The government should auction the entire spectrum available with it at a realistic reserve price as early as possible for quick roll-out of broadband services, said the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), the industry body representing GSM players.
“Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has said that we will need at least 500 Mhz of spectrum to meet the demand that we have. What we are suggesting is that it is time that we put all the spectrum for auction,” COAI Director-General Rajan S. Mathews said.
He was speaking at the LTE India 2013 event held here. Pricing was important, he said. He was hopeful that the government would refer this matter to the TRAI for its input.
Supreme Court order
Mr. Mathews pointed out a Supreme Court order which had asked the government to put the entire 2G spectrum vacated by the cancellation of 122 telecom licences for bidding.
“Under the Supreme Court order, we will be able to put up all spectrum in 1800 Mhz band. We are dithering. Why is it taking too long?” he asked.
He suggested that the government should also get 15 Mhz of spectrum released from the Defence. “That will help 3G bandwidth issue that we are facing,” he said.
Telecom and defence ministries have already entered into an agreement for the vacation of this 15 Mhz spectrum after BSNL completes fibre optic network for the forces.
The government, he said, should also auction 700 Mhz of spectrum that was considered as the most efficient frequency spot for 4G services at present as soon as possible.