Congratulating the government for the latest spectrum auction that ended on Thursday, the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) said the lack of enthusiasm on the operators’ part was majorly due to its unrealistic pricing, high debt and single-digit growth that the industry is currently reeling under.
India’s telecom spectrum auction ended in a virtual failure, closing within five days and raising only Rs 65,789 crore, about 11.6 per cent of the expected Rs 5.66 lakh crore.
“The lack of enthusiasm was majorly due to its unrealistic pricing, high debt and single-digit growth that the industry is currently reeling under,” the COAI statement said.
The airwaves on the block for telecom operators are in seven bands — 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz and 2,500 MHz.
In the Delhi circle, the reserve price for 700 MHz was pegged at Rs 1,595 crore per MHz — which was the highest — and for pan-India, it was Rs 11,485 crore per MHz.
“We are hopeful the government and the Department of Telecommunications will take cognizance of the role a high reserve price had on bidding, as far as the 700 MHz is concerned, and will recalibrate the price so that spectrum in the band could be put up for auction, maybe two years from now,” said Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, COAI.