COAI chief Rajan Mathews says 4 decisions will pave way for telecoms revival

COAI director general Rajan Mathews says 4 important decisions will pave way for telecom operators’ (telecoms) revival. The sector will be able to put new strategies in place once they have more clarity on these issues.

These decisions include: spectrum sharing and 3G roaming; TRAI’s pricing of spectrum and auction; spectrum refarming and renewal of 2G licenses; and third party involvement in penalty issues.

According to the COAI chief, the sharing of spectrum — under the new Unified Licensing regime — will automatically put an end to 3G roaming related issues.

“We hope that the new NTP 2012 will pave way for spectrum sharing and trading. It will be solve 3G roaming. If spectrum can be shared, 3G can be offered anywhere in India,” COAI director general Rajan Mathews told

COAI director general Rajan Mathews on spectrum

However, COAI chief is not considering M&A guidelines are so vital for the revival of telecom sector. The present business condition is not conducive for telecom operators to further in merger and acquisitions. “The telecom sector should be back into action so that M&As will happen,” he added.

The second important aspect — TRAI’s decision on spectrum pricing and auction, which will happen before the 2014 election, will give clarity on how the sector is moving ahead after the period of turbulence in 2012. ( COAI chief Rajan Mathews urges telecom ministry to release 500 MHz spectrum to ensure better broadband )

Government decision on the price of unsold spectrum price 2G airwaves in 900 Mhz and 1800 Mhz band and also for spectrum used for CDMA service in 13 circles that remained unsold will be vital for the telecom industry.

The telecom regulator in April 2012 had recommended over 10 times high price for pan-India airwaves compared to the amount paid by companies in 2008.

“The heads of TRAI and DoT understand the sector better now. We expect them to assist the stakeholders to take the industry to the next level. We see positive response from the government. Things are changing now. We hope to bring back the sector to our shiny days,” Mathews said.

Mathews said that the involvement of a third party in solving the penalty cases will be a good step to bring back confidence to the system. (Airtel made a few lakh of rupee SLD revenue in 2002-05, but faces Rs 650 crore penalty )

Baburajan K
[email protected]