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India would shoot itself in the foot with proposed 5G spectrum costs

The Indian government aims to make a startling INR9.83 trillion ($84bn) from its upcoming 5G-centric spectrum auction, a policy that will severely curtail the operators’ ability to invest sufficiently in new networks, or to build systems that could support the country’s lofty 5G ambitions. Many operators admit it will take them many years to generate sufficient new revenue from 5G, or reduce sufficient costs, to balance the investment in the 5G networks and supporting digital platforms, spectrum and infrastructure.  Nowhere is this gap more yawning than in India, where operators have always been plagued by a combination of high spectrum costs, huge roll-out terrain and low ARPUs. That has resulted in under-investment in networks and consequent poor quality of service,…

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