700MHz spectrum is not running away: Manoj Sinha

| Updated on: Jan 16, 2018


Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Communication Manoj Sinha does not term the latest round of spectrum auctions as ‘dull’ and brushes aside any talks about pressure from the Prime Minister’s Office or the Finance Ministry on the responses. Soon after the conclusion of the spectrum auctions, which took place amidst price war between giants in the sector and the latest entrant Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, Sinha spoke to BusinessLine and said that the only challenge for the future is improvement of quality. Services will further improve and consumers will only gain and there will be a healthy competition, he said. Excerpts:

How do you view 700MHz spectrum remaining unsold ?

May be the operators are not is not that the 700MHz is running away. If it was not sold this time, it will be sold next time. We will sell it. Despite 700 MHz remaining unsold, we are happy that the upfront payment we will get is the highest ever, in the last five years.

What will happen to the unsold airwaves (spectrum)? When will the next round of auctions be held?

I can’t say right now what will happen next. We will decide once we discuss the outcome of the latest round. What we know of today is that finally the auctions are over and I have to inform every Ministry related to it.

What will be your immediate expectations from the operators?

Our first expectation is there should be improvement in the services. There should be proper utilisation of the spectrum by all the telecom service providers. They should not say that ‘we could not help because there was lesser number of spectrum available’. We have kept all the available airwaves on the table this time...

How do you view the current tariff war between Reliance Jio and others?

That is not actually much of my concern. I have said many a time earlier too that if there is a healthy competition, consumers will be happy and beneficial.

If a consumer is getting cheaper voice and data services, better quality, then what can we say? It is an open market, and consumers will buy only those services which are better than the other. Be it any company, people will only be using a service for longer period, which gives better services and affordable. But, ultimately, only better quality services provider will survive.

What are your comments on call drops and what is the update on the TSPs that had promised 90 days commitment?

You must have experienced the changes…I have already taken a review meeting with the TSPs. There has been lot of improvement I believe.

Published on October 06, 2016
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