Telecom rivals get together
We find here another interesting scenario of rival players in Telecom Industry like Airtel and Reliance Jio coming together for opposing TRAI regarding the allocation of 700 Mhz band for Machine to Machine Communications. TRAI had recently disclosed it’s plans for contributing to the Digital India Initiative. Hence, the move is being opposed by Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Jio because if 10 Mhz of the premium 700 Mhz band will be alloted for M2M communications for free, then the above mentioned telecom players will be in loss because they’ll be using the 700 Mhz band after paying the required fees. This can be understood in layman terms like there are two departmental stores and one of them is being allotted the land for free without any taxes but the store running without taxes will be selling products that will help in government initiative.
Super-Efficient 4G airwaves very crucial for Telecom companies
Reliance Jio Infocomm and Airtel Bharti have approached TRAI separately and put their views on the paper opposing any such move. According to them it would distort the playing field and valuation of airwaves.The leading Telecom companies are wary of this move by TRAI because the efficient part of waves mentioned above are really important for performance of any Telecom company. Moreover, we can expect 5G services by 2020 and hence, corporates will be planning their strategy accordingly in order to tap the potential market.
TRAI, on other hand wants to promote the adoption of M2M services in order to support the Digital India Initiative.
What is M2M communications ?
M2M or Machine to Machine communication is actually the communication between wired and wireless devices using communication channel for example a Wi-Fi Network. Hence, the communication channel here is the Wi-Fi Network.TRAI The government has not sold the spectrum till now in 700 Mhz band but the leading Telecom companies that invest millions and billions in their business would certainly find it nonviable to buy the premium airwaves when they have to compete with other players providing M2M services who would not be charged for utilizing the unlicenced portion of the band.
Why do Airtel and Jio have a problem ?
Airtel is saying that the move will give way to unfair competition as where one operator will be paying Rs 11,435 crore for a MHz of spectrum – as per the base price in the previous auctions – another will get access to the unlicensed portion of the same band at no cost for offering M2M mobile services.
Jio also said it would not be reluctant to for allocation of this band for M2M communications without knowing its full commercial benefits.
Hence, as per experts, delicensing even a portion of the frequency would give rise to unco-ordinated use of the band and unwanted interference. Moreover, as per Cellular Operator’s Association of India Director Mr. Rajan S Mathews, “ Separate allocation of spectrum for M2M services is not necessary as underlying network resources for person to person and machine to machine communication would be same.
As per report from Economic Times, he also said that it is crucial for fair competition that M2M services are permitted under license only.