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Updated: March 26, 2013 00:03 IST

'Spectrum can’t be a tool to raise short-term revenue'

Special Correspondent
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GSMA wants Centre to reduce the proposed reserve prices.
GSMA wants Centre to reduce the proposed reserve prices.

The GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) Association (GSMA) lobby, citing the lukewarm response to the recent auction of spectrum, has asked the Indian government to desist from charging exorbitant prices for spectrum in the long-term interest of the sector.

In anticipation of the auction of 1800 MHz, 900 MHz and 800 MHz spectrum later this month, Anne Bouverot, Director-General, GSMA, has issued a statement saying that the government should not to use spectrum as a means to raise short-term revenue.

“The absence of bidders for the 1800 MHz and 900 MHz and a lone bidder in 800 MHz for the spectrum auction earlier this month, which includes frequencies that remained unsold from the November 2012 auction, is a clear signal that mobile operators are not willing to pay unreasonably high prices for spectrum,” Ms. Bouverot said. “The GSMA reiterates its call to the Indian Government not to use spectrum as a means to raise short-term revenues and instead to significantly reduce the proposed reserve prices for the upcoming auction. Focus should be on the longer term and creating a healthy business environment where the mobile industry can invest with confidence,” she said in the statement.

Ms. Bouverot said that acquiring spectrum was only the first step before making the necessary investment in network deployment to deliver mobile services to consumers.

Unreasonably high reserve prices

“Unreasonably high reserve prices lead to spectrum remaining unsold, delays in the delivery of mobile services and ultimately, an increase in consumer tariffs,” she said.

“We call on the Indian Government to restore a sustainable environment for investment in telecoms, and continue the success story of mobile, which has already had a transformative impact on the country’s society and economy over the past decade,” Ms. Bouverot said.

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