Adequate spectrum availability must for telecom growth: Sibal

Adequate spectrum availability must for telecom growth: Sibal

New Delhi: Telecom minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday said the growth in the sector is essentially centered on adequate spectrum availability, assuring government will make all efforts to provide requisite airwaves to meet industry’s demand.

“The real problem is that their is scarcity of spectrum and we need to increase the amount of spectrum that can be distributed.

This is because it (spectrum) is a vehicle through which people of India will be empowered and therefore we need a very broad area within the spectrum available that can be put to civilian use," Sibal told reporters.

His assertion comes a day after he met top telecom honchos who, among other things, expressed concern over the shortage of spectrum. Yesterday, Sibal had met Sunil Mittal of Bharti, Anil Ambani of RCoM and Ratan Tata of TTSL and discussed the current scenario in the sector. He would also be meeting other players including Idea and Vodafone.

Asked whether he would also hold meetings with new operators Sibal said “I will meet all the captains of the industry and of course we are dealing with so many things simultaneously. Lets move forward and the road ahead will be a road of prosperity for the industry... the road ahead will be a level playing field road, a non-discriminatory road the road that will help the economy move forward."

He further added, “I was very happy that the three captains of the telecom sector whom I met were extremely constructive about their approach and they have been assured of a level playing field."

The meeting with the industry comes at a time when the sector is grappling with uncertainties with regard to spectrum allocation policies and CBI probe into the decisions taken by Telecom Ministry between 2001 and 2008.

The idea was to meet the leaders of the telecom sector and find out their concerns.

“It is not in our interest to destroy this sector. It is in our interest to take the industry forward, give them confidence, assure them of a level playing field or a non-discriminatory regime", he said.

This, he said, was to ensure the “industry can realise its true potential and also mutally share its vision on where the telecom sector should be going, whether its broadband, or its other path of the telecom sector where decisions will have to be taken".