700 MHz Auction May Fail Due to High Price: GSMA
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.