Telecom operators have asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to expedite the process to fix a minimum tariff for services. As per the telcos, it is essential for the long-term sustainable health of the sector and will help the companies absorb the blow of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues.

To this end, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), in a letter to the TRAI has also sought for an open house on the matter urgently. COAI in its letter, added that given the financial pressure on the sector and the fact that average revenue per user (ARPU) and tariffs of the Indian telecom sector are the lowest in the world, floor pricing is imperative to ensure that the sector is sustainable, and is in a position to bear the deferred spectrum and AGR dues, while continuing to invest in world class networks and services.

Meanwhile, telcos have also urged the telecom secretary Anshu Prakash to speed up the formation of a key inter-ministerial panel for finalising the strategic plan for India’s 5G spectrum deployment. The plan will be discussed at a key meeting of the International Telecom Union (ITU) in June 2020.

The move follows telcos request for allotting sub-3500 MHz 5G spectrum free of cost for 5G fixed wireless services to augment networks capacities at a time when existing 4G networks are facing severe capacity constraints amid COVID-19 crisis.

Rajan Mathews, director general, COAI, in a letter to the telecom secretary has urged the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to create a National Preparatory Committee (NPC) and the relevant National Study Groups (NSGs) to begin the preparatory work to achieve the position of the Indian Administration on deployment of various (5G) bands, including millimetre wave bands identified at ITU’s World Radio Communications-2019 conference in November 2019.