Telecom Panel Asks TRAI to Reconsider Prices for Next Spectrum Auction

Telecom Panel Asks TRAI to Reconsider Prices for Next Spectrum Auction

The apex decision-making body at the Telecom Department has decided to refer to TRAI for reconsideration the recommendations on spectrum auction amid industry’s concerns on pricing. The Digital Communications Commission (DCC) approved the terms and conditions for 5G trials in the country. DCC members felt that TRAI should revisit its recommendations keeping in mind the government’s overall objective of Digital India and Broadband for All.

They also noted that given the intense consolidation in the sector, TRAI should also aim to ensure adequate competition. The Commission comprises senior officials from NITI Aayog, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Electronics and IT, besides Department of Telecom.

The next spectrum auction in India is expected to happen at the start of 2020. Telcos such as Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are against the spectrum auction as they are currently debt-laden. Reliance Jio, on the other hand, is pushing the government for the spectrum auction. Having said that, the government is said to allocate 5G spectrum for the trial purpose this month to telcos. Already telcos are carrying out 5G tests in their labs and the public rollout of 5G is expected to happen in India by the end of 2020.

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