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Jio President urges India to enhance telecom spectrum availability

Reliance Jio President Mathew Oommen said India needs to beef up its spectrum pipeline for telecom services and urged the authorities to release more sub-10Ghz spectrum. He also urged the authorities to ensure that Indian telcos have an adequate quantum of spectrum for providing mobile services.

“I sincerely urge the regulatory authorities and policymakers to ascertain how India needs to expedite its spectrum pipeline, as India’s operators already work with the least amount of spectrum per subscriber compared to anywhere else in the world, especially in the sub-10GigaHertz (GHz) spectrum. Let us not fall behind in any way,” Oommen said in a video address at an industry event on March 14.

The senior executive highlighted the need to protect investments in the telecom sector, saying telecom is an indispensable and critical pillar of the new economy.

“The industry is extremely capital-intensive. It is important that our investments in telecom and assets are protected at all times. Cutting the fibre or destroying the critical telecom infrastructure can no longer just be ridiculed. Rather, it must have lawful consequences,” he said.

India’s next spectrum auction is set to begin on May 20. All the available spectrum in the 800, 900, 1,800, 2,100, 2,300, 2,500, 3,300 MHz, and 26 GHz bands will be put to auction at a base price of Rs 96,317.65 crore. Spectrum held by certain companies undergoing insolvency and expiring in 2024 on completion of the term will also be put to auction.

Oommen emphasised that the country must ensure universal connectivity for all citizens to reach its maximum potential. Moreover, they must have the necessary tools and skills to participate actively in India’s new economy and growth.

“Sustainable inclusiveness is a core driving force for Jio’s growth strategy. And it is essential for reaching the Viksit Bharat goals set by our prime minister,” he said.

He also urged policymakers in every state to engage collaboratively to ensure that individuals cannot disrupt essential telecom infrastructure without facing penalties.

Referring to the Sangam Digital Twin initiative of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Oommen said it will empower telecom and digital service providers to develop a digital replica of the nation’s telecom and digital infrastructure assets.

“I strongly believe that this initiative has the potential to establish a digital replica of all our essential infrastructure, including the financial, health, energy, and transportation sectors, all interconnected by the telecom network. This advancement will pave the way for creating the next generation of highly dependable and secure critical public infrastructure, comparable to UPI and Aadhaar,” he said. Moneycontrol

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