What's Not Wrong With Spectrum Refarming


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What's Not Wrong With Spectrum Refarming

Friday October 19, 2012 14:02:48 PM

This article is a balanced way of looking at the refarming idea but I humbly differ with the opinion in this article. Yes, refarming 900 MHz will provide a level playing field. But do we need that in an industry which is more than 15 years old with more than 10 operators? Every industry has its natural cycle and one cannot change the rules of the game in middle to favour new entrants. This does not imply that the wireless industry in India is closed for new operators. If they want to enter, they are welcome. Compete on low tariffs and service quality to win subscribers from other carriers. But resources should not be taken away from incumbents and redistributed. Maybe charge them high fees for renewal, but don't have incumbents give up their spectrum and re-bid on it. If incumbent fails to win in 900 MHz, they would have to double their towers for 1800 MHz and write down assets on 900 MHz. Is that fair? If the government wants new players, then they can get that with the upcoming 1800 MHz auction. Incumbent operators should have the advantage of the best spectrum because they were the first ones to use them. They invested in mobile communications when everyone else thought it was a risk. If you are late to the party, you may have to eat whatever is left. Also, there is always that talk of call rates going up with the high price for auctions and refarming. Is it ok if the subscribers suffer?  Anyone interested to read more about the telecom scenario in India, can have a look at the following link from my blog-

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