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The government should look at measures of making adequate spectrum available at reasonable prices besides rationalizing levies and reducing litigation, Vodafone Idea Ltd (Vi) managing director and chief executive officer Ravinder Takkar said on Thursday at the India Mobile Congress.

These steps will ensure sustainability of the sector in the long term and enable carriers to raise the average revenue per user (Arpu) from the “abysmally low" levels at present, and in turn improve quality of services for consumers, he said.

“Industry players are talking about first making adequate spectrum available at reasonable prices at easy payment terms. Second, rationalizing taxes and levies, in line with the recommendation of NDCP 2018 and, third, reducing the heavy burden of old legacy litigation in the sector," Takkar said.

Takkar’s views resonate with suggestions by top telecom leaders to improve the financial health of the industry. Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal on Wednesday urged the government to reduce litigation in the telecom sector, including old cases that have been going on for years, while seeking lower levies on carriers and making spectrum more affordable.

Takkar added that while initial steps have been taken to raise Arpu, more needs to be done to provide quality service to customers. Last month, all carriers raised tariffs by 18-25%, however, some like Airtel have said that Arpu needs to go up further, to above Rs300 per month.

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