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Excess spectrum for 5G auction to deprive Indians from satellite services, SIA India

Allocating more spectrum for 5G auction will deprive Indian citizens of satellite broadband services resulting in loss to GDP, Satcom Industry Association(SIA) said in a white paper released on Wednesday.

Satellite players have been opposing auction of high frequency bands for 5G mobile services and have asked the government to follow international practice of allocating radiowaves to the satellite firms on an administrative basis.

”Offering excessive spectrum resources in the upcoming 5G auction will result in Indian citizens being denied the benefits of high-demand, advanced satellite broadband services,” it said.

It will also lead to GDP loss of up to USD 184.6 billion.

Satellite players say satellite companies use the same spectrum on a shared basis and the auction will give ownership rights to only one company.

”Any proposal to replace administrative licensing for shared spectrum uses would lead to several legal hurdles for applying auctions to shared-spectrum use,” SIA-India Director General Anil Prakash said while releasing the paper.

He said one of the economic hurdles would be the fact that spectrum auctions are a mechanism to assign spectrum rights on an exclusive basis to a limited number of users to solve excess demand.

”The government would have to justify the economic benefits of closing its space economy or reducing it to a minimum participation. In addition, significant costs would be imposed on India from the loss of the shared satellite capacity that India requires in present and future terms, and those costs would greatly surpass any fees collected through an auction,” Prakash said.

He said a forward-looking approach by policymakers is needed to adopt the best practices based on technology and market dynamics in line with international best practices. PTI

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