Bharti Infratel Chairman Akhil Gupta has advocated the government to ring in an affordable base price of 5G airwaves and also made a strong case for penalizing telcos failing to meet their 5G rollout obligations beyond Tier 1 &2 cities.
Addressing delegates at the ET Telecom in Mobile Conclave 2019 Tuesday, Akhil Gupta said, “Telcos failing to meet 5G rollout obligations, and only confining their coverage to Tier 1 & 2 cities with purely a profit maximization aim, must be heavily penalized.”
He also advised phone companies that fully meet their 5G rollout obligation must be incentivized by way of “a complete waiver of license fees, which can be recovered from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) that has been accumulating over the years”.
5G services, he said, “must not be a showcase merely of South Delhi and the Nariman Points of India; this fast wireless broadband technology needs to go deep into the country, the benefit of which must be taken by the hinterland”.
India is the biggest guzzler of data the consumption levels hit a robust 12-13 GB per customer per month. The reason for this scenario, he said, is since data is cheapest in India. “The pricing at which we offer data is lowest in the world, in that a GB in India costs 26 cents, compared to a global average of $8.53 per GB, which translates to about Rs 17-18 per GB in India vs a Rs 600 per GB global average.”