Mobile operators say 2G spectrum reserve price still high

Mobile operators say 2G spectrum reserve price still high
The price range recommended by the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) for 2G spectrum is still very high in terms of international best practices and would adversely affect delivery of high quality mobile services in the country, global telecom association GSMA said Saturday.

The GSMA also said spectrum usage charges should be kept at a minimum.

"The EGoM has taken the advice of India's business leaders, economists and mobile industry into consideration. However, this price range is still prohibitive and we remain concerned that over the long term it will hamper the delivery of high quality, affordable and innovative mobile services across the country," said Anne Bouverot, director general of the GSMA, in a statement.

The EGoM which met Friday recommended that the minimum price for spectrum be cut to Rs.14,000-16,000 crore, reducing it from the Rs.18,000 crore suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

TRAI's recommendation had led to an uproar in the industry with telecom operators warning of a 100 percent hike in tariffs if these proposals are accepted and demanding almost a 80 percent cut.

But the regulator has said there should not be more than 10 paise per minute hike in the tariffs.

The Supreme Court Feb 2 ordered cancellation of 122 licences issued in 2008 and asked the telecom department to redistribute these through an auction process.

The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide.
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Further reading: 2G Spectrum, EGoM, GSMA, India, Spectrum, Telecom
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