The PHD Chamber of Commerce has urged the government to defer the roll-out of 5G in India and reintroduce the technology when the “usage and solutions are more mature to get better valuations in the auction”.
“If it is auctioned now, license fee remains frozen for the next twenty years. Even the telecom players would be able to monetize the band only after 3-5 years. Both the government and players will lose money,” said Sandeep Aggarwal, chairman of the telecom committee of the organisation.
Last month, the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) decided to accept all the recommendations made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on spectrum auctions, including on keeping the reserve prices for the sale of 8,300 mega hertz (MHz) spectrum at Rs 5.22 lakh crore. The DCC, which is the top decision-making body in the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), also decided that the upcoming auctions would be held between March and April next year, and will also offer for auction airwaves for 5G telephony services.
In its press briefing on Thursday, the PHD Chamber said it had requested the government to declare sale of telecom equipments as deemed export, and that a Telecom Finance Corporation should be set up to help the struggling industry.
Similar suggestions were also submitted by the telecom operators on Monday as part of their pre-Budget consultative meeting with the DoT.
The telcos, had then, sought a reduction in Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) charge to 3 percent from 5 percent currently, and a cut in licence fee.―Indian Express