London: Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA, offered the following statement in anticipation of the expected 1800, 900 and 800 MHz spectrum auction in India later this month:
“The absence of bidders for the 1800 and 900 MHz and a lone bidder in 800MHz for the spectrum auction earlier this month, which includes frequencies that remained unsold from the November 2012 auction, is a clear signal that mobile operators are not willing to pay unreasonably high prices for spectrum. The GSMA reiterates its call to the Indian Government not to use spectrum as a means to raise short-term revenues and instead to significantly reduce the proposed reserve prices for the upcoming auction. Focus should be on the longer term and creating a healthy business environment where the mobile industry can invest with confidence.
“Acquiring spectrum is only the first step before making the necessary investment in network deployment to deliver mobile services to consumers. Unreasonably high reserve prices lead to spectrum remaining unsold, delays in the delivery of mobile services and ultimately, an increase in consumer tariffs. The multiplier effects of increased mobile penetration are well documented; a recent GSMA study shows that a 10 per cent expansion in mobile penetration increases productivity by 4.2 percentage points1. These benefits will be particularly felt in a country like India, which has a significant and largely unconnected rural population.
“We call on the Indian Government to restore a sustainable environment for investment in telecoms and continue the success story of mobile, which has already had a transformative impact on the country’s society and economy over the past decade.”
Notes to Editors
1Source: GSMA/Cisco report prepared by Deloitte: What is the impact of mobile telephony on economic growth? http://www.gsma.com/publicpolicy/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/gsma-deloitte-impact-mobile-telephony-economic-growth.pdf
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries and territories, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with more than 230 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.
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