COAI submits new recommendations to telecom ministry

COAI Director General SP Kochhar has submitted its recommendations to the new Government on the issues faced by the telecom industry in India. Major telecom operators are BSNL, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, India telecom minister
Jyotiraditya Scindia is the new telecom minister of India.

COAI is seeking 1200 MHz spectrum in the 6 GHz mid-band spectrum to expand the 5G networks. Indian telecoms received 800 MHz in the 6 GHz frequency during the last spectrum auction.

The latest report from GSMA says that India can save as much as $10 billion annually in 5G network deployment by using 6 GHz spectrum.

COAI wants India to strategically plan the 6 GHz resources for 6G services. India spearheaded 6G innovations through initiatives such as Bharat 6G Alliance and Bharat 6G Vision.

COAI urged India government to reduce the price of spectrum. Indian telecoms will be participating at the spectrum auction for 5G by June-end.

India’s spectrum costs as a proportion of annual recurring telecom revenues are much higher than key global markets such as China, Germany, UK, Brazil or even neighbouring Pakistan, according to research firm CLSA.

“We urge TRAI to revisit the spectrum pricing recommendation, in line with global norms. We request TRAI to do away with the minimum rollout obligations, giving TSPs the freedom to decide the rollout strategy upon acquiring the spectrum,” SP Kochhar said.

COAI has also requested to implement a fair share data network usage policy. COAI wants companies such as Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, among others, to share their revenue with TSPs who provide the telecom infrastructure for their data requirements.

COAI wants India to increase the number of test labs to support the testing of a massive volume of products.

COAI also wants exemption on customs duties for products that enter India for testing and certification temporarily. If the product is unfit for use after testing, the law must allow local scrapping, COAI said in a statement.

COAI says the incidents of telecom equipment theft, especially the RRU and BBU, have grown multi-fold over the past few months. Though operators have adopted several measures to prevent this, they have not been able to develop a fool-proof method. Further, there are several legal and technical challenges that make it difficult for them to recover the stolen equipment or to fully recover the loss.  COAI wants India to take up the issue immediately.

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