Telecom operators have welcomed Adani Group’s entry into the telecom sector by way of applying for spectrum auctions for private network solutions. In a statement on Thursday, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) — of which Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea are members — said that the right way for enterprises is to participate in the auctions and acquire spectrum.
COAI is opposed to direct allocation of spectrum to enterprises for private networks as they feel it upsets the level playfield. “We are happy to note that the companies wanting to use 5G spectrum have made applications for open bidding of the spectrum through a transparent auction process, which ensures that a level playing field is maintained and all interested parties bid for the spectrum required by them,” the industry body said.
Last week, Adani Group said that it has no plans to enter into consumer mobility. Further, its decision to participate in the auction gave the perfect opportunity to the telecom firms to once again put forward their point of view.
“The spectrum should not be provided on the administrative basis as it leads to no business case for the rollout of 5G networks in the country. If the independent entities set up private captive networks with direct 5G spectrum allotment by DoT, it will diminish the revenue so much that there will be no viable business case left for the telecom service providers (TSPs) and there will not remain any need for 5G networks rollout by TSPs,” COAI said in a statement.
It further said the country’s structured licensing framework has helped orderly growth of India’s digital connectivity landscape and the opening up of access to spectrum to enterprises directly disturbs the level playing field.