compared to that from the LTGs whose services consume large Terabytes of data every day and the revenue they amass in the form of subscription fee and advertisement costs are repatriated to their parent countries. This causes huge loss, estimated to the tune of INR 10,000 crores, to the Government exchequer."

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