Jio says due to a few companies having "vested interests", the government should not keep at hostage policies aimed at "nation-building"
Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio has written to the Department of Telecom (DoT) questioning the inordinate delay in the auction of available spectrum in all the bands. While Jio wants auction to be held at the earliest, Airtel and Vi are against the idea as according to them, the reserve prices for the spectrum sale are too high.
Jio has said the delay in spectrum auction will hurt India's image in terms of 'Ease of Doing Business' and also lead to losses to the government.
"We are unable to find any reasonable rationale behind this sudden pause in a successful and fruitful policy of auctioning all available spectrum every year, since the Hon'ble Supreme Court decision in 2012," the Jio letter said, reported Business Standard.
In the letter dated September 28, Jio has said that the company needs additional spectrum to boost the quality of 4G data services across India.
The letter, written to DoT secretary Anshu Prakash, has also been marked to Union communication minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and PM Modi's principal secretary PK Misra.
In an apparent dig at rival telcos, the Jio letter also said that some companies were just perpetuating their 2G technologies and utilising old equipment as much as possible, reported Mint. Jio said due to a few companies having "vested interests", the government should not keep at hostage the policies aimed at "nation-building".
Jio wants spectrum auction in 700 MHz, 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz and 2500 MHz bands. Most importantly, the company wants to buy a major chunk of 800 MHz band that provides 4G services.
The Mukesh Ambani-led telco is currently using 800 MHz band of Anil Ambani's bankrupt company Reliance Communications to provide 4G services across 21 circles of the country. This licence will expire next year in August.
Jio does not want 5G services spectrum that falls in the band 3,300-3,600 MHz. Notably, as part of its spectrum auction plan, the government wants to sell 8,300 megahertz (MHz) of the spectrum. The Centre has set the reserve price worth Rs 5.23 lakh crore for this. The industry lobby body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had also vouched for additional spectrum auction earlier.