New Delhi: The long delays in spectrum auction should end, and spectrum should be continuously available to telecom service providers, a top Jio official said on Monday.
"Prices for 5G spectrum need to be critically looked at. Higher floor prices will lead to 5G networks being unviable and therefore getting delayed. An equilibrium therefore, need to be established between Government revenue and overall growth," Jio board member Mahendra Nahata said at the inaugural session of India Mobile Congress on Monday.
The government did not auction any spectrum in fiscals 2017-18 and 2018-19.
In 2016-17, the government had raised ₹65,789 crore through the sale of spectrum, a fraction of the ₹5.63 trillion worth of spectrum, at base price, it had offered for sale. While the total spectrum put up for sale was 2,354.44MHz across seven bands, the government managed to auction just 965MHz.
The roadmap for the rollout of 5G technology in India is still under examination and the government will appoint an auctioneer soon as it plans to conduct an auction for the premium airwaves by January.
5G technology will lead to much higher data speeds and propel Internet of Things, which will transform sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, and education.
“The government also needs to relook at the telecom sector in a more holistic manner... not just at service providers but also at application providers and other ecosystem partners," Nahata said.
The three-day India Mobile Congress is India’s effort to showcase itself as a vibrant telecom market and woo investors.
As many as 500 companies and 250 start-ups are participating in the event expo which expects footfalls of 1 lakh people over three days.