The unsold mobile spectrum has cost India Rs 5.4 lakh crore in economic loss since 2010, says BIF President T.V. Ramachandran.
The quantum of 5G spectrum on auction in the country is inadequate and pegged at a very high reserve price, Broadband India Forum (BIF) said on Monday.
The current reserve price of 5G spectrum is approximately 5 to 6 times higher than in other countries and needs urgent revision, Broadband India Forum (BIF) President T.V. Ramachandran said in a statement.
According to Ramachandran, 40 percent of spectrum has remained unsold since the 2010 auctions and this unsold spectrum has cost India Rs 5.4 lakh crore in economic loss.
At the last auctions held in October 2016, which was India’s largest spectrum sale, more than 1,300 MHz of radio spectrum, that is around 59 per cent, remained unsold, leading to significant unrealised potential.
Taking all the six auctions held since 2010, only about 60 per cent spectrum has been sold, it noted.
Telcos can’t afford the current reserve prices
The BIF urged the government to ensure spectrum adequacy and reasonable reserve price for successful 5G auctions.
According to the broadband body, India requires more spectrum to support surging data traffic. India now has the highest data traffic in the world but has one of the lowest allocations.
Telecom companies have also expressed that the prices suggested by regulator TRAI are unsustainable and too high.
A senior Bharti Airtel official told a news agency that they can’t afford the reserve prices indicated by TRAI in the ballpark of Rs 50,000-55,000 crore for 100 MHz.