oppn parties Spectrum release good for telecommunications

News Snippets

  • S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, says Pakistan should release and repatriate Kulbhushan Jadhav immediately
  • Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala asks the Speaker to hold the trust vote latest by 1.30 pm today
  • The Government sends a list of 24 questions to mobile app company that runs video app TikTok seeking answers for anti-national and obscene content carried on the platform
  • Sarvana Bhawan founder P Rajagopal, serving a life term for murder, dies in a Chennai hospital
  • SC allows time till July 31 to the Ayodhya mediation panel
  • IT department attaches "benami" plot worth Rs 400cr in Noida. The plot allegedly belongs to BSP leader [email protected]@@s brother and his wife
  • Dawood [email protected]@@s nephew, Md. Rizwan Iqbal, was arrested from Mumbai airport as he was waiting to board a flight to Dubai
  • Trouble brews in Bihar JD(U)-BJP alliance as Bihar police asks special branch officers to keep tabs on RSS activities
  • Trust vote in Karnataka assembly today. With rebel MLAs deciding to stay away after the SC order, the Congress-JD(S) government is likely to fall as it does not have the numbers
  • Amit Shah says the government will identify and deport illegal immigrants from all parts of the country
  • Reports from Pakistan confirm that Hafiz Saeed has been arrested and sent to jail
  • After the SC order, Karnataka Speaker says he will go by the Constitution in deciding on the resignations of the 16 MLAs
  • Rebel MLAs say they will not attend the trust vote on Thursday
  • Supreme Court rules that rebel MLAs cannot be forced to attend the assembly and vote in the floor test
  • Both the Centre and the Assam government have sought re-verification of up to 20% of draft NRC data
International Court of Justice agrees with India, stays Kulbhushan Jadhav's execution. It asks Pakistan to allow consular access to the accused.
oppn parties
Spectrum release good for telecommunications

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The government has done well to get 15 MHz of spectrum in the 2100 MHz band released from the defence ministry for the department of telecommunications (DoT). This will give a huge boost to the commercial telecommunications in the country and would benefit a large number of telcos whose licenses are nearing expiry.

But there is a catch in the ensuing bidding coming up in February. If the government chooses to retain some of the released spectrum and puts up only, say, 10 MHz for bidding, it will result in panic bidding by companies whose licenses are about to expire. This would result in prices going up unnaturally. It would also result in the companies paying huge sums to the government just to stay in business. How then will they develop other infrastructure necessary for smooth operations will remain a big question mark.

There are two things that the government must do to ensure further rapid growth of telecommunications in the country. First, it should put up all the 15 MHz for competitive bidding. Second, it should keep the reserve price low. By low it does not mean that the companies should be given the spectrum at throwaway prices. But the government should think of maximizing its revenue throughout the licence period rather than charge a huge entry fee. It should strike a balance between the entry charge and yearly charge and should let the companies invest in infrastructure the amount they can save by getting the spectrum at a lower price.

The DoT can now go in for developing the telecommunications for the defence ministry in exchange for releasing of more spectrums. If the defence ministry is satisfied that it needs will be met, it will not be averse to releasing unused spectrum in 2100 Mhz and 1900 MHz bands. These can them be exploited for further telecom development.

It is difficult to imagine how the future scenario will develop, but it is good that this spectrum release has taken place. All that is needed now is a wise approach to the bidding process.