Indian telecom industry rejects TRAI recommendations for refarming

Telecom Lead India: Cellular Operators Association of India
(COAI), the top telecom industry body for GSM operators, and seven Indian
telecom operators including Airtel, Idea Cellular, Loop Cellular, Telenor
India, Videocon and Vodafone have urged government to auction all available

They are demanding that the reserve price for the spectrum
should be reduced by 80 percent.

Operators should be allowed to discover the true spectrum

While urging the government to reject TRAI recommendation
for refarming operators want to dispense with rollout obligations for the auctioned

As per sixth demand, Indian operators are looking for level
playing field in the case of dual spectrum operators.

Dual spectrum players such as Reliance Communciations and
Tata Teleservices will continue to hold the same GSM spectrum at 10 times lower
price of Rs.1650 crore while new bidders and operators pay Rs.18,000 crore for
the same.

The reserve price for 700 MHz does not make sense.
Supporting ecosystem for liberalized spectrum is nonexistent at present and at
least five years away. Less than five percent of the present customers use 3G,
and handsets for 4G are hardly available. For LTE-TDD the voice standards are
yet to be defined.

spectrum policy will affect mobile broadband growth in India: GSMA

Earlier GSMA too said that TRAI’s spectrum auction recommendations
will escalate mobile spectrum cost and affect mobile broadband growth in Indian
telecom market.

At present, broadband customer base stands at around 14
million in India. TRAI suggested that the 700 MHz spectrum should be auctioned
in 2014. This will affect the mobile broadband expansion plans of major
operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Tata Teleservices, Idea Cellular,
among others, GSMA said.

GSMA said its member operators in India have invested
heavily and worked hard to deliver innovative services to consumers.

“They are concerned about the TRAI recommendations,
which have the potential to stifle investment in India’s mobile sector. The
GSMA and its members are seeking an open dialogue with the Government of India
on the licensing of the critical spectrum with the aim of finding a solution
that will drive investment and growth in mobile communications and more broadly
in the Indian economy,” said Anne
Bouverot, director general, GSMA.

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