Industry calls for two-year wait before 700MHz sale

29 Jul 2015

India’s mobile providers have called for the government to auction frequencies in the 700MHz in two years, to give them time to prepare and to allow the ecosystem to mature, the Economic Times writes. Representatives from industry groups the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and the GSM Association (GSMA) called for the government to set out a roadmap for the auction and allocation of 700MHz band spectrum, following the announcement earlier this week that industry regulators were considering selling the airwaves in the next tender, scheduled for early 2016. The COAI’s director general, Rajan Mathews was quoted as saying that a roadmap would help operators make plans as the current ‘availability of this band is not known.’ Sandeep Karanwal, the head of the GSMA’s Indian branch, meanwhile, linked the benefits of a detailed plan to government initiatives, saying that an accurate roadmap would help operators to develop strategies in sync with the Digital India programme. Further, as an early adopter of the frequency band, India could produce compatible Long Term Evolution (LTE) devices for export under the Make in India project.