Telecom Operators in India Counting Badly on TRAI

The telcos want the spectrum price to be reduced because they want to lower the network deployment costs. The higher the cost of spectrum, the more time it takes for the telcos to make any return on their investments.

Highlights

  • The private telecom operators including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi) have said that they want up to 90% cut in the reserve price of spectrum bands.
  • The telcos want the spectrum price to be reduced because they want to lower the network deployment costs.
  • The telcos are counting on TRAI to make significant price cut recommendations to the government.

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TRAI

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is currently working on the recommendations that it has to submit to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for the 5G spectrum auctions. The deadline for the regulatory body is March-end. While it is unclear whether TRAI will be able to do it in that particular time frame, it will be very interesting to see what the regulatory body has to say in its recommendations.

The private telecom operators, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi), have said that they want up to a 90% cut in the reserve price of spectrum bands. But will that happen or not is something that TRAI and the ultimately, the DoT will decide.

Why Telcos Want the Spectrum Price to be Reduced?

The telcos want the spectrum price to be reduced because they want to lower the network deployment costs. The higher the cost of spectrum, the more time it takes for the telcos to make any return on their investments.

Even during the previous spectrum auction in 2021, the telcos avoided the 700 MHz frequencies because of steep pricing. This time as well, if there’s steep pricing involved, the spectrum auction might not be a success for both the industry and the government.

Thus, the telcos are counting on TRAI to make significant price cut recommendations to the government.

Satcom Spectrum Allocation

Not just this, the telcos also have a different view on the way spectrum should be given to the satcom players. Jio and Vodafone Idea (Vi) believe that it should be auctioned just the way it has been done for the other communication service providers (CSPs) in India. But Bharti Airtel believes that a different approach should be taken and an administrative allocation of the spectrum should be made.

This is also a grave question that TRAI will need to address, leaving at least one or more telecom operators dissatisfied with its decision.

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Tanay is someone with whom you can chill and talk about technology and life. A fitness enthusiast and cricketer, he loves to read and write.

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