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According to news reports, the telecom watchdog, COAI (Cellular Operators’ Association of India) has requested the government not to conduct any spectrum auction till the market stabilizes. Ranjan Mathews, Director General, COAI, has said that the industry needs time to settle down before spending over spectrum. He added, the telecom operators will be requiring more spectrum soon, but if the exchequer re-auctions spectrum to earn revenues, the industry cannot afford it before the latter part of 2018 or early 2019.
 
He also mentioned that at present telecom companies are expanding their 4G services, while consolidation in the industry has also entered the final phase. He hopes that, by early 2019, the consolidation of the industry will be completed and telecom companies would be in a better position to spend on additional spectrum.
 
Noting that there had been no takers for the 700 MHz band in the 2016 auctions, Mathews said, “The reverse price of 700MHz band needs to be revisited after carrying out a bottom-up evaluation – which would analyze the market conditions, revenue opportunities and market demand and supply.”
 
The next round of auction would see 5G airwaves making their debut.
 
Tags: Telecom industry, spectrum auction, COAI, cellular operators association of india, Ranjan Mathews Director General COAI, varindia

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