GSMA ask EGoM to reduce spectrum prices in India

GSMA has urged the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) to reduce spectrum prices for 900 MHz and 1800 MHz

Speaking on Telecom Commisssion’s decision, Anne Bouverot, director general, GSMA said, “The GSMA was surprised by the Telecom Commission’s decision to overrule the TRAI recommendations on reduced reserve prices for the 1800 MHz and 900 MHz spectrum bands. Given that spectrum blocks remained unsold in previous auctions, we strongly urge the Empowered Group of Ministers to base their final decision regarding spectrum pricing on promoting investment, when they meet in the forthcoming weeks.

“Mobile operators in India have to pay significantly more for spectrum than in other parts of the world even though average revenue per user is significantly lower. For example, the reserve price set by the Telecom Commission for the 1800 MHz band in Delhi is, on average, 70 per cent higher than the reserve prices of the same band in most European auctions in the last three years. High spectrum prices will increase debt ratios, reduce the ability of operators to invest and ultimately, higher long-term costs will translate into higher tariffs for consumers,” added Bouverot.

Setting realistic reserve prices for spectrum auctions will ensure a more efficient use of this scarce resource and, in the longer term, produce much needed economic and social benefits.

GSMA’s recent report, “Mobile Economy India 2013”, found that by 2020, the mobile ecosystem could contribute almost US $400 billion to India’s GDP, create 4.1 million new jobs, and contribute significantly through infrastructure investments ($9 billion) and public funding ($34 billion) – if the right polices are in place.

“We reiterate our call to the Indian government to focus on creating a supportive environment for telecoms investment to continue the success story of mobile in India and ensure that affordable voice and data services are made available to all its citizens,” commented Bouverot.

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