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TRAI Chief: We Set Spectrum Price; Industry Decides Tariff

Telecom regulator TRAI will stick to its recommended price for spectrum including that for 5G services, its Chairman RS Sharma said after leading telecom operators complained about high base prices for the sale of frequencies.

Sharma said the regulator, however, has recommended various measures to lower levies on the sector to help improve the financial health of stressed operators.

“We have given reserve price recommendation and we stand by that. In fact, we have reduced prices of 700 MHz band,” Sharma told reporters here.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have said that spectrum prices for proposed auction are too high and companies will be unable to participate if radio waves are sold at prices recommended by TRAI. The auction is key to start the rollout of 5G services.

Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal on Tuesday said that the government needs to extend support to the industry for early 5G rollout by pricing spectrum at a reasonable level.

“This is for the government to basically figure out when to auction. It is not our domain,” Sharma said.

Talking about low level of tariffs, Sharma said telecom services rates are under forbearance and it is telecom operators who fix tariffs.―The Hindu Business Line

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