The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) on Friday urged the government to delay the roll-out of 5G spectrum by at least 3 to 5 years and release it when the “usage and solutions are more mature to get better valuations in the auction”.

“If 5G spectrum is auctioned now, the license fees would be frozen for the next 20 years and the government will lose money. Also, the operators will also lose since they will be able to monetize bandwidth only after 3-5 years” PHDCCI Chairman (Telecom Committee) Sandeep Aggarwal said.

The plea comes a month after the Digital Communications Commission (DCC) decided to accept all the recommendations suggested by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on the 5G spectrum. The base price for the 5G spectrum auction has been proposed by Trai and the government is not keen to reduce prices of 5G spectrum for the next round of auctions.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) intends to auction 5G spectrum sometime this year after having already missed its 2019 deadline.

During a press briefing, PHDCCI requested the government to announce the 5G auction as deemed export.

The PHDCCI chief also noted that Indian telecom operators have already invested $150 billion current technologies and will be investing $100 billion more to roll out newer ones, and therefore, the body suggested that a Telecom Finance Corporation should be set up to provide domestic line of credit to telecom firms to procure domestic-made equipment.

It made similar suggests during the pre-budget session. It also recommended to declare broadband a “utility”

According to Aggarwal, the Centre, states and Local authorities should be obliged to improve building codes to include a common duct along all roads from national highways to colony roads.

“Local bodies will also need to make arrangements so that all new houses/buildings have high quality broadband connections,” the chamber said.

(With input from agencies)