Telecom industry has presented a 10-point agenda to the Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to boost growth of data services in the country.

The list includes making available more spectrum in various bands, lower taxes and levies and incentivising faster network roll outs.

The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), representing the interest of the GSM operators, and the Association of Unified Service Providers of India (AUSPI) met Prasad recently to present their wish list.

Prasad, who had earlier said that the new Government’s objective is to promote broadband services, asked the operators to give a serious push to rolling out data networks, according to industry sources.

“It is important that additional spectrum bands may be identified in a time bound manner for wireless broadband services. A clear roadmap for auction for additional spectrum bands at reasonable reserve price would be significant so that service providers are able to plan their spectrum requirement and further investments in spectrum and network,” the AUSPI said in a letter to Prasad.

“Spectrum lying idle with Government is an opportunity lost forever. It should be released immediately for the benefit of the society at large at a reasonable reserve price to maximise availability for auction,” the COAI said in a presentation.

Other major demands include favourable Right of Way policy to speed up roll out, easier mergers & acquisition norms, revising the penalty regime and enable new services such as mobile banking.

(This article was published on June 11, 2014)
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