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Telcos seek sale of all 5G bands, levy cut & longer moratorium for payment of dues



Telcos seek sale of all 5G bands, levy cut & longer moratorium for payment of dues

Senior executives of India’s three private telcos , Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) and (Vi) pushed the government to put all 5G bands – including those currently used for 4G – for sale, reduce levies and give a longer period of moratorium on payment for the new airwaves. Vi and Jio asked for a level playing field where no spectrum airwave is allotted to any OTT or satellite player and all get a chance to bid like the telcos do.

“I would like to highlight the level playing field, we are all for less regulation. And we believe that you know everybody should be allowed to flourish and grow. But same service, same rules would be the need of the hour if the entire digital ecosystem has to, you know, flourish together,” said Anjali Hans, senior vice president Public Policy for Vi. Hans was speaking in a panel at the India Mobile Congress.

Vi’s comments come on the back of a battle between satellite firms and telcos where the former have asked for free or nominally priced airwaves while the latter have protested the high-priced auction route.

“We absolutely welcome and are open to exploring the potential of that line technology for offering communication services. Only request is that it shouldn’t be done at the cost of existing terrestrial networks or the ecosystem of 4G and 5G networks, which aren’t globally accepted,” said Vishakha Saigal-vice president, head of strategic initiatives, regulatory policy and research, at Jio.

The senior official added that it was “crucial to ensure that there is parity in terms of policies and regulatory framework” between all services providers irrespective of technology or mode of delivery.

The battle between the two camps heated up when the sector regulator recently asked Starlink, the satellite broadband arm of Elon Musk‘s SpaceX, not to “solicit any telecom business or collect any related fees” for its upcoming broadband-from-space services in India without the necessary authorisations.

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