The GSMA has stated that the TRAI’s recommendations on the “Auction of Spectrum” will set India back in its goal to deliver “Broadband on Demand” to the citizens of India. The proposals disregard international best practice in spectrum policy and jeopardize the investment of billions of US dollars in new mobile infrastructure in a sector that either directly, or indirectly, employs almost 10 million people and serves more than 911 million consumers.
“Efforts to squeeze money out of mobile operators for some perceived short-term gain will only reduce investment in networks, inhibit growth of mobile services and drive up consumer prices – limiting the value the public will derive from the spectrum resource in the long term,” said Franco Bernabe, Chairman of the GSMA and Chairman & CEO, Telecom Italia Group.
Earlier this month, the GSMA announced that India was positioned to surpass the US as the second-largest Mobile Broadband market in the world within the next four years. In recognition of the threat to this potential, Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA, said, “The GSMA’s member operators in India have invested heavily and worked hard to deliver innovative services to consumers and positively impact the broader Indian economy. They are naturally very concerned about the TRAI recommendations, which have the potential to stifle investment in India’s mobile sector. The GSMA and its members are seeking an open dialogue with the Government of India on the licensing of the critical spectrum with the aim of finding a solution that will drive investment and growth in mobile communications and more broadly in the Indian economy.”