Disconnect: Major fight brewing between telecom operators and technology firms over spectrum band

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The argument against auction is on the premise that there’s not much the government is going to get by doing so, unlike access spectrum.A major fight is brewing between telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio on one side and technology players Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, etc, on the other, over a spectrum band that has the potential to provide high-speed broadband services, especially in remote areas and for better in-building coverage.The issue that has divided the two sides is whether spectrum in the band concerned should be delicensed or should be allocated through auctions, as is the case for access services spectrum.Related NewsThe telecom operators, under the aegis of their association, Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), have written a letter to the government that the spectrum in the band concerned should be auctioned, as not doing so would lead to loss of revenue to the government because of these bands having a very high commercial value proposition. Opposing their stand, the technology players through their association Broadband India Forum (BIF) have contested COAI’s stand, and written that the spectrum should be delicensed and not auctioned, as it is not the same …

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