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Monday, March 6, 2017

Spectrum auctions a success, says Trai Chairman RS Sharma- inf by Ashok Hindocha M-94262 54999 Spectrum auctions a success, says Trai Chairman RS Sharma

Spectrum auctions a success, says Trai Chairman RS Sharma- inf by Ashok Hindocha M-94262 54999 Spectrum auctions a success, says Trai Chairman RS Sharma www.bsnlnewsbyashokhindocha.blogspot.com M-94262 54999 Spectrum auctions a success, says Trai Chairman RS Sharma The government is set to get Rs 65,789.12 crore, less then what was expected, even as it sold more airwaves than in the previous four auctions combined.
we are giving a platform to everyone in the consultation paper and will come out with our findings once the consultation completes. We are giving a platform to everyone in the consultation paper and will come out with our findings once the consultation completes. NEW DELHI: The chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India termed the recent spectrum auctions a success, given that companies had bought as much airwaves as they needed. RS Sharma said the regulator would revisit the price of the 700 Mhz band if the Department of Telecom decides to resell the band that found no takers in the sale that concluded last week. On the issue of failed calls between the networks of newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm and the big incumbents in the sector, he said there was an improvement but the number was still far higher than what the rules mandated, and that the regulator was set to take action against erring operators who had not provided adequate points of interconnection (PoIs). “They (auctions) were very successful. Telcos have bought whatever they needed to buy,” Sharma told ET. Mobile phone companies now can’t use spectrum scarcity as an excuse for poor quality of services, he said. “That excuse is gone. A lot of spectrum was sold, apart from that in the 700 Mhz band.” Trai has noted the industry views that the reserve price of airwaves in the 700 Mhz band was “very expensive”, he said. “We had priced it based on various factors at that point in time. And if they (DoT) want to auction it again, they will send a reference back to us, and we will look into the pricing again based on the factors prevalent at that point in time,” he said, while pointing out that the price for the band in some circles was below that set for 900 Mhz. Sharma declined to comment when asked if he felt telcos had together decided to stay away from bidding for the band. The spectrum auctions closed on October 6. The government is set to get Rs65,789.12 crore, less then what was expected, even as it sold more airwaves than in the previous four auctions combined. All seven mobile phone operators in the fray for over 2300 MHz of airwaves gave the expensive 700 MHz band — considered the best for 4G services — a miss, blaming the high starting price, and called on the government to reduce the rates and put it up for sale again. The reserve price for a unit of pan-India spectrum in the 700 MHz band was Rs11,475 crore. Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and HSBC expect the failure to sell 700 MHz to nudge the regulator to lower prices, with HSBC predicting a15-20% cut. PoIs and free offers Trai is examining complaints that Reliance Jio Infocomm violated rules by offering free voice calls for life, Sharma said. India’s largest telcos — Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular — that made the complaint had also sought a clarification from the regulator on whether Jio’s free voice and data offer from September 5 till the end of the year goes against rules that set a 90-day limit for promotional plans. “We had sought responses from Reliance Jio and their responses have also come. We are examining whether there is any truth in their complaints,” Sharma said. On the call failures on Jio’s network, Sharma said Trai is set to take action against telcos which didn’t meet the quality of service standards that mandate call failures of less than 0.5% of all calls. “Some 50% (calls failed) vs 0.5% ... That’s hardly an improvement. We will take action as per law against all those who have failed to meet quality of service parameters,” Sharma said, adding that Trai had received responses to the showcause notices sent to errant telcos. ET reported that the call failure incidents between Jio and Airtel’s networks have improved to 56% a day from nearly 73% on September 23. Between Jio and Idea, the rate has reduced to 62% from more than 75%, and Vodafone India to 75% from 83.5% earlier. Sharma had earlier said that the high rate of call failure could only be due to inadequate PoIs between the networks. According to sources, telcos, in their response, blamed the free offer from Jio for call failures, saying that it led to huge inflow of traffic clogging the network. They also said that the 14 paise a minute call termination charge that they get from Jio wasn’t enough

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