“There are some challenges too relating to tariffs, taxes, levies, spectrum availability and pricing,” Vodafone Idea (Vi) managing director Ravinder Takkar said at the India Mobile Congress on Tuesday. These concerns were broadly underlined by Bharti Airtel India and South Asia chief executive Gopal Vittal, Jio managing director Sanjay Mashruwala as well as Nunzio Mirtillo, Ericsson’s head of market area Southeast Asia, Oceania and India, in their respective speeches. Vittal, on his part, called for a stable and simple regulatory environment to enable fast growth of digital India.
Operators have been calling current prices unsustainable, with Vi saying it might become the first off the blocks to raise rates — prices were last raised in December 2019 — and was confident it would be followed by its rivals, too.
Jio’s Mashruwala said there was a need to address RoW challenges to bring India on par with developed nations in terms of 5G and fibre to the home. Even telecom equipment makers are urging the government to incentivise investments in the telecom infrastructure sector, speed up spectrum availability and make spectrum prices affordable.
“Networks are as important to countries as roads and electric grids and airports. I strongly encourage India to prioritise actions to incentivise investments in digital infrastructure, including making spectrum more affordable and speeding up the availability of spectrum,” said Ericsson’s Mirtillo.