“The national telecom policy involves several aspects coming together, and the government is taking a step in right direction,” Lecchi said. The new telecom policy is expected to give due consideration to rapid technological advancement. She said GSMA wants DoT to release a spectrum roadmap ahead of next auctions, to make it easier for carriers to chalk out individual strategies for sale of radio waves.
“The industry is facing difficulty in terms of erosion of revenue, and operators will not be able to take out lot of amount for spectrum buyout in the short term,” Lecchi said, adding that it is important to create equal conditions for competition.
The consolidation has left market leader Bharti Airtel, No. 2 and No. 3 players, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular, which are merging their operations, and Reliance Jio Infocomm as the remaining major private players.
“Consolidation is good for India that will help players to focus on the wider network. Fragmented networks have always been a difficult preposition and that too with such gigantic projects such as Digital India,” Lecchi said.
The other major issues vexing the industry, she said, include multiplicity of levies including the high USO charge, a kitty used by the government for the development of rural projects, and ad hoc levying of penalties.