Next round of sale of airwaves should ideally be scheduled in 2018: COAI

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Giving its suggestion on spectrum auction this year, Cellular Operator's Association of India (COAI) today said that the centre should wait for the next spectrum auction, PTI reported.

Next round of sale of airwaves should ideally be scheduled in 2018

The Association said that the next round of sale of airwaves should ideally be scheduled in 2018, the report added.

"In the immediate context, we don't expect a whole lot of demand for the spectrum because mergers and harmonisation will lead to efficiencies in terms of use of existing spectrum, companies like Idea Cellular and Vodafone (which have announced decision to merge in India) will put their spectrum together for efficiencies," COAI DG Rajan S Mathews told the news agency.

His comments come after India's second largest telecom service provider Vodafone has announced its merger plan with Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel is acquiring Telenor's India unit and Tikona Digital's 4G airwaves.

SEE ALSO: Do you know what the Spectrum and Spectrum Auction mean?

Last month, former Telecom Secretary JS Deepak said, The government is planning for a fresh round of spectrum auction between July and December and will send recommendations to the telecom regulator soon.

We are looking to do a spectrum auction every year so that telcos can plan their needs, whether they need to trade it, buy it from someone else or come to the auction. This ensures complete certainty and policy stability, Deepak said.

He said, "And we are soon going to send a request to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for recommendations for the next auction, which I believe would be held between July and December. It will be annual auction done every year. How much of spectrum to be sold, the price, newer spectrum bands - all issues will be considered," he said.

"The government is not worried about unsold spectrum," he added.

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