700 MHz Auc­tion May Fail Due to High Price: GSMA

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - Our Bureau

Kolkata: Lon­don-based global mo­bile op­er­a­tors’ lobby group GSM As­so­ci­a­tion (GSMA) has ex­horted the Tele­com Com­mis­sion to re­duce the start­ing price of 4G air­waves in the cov­eted 700 Mhz band rec­om­mended by the tele­com reg­u­la­tor, fail­ing which, the air­waves ‘could re­main un­sold’ in the next spec­trum sale likely in July. “The GSMA is con­cerned that, if the Tele­com Com­mis­sion main­tains the cur­rent re­serve prices for (the) 700 Mhz spec­trum, there is the risk of a failed auc­tion or, at a min­i­mum, se­ri­ous lim­i­ta­tions on in­vest­ment ca­pa­bil­ity in next gen­er­a­tion net­works, deny­ing the en­abling so­cial and eco­nomic power of this important spec­trum re­source to the cit­i­zens of In­dia,” said John Giusti, chief reg­u­la­tory of­fi­cer, GSMA, in a state­ment on Thurs­day.

In Jan­uary, the tele­com reg­u­la­tor had pegged the base price of a unit of 700 Mhz spec­trum at .₹ 11,485 crore, which trans­lates to .₹ 57,425 crore (or about $8.5 bil­lion) for a pan-In­dia 5 MHz block. Tele­com Com­mis­sion, the high­est de­ci­sion mak­ing body of the tele­com depart­ment (DoT), is slated to take a fi­nal call on the pric­ing on April 30. The de­ci­sion will then need to be cleared by the Cabi­net.

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