Telecom sector to see Rs 1.5K-crore investment in next 2 years

Telecom sector to see Rs 1.5K-crore investment in next 2 years

India's telecom infrastructure sector is likely to witness investment worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore in the next two to three years, Telecom secretary Aruna Sundarajan said here on Wednesday.

With the expansion of the sector and upgrading of technology, there will be a lot of investment in the telecom infrastructure in two to three years, she said on the sidelines of an event here.

The Telecom Commission, the highest decision-making body of the telecom department, recently approved several projects that include mobile phone towers in the North-East, Internet connectivity in 30,000 villages through satellite bandwidth and the revised Network for Spectrum project.

With the BharatNet programme reaching 80,000 gram panchayats, it will help the government provide broadband services to one lakh gram panchayats by December this year, she said. From January, the government can deliver a number of services to a large section of rural people, Aruna added.

5G auctions
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has already sought views on the timing, pricing and quantum of spectrum to be sold in the next round of auctions, which could see 5G airwaves, promising faster download speeds.

In its consultation paper issued last month, TRAI also sought views from the telecom firms on spectrum caps and rollout obligations for 5G spectrum, besides the pricing of 4G airwaves in the 700 MHz band that went unsold in the last auction.

Though spectrum auction will generate more revenue for the government, it will also require the telecom firms to invest more.

Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, addressing the recent India Mobile Congress, said his company would invest Rs 18,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore this year in building infrastructure. The industry as a whole is likely to invest anywhere between Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 60,000 crore in 2017-18, Mittal said. 

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