"Currently, the telecom infrastructure providers can not avail of the Input Tax credit against GST paid by them on telecom towers, which acts as an impediment to make further investments,” said T.R.Dua, Director-General, Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA).
DoT believes clarity on the broader spectrum allocation issue will encompass E and V bands. Telcos want these to be auctioned, thus keeping them only for licensees while tech giants such as Facebook and Google have backed delicensing, and the bandwidth’s use to provide WiFi services.
"I would welcome India and all free, democratic nations to follow our lead in preventing insecure technologies into their telecom networks," said US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai during an interview with ET.
According to the notice inviting application (NIA), applications can continue till February 5. The auctions in 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2500 MHz bands will be the first conducted after 2016. ET in its January 5 edition had written that NIAs will get rolled out this week.
In the past 10 years, the government has auctioned spectrum six times – in calendar years 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 – but has refrained from giving any clarity on the frequency of future airwaves sale.
The move is expected to provide flexibility to both procurers (mainly Discoms) and generators (power projects) to look for meaning contracts post expiry of a PPA, one where discoms can get the option to buy cheaper power available in the market while generators could look at new consumers either under long term contract or through price discovery on exchanges.
“I am aware of the concern of the TSPs (telecom service providers) who feel that adequate spectrum must be allocated to the TSPs and the spectrum price must be reasonable,” SK Gupta, secretary, Trai, said in a keynote address at the 4th edition of the India Mobile Congress.
The NDCP 2018 has most of the targets set to be achieved by 2022. However, several strategies that have been envisaged under the policy approved almost two years back are yet to be implemented including rationalisation of taxes, levies and spectrum price.
The PLI scheme for telecom, announced recently by the government, would not only boost the local network gear manufacturing industry but would also help build a robust ecosystem, Rajen Vagadia, VP and President, Qualcomm India and SAARC, said.
According to the order, the resolution applicant (RA) – in this case Reliance Digital - has proposed to make a total payment of INR 3,720 crores for corporate debtor -Reliance Infratel (RITL), which will be distributed among the lenders.
His comments come at a time when the government plans to hold a 4G airwaves sale in early-2021, which may be followed by a sale of 5G airwaves later next year. Vittal, in fact, had recently said the Sunil Mittal-led telco would give 5G airwaves a miss if auctioned at the reserve prices set by the sector regulator, that it feels are unaffordable.
Department of Telecommunications (DoT) officials have been holding discussions with security agencies and other relevant ministries over the last few weeks on whether only critical equipment or all gear from China should be banned, a senior official aware of the discussions told ET.
Senior DoT officials, it is learnt, told the panel that there is no ban in theory on any Chinese gear makers, stopping them from selling 5G gear, but like other companies from bordering countries, they too have to take additional approvals.
“We are motivated by the patient hearing of our submissions by the Trai chief and believe that the officials will take policy decisions in the best interest of all stakeholders,” TV Ramachandran, president, BIF, told ET. He added that BIF will seek another meeting with the authority next week for other agendas on its list.