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Telcos flag E & V bands, floor price, other issues at meet with Trai chief

New Delhi: Telcos, under the aegis of COAI, have jointly pitched for spectrum allocation in E and V bands only through an auction and urged the regulator to expedite the process of fixing floor tariffs for data at a recent meeting with the new Trai chief, industry sources have said. Other issues highlighted by the top industry representatives at the meeting include a reduction in levies and review of the regulatory stance on over-the-top (OTT) communication services.

These issues were flagged by the industry at a meeting with the new Trai Chairman last week, sources said.

It is pertinent to mention that P D Vaghela took over as the new Chairman of Trai from October 1. The sources said the industry maintained that spectrum in highly commercial and valuable E and V bands should not be delicensed.

All licensed private access service providers are prepared to bid and buy spectrum in these bands through an open and transparent bidding process, generating revenues for the government, the industry contended.

The industry has, therefore, urged the regulator to recommend to the government for allocation of spectrum in E and V bands only through transparent auction to licensed access service providers.

The telecom industry - which wants Trai to set floor tariffs for data - has urged the regulator to expedite the consultation process in this regard by initiating open house discussion, and issue a regulation on the floor tariffs.

When contacted, Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) Director-General SP Kochhar confirmed the meeting, saying the industry held "frank and open" discussions with the regulator, highlighting various issues, including E and V bands, the floor price for tariffs, and OTT matter.

It may be recalled that last month COAI had written to Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on the E and V band issue, where it called for the allocation of spectrum in these specified bands "through transparent auction to access service providers immediately".

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