GSM body asks govt to reduce spectrum prices

by CXOtoday News Desk    Mar 25, 2013

Anne Bouverot

Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSM Association (GSMA), has urged the urged the government to bring down the prices of the 1800, 900 and 800 MHz spectrum to be auctioned later this month.

According to a press statement released on Monday, Bouverot said that the absence of bidders for the 1800and 900MHz and a lone bidder in 800MHz for the spectrum auction earlier this month, which includes frequencies that remained unsold from the November 2012 auction, is a clear signal that mobile operators are not willing to pay unreasonably high prices for spectrum.

“The GSMA reiterates its call to the Indian government not to use spectrum as a means to raise short-term revenues and instead to significantly reduce the proposed reserve prices for the upcoming auction. Focus should be on the longer term and creating a healthy business environment where the mobile industry can invest with confidence,” said Bouverot.

“Acquiring spectrum is only the first step before making the necessary investment in network deployment to deliver mobile services to consumers. Unreasonably high reserve prices lead to spectrum remaining unsold, delays in the delivery of mobile services and ultimately, an increase in consumer tariffs,” she added.  

The multiplier effects of increased mobile penetration are well documented; a recent GSMA study shows that a 10 per cent expansion in mobile penetration increases productivity by 4.2 percentage points . These benefits will be particularly felt in a country like India, which has a significant and largely unconnected rural population. 

 “We call on the government to restore a sustainable environment for investment in telecoms and continue the success story of mobile, which has already had a transformative impact on the country’s society and economy over the past decade,” said Bouverot.