The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) have called on the government to sharply reduce levies, citing that the telcos are investing heavily for the fastest 5G rollouts in the world but have no clear visibility in terms of additional revenue from the 5G services. COAI suggested that the licence fee should be brought down to 1 per cent from 3 per cent, and the universal service obligation (USO) levy of 5 per cent be deferred till the Rs 647.74 billion lying in the fund gets exhausted.
According to Lt. Gen. Dr. S.P. Kochhar, director general, COAI, 5G is being rapidly deployed across the country, but revenues can be gained from the same only once the market matures, use cases are established and the enterprise uptake of the services is realised. He added that while the debt-laden telecom sector has put in massive investments and efforts to ensure India gets the world’s fastest 5G rollout, it also needs more financial relaxation and support for viability and sustenance.